The Trail Snob: I’m So-and-So, I’m This, I’m That…

The Trail Snob presents the periodic, ill-informed opinions, malformed thoughts, and inappropriate convictions of a certain Web Content Editor. Art’s Cyclery disavows all knowledge of, responsibility for, and concordance with anything that comes out of their keyboard.

…But they’re all just wick-wick wack!

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the hippest, beardiest, most precious, most sarcastic, most obscure, most authentic, most urban-tribal, most Adderalled of them all…? If you really want to know, just spend a few minutes on YouTube, Vimeo, Tumblr, Vine, Instagram, or Twitter, and hundreds of entries will be instantly submitted for your consideration.

While in times past, the engineering of our personal facades and donning of affectations were witnessed only by our mirrors and the people we came in face-to-face contact with, these days creating your own legend and promoting it to the world is as common as the ability to fall asleep at night.

So why do we say the things we say?

Luckily, as mountain bikers, we are good at having fun and not taking ourselves too seriously (there are exceptions of course). Roadies, unfortunately, aren’t quite as adept at self-deprecation, and probably really believe the things they say.

Then there are these guys… Devolved into the outdoor industry’s version of Rapha, Patagonia sets out to prove that all you have to do is strike the correct poses (with the right label on your gear) and your dedication to the ethos is substantiated.

But, what are they trying to accomplish?

The early pro-artisan anti-consumerism of the hipster movement has deteriorated into nothing more than an attempt to devalue Gillette stock. By trying to be as anti-mainstream as possible, the mustaches and shaggy bob-do’s are now just a mainstream caricature.

Notice the shelves filled with imported Chinese apparel while clerks take deliveries from the local wax-pourers and wood-planers.

So why do I care? Why am I talking about this non-issue that most likely offends only my sensibilities?

Well, I have to fill a column, for one. But really, I don’t care if you ride fat bikes, think a gravel bike is any different from a ‘cross bike, wear matching kits because you think it absolves you from training, or even if you post hateful words about something you believe is silly and I think is cool.Since I’m such a giving, caring person, I’m really just trying to help.

How much effort is required to create yourself as a stage character with the right collar on your T-shirt, the right pattern on your flannel, and to endure the scratchy stage until your beard is the right length?  Then the video clips need to be edited and uploaded as evidence of your authenticity. Seems like a lot of time that could be used for rides.

Hey, we are in the business of selling the dream. In order to get my next paycheck, I actually need you to buy four different kits that match what the pros wear. Heck, I wear matching race pajama kits too. But when I do, it’s for myself and the people I ride with. No videos, no posturing, nothing more than some folks on bikes with their friends. Don’t worry about who you think other people want you to be. Just focus on getting another ride in, and impressing the people in your daily interactions with your humility, support, and empathy. You’ll have a lot more time for the important things in life.

mind_blownThe Trail Snob goes by several pseudonyms, but is most recognizable as the Guy With All the Answers. He was around when the trails were so much better than they are now and is way cooler than you’ll ever be. Well, at least that’s what he thinks…