Keeper of the Peak – they seek him here, they seek him there….
Whoever he is, wherever he is, he’s a wise man that Keeper of the Peak. His recent blog post encourages riders in the Peak District to do the right thing, tweet trail conditions, help fellow riders avoid the gloop and, maybe, try riding somewhere new that is more sustainable.
But simply avoiding a muddy ride is only one of the reasons why The Keeper’s Twitter feed is such a grand idea. Ride Sheffield spends much of its time in the winter defending MBers against unwarranted charges of trail damage. We all know that it’s not just Mbers who cause damage, all users do and it’s just bit lazy to pin the blame on the new kids on the block who just happen to ride a bike. Keeper of the Peak ensures we can demonstrate that MBers are doing their bit.
However, we’re not blameless. I’m sure we all know trails that look the worse for wear at the end of a hard winter where a fair proportion of the damage is down to bikers. Therefore, we’d urge all riders to think before they ride. Can I subtly alter my route to avoid a well known boggy trail? Will a short road section be the difference between coming back slathered in mud or being able to settle down in front of the telly without even ditching the riding clothes?
Let’s be clear though. We don’t want to stop anyone from enjoying their winter ride and, for sure, there will be times when the mud is all but unavoidable. But if every rider made one small change to every ride in order to save the trails, it would give those who aim to use mountain bikers as the outdoor community’s whipping boys (and girls!) a lot less ammunition.
Remember – keep singletrack single!