Sunday 3 April 2011

Mountain Biking Communities

I will happily admit that when it comes to skills, nerve and fitness, I'm pretty near the bottom of the pile. I'll get more skilful, I'll get fitter, and - I hope - those two will bring with them a little more nerve.

What I have not seen since I've returned to two-wheels-good outdoor activity is snobbery amongst fellow mtbers, and other cyclists. Guys on two-and-a-half grand Orange Fives have chatted to me quite happily, roadies have given me a friendly wave as we pass, and that weird bloke who cycles in a kilt and tweet jacket nodded in acknowledgement. They're all faster, all fitter (well, maybe except for that last guy, but he's about eighty and it's still a pretty close run thing) and all quite pleasant people to be around.

Cyclists are united by many common factors. We love being outside, we hate cars (I love my car, but I hate cycling in snarling, angry traffic), and we all suffer the odd puncture.

You can find evidence of that camaraderie everywhere. The car parks at trail centres, your LBS, or anywhere cyclists gather. And online, too. Facebook and Twitter are great communities, where you can find like minded individuals, share stories, get advice. They're not just about embarrassing pictures from work parties!

Dedicated online communities are also definitely worth looking at for friendly advice and good-natured banter.

Trail Scotland is a new site with a new, young community, but it shows promise. The forums are already pretty active - and respectful! - and the site looks like it could become a popular hub for mountain biking in Scotland.

Good luck, guys!

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