So last night I had a substantially major crash. I’m banged up and my bike has 200-300 dollars of visible damage not counting the tire that needs replaced.
The cause? A group of new rides part of a group ride, stopping in the middle of the trail at a technical trail feature, leaving me no where to go.
The exit speed on the berm is 25-30 km an hour, into a gap, smaller gap or roll. Everything but the large gap was blocked off. So I crashed in an attempt to avoid them.
What can you even say in this situation?
Two thoughts: riders who can’t even ride up the jump faces don’t belong on that type of trail. It’s a recipe for disaster.
That the group ride leader should have known better than to take them down that trail, or to stop with them anywhere along that trail in the way they did.
What do you say? Have you said? In situations like this.
Non sanctioned? Or Sanctioned trails?
Signange on said feature or no?
I am very vocal towards people that do this. Sometimes people have to hear your frustration so they remember for next time.
I become less than polite and call people out on it. I have no shame calling someone out in the middle of a grocery store for blocking the whole god damn aisle while they browse either…
My belief is that being a complete dick will just cause them to shrug you off, but being firm and clear in what you’re saying and explaining the WHY if they will listen, helps.
At the end of the day, some people just won’t listen to anything.
Sanctioned, signed. Riders were a members of a group ride.
Without more info it is hard to say, but a couple thoughts:
Stopping on trail, and blocking it, is poor etiquette. It should be called out politely and with an explanation about safety and that sharing means not blocking trail uneccessarily. Important for new riders, and a reminder for all.
Was this trail signed as DH only and bike primary? If not, you might consider if your own riding contributed to the issue. On two-way and multiuse trails, it is almost always the responsibility of the descending rider to stop and yield to anything/anyone on trail. There is an expectation that the rider is in sufficient control to stop at all times – whether it is for a kid picking blueberries, a climbing hiker, or even a bunch of stopped MTBers. Doesn’t matter if there is a sweet berm or drop, the rider is responsible for stopping.
The DH-rider-must-yield rule has been in place pretty much since the dawn of MTBing, for shared trails, but I sometimes find that people who grew up riding in Eastern Canada aren’t aware of it, perhaps because most riding has either been unsanctioned or in bike parks.
I think in that case, its time to be the bigger person, collect yourself and just remind whoever in the group that appears to be socially the most competent (could be zero) that they caused you to crash and need to be more considerate and situationally aware of their surroundings.
Also sounds like maybe the sight lines need to be cleared. Of course that group shouldn’t have been blocking the trail, but if it wasn’t them it could have been a fallen tree, a dog, someone doing trail work, etc.
Downhill trail bike only signs for no hiking, no uphill riding and no stopping in the trail.
RVC has already enacted change on their part to prevent this from happening again, as a result of their beginner group ride. Props for that. I just didn’t want to spoil the groups ride and say something mean, so posted a friendly comment to remember that stopping in those areas is highly dangerous.
Apparently they had a rider struggling with the terrain, black diamond, may not be the best place to take 1 st year riders.
I was a beginner rider once too and know how much pressure you can feel to improve, but riding beyond your limit puts you at danger, just as it does those around you. You also risk having avoidable usage of the limited emergency responses in this area.
I just don’t know what to think. Seems like a very irresponsible way to do a group ride. As someone who has led and swept a fair share of group rides in recent years as i leader I would never take a group of riders on a trail the weakest rider could not. Or if most wanted to I would find a rider I trusted to lead or escort the others to meet the group.
I guess ultimately, it sucks but not much I can do it’s done.
I just wanted to find a way to be educational and kind and just discus the risks and etiquette.
It was a bad experience but it happened.
Sounds like you did the right thing by passing on suggestions to those responsible for the ride. The end result will be more awareness all-round.
Group rides can be tough to manage, especially when newbie and unknown riders show up. Kudos to ya for not being judgemental on the spot, and to RVC for responsiveness. We’re all learning and surprising stuff definitely happens on singletrack.