I’ve accepted the apology(on behalf of all xc skiers who were affected by this incident) and expect behaviors to change, but why does it take such extreme situations to make people aware of their actions? Without there having been any consequences to the fat bikers for their behavior, I imagine we could have expected to see it repeated, so this was indeed a fortuitous situation which I found myself in. A guy with a popular blog, a camera, and a notorious troublemaker. 🙂
First things first. There are still a few fat bikers who have preconceived notions that all skiers dislike fat bikers. I would like to disabuse those folks of that belief by mentioning that my blog was instrumental in getting the new grooming configuration on Goat Creek so that it was much friendlier to fat bikers. I’ve had many interactions with fat bikers on the trails which have invariably been positive for both sides. I’m posting a few photos which reinforce that.
I was descending Blueberry Hill, but on fairly level rolling terrain when I met the first five bikers coming along the trail. I stopped at the side of the trail, pulled out my camera and took a picture of each one as they went by, including the friendly dog. All I said was hi. I haven’t posted any of these photos. My intention was to post the photos when I did my update on Saturday night to warn others this was occurring.
After the dangerous incident which you have read about previously, I backtracked up the hill to talk to them. I started out by asking how they felt about riding on this particular trail. I suggested that what they were doing was very dangerous to skiers.
They were dismissive of my concerns and I came away with the impression that they were self-entitled to be there, and screw the safety of skiers. Now that it has come to light that skier Lyle had a close encounter previously, and Margot also talked to them, yet they continued up the trail, it’s an indication of their disregard for anyone’s safety.
Like being hit on the head with a two-by-four, everything changed when I told them I would be posting their pictures on the internet. Suddenly they realized there would be consequences.
That’s when the real fun started.
I don’t think they realized yet who they were dealing with. In the onslaught of yelling and screaming, I heard one say “I didn’t give you permission to post my picture on the internet.” I wish I knew which one it was because I have a close-up of everyone of them. One yelled out, “We can’t help it if you’re just learning to ski” and that one is closer to the truth than I care to admit. 🙂 If anything, as I get old and wobbly on my skis, I would call it “de-learning.”
I headed down the hill, stopping occasionally to take photos of the large bike tire ruts in the corduroy, keeping an eye out for a headhunting posse. As I neared the bottom, the leader of the group chased me down and followed me to the picnic table at the junction of Elk Pass.
Corey and I had a polite discussion but my recollection of events is very different from the one which he posted. He apologized. I did not apologize. What would I be apologizing for? I did not agree to any “neutrality” in writing my blog post about the incident. Corey said he didn’t know fat bikes weren’t allowed on Blueberry Hill, but I think it would be a bit of a stretch to buy into that.
There were other people gathered around, and Ania, discovering it was me, excitedly started announcing “SkierBob!’ SkierBob, I read your blog every day, you’re famous and I’m so thrilled to meet you!” If Corey wasn’t worried before, I imagine this was enough to create a bit of nervousness because he pleaded with me not to post anything on my blog.
In the response which Corey posted on my blog, he mentioned that his outing on Saturday was in no way affiliated with Calgary Cycle. It was just him and some friends. In the apology which Calgary Cycle posted, they wrote,
“Calgary Cycle would like to apologize for the incident on Saturday, November 25th, where our group ride violated the regulations for fatbike use in the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.”
I’ll let you decide who to believe.