I ran into someone who had a bad experience at Fight/Macintosh Run today.
I met a woman on her first mountain bike ride who told me how she had ran into a group of guys one of whom made a discouraging comment to her.
I spoke with her for a few minutes and tried to explain that there are many supportive riders out there. I specifically mentioned that this site and the ridelikeagirl group are positive and supportive to all riders of all skill levels and encouraged her to check the site out. I also encouraged her to keep riding and not things like this turn her off mountain biking.
Fortunately she had a really good attitude and I don’t think her bad experience will have long term affects, but we have to be very conscious of new riders out there.
It’s hard enough learning to build the skills needed for mountain biking (we all know we’ve been there or are still doing it) without seasoned riders being critical. I for one am going to use this as a wake up call to try and stop and talk to new riders more and share some positivity.