Sharing information is bad! Or not?

Discussing the effects on mountain biking.

author profilePeter Seidl, 12. June 2020

Does sharing information about great trails and beautiful places have a negative effect on mountain biking?

I see more and more discussions about this. Here is why I think there are many positive effects!

The problem isn‘t the sharing itself and the public access to the information. The problems are the missing rules and structures for mountain biking in our global and highly populated world.

Publishing pictures and videos and at the same time intending not to attract others, is contradictory and boastful behaviour. Bragging with your secret knowledge of beautiful places, getting admiration, likes, clicks, and sales. But don‘t you dare thinking of visiting this amazing place yourself!

Simply don‘t publish anything then!?

The need to tell others about your own experiences feels quite natural. Share them with your partner, friends, followers, readers, users, everyone who make up our social environment in 2020. “Only I am allowed to ride this trail, no one else“. Sounds a bit selfish, doesn‘t it?

Information spreads like a virus.

With the current pandemic everyone should know by now the number of people you can share information with before it spreads exponentially. That it is impossible to contain to a few.

Every guided tour would become a “super spreader“ event. Also social media is only one type of medium. Should all this be forbidden as well: cartographical material, guided tours, magazines, books, presentations, meetings with friends to talk about the latest tours and discoveries.

With more information, more people know about the great possibilities of the sport, and therefore more people will do the sport. But that is good!

  • Being many mountain bikers results in a lobby, clubs, tourism associations which establish legal and open trails where we can ride our bikes on.

  • Being many mountain bikers creates a market that pushes the product development so we can have great equipment and bikes that make biking so much more fun.

  • Being many mountain bikers creates an economy which is the means of existence for many people.

  • Being many mountain bikers means that many people are out in the nature and learn to appreciate it, protect it to preserve it, and become healthier through the sport.

  • Being many mountain bikers builds up social structures to enthuse others for the sport, and to give their values to members, beginners and children.

Does sharing information also have other, less obvious effects?

Won‘t the traffic rather be distributed to many different places instead of everyone concentrating on a few well known places? Can this even reduce the load on the individual trail to a sustainable level?

Will easy access to information make access to our sport easier and will more people find access to nature, health and fun? Isn't that a picture of a better society?

But back to the statement of the beginning: The problem is missing rules and structures.

There are some known conflicts in MTB:

    1. Errosion. Suggested solution: It has to be self evident that it takes quite an effort to build and maintain trails. This work has either to be financed by the bikers, through tolls or indirectly through tourism or taxes, or they have to work on the trails themselves.

    2. Equality and security of all user groups. Suggested solution: Respectful behaviour, anticipatory riding. If many mountain bikers are organized in clubs and associations it is easy to give these values to members, beginners and children.

    3. Fauna and flora. Suggested solution: Attractive and legal possibilities for biking prevents wild and illegally built trails. Mountain biking happens on created trails. These legal possibilities can be created, or existing ones can be optimized in cooperation with experts, for animals and plants to have the space they need. Organizational solutions can manage and shift the traffic in sensitive times of the year.

Then everyone can go biking and share adventures carefree!

*Warning: I am not an expert and these are only my personal ideas for some solutions. The core of the statement is that we should stop beeing selfish and protective, behaviour which helps no one, but rather creates more conflicts and prevent the mountain bike community from evolving. We should start to think and act more solution oriented!

What do you think about sharing? We are interested in your opinion!

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