New track at Wharny…..still work in progress, but this is a record of what’s been down so far:
A friend of mine once said a poignant sentence a few years ago which has stuck with me since, it was ‘enjoy the difficulty’. I ride bikes because in difficult terrain as it gives me pleasure, I think most people reading this are of the same ilk, we wouldn’t buy ourselves a modern mountain bike capable of a plethora of terrain just to ride on a canal path….well, I did say most.
The local riding around Sheffield offers this very attribute, the riding tends to be more of a technical nature where linking lines, hitting points on a track – such as an apex or a catch-berm – and speed checking are such attributes. That is the difficulty to be endured.
The hard part when building for me is maintaining flow, if it doesn’t flow it’s not enjoyable. End of. Tracks can be easy but without flow they are dull. Hard tracks with such qualities as a steep inline, committing features and harsh rock gardens still have to flow, well at least for me they do. The kind of ‘stop-starty- riding that is generated from poorly built tracks is something that we should all aim to put an end to, and I’ll be honest, I’d rather listen to the conversation beween two fixie riders than ride a track without flow.
I’ve ridden around Sheffield for at least 16 years, what we ride has changed vastly, and even more so in the last few years, bikes are worlds apart than when Greg Herbold cut the course in 1990, therefore we expect more from the humble push iron. We can ride faster into corners, we can brake later for hitting a particular rut at a particular speed in order for it to catch, we can ride the line we wanted as the forks don’t flex down the off-camber we are aiming to rail. The feeling of hitting a section of a track where it just feels ‘right’ is one of the reasons why I ride.
What does any of the above have to do with digging a track? To get it ‘right’, a saying we have in in the UK is ‘difficult difficult lemon difficult’- see the film ‘In the Loop’ for further reference. I am not content with just ‘making do’ with my efforts with a spade…..riding a difficult track well is the same as building a difficult track, it should tax your brain, it should make you think, it should make you enjoy the difficulty.
My aim for ‘Truffle Shuffle’ is too get the flow right. I am also hoping it will get other riders into looking at being creative with their lines….your riding is an expression…..it’s your own art.