Guest blog: Trails of requirement?
It’s funny how trails can have a life of their own, says Neil Cain
I started to notice this years ago while riding in the pine forests of mountainous East Anglia. Trails originally carved out by moto enduros would fall in and out of favour – some would be ridden and established, others would fall by the wayside. Some would even be ridden for several years, then forgotten about after a new path carved an easier line nearby, whereas others would be sabotaged, or fall victim to being created on private land. And then there were those, it would seem, that were just forgotten about.
As it turned out, Korčula was actually a bit of a riding paradise. Climbing to over 500m on an island only five miles wide by 29 miles long, it was blessed with plenty of typically Mediterranean trail; steep, rocky and technical, and interspersed with the occasional sinuous, evergreen-lined snaking piece of singletrack, all with a stunning emerald sea backdrop.
It turned out to be a bittersweet few days. Both the island and the town of Korčula were as stunning as ever, the better half adored it and I loved being back there. However, most of the traditional paths I had discovered and ridden – the switchback path to town, the loose and technical trail to the coast or the quick, steep route down from the remote hill-top village – had gone. I was seeing it once again: trails of requirement.
People had obviously discovered easier ways of getting from A to B since I stopped working in Korčula, which meant ‘my’ traditional mountain paths were no longer needed. It’s a sad thing, but I’m glad to have had the opportunity to enjoy those trails (some of which I am convinced I was the first person to ride a mountain bike down) and comparisons with the winding trails of East Anglia suddenly became very obvious.
This year, my local paths, the old ways – I intend to require them.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 at 8:37 am and is filed under Blog, Mountain Biking Uk. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.