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.
First of all, who expects a “wild place” anymore when there are so many of us and only so much land we can all get to in 15 minutes or less?
Second, wild places suck for riding your bike! Deer trails might make sweet singletrack for a hundred yards or so at a time, but not for miles and miles, or even long enough to get warmed up. It takes some degree of organization to build and share a trail (I’m not as sure about “maintaining” a trail – it seems to me they do fine on their own for years and years).
Organization and sharing usually involves the king. It places the true alpha outside the group, which calms everyone down a little, and gives everyone a force to bond against and sometimes use for financial support. Plus, you’ve got to file your claim to keep your gold, and somebody’s got to house the file box. The king’s got a big house.
If we can get some more trail out of the deal, it will feel wild enough when we’re flying around on it.
The king is calling us to his castle in order to share his lands. If we send our embassaries to sit at the table and enough of the flock pay some dues then we stand to gain hundreds of miles of sweet single track in that fifteen minute radius.
Sit back on your chaos theory and play it cool J. Don’t talk to the suits if you’re worried that will make you one but you can count on me and s’quatch to pay the man so you can ride on the land.
Regarding trail maintenance, trails do not maintain themselves magically. Well designed ones require relatively little work but trail maintenance and the promise of said maintenance is one of the prices we (those of us that aren’t too cool for school) must pay to play.
Like I said, we should be grateful.
Ok mister, something is wrong with your rss feed. I haven’t received notification of new posts for a while.
But I stopped by to tell you that, hey! Guess what I saw in the Everglades down south by miami?! A sign that basically said, BEWARE OF PANTHERS (it had a picture of a panther, kinda like the deer signs). And my cousin, who lives down there said that panthers are rare but not unheard of in Florida. So I still totally believe you when you say you saw one!
Total number of people who believe me now = 1! Awesome.
drive the truck into the tree… drive the truck straight into the tree…. back the truck up if you can, about a 1/4 mile or so – drive it, once more, into the tree, faster this time.
it is written that should you screw with the king of the gods, you may be doomed to spend eternity pushing your car up a hill. maybe you do not realize it, but you are still going to be sitting there bitching when there is a freeway running through the place you were too proud to work on when the decree came down from on high “organize or die.” dude, you are tossing yourself in the trap without the gods putting you there. no wonder they call it folklore. i am witnessing the creation of folklore.
don’t worry “G” when the real shit hits the fan and the real facists are pulling off your toenails i will be right there with you trying to reccomend they try a cucumber facial rather than violently take their early separation from their mothers out on us poor i-ching tossers.
I’m sorry, can you repeat that? I couldn’t hear over the sound of my new motorcycle.
Man, a guy wants to wax poetic over Arthur, dragons and the land before time…can’t he remember with nostalgia the days that were before the days that are? the days he swaggered? the days he sliced his way through the underbrush? the day the journey was actually a journey rather than a roll down a cleared and banked highway through the woods?