Any mountain bikers on here? Need to talk

(12 Posts)
Apex1664 Sun 27-Jul-14 19:10:09

I've never been the best mountain biker and am the first to admit that - I don't think I am brave enough to ever be really good. But I have got to the point where I am ok (in my eyes), and I enjoy getting out on my bike, so that's what matters to me.

Today I went out mountain biking with my friend, she is a better rider than me but still not as fast as a lot of the blokes (which is natural as we are two small women), and we ended up getting abused by some guys who told us that we were rubbish, should not be riding on the trails etc as we are slow and holding up faster riders.

I am very considerate and always stop to let faster riders pass, but obviously you cannot let them pass until there is a safe place on the trail to pull over, so on this occasion we could not pull over and let them pass straight away but did so as soon as it was safe, at which point they had a go at us.

I stood up for us and pointed out that the trails are public property and anyone of any ability is entitled to ride them. I also pointed out that everyone has to start somewhere and how is anyone ever going to learn if they are not allowed to ride on the trails etc, but it fell on deaf ears.

The problem is that this has happened once before, and it has really dented my (already very fragile) confidence. When I go out riding I just want to have fun. I hate any kind of confrontation.

I just find that some mountain bikers do not have a very supportive attitude towards women and/or beginners and was wondering if anyone else has found this? Don't get me wrong I have also come across some really supportive lovely people on the trails but unfortunately it is the unpleasant ones who stick in my mind.

To be honest I am thinking about giving up the mountain biking as I say I am questioning whether I am brave enough anyway. I road cycle too, so think I might just focus on that from now on.

Would love to hear from any other mountain bikers.

Fattyfattyyumyum Sun 27-Jul-14 19:45:41

As a fellow female mountain biker I think you should carry on regardless. Those men were rude and not representative of the people I know who love the sport

Assuming you were on a suitablely graded trail (ie blue or red from your description of your ability) then pulling over to let faster riders past is the right thing to do & they should appreciate that

Fattyfattyyumyum Sun 27-Jul-14 19:48:19

To be fair, beginners on a black technical run do annoy me as they're jumping off & stopping dead before drops can be dangerous. Those skills should be mastered in a skills area first in my opinion. But on a normal cross country trail you should be fine. Where were if you don't mind me asking?

Apex1664 Sun 27-Jul-14 19:56:15

We were on trails in local woodland - not graded trails but definitely not black technical trails, equivalent to a red cross country. I would never attempt a black as I know that is beyond my ability. I have ridden lots of reds at places like Afan etc

alardi Sun 27-Jul-14 20:06:59

They were jerks, you did nothing wrong, OP. It's a fun leisure ride not a race event. Some people are just self-important, sadly some of them ride bikes.

Fattyfattyyumyum Sun 27-Jul-14 20:10:04

Random trails in woodland sounds a perfect place to be, they were nobs OP

CMOTDibbler Sun 27-Jul-14 20:15:00

They were being nobs. Unless its a graded trail and you are well overreaching yourself and being dangerous (and then an appropriate response would be to have a quiet word and explain the issue, not abuse you) then you have just as much right to be there as anyone, and they need to go on graded trails themselves.

If you wanted some more confidence, how about a day course with someone like Dirt Divas?

Apex1664 Sun 27-Jul-14 21:40:39

So do you think it's ok to ride a graded trail - say a red trail - if you need to get off at certain obstacles? Assuming you can ride 90% of the trail? Or do you think you shouldn't attempt a trail unless you know you can do the whole thing confidently?

I can do blues easily, reds I can do most of but do find some of the worst bits tricky (or rather don't have the confidence to try them) but I can ride most of them

Would love to do a course - has anyone else done Dirt Divas or similar?

dobby2001 Sun 27-Jul-14 21:52:07

So sorry to hear you have had this trouble Apex, that sort of behaviour is disgusting, and just the sort of thing that puts women off cycling. If you are on facebook, there is a forum called "birds on bikes" that has a good amount of mountain bikers on. I is very friendly and you have the chance to meet up with riders in your area, so you could go out in a larger group.

There are also breeze rides that are on trailsa as well as road, so that is also a way of increasing youe skills, if you want to. just go to www.breezebikerides.com and type in your postcode.

Suzannewithaplan Sun 27-Jul-14 23:21:47

How dare theyangry
you know damn well they'd not confront a large man no matter how slow he was going

Apex1664 Mon 28-Jul-14 07:49:07

Thanks for all the support.

Yes I don't want to let idiots like this 'win' and force people like me off the trails, but it spoils my enjoyment of the sport.

I am naturally a very nervous person with low self confidence so just not really sure MTB is the best sport for me anyway.

Suzannewithaplan Mon 28-Jul-14 10:45:37

I think you're doing pretty good for a nervous person, going out on the trails and remonstrating with the bully boys!

I come across them too, these 'jocks' who like to try and intimidate women, in the gym, in the pool.
It takes some of the fun out because you can't relax and enjoy it.
Also plenty of perfectly nice polite guys.

Maybe try and spend some time on quieter trails or at quieter times?

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