We're guilty of almost all of them at some point, are you?
Here are the mountain biking bad habits that wind us up the most. We’re guilty of almost all of them at some point, are you?
In no particular order…
It’s too cold. It’s too hot. It’s too wet. It’s too windy. We shouldn’t have gone this way. Bizarrely, these are first people to burst out and proclaim “ey, that was a great ride that” upon completion of the ride. They are also blissfully unaware that they are The Moaner.
2. Giving too much information
Keeping people informed as to what ‘s ahead is all well and good but sometimes it can be OTT. Well-meaning trail guides can be guilty of two annoying habits: too frequent pointers about EVERYTHING on the trail (“puddle!”), and/or reeling off a long description of the route ahead and expecting people to remember it. Partly related to…
3. Disappearing off ahead
Being able to ride in a group is an unappreciated skill. Varying your speed and effort for the greater good of the group dynamic and all that. Some folk simply aren’t aware of this skill. They’re the ones who ride at their (usually flat out) pace at all times. Whether they’re the ride leader, or (even worse) someone who doesn’t know the route, is immaterial. It is really freaking annoying regardless.
4. Knowing it all
Riders who think they can set your bike up, for you, better than yourself. “You ride with your brake levers like that?”, “You’re saddle‘s too high”, “what tyre pressures you running?”, “does your bike normally bob that much?”, “your stem’s too low/high/long”. Also knows all the bike news and gossip but only after you’ve just come out and mentioned it in passing.
Quite similar to moaning but more specifically about finding any and every scapegoat for performing sub par (even though no one else gives a hoot about the level of the blamer’s riding anyway). Rebound damping set incorrectly. Wrong tyres. Bad night’s sleep. Tired from work…
6. Blocking and on your left!-ing
Dealing with trail traffic. Belligerently staying in the way whilst someone faster patiently waits behind, ignoring all safe passing place options, can be annoying. But not as annoying as the racehead who barges past slower riders, thinking that shouting “ON YOUR LEFT!” is as much etiquette as is required.
Lending someone, stranger or otherwise, an inner tube is a noble thing. It’s very much the spirit the mountain biking. It’s karmic; someone will lend you one at some point. But the rider who never has any (useful) spares on them is a classic annoying mountain biker. It’s mountain biking, something will awry at some point. Absolving your communal responsibility and carrying nothing with you because it makes your lighter and more comfortable, is very poor form.
Rides are not races. Strava KOMs are not real victories. Corners and obstacles that slow you down are A Good Thing, not Something To Be Removed. Using Strava to best yourself, whilst staying true to the trail and other trail users, is fine. Great, even. But ‘racing’ other riders on phantom time trials? Nah. Enter a proper race instead. Those results actually mean something.
9. Not sharing
Kinda related to Strava-ing. The trails are not your personal private playground. Other people use them too: fellow riders, walkers, runners, horse riders, dog walkers. Be nice, say hi.
The rider who doesn’t do much/any bike maintenance. Squeaky pedals, squeaky jockey wheels, clicky bottom bracket, tickling disc brake pads, not-quite-misaligned-enough mech and so on. A full service for these riders involves oiling their (mud-coated) chain.
Needs no explanation. All groups have one of these archetypes. Always finds something else to do instead of set off.
Get in the bin. In every sense. And yes, hanging inner tubes in trees or on fences at trail centres is littering.