Are recreational cyclists posers?

recreational bikingWhat is the point of driving to a trail to ride a bike?

That is the question that I put to the BikeCommuters Crew. Most of us happen to enjoy riding to work, but we also enjoy riding the dirt trails or riding organized recreational road rides. So is it OK for us to drive to the trailhead and ride our bikes? Here’s what we think:

Jeff:
I think anything that gets a person on a bicycle is worth it. I think bikes can be used for enjoyment AND utility. Personally I think someone who is anti-recreational cycling has as much of a stick up their butt as a hard-core roadie that doesn’t acknowledge commuters or utility cyclists. In fact, I rode my bike to church yesterday, and was just cruising along on my mountain bike while wearing some khakis and a sweater and passed a hard-core roadie and even though I visibly waved to him, he just ignored me. He probably thought I was just some stupid kid who didn’t know anything about cycling.

The bicycle is one of the most versatile machines available – and that is what makes it so beautiful. Any person can find a reason to ride a bike, and that is a good thing (Just like Martha Stewart says…).

Jack:
I’m mostly with Jeff…there are too many bicycling “factions” these days, and they don’t often acknowledge each other with a friendly wave. Using a bike for only one rigid purpose defeats the whole thing — bikes are versatile and fun.

Despite that, I find it very troubling indeed to have to drive somewhere to ride my bike. My nearest offroad trailhead is nearly 20 miles away, and I cannot stand the thought of loading my bike and hauling it all the way over there to ride! Part of it is laziness, I suppose, but it has kept me from MTBing for a long time.

Lance:
While commuting has opened my eyes to the potential of a car-less life, I still am completely torn on the matter. I’m actually driving 45 miles into the mountains this Saturday to ride a 30 mile trail. Sure driving the vehicle isn’t exactly eco friendly but it’s an indulgence I sure can live with after I’m done with an epic and absolutely beautiful ride like this one will be. Additionally I’ve reduced my driving with carpooling and commuting to about 25% of what it was so I’m okay with driving to trailheads on a Saturday to get my ride in.

Riding pristine singletrack in the mountains and being completely isolated from the rush of the city is something I just can’t pass up. I’ll make my sacrifices elsewhere so I can indulge in that respect.

RL:
Well, I think that no one is a poser just because they like to drag their bike elsewhere to enjoy it.
Sure there’s value to using your bike as means of transportation, but at the same time, there are other ways to enjoy a bike.
Being a mountain biker, I don’t feel that I’m being a poser just because I load up my roof rack with my bike that has a big fork a squishy rear suspension and drive 30 miles away to enjoy the fullest potential of the bike.

My opinion:
I believe that a bicycle is not just a source of transportation, but also a source of enjoyment and exercise. I personally enjoy mountain biking and riding recreational rides. I love riding trails where motorized vehicles are not allowed, I like riding with 1,000 other cyclists for charity purposes, I like riding with my family to the beach and back. Yes, most of these activities do involve me taking my truck and driving to a starting point, but the point is riding a bicycle is supposed to be fun. I also love riding my bike to work, nothing brings me more pleasure than to pass vehicles that are stuck in traffic.

What is your opinion? Do you agree or disagree?