The following excerpt from another blogger represents one man’s dream for a more organized, developed mountain bike culture- in Serbia. He also claims the term “freebiking” as an original Serbian word, and perhaps it is.
Cycling in the West has reached cult proportions. There are
lodgings for cyclists, marked tracks leading through picturesque areas, hundreds of kilometres long in some cases, tourist packages for cyclists, printed brochures… Not to mention the availability of equipment. Here, for now, there is nothing. But let’s make it happen.“
Although he currently lacks suspension, titanium, goo, and marked trails I would caution him to be careful of what he wishes for. Serbian freebiking, and the pioneer status it now holds, will likely be as good as it gets. Every ride an adventure. Every repair a mechanical triumph.
Over here “in the West” on the other end of the spectrum where we have such things as printed brochures and availability of equipment- the squeeze is on. The adventure must be redefined by ever greater epic cross country casseroles that blend the urban, the rural highway, the singletrack and the exploration of forgotten spaces of ambiguous ownership.
I readily admit a hypocritical conflict. If new trails emerge from organizational efforts I will be among the first to ride and enjoy them, but the price is higher than you may think. The truth stings. The “woods” are not yours, or rather ours. They belong to the king, and you enjoy them at the king’s leisure. Learning too much about “recreational user groups” and “establishing a previous history of access”, and equine/motorcycle/cyclist/runner interface common denominators is similar to running unheeded into the playground fence. This is no wild place. There are no “woods” anymore, there is only the “Forest”.
Ask the skateboarders. Once your town got a skate park, were you expected to only ride at the park? Did law enforcement increase at the Winn Dixie parking lot and the middle school? Were you expected to be grateful?
Uncontained, unquantifed recreation does not seem to jibe with our current civil society’s strategic planning process.
Come in from the cold or else seems to be the current mandate. Maybe I am just being contrary, but I am not afraid of their “or else”. I’ll join the Serbian freebike movement.
Click on the title of this post to learn more about the SFM.