Trail centres – irrational dislike of…..

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  • Trail centres – irrational dislike of…..
  • motozulu
    Member

    Long time reader on here, short time poster. I’m a relative noob only having started last summer. I live next to Birches valley so that’s where I have ridden so far.

    There seems to be a fair bit of antagonism on here towards trail centre warriors like me – why so?

    Uber mtb snobbishness or genuine reasons?. Please enlighten me.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    I’ve got no such opinion about people. But I’d hate to only ever ride trail centres. We live in a beautiful country and I’ll never get to explore all the bits I’d love to explore.

    muzzle
    Member

    I haven’t noticed any antagonism towards trail centres on here personally, I get the impression a lot of contributors use them. Mind you, I live and ride in the Peak District so I think you’re all pondlife.

    They’re mountainbiking for the indoorsy types (IMO). The mountainbiking equivelent of someone fro Cheshire driving to Betws-y-Coed, buying a breghaus jacket and columbia boots and climbing Snowdon.

    There’s no navigating, need to carry spares (an hours walk from the car in the worst cases), busy, there’s just mountainbiking. In some ways that’s enjoyable, but for me they’re just missing out on the whole ‘out there’ exprience of a similar length ride on more natural tracks.

    That and the riding is very different. Yes there’s natural jumps and berms out there, but there are far more flat corners, rocks, roots, and the jumps/drops aren’t perscribed and easy, there’s an element of difference between them all, whereas at GT you could hit the red/black flt out in the safe knowlage that the trail builders put all the landings in just the right place to catch you.

    I don’t disslike them, or the people who use them exclusively, but I’d feel a bit sorry for them.

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    I think it could just be that any concentration of people leads to highlighting of bad habits. Not to say it doesn’t happen elsewhere, it’s just easier to spot.

    Litter, skidding, inpatient riders behind, inconsiderate riders in front, etc.

    mrlebowski
    Member

    There are definitely some who’ll look down their nose at you if you ride trail centres.

    Why?

    God knows.

    Perhaps it’s some kid of arse about face snobbery that makes them think that they are better than others..

    ormondroyd
    Member

    There are definitely some who’ll look down their nose at you if you ride trail centres.

    Where? I suppose there’s always going to be the odd person who thinks something like that, but is it really a significant number?

    I do think that it’s a newish (last 10 years) trend that a larger number of people wholly/very-predominantly ride trail centres. Not just people who live next to them, but as a way of defining their “mountain biking”. That’s an interesting trend, and probably echoes the big rise of sportives and other guided events in road cycling.

    I think I’m totally the opposite of a lot of ‘long termers’ on here but if I had to choose between natural and man-made, I think I’d go man-made. You just seem to get more for your money – pleasant climbs and descents made for descending. Natural riding can sometimes be a bit of a lottery (and I say that, having some awesome natural riding on my doorstep).

    Junkyard
    Member

    I prefer natural trails

    IMHO those who like trail centres are more likely to be an adrenalin junkie and those who like natural are more likely to be outdoorsy/appreciate nature and generally like cycling
    This is of course a seeping generalisation.

    I dont care where others ride tbh but saying ubber mtb snobbery would seem to show that “dissing” is a two way street- EDIT:actually it is still one way with those who dont like trails being insulted as snobs etc but I am sure someone will respond and live up to the insult that keeps being handed out 😕

    mrlebowski
    Member

    Where?

    If you hang around there’ll turn up..

    Premier Icon billyboy
    Subscriber

    I vastly prefer NOT riding Trail Centres. I find them very depressing places. BUT it does soak up the pressure there would otherwise be on all the other trails…… so that’s good

    scruff
    Member

    Good trail centres are great- Ktree, CYB but you cant beat getting out in the Lakes or somewhere and trying to dissapear for a day.

    Cannock Chase built stuff is a good idea gone wrong really, mellow trails largley handbuilt for free on sand, it just cant cope with the amount of people who use & abuse it or slate it for being easy / busy.

    scaled
    Member

    I like a bit of both personally – the trail centres are MUCH smoother and more manicured than my local trails.

    The local natural trails are also much more dangerous due to the large irregular shaped rocks. There does seem to be a massive lack of techy climbs at trail centres though, Llandegla especially is a winch up plummet down type thing. Gisburn had some nicer climbs on it though i suppose.

    It’s all about variety though isn’t it, after all it’s all riding bikes.

    Junkyard
    Member

    If you hang around there’ll turn up..If you insult them enough they will eventually respond

    FTFY

    From what i see on here there are some folk who dont like them

    There is some mockery of the warrior in stormtrooper outfit who is overbiked and underskilled but that would seem to be about the person rather than the trail centre from what I see on here

    Obviously this place is full of nobs and no doubt someone wil have as extreme a view as you do [ if you keep prodding]but it is not typical IME
    YMMV

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    They are different games but both great fun. I think the negative attitude comes from a bit of snobbery and a bit of ‘the way I do it is the right way to do it’ but it’s a minority. Most of us just like riding bikes… or at least buying bits and posting on a forum about them

    ormondroyd
    Member

    Spoke with a long-time MTB/cycling event/trip organiser last year. First time I’d seen him in a few years. He talked about how cycling is going more “service sector”… a trend away from self-reliance and self-guiding to more guiding and follow-the-arrow type of stuff. Interesting (and seemed they’re doing well out of it, they were running a sportive that day and it had a lot more people than the old Trailquests they used to run!)

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    I ride the Malverns every week which can get a little samey so I like to throw in the odd trail centre visit now as it’s an easy way to ride some nice trails. It’s easier to plan a visit as you know roughly how long it takes to do the rides rather than trying to plot a route (which we have also done).
    I think it’s genuinely a case of ‘each to their own’ and if someone rides trail centre only so what, it’s all mountain biking..

    mangatank
    Member

    I think I’m totally the opposite of a lot of ‘long termers’ on here but if I had to choose between natural and man-made, I think I’d go man-made. You just seem to get more for your money – pleasant climbs and descents made for descending. Natural riding can sometimes be a bit of a lottery (and I say that, having some awesome natural riding on my doorstep).

    What?!

    sherry
    Member

    Trail centres are good and have there place. If its been pouring with rain a trail centre is good option as the surface will still be good. Its a nice place to train and a starting point/introduction for beginners. I like both, more so the natural stuff if the weathers been not too bad.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    Trail centres are great fun, but they’re just a condensed pre-packaged version of mountain biking. None of the extreme highs and lows of getting out and exploring. The feeling of finding a ribbon of singletrack after dragging your bike through mud for hours cannot be touched.

    They can also flatter ability. Now I can shred trail centre gnarr to the max but was nearly reduced to tears on a couple occasion on the weekend hike-a-bike rock fest.

    “There are definitely some who’ll look down their nose at you if you ride trail centres.”

    I like trail trail centres. They keep all the dull, unimaginative riff raff off my bridleways.

    Nothing wrong with trail centres. It’s a pretty much guaranteed decent ride. You know what you are gong to get with them. I love riding ‘off piste’ more but it is very hit and miss. In terms of riding I can probably think of more average/below average rides on natural terrain than really good ones.

    If I just want to ride my bike without any unnecessary fuss, unlikely possibility of bumping into walkers/dogs, miserable farmers etc then I’m quite happy at a trail centre.

    I like trail trail centres. They keep all the dull, unimaginative riff raff off my bridleways.

    Bridleways, unimaginative, dull. Goes together very well.

    Premier Icon unklehomered
    Subscriber

    Here’s how I think of it.

    Going to a trail centre – a good one* is like a track day, for a bike – where in this metaphor the PROW network, is the roads. When on those, you must be sensible, show consideration to other, obey some rule and generally (though not always – not hoon about too much).

    Trail centres are where you can hoon, pin, etc – you don’t have to slow up for doddery walkers, there aren’t gates and fields. You can ride it fast and assume that anyone round the corner will be on the look out for you, and step off the trail**. Its a place to go for thrills, or maybe just because if well made, they’re weather proof and you can ride when all else has turned to slop. Living where I live I would hate not to be able to ride custom made trails.

    *my definition used to be a trail centre that is either in Scotland, or has NO CAFE/FACILITES – eg Machno, Stainburn, Gisburn etc. Those in the know will have spotted my problem. Gisburn is about to get a cafe… this is disappointing. I should, really, strike it firmly from my list. But I like it. So we shall see what happens next time I go there. Will it feel there same? I might just pretend the VC doesn’t exist and still park at Tosside. I understand the point above about depressing. Dalby VC carpark, with its procession of people numbly spinning out of the carpark and into the woods on the zig zag line, takes a wonderful and liberating hobby, and makes it feel like going round Ikea. This is why I feel very privileged to live 20 minutes from Stainburn. From the car park there are 6 directions you can head in. It feels more spontaneous, and free.

    **yes you should ride within limits and be able to stop, but that’s different to it being likely you will need to stop – an emergency stop can be ungraceful on a trail where on a PROW it shouldn’t really be threatening/unnerving to other users.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    Litter, skidding, inpatient riders behind, inconsiderate riders in front, etc.

    I’ve no more noticed this as a problem at trail centres than I have on the more popular “natural” trails. To be honest I’ve not really noticed any significant anti-trail centre snobbery. In my experience it all seems to co-exist quite nicely.

    Personally I love trail centres and the only reason I don’t ride them more is the fact I have to do at least 1 1/2 hour round trip to get to my nearest one (Cannock), whereas the Peak District is only a handful of road miles away. If I lived somewhere that required a significant car journey before I could ride, I’d be making a bee-line for relatively weatherproof trail centres in all but the best conditions. I LOVE a good “old skool” mountain bike ride in the hills, but there’s no doubt the crappy conditions we (too often) have make trail centres very appealing.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    MTBing is a broad church and different people worship in different ways, some of us even attend more than one church…

    Those claiming to be oblivious to any antagonism towards Trail centers/users on STW are joking right?
    There is a small but vocal core of “Anti-Trail Center” STWers, we often get to hear their opinions, seldom all that original, but they are entitled to them, so who are we to tell them to STFU?

    Inevitably there are people who don’t like certain off-shoots of MTBing, and just have to tell you about it, we can’t all have the same tastes, beliefs or opinions. Just let them make their point then move on I suppose.

    Just because you use Trail center’s, doesn’t mean that’s all you ever ride. But it’s the interwebz so people are prone to making sweeping statements and harsh judgements on any given topic.

    rebel12
    Member

    I think trail centres just make it very easy for people with little natural navigation, mountain or other outdoor skills to still get out and enjoy some mountain biking in a fairly controlled environment. That’s not a bad thing by they way – it just makes MTB more accessible for all which can only be good for the sport.

    I much prefer natural trails and remote locations but still enjoy a good trail centre from time to time. Best of both worlds.

    mrlebowski
    Member

    I like trail trail centres. They keep all the dull, unimaginative riff raff off my bridleways.

    We have a winner!

    If you hang around there’ll turn up..If you insult them enough they will eventually respond

    What are you on JY? You think I was insulting someone? Check the reply I quoted above. I’m not ragging on anyone, I’m just stating a fact as so aptly proved by the above comment. But hey you crack on & have a dig at me if it makes you feel better… 🙄

    FYI JY I ride pretty much anywhere & anything & harbour no “extreme” views regarding someone else’s preferred choice of riding destination….it’s just that I know there are some who do.

    patriotpro
    Member

    mrlebowski – Member
    There are definitely some who’ll look down their nose at you if you ride trail centres.

    Why?

    God knows.

    Perhaps it’s some kid of arse about face snobbery that makes them think that they are better than others..

    This.

    MTBing is a broad church and different people worship in different ways, some of us even attend more than one church…

    Those claiming to be oblivious to any antagonism towards Trail centers/users on STW are joking right?
    There is a small but vocal core of “Anti-Trail Center” STWers, we often get to hear their opinions, seldom all that original, but they are entitled to them, so who are we to tell them to STFU?

    Inevitably there are people who don’t like certain off-shoots of MTBing, and just have to tell you about it, we can’t all have the same tastes, beliefs or opinions. Just let them make their point then move on I suppose.

    Just because you use Trail center’s, doesn’t mean that’s all you ever ride. But it’s the interwebz so people are prone to making sweeping statements and harsh judgements on any given topic.

    Good words. Sums it up.

    We have a winner!

    Swear filter is working very well I see.

    motozulu
    Member

    I take the point that me using the term ‘uber MTB snobbishness’ is in fact a kind of inverted snobbery in itself.

    If people do look down on trail centre users I suppose it’s no great big deal – I was just interested in the general view. I’ve just started branching out on the natural trails at Cannock myself and they are, it has to be said, more of a thrill (sense of the unknown?)than the marked routes. Don’t think I’ll ever be disregarding of those who just ‘Follow the Dog’ though.

    There will always tend to be a few who are a bit elitist in any sport I suppose.

    wrecker
    Member

    I use trail centres and DH uplifts pretty much exclusively through the winter because trudging along up to your axles in mud just to see a post at the top of a hill is just plain boring.
    I’ve spent plenty of time outdoors too, so thisisnotaspoons comment is not correct.

    Trail centres have their place.

    Do I like riding Cwm Carn in the rain with the knowledge I can get a tea and egg banjo in a warm environment at the end (and that my local trails will be a sodden mess)? Yes, I do.

    Do I like three day epics to the back of beyond, carrying everything I need to survive? Yes, I do.

    Horses for courses.

    orangeboy
    Member

    For me trail centres have there place but they are not the only way to ride your bike

    Just check out some of the mbr routes if your stuck
    I love the black mountain loop it has some stunning views

    I’ve yet to come across a trail centre which forces people to ride against their will.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    mangatank – Member

    What?!

    i agree with him (daveyboy).

    i live next to the peak district, but if i want corners, jumps, interesting climbs, trails that aren’t soupy grinding paste for 11 and 1/2 months per year, rides that aren’t mostly tarmac, walkers shouting at me for riding on bridleways i’ve got to ride cheaky trails (illegal), or go to a trail centre.

    i do ride cheaky trails, but feel irrationally guilty about it, sometimes it’s nice to ride guilt-free.

    if there was a new ‘red’ trail around ladybower, it would be easy to make it much, much, much more interesting and weather-proof than the current options, and i suspect most people would prefer it.

    and the views would still be there.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Some people are insecure enough that they’re always looking for reasons to look down on people.

    Junkyard
    Member

    not ragging on anyone,

    Well you get quoted below me so there seems no point repeating it
    both you and the OP seem intent thast everyone hates you for snobbery – I assume this is an insult and yet so far no one seems to have bothered to insult trail centre users [ except for humour]

    You insulted some folk and then you got “insulted” back and this proves your point theat they are dissing you [ as i assume you will not think it was humour]

    Awesome use of logic by The dude

    IHN
    Member

    IMHO those who like trail centres are more likely to be an adrenalin junkie and those who like natural are more likely to be outdoorsy/appreciate nature and generally like cycling
    This is of course a sweeping generalisation

    It’s one I’ll join you in making.

    I hate trail centres. I can completely see why people like them and good luck to them. To be honest, I can’t really explain why I don’t, but I don’t.

    I think it’s somethibng to do with the fact that I just like riding my bike around, ideally in nice countryside, and the ‘thrill’ factor is important but secondary. Someone on here a while ago described this as ‘two-wheeled rambling’. They meant it derogatively but, to be honest, it perfectly sums up what I like to do.

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