The naming of the trails
The weekend’s been spent showing Jorji some of the best of the local Hebden trails. An opportunity to share the secret stash, to show off the local quality and a rare ‘nearly all the office’ out on a social weekend ride. All good.
A last taste of summer thanks to the blue skies and warm wind and apologies in advance because the riding was so good, ↑ that’s the only photo I took all weekend. It’s a sign the ridings consistently good when you just don’t want to stop to get the camera out.
So anyway, I know not everyone gets the whole naming of trails thing. It’s a more natural progression if you’ve ever climbed I guess, where the reward of a first ascent is the chance to choose the name of the climb.
And in the not too distant past of our local riding ‘scene’ there was a frantic age of exploration that resulted in a whole swathe of trail names and a general reworking of the local collective mind ride map. Trail names gave an opportunity to quickly discuss route choice without the need for all the hands waving directions and vague “you know the path that goes right after the downed tree after you’ve crossed the bridge” convoluted conversations. Trail knowledge in shorthand if you will.
It only hit me on Saturday while guiding around the valley that the trail names capture much more than just directional information. There’s a whole history that’s been captured too, with each named trail there’s a story of how it’s name was chosen. Stories of a community of people who’ve moved on or who’s lives have now changed. It captures a moment in history, it captures the laughs a group of mates have when out riding, and it only exists in some sort of collective hive mind, undocumented on paper.
Bastard tarmac, fast bit, punch the wall, beechnuts, fishing is amazing, ripper dipper, bolty’s steps, ben’s zig zags, midget’s pit, car sized rocks!, ali’s wound, swedish optimism and craig’s knee. Our local stamp on the trails that surround us, a reinterpretation of the existing map which itself references communities of the past.
The beautiful thing about this of course it that ours is not the only one out there, every group who rides locally knows those trails by different names for different reasons. I’m not saying that ours is the definitive version, it is of course, but I’m not saying that, even though it is ;o)
What trails did you ride this weekend? Share your stories here: