"I really don't like the way that trail rides in places. Whoever built it really doesn't get how I like to take corners. Someone needs to tell the builder to change it or we'll go somewhere else" or "that trail really could do with a trim".........
How many times in your riding group have you heard this bullshit yet never seen that person pickup a tool and actually play a little part in some trail maintenance?
Welcome to Trail Karma
Karma - noun, ˈkɑːmə,ˈkəːmə
(In Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person's actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
good or bad luck, viewed as resulting from one's actions.
And the trail part? Well that should be blatantly obvious here....
The saying basically boils down to play your part in trail building and maintenance or karma gonna bite you in the ass! It can be as simple as ignoring that working bee reminder or not stopping to clear that fallen log as "someone else will get it"....Won't they?
I must admit that over the years I have grown much fonder of the term and developed a deeper appreciation for trail builders as I too have embraced the ancient art of trail magic.
Until I started building, I never quite realised that when shaping a bend or planing a corner and berm, through the eyes of a walker and the temporary make shift handlebars from a stick or tool handle, the line is actually bloody hard to nail first crack. The lack of lean, height or turning radius, you really are flying blind to a degree.
It put in perspective for me that being overly critical on a subtly misaligned corner wasn't necessary anymore. Stopping to pick up a fallen log didn't ruin my ride as much as I thought (I had no shit show in getting that PR anyway). Most of all, I learnt most of my favorite trails in a much more intimate way.
And the best part of trail building and maintenance other then the obvious? It's fun! It's a way to hang out with your same riding buddies, create a legacy that thousands will enjoy and I guarantee you, you will enjoy it!
The real point to all of this? Quit the bullshit, get out there and help the trail fairies you never meet or even see. Make the time and actually join that next advertised working bee, clear that next fallen tree and for gods sake, don't bag the trail builders until you've tried it.....