Wow this is one of the best post I’ve seen posted on one of my frequent sites in a long time! Please click here and read " Why we need to distinguish between Fire Road Racing and Mountain Biking" and then this will make total sense.
I have felt this way about the trails, MTB and XC pretty much since I started riding MTB and really getting serious about it. Due to this and not wanting to simply be that guy on the sideline bitching and moaning, I have started helping with trail building and maintenance here in MN for these reason specifically. I understand some of the legal and liability reasons more now after helping out but it appears that the trails always have to be simplify or dumb down. I'm not sure why since we have different markings on the trails. Sorry I don't want to offend anyone but 29ers IMO are a roadies version of a MTbike and xc is in a sad state. Also I was really sad to hear that all the smack talk about the US super-d courses being weak is true, I can't believe they removed or rerouted a course because riders threatened to pull out! They should have told them good, we only want real mountain bikers and good riders to race. I know the stuff around here isn’t that gnarly but I was trying to get out west to race but now I’m not so sure its worth the trip to race- all though one can't be the judge of that till you do it, so they are still on my bucket list, but I might just go ride the trails and save the money. We need more Enduro/European all-mountain like the trans- Provence and the BC bike race. Point to point gnarly aggressive and challenging mtb trails and races. I’ve been trying to get a real super d or enduro started here and there are some good spots but people are like I think that's to gnar/dangerous. No its not it’s real MTB and it shouldn’t easily be won by some roadie/tour de France racer on a hard tail carbon 29er because they are fast and can pedal their ass off. If you choose to ride that kind of bike in a real mtb race you better damn well be a solid rider or you probably have to walk some sections or you will break it! IMO, I don't want people to break bikes but I don't know very many people, myself included that can find a trail and ride it that will push a trail bike to its riding/breaking limits around here. Battle Creek, Leb double black and some stuff in Duluth and the Black Hills and maybe the UP (never been there) but that's it!
Totally agree with adding the different designation to the list all the point to point races in this area have become this way, 80% fire road and the rest easy to mild single track, namely the Chequamegon, they have a bunch of sweet single track up there but they run fire roads! Make that shit legit!
One of the best trails for pure raw, unadulterated mtb is the Centennial trail in the Black Hills of SD. It is a multi-purpose trail, mtb hike and horse but it truly tests your skills going up and down! It will break bikes if you don't know what you are doing or stop focusing for even a second! I am no where near a pro and have tons of room to grow but I love to be challenged, I love the risk involved with pushing myself and there is no way to improve if there is nothing to work towards or push for! That's all I'm saying. Even if its just some new lines at an existing trail we need more harder lines. Sorry, I've really tried to keep the rants down but some time it gets old hearing the same response, "oh liability and we have to build to the masses" They need to make mtb the same is skiing, rider excepts all responsibility and that's that. Post the trail:
real bad asses only
don't ride if you suck
you will get hurt and if you do it's your fault
and your responsibility,
sorry have a nice ride
Anyways I'm sure I will get criticised for this but it's true there are tons of green and blue trails we need to make more black, more raw rugged real mountain bike trails and have more "real" mountain bike race and less dirt roadie events. If you want those they have this bad ass series call the AGRS check it out! Or if you want to ride a road bike off road then you can race cyclo-cross! both are a blast but not MTB!
Keep it real!
disclaimer- just like everything on this blog this is all my opinion except the external link to the other blog that started this blog, those are James Wilson's opinions and I share his sentiment. Thanks