Cheating on the Hard Sections Cheats the Rider and the Trail—Here’s How

There’s this trail in our backyard. Pretty technical, in an old-school, slow-speed, rock crawling sort of way. It is one of our favorite trails because it requires a delicate blend of skill, finesse, and horsepower to ride well. The trail is called Moore Fun. I helped a tiny bit with walking the ridge, laying out the route, and building this trail way back in the late ’90’s. Not positive which year exactly, other than it was a long time ago.

In the intervening years, I have enjoyed riding this trail maybe a hundred times. Probably more. I’ve never, not once, cleaned every move, end to end, all on the same day. I know very few people who have.

But I have been able to clean every move on it. Getting to where I could say that took years. Delayed gratification.

It’s the sort of trail where you have to be in a certain frame of mind: Patient, committed, and focused. Otherwise, the wheels come off pretty quickly and you just frustrate yourself trying too hard.

We’ve ridden it on hardtails, full suspension, full rigid, single speeds, fatbikes, and plus bikes. All sizes of wheels. They all work just fine on Moore Fun. Honestly, the bike matters little here. If you like the bike you’re riding, it’s good enough for this trail.

This trail has never been heavily used relative to anything else around it. Not exactly sure why that is, but I’d conjecture that most people prefer to have a little more speed and flow on their rides. My proof for that guess is that many (most?) other people I see on this trail are usually walking. And bleeding. Seriously. I’ve heard it referred to not as “Moore Fun” but instead as “Moore Walking.” One friend simply calls it “Uncle.”

It isn’t for everyone.

I’ve gotten to ride it three times this fall, and each of those times I’ve noticed that Moore Fun is changing. Being dumbed down, sanitized.

Several of the marquee moves now have go-arounds, or ramps, or have been butchered such that a unique, well-designed, engaging move is now a straight line with zero challenge whatsoever.

Why? I really don’t know. By whom? Don’t know that either.

What I do know is that we have very, very few tech trails left. So many of the classics have been neutered, brought down to the level of the least common denominator. And then the tiny fraction remaining is being sanitized by the least common denominator. Or Strava heads. Or maybe on accident.

Probably ignorance is the theme tying all of the above together: They don’t realize that in cheating themselves out of becoming better riders, they’re cheating all of us.

Clearly, this is a first-world problem. Not something that needs attention from lawmakers of any ilk, nor even from those that administer these trails. I’m not even certain they ride bikes.

What this problem needs is for us, this community of riders, to stand up and say enough. If you see someone sanitizing a move on *any* trail, educate them. Maybe they don’t know any better.

It comes to this: Elevate yourself to the level of the trail. Don’t bring the trail down to your level. Can’t ride it? No biggie — walk it this time. Next time, give a few of the moves a try. The time after that, try ’em twice. Eventually, you might put it together and experience the intense satisfaction of delayed gratification. It is addicting, in ways that the instant kind can’t be.

Moore Fun is literally one of the last places that that experience can be had, locally. Tech trails are vanishing fast. Please share this around while we still have a few worth saving.

This post first appeared on LaceMine29. Read more, here.



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