Which one are you?

Trail centres are great for mountain biking – their all-weather routes are perfect for building your skills no matter what your level of riding and there’s always a warm café to relax in afterwards.

They are also hubs that attract all kinds of mountain bikers. Here is a list of 10 different types of rider you’re guaranteed to see when you ride at one.

The Navigator

Trail centre rider navigator

The Navigator is often an old hand who has been riding “since before there were even proper trails here”. They will always be at the front of a ride directing the way and showing off their knowledge of the cheeky locals lines.

Most likely to say: “If we cut between these two trees there’s a great little off-piste trail back to the car park.”

The Mechanic

Trail centre rider mechanic

This is always the rider with the biggest trail pack, and for good reason. Whereas most of us will pack a pump, a multi tool and a chain tool, these guys will bring their whole toolbox and an intimate knowledge of how to bodge any component from the past 20 years.

We love The Mechanic.

Most likely to say: “Your brake lever’s fallen off? I can fix that with a twig and a few cable ties, no problem.”

The Disorganised

Trail centre rider disorganised

On the other end of the scale comes The Disorganised. They turn up late in rotting, knackered kit that’s festering in mud from their last ride. They will always have forgotten something and are guaranteed to hold you up at some point.

Most likely to say: “Guys, does anyone have a spare tube?”

The Social Media Addict

Dirt School app

For these guys, a ride didn’t happen until all their friends and family know about it. Expect them to be taking selfies at the top of every climb and filming every descent on a GoPro for their ‘end of season edit’.

Most likely to say: “One sec guys, the light is perfect for an Instagram right now #mtb #happiness #mbrcamelbakcomp.”

The Crasher

Adolf Silva huckfest crash

This rider takes the old mantra ‘if you aren’t crashing, you aren’t going fast enough’ to a new extreme. Despite the fact they spend more time in the ferns at the side of a trail than on the trail itself, they always seem to bounce back up and get riding again. Their collection of elbow scars is legendary.

Most likely to say: “Don’t worry, I’m fine.”

The Gear Geek

If you want to have a conversation about anything other than bikes then steer clear of this rider. They will happily chew your ear off for hours about their latest upgrade or the bike of anyone that passes you by.

Most likely to say: “I’ve just added a cassette range expander cog, I can really feel the difference.”

The Cake Eater



Sometimes you’re unsure whether these guys enjoy the riding or the post-ride refreshment more. They will be on first name terms with the staff and have the cake selection memorised and ranked.

Most likely to say: “The lemon drizzle isn’t as good as usual today…”

The Strava Addict

Trail centre rider strava

Love it or hate it, Strava probably isn’t going away anytime soon. The Strava Addict will base their enjoyment of a ride on how many KoM times they can knock off in one lap. Their natural habitat is the inside of a corner or at the top of a fireroad climb gasping for breath.

Most likely to say: “I was only 0.2 seconds off a personal best that time, let me go up and do it again.”

The Mountain Goat

Blade shares the first climb with White's Level and Skyline

Some of you may find this hard to believe, but there are a lot of mountain bikers who favour climbing over descending. These are guys who glide up the gradients and appear barely out of breath at the top. Some may call them masochists but they won’t be the ones aching in the morning

Most likely to say: “That was great, such a shame we have to do the descent now.”

The Trend Setter

Vitus Escarpe 290 pro al riding

You would expect a trail centre car park to be as far from a catwalk as possible, but not for these riders. They roll up in the latest, matching luminous kit and make sure everyone can see them.

Most likely to say: “Oh damn, I got oil on my shorts.”