I try to live my life with the motto of “turning negatives into positives,” but not everyone shares those ideals. Charles’ encounter with a fat biker, Matthew Corkum, which is really a good news story, has been twisted and turned into a diatribe against skiers by a few fat bikers who can’t seem to take “yes” for an answer. You can read Charles’ letter on my previous post Snowfall Update. The fat bikers comments are on the Facebook group Bow Valley Fat-Bike Riders.
My encounters with fat bikers who are following the rules have all been positive, evidenced by the photos on this page. Even the encounters where I’ve seen fat bikers damaging soft, freshly-groomed trails, have been used as educational tools in the hope that all can benefit from being informed.
I understand why skiers, especially older ones, have a difficult time accepting fat bikers on the trail. I’ve made it clear many times on my blog that fat bikes don’t damage the trail if they’re doing it properly, and I believe attitudes are slowly changing, but there will always be a small percentage who don’t want to share.
Charles’ letter is evidence of the ability of skiers to adjust their attitudes. How do we get the misinformed fat bikers to change their attitudes?As you can see from the ignorant comments(posted to the side), with no evidence or attribution, some fat bikers have a pre-conceived notion that I am their enemy when in fact just the opposite is true.
I worked with Banff National Park on the reconfiguration of Goat Creek so that fat bikes would have their own lane, reducing conflict with skiers. This in fact took away one track from skiers, but made it safer and more fun for everyone.
You have ill-informed, hardened attitudes from a very small contingent on both sides and I expect it’s just human nature to try and defend your turf. 99% of fat bikers are conscientious and respectful. It’s too bad a few of them had to turn a positive into a negative, or to use a sports term, grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory.
Please be respectful with your comments. You can disagree without being disagreeable.