The Stoke is an occasional opinion series highlighting the things that excite us about mountain biking. 🤘 👍 👏 🙏
While browsing Facebook the other night, Leah stopped by a meme posted on the Ottawa Mountain Bike Association’s group page. “Isn’t that your bike?” “
Sure enough it was there: my old Trek 7000 hardtail. I gave the bike away almost ten years ago, and the photo in the meme is the same one I remember taking on my back porch just before its final dispatch.
In a conversation on Facebook with Marc Allen, who posted the meme to the Ottawa group, he appeared to imply that he created the meme. Of course, with memes, it’s always difficult to find the original creator; an email from someone named Carl Loin claims Ryan Mock created it. Anyway, Marc says he chose the image because “it has resonated with me ever since I started mountain biking in the early 90s”.
Of course, Facebook being Facebook, there have been comments. Early commentators found humor in the meme, but later posters didn’t entirely agree. It seems some felt the meme was some form of petty bike shame, or maybe a flex by a member of the old guard.
Coincidentally, the Singetracks team was talking last week about how it seems some – certainly not all, but some – downhill courses have become faster and less technical compared to those of a decade or so ago. two, despite the enormous advancements in bicycle technology. Today’s mountain bikers are fortunate enough to be able to choose from thousands of miles of machine-built, bike-specific, fluid trails that barely existed in the 1990s. At the same time, bikes are free. no doubt much more efficient today than they were three decades ago.
So, is mountain biking easier today or – gasp! – even more fun than before? In the 1990s, it was hard to imagine anything more fun than mountain biking; for me it was pure happiness. Looking back, however, there were many pieces that were not fun like pinch flats, heavy bikes, hard-to-handle seat angles and heights, and trails that often leaked like a clogged drain line. My vote? I will be mountain biking 2021 any day.
Of course, not all trails looked like the one in the 1990s photo, and not all trails today are smooth. And hardtail riders, whether present or past, are no tougher than anyone. Still, you have to admit that there is enough truth and irony to the meme to at least let out a chuckle.
I’m especially happy to see that my old bike still rides with the good times.
Updated to include new information about the possible meme creator.
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