Thursday, June 25, 2009

Do you have any friends?


No friends to bring to the BFA? Getting a bike social life isn't as complicated as it may seem, although it can require some patience and of course a bike. The thing is that most people make and keep bike friends without really thinking about how they do it. They just picked up the skills automatically as they grew up. First you have trike friends, then as a teenager you have road bike friends (a very sketchy types), finally as an adult you have mountain bike friends. If you've always been more of the shy roadie, or a loner type (same thing?) than you'll probably appreciate some pointers on how to get some mountain bike friends.

First things first. Pretty much any one can have a group of bike friends if they are willing to sacrifice all of their principles, morals and personal integrity and spend all of their time racing road bikes. It is important to seek balance. People who have trouble making mountain bike friends often share these common mistakes; lacking a decent personality, social skills or a very un-cool bike.

The more rewarding you are to be around, the more easily you'll make friends. If your personality sucks you can always get a second mortgage and buy a really cool bike that everyone wants, but can never afford. You can be far from perfect with a cool bike, and everyone will still be interested striking up a conversation with you. Even people who most of us would consider particularly irritating often can begin to develop a bike social network based on their latest bling. Generally, however, these type of friends suck.

Knowledge about bikes rather then knowledge about how to make friends can work for the socially inept. Most people do not have any knowledge about how to fix, ride or train for bike racing. I had to piece my bike know-how together bit by bit, and even the stuff that seems really obvious to everyone in the bike world will be a complete mystery to regular folk. Being the local bike guru is a perfect in for making friends if you don’t have a clue how to make friends. Every time they have a bike question they will call you. Generally, however, they will never call you at any other time, or invite you to their parties. This type of friend sucks.

You will need enough guts to invite people out for an off road bike ride. This requirement often holds bike people back. You might want to invite someone out for a bike ride at Flacon Lake, but your better judgment ensures you decide against it (e.g., afraid they might crash and die a bloody death on the rocks, break a leg and hate you forever etc.). Generally, however, if this would be friend can not ride their bike well enough to hammer the double stage climb and clean the rock garden you will not really want them as a friend anyway. Take heart. I have just the perfect solution for you. Bring A Friend mountain bike race is specially designed to ensure there are no bloody deaths. Your would be friends will love the whole experience.

Introduce a would be friend to mountain bike racing at the Bring a Friend Event on Sunday, June 28th. The location is the Birch Ski Area and the event is hosted by Junkyard Dogs Cycling Club.

This event has become a great tradition at the Birch Mountain Facility, and, has been ongoing for more than ten years. The object of this event is to promote the sport of XC Mountain Bike racing in the province, and to showcase one of our premiere facilities. The facility belongs to the Keith family, and they have been generous enough to allow us the use of this facility for races, events, and club rides through out the season.

If anyone is interested in riding these trails in addition to MCA events scheduled times please contact the MCA Head Office, (925-5686), or the Portage Junkyard Dogs bike club,(857-2460), for info. on the Birch Pass,($25.00), and an MCA Membership/Novice Licence, ($35.00/$40.00).

The friend’s course for this year will be a modified version of the Racers course, and, will be approximately 9kms long. Please come prepared as it looks like we will have yet another hot day. We recommend that you hydrate early and often, and, ride with a water bottle or hydration pack. Although some of your friends will no doubt get through this course fairly quickly, expect the majority of the friends to be on the course for 35 - 50 minutes. Know your limits and enjoy the trails.


Please Note: It is perfectly acceptable to get off your bike and walk sections that are too tough or technical for your conditioning and ability

I hope this has been informative and helpful. See you Sunday. Remember to BFA.

Coach Dave.


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