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Opinion of touchy subject please

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I like this forum as a good sounding board. Mostly informed people that I respect their opinions. So...

...I like to see the rides of the people I follow on Strava. It is educational to me for various reasons. But then, sort of like the YouTube rabbit hole, I start clicking on the Flybys and start looking at stranger's rides.  Then their flybys too. All educational, sometimes more so than my friend's rides.

So today on the ride of a stranger, I see that he was riding trails that I know are muddy. Real muddy. One trail somebody just posted somewhere "Don't ride that (particular) trail, it's a wreck."

As I was seething (relatively that is, this is a first world problem, I get it) about the damage I was sure he did, I debated whether or not to comment on his ride to "don't ride muddy trails" etc. I ended up not doing it because I was mad and was worried about my wording. But then I thought maybe I shouldn't comment on stranger's rides ever. Because it's too creepy?

Your opinion: Is it weird to post a comment on a stranger's ride? Not necessarily an admonishment. Maybe just a question or friendly observation? I never have but I was really close to doing so today.

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Strava is social media. If you use it and make it public, it’s public and you shouldn’t be surprised if people see it. My thoughts are if you would say something to him in person, feel free to say it on social media.


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you should post a comment. You should also post the user here so we can all comment. Public shaming is the only recourse we have.

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Post the comment but expect to get shit about it.

If you are so much of an ass that you ride on muddy trails without care, then you will not take kindly to the comment.

If you are a newbie that doesn't understand about not riding on muddy trails because you've seen Mountain Dew commercials with mountain bikes ripping up the mud like a bro, then you will not take kindly to the comment.

There is a very small set of people that can take constructive criticism and you are unlikely to find them.

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make the comment. be calm about it, but people need to be called out for stuff like this. they will probably be defensive about it at first, but if others back you up, it will become clear who is in the wrong.

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I agree with tree magnet and Mack turtle. The talk about not riding muddy trails and how to educate others has taken on a life of its own more than once. Addressing the issue directly with those who choose to ignore it needs to happen.

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Might identify yourself as one of the trail stewards (whether you are or not) and explain that you're usually one of the only people out there fixing trail damage.

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Go take a picture of the ruts on the trail in question and ask "did you leave something on {trail name}?"

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Moral of the story, if you are going to ride muddy trails in SATN, be smart enough to make your ride private or feel the wrath of The Tip!

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30 minutes ago, notyal said:

Moral of the story, if you are going to ride muddy trails in SATN, be smart enough to make your ride private or feel the wrath of The Tip!

Just The Tip??

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, mack_turtle said:

make the comment. be calm about it, but people need to be called out for stuff like this. they will probably be defensive about it at first, but if others back you up, it will become clear who is in the wrong.

Pretty much this^

I got called out back in the day for taking an "illegal line" up a waterfall in my 4x4. I was a total noob to the area and the local stewards were reasonable and just said "hey look, we've had problems with people taking that line and the erosion it causes so please don't do it". When i apologized and told them i was a dumbass from texas they laughed and were totally cool to deal with from then on. I ended up joining their public land group and started maintaining segments of our local trails, a first in my life.

For me, humility was everything. With these days of social media where people seem to pretend to be their avatar, special feelings get hurt easily so I guess we have to be less NYC and more Spock in our approach.

Edited by ATXZJ
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If you feel you must comment, I'd advise to take the "I'm the trail steward approach" with a single reply being sure to be clear, polite and articulate. DO NOT pile on with multiple replies from others. That's a good way to create an obstinate enemy. And as I've pointed out before, public shaming does nothing to help the issue and it is likely to have the opposite effect. 

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Posted (edited)

I would make the comment (Please don't ride muddy trails). Then asked for help repairing the damage. Expect to get 'less than helpful responses'. Public shaming is never a good choice unless there are multiple examples of continued problems by that person.

I have ridden muddy trails. Rarely by choice. (Things like getting caught in the rain, or thinking one place was OK so the rest of this trail would be OK too.) But I am one of the ones that goes back out to fix my damage and the damage of others.

 

Edited by cxagent
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Posted (edited)

Here's a thought...

How about some shirts for the trail stewards that say... SOUTH AUSTIN TRAIL STEWARD

I'm thinking that even if people don't interact with the trail steward, just by seeing that there is such a thing as a trail steward it might just have an influencing factor on how they approach their riding on trails they think they might come across a trail steward on.

Kind of like when you see a game warden or park ranger... The thought of authority tends to linger a bit and influence how you conduct yourself.

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Edited by RidingAgain

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You might consider your Strava user name when commenting. Is it your nerd name, or ‘The Tip’, or perhaps something like SATN?

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You might consider your Strava user name when commenting. Is it your nerd name, or ‘The Tip’, or perhaps something like SATN?


Seriously though. Put trail steward of SATN in your Bio.

Comment:

Please don’t ride muddy trails.
Thanks,
Management


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