Kevin recently sent me a post from some local mountainbike forum thingy. (i have no idea where these things are) Our local trail spot, Turkey Mountain, caters to all sorts. Folks take their kids out there for nature walks. Some people actually trailer their horses there to ride. (Why people bring horses INTO the city to ride is beyond me.) But bikes are the main mode of transportation and this is especially so the further you get from the main parking lot. Another thing that gathers further away? Hobos. Being a fan of Kerouac, I'm a fan of hobos. In fact, I prefer the term "hobo" to "bum". "Bums" stand on street corners and ask for you to sustain them. "Hobos" do their own thing further away from the public eye and generally sustain themselves. ... What was I talking about? .... Oh yeah, the forum post. It turns out this kind biker noticed that the shady stunts near hoboland were beginning to disappear. At the same time this kind biker noticed a new inhabitant to hoboland always had a nice big fire. It's been damn cold 'round here lately and hobo's gotta stay warm too. Why am I describing this particular bike as "kind"? Well, while he doesn't personally partake in the stunts he put a warning on the board to those who do that they might wanna check things out pre-huck to make sure that part of their ramps hadn't become firewood. Very cool of him.
Now this is obviously kindling (notice the pun?) for a big discussion. Who is in the wrong? Is el hobo wrong for dismantling the stunts? I'm sure plenty will say that he is. But these stunts were mainly built from discarded pallets from the Pepsi plant which backs up to the woods. They were built "illegally" too. I'm not even going to debate the wrong-or-right-ness of that because I couldn't give 2 pinches of monkey shit whether or not someone builds these things. To each his own and I enjoy the easier ones from time to time. Anyway, the way I see it, 20 years ago, before this whole freeride thing existed, those pallets would have went straight from the back of the Pepsi plant to the hobos fire. Keepin' his toes warm and maybe heatin' up a can o' beans. Now the lifecycle of the pallets simply has an extra step. They go from the back of the Pepsi plant, some folks ride their bikes on them, then firewood. Pallets enjoyed by 2 tribes instead of 1. Now I'm sure everyone doesn't share my hippy view of world peace and whatnot. That's cool and they can preach the opposite on their own little soapbox on the side of the info-supa-highway. But when it's this cold outside, if someone's recreational toys get destroyed to keep a brotha' alive... How can you bitch about that? If you can afford a bike to ride on those stunts, you can afford to rebuild them occasionally.
Be careful out there,