Mountain Biking climbing with new demographics



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G

Geneb

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*** Mountain Biking climbing with new demographics ***

Boulder Co ( AP ) -- 03/17/2003 To be sure, mountain biking has its share of gonzo enthusiasts,
riders - largely young guys - who have no qualms about pedaling off a 12-foot cliff or riding over
Bunyanesque logs.

But that, said Tim Blumenthal, executive director of the Colorado-based International Mountain
Bicycling Association, is more the adrenaline-pumping exception to the mundane rule.

"I think there's this whole dynamic behind being out and going slow and enjoying the experience,"
said Sig Hutchinson, a 50-year-old Raleigh, N.C., resident who has been riding for 15 years.
"There's an inverse relationship with me between speed and enjoyment."

He's 50 and he mountain bikes? you ask in wonder. Go out on public mountain biking trails and you
may be surprised to find that most of the riders you see look more like Hutchinson than young
athletic bikers from television commercials.

"The demographics have never been broader," Blumenthal said of mountain biking.

When mountain biking got its start in the hills of California's Marin County in the late 1970s, it
was the domain of the young, rugged - and male. Early bikes were heavy, had few gears and were
better designed for riding on flat roads than up the sides of mountains. You had to be willing to
put up with a lot.

Today, it's a different story.

The steel bikes of yore have been replaced by lighter aluminum and titanium frames, most bikes have
27 gears, brakes are more reliable and shifting gears is done with a flick of a finger.

That technology spurt is part of what helped drive mountain biking's phenomenal growth in the 1990s.

The National Sporting Goods Association, which tracks sales and participation figures in about 60
indoor and outdoor activities, didn't even begin monitoring mountain biking until 1993. That year,
the association reported that 4.6 million Americans had ridden a mountain bike off-road at least
once. Within three years, that number had nearly doubled, to 8.1 million.

Guys like Hutchinson - older guys who, as Hutchinson puts it "don't like to get hurt" - helped fuel
that increase.

Bill Haste of Cary, N.C., said he doesn't like to get hurt, either. But Haste and Hutchinson are
different as night and day when it comes to riding.

Haste, who is 52, rides with a loose-knit group of mostly 35 and older riders who are something
of a wild bunch. In a cloud of dust, the 15 or so riders who make up the so-called Cooper Group
roar past.

"Are we aggressive?" Haste asks. "A lot of people who don't ride with us might say we're very
aggressive."

That aggression - and need for speed - helped keep another demographic out of the picture during
mountain biking's early days: women. A bigger reason women didn't ride was the bikes themselves.

"You can blame the equipment for the late rise (in female riders)," said Heather Hicks, who
coordinates special events for REI in Cary and started riding in high school in Charlotte in 1989.
"Everything initially was sized for men, the bike frames, the shoes."

In the last several years, manufacturers have begun making smaller bike frames and designing them to
fit a woman's smaller torso.

As a result, whereas it was hard to find a woman on the trail in the mid-1990s, figures from the
sporting goods association put the number of female riders in 2001 at 2 million, or nearly a third
of all mountain bikers.

Broad as the demographics have become, Blumenthal quickly acknowledges they haven't grown broad
enough. The sport is having trouble attracting the very people the media has built mountain biking's
image around - the young.

According to Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, a California-based trade magazine, the number of
Americans ages 7 to 11 who rode bikes in 1990 was 11.8 million; as the '90s drew to a close, that
number had dropped 15 percent, to 10 million. If kids don't take those baby steps on that first
Huffy, it's doubtful they'll discover mountain biking.

Another demographic in short supply on the trail, and one evident throughout the outdoor adventure
realm, are people of color. Mountain biking has been and remains a white sport.

"There's nowhere near enough diversity," Blumenthal said. "It's a huge issue.

"And it's not just a philosophical issue, it a practical thing. Governments (in the form of parks
departments) will support what people want. If mountain biking doesn't have broad support, it won't
be on the list of things to be supported."

It's a practical thing, too, in that the boom mountain biking enjoyed in the 1990s is over. The
sporting goods association's figures for 2001, the latest year for which numbers are available, show
the number of mountain bikers declined 10.7 percent from the previous year, to 6.3 million. The
activity needs to find new markets.

Listen to ardent riders, though, and the decline defies explanation. For some, the sport's endorphin
boost is a cheap alternative to Prozac. For others, it's simply a chance to escape the realities of
adult life once or twice a week.

The Associated Press

CC to - alt.mountain-bike

Geneb...Wenatchee,Washington-USA All Things Northwest in BMX! ***** Gene`s BMX *****
http://www.genesbmx.com
 
T

Terri Alvillar

Guest
Geneb <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> *** Mountain Biking climbing with new demographics ***

> As a result, whereas it was hard to find a woman on the trail in the mid-1990s, figures from the
> sporting goods association put the number of female riders in 2001 at 2 million, or nearly a third
> of all mountain bikers.

I'd say more like 5-10%. It's still a white male sport. Average age 32/33? Terri Alvillar
http://homepage.mac.com/terrialvillar/mountainbikedamage/PhotoAlbum11.html
 
J

Jd

Guest
Geneb <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>... <snip>
> It's a practical thing, too, in that the boom mountain biking enjoyed in the 1990s is over. The
> sporting goods association's figures for 2001, the latest year for which numbers are available,
> show the number of mountain bikers declined 10.7 percent from the previous year, to 6.3 million.

Hopefully a large percent of those "mountain bikers" who are giving it up are just doofs on
bicycles. There is hope for mountain biking after all if it becomes less "stylish", as it is
appearing to be. The trendoids need a new fad.

JD
 
B

Bb

Guest
On Sun, 16 Mar 2003 23:13:12 -0800, Geneb wrote:

> He's 50 and he mountain bikes? you ask in wonder. Go out on public mountain biking trails and you
> may be surprised to find that most of the riders you see look more like Hutchinson than young
> athletic bikers from television commercials.

Yep, a bunch of us with grey (or greying) hair out there. Keeps us from getting old too fast.

I was kind of disappointed; I thought the subject would be about climbing. Now THERE's the real
challenge. :)

--
-BB- To reply to me, drop the attitude (from my e-mail address, at least)
 
I

Imba Jim

Guest
I'm looking at the 2002 Outdoor Recreation I don't understand where those numbers came from. I have
in my hand the Participation Study published by the Outdoor Industry Association and conducted by
the Lesiure Trends Group (Gallup, I think).

It reports participation (at least once last year) and enthusiast (top 15% of participants) in:

road bicycling 77.7 million/11.8 million

dirt road bicycling 43.7 million/6.9 million single track bicyling 46 million/7.5 million

JIm Hasenauer
 
T

Terri Alvillar

Guest
[email protected] (IMBA Jim) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> I'm looking at the 2002 Outdoor Recreation I don't understand where those numbers came from. I
> have in my hand the Participation Study published by the Outdoor Industry Association and
> conducted by the Lesiure Trends Group (Gallup, I think).

> JIm Hasenauer

In fact, this is another good reason why mountain bikers should not have equal access to off-road
trails. Mountain bikers are a special interest group, white males in the normal age range of peak
physical strength, they dominate all other user groups, they especially endanger frail trail users
(the very young and the very old) and

and age discrimination to give equal trail access to this high intensity sport. Terri Alvillar
http://homepage.mac.com/terrialvillar/mountainbikedamage/PhotoAlbum11.html
 
B

Bb

Guest
On 17 Mar 2003 14:27:00 -0800, Terri Alvillar wrote:

> In fact, this is another good reason why mountain bikers should not have equal access to off-road
> trails. Mountain bikers are a special interest group, white males in the normal age range of peak
> physical strength

Obviously you didn't get the points of the article, that it ISN'T a demographic of the "normal age
range of peak physical strength", and that there ARE an increasing number of women. They forgot to
mention that the ethnic diversity isn't so different from hikers.

Pay attention and stop repeating yourself. We're not trying to dominate anything. A lot of us are
just old guys trying to keep from getting older.

--
-BB- To reply to me, drop the attitude (from my e-mail address, at least)
 
B

Bill Porter

Guest
On Mon, 17 Mar 2003 23:40:49 GMT, "Sorni" <[email protected]> wrote:

>Bill "old fart who rides <SNIP>" S.
>

I firmly support your statement! :)

Bill "Been known to follow Sorni on occasion" Porter www.mountainbikebill.com
 
G

Gazzer

Guest
> and age discrimination to give equal trail access to this high intensity sport. Terri Alvillar

Your name is an anagram of ILL TRAIL RAVER

Fancy that!

Gazzer
 
P

Pete

Guest
"Terri Alvillar" <[email protected]> wrote
>
> In fact, this is another good reason why mountain bikers should not have equal access to off-road
> trails. Mountain bikers are a special interest group, white males in the normal age range of peak
> physical strength, they dominate all other user groups, they especially endanger frail trail users
> (the very young and the very old) and

> and age discrimination to give equal trail access to this high intensity sport. Terri Alvillar
> http://homepage.mac.com/terrialvillar/mountainbikedamage/PhotoAlbum11.html

So does that mean an over 40, black guy is free to ride everywhere? Gee, thanx, Terri!

Like I need your approval or permission.

Pete
 
P

Pete

Guest
"Terri Alvillar" <[email protected]> wrote
>
> In fact, this is another good reason why mountain bikers should not have equal access to off-road
> trails. Mountain bikers are a special interest group, white males in the normal age range of peak
> physical strength, they dominate all other user groups, they especially endanger frail trail users
> (the very young and the very old) and

> and age discrimination to give equal trail access to this high intensity sport. Terri Alvillar
> http://homepage.mac.com/terrialvillar/mountainbikedamage/PhotoAlbum11.html

In fact, this is another good reason why road bikers should not be given equal access to public
streets and highways. Road bikers are a special interest group, white males in the normal age range
of peak physical strength, they dominate all other user groups, they especially endanger frail
drivers and pedestrians (the very young and the very old) and

and age discrimination to give equal trail access to this high intensity sport.

Pete
 
A

Andy Chequer

Guest
<snippety>

trail access to this > high intensity sport.

You might. But really you'd have to be stark-raving, loony-bonkers ga-ga to play such a
tenuous angle.

Congratulations on a thread well hijacked, Mike, you dress wearing buffoon.

Andy Chequer
 
D

Dennis Baker

Guest
[email protected] (Terri Alvillar) wrote in message
>
> In fact, this is another good reason why mountain bikers should not have equal access to off-road
> trails. Mountain bikers are a special interest group, white males in the normal age range of peak
> physical strength, they dominate all other user groups, they especially endanger frail trail users
> (the very young and the very old) and

> and age discrimination to give equal trail access to this high intensity sport. Terri Alvillar
> http://homepage.mac.com/terrialvillar/mountainbikedamage/PhotoAlbum11.html

It amazes me how morons like you can spew this ****. What if I turned your arguement on it's head.

- In fact, this is another good reason why joggers should not
- have equal access to off-road trails. Joggers are a special
- interest group, black females in the normal age range of peak physical
- strength, they dominate all other user groups, they especially
- endanger frail trail users (the very young and the very old) and

- and age discrimination to give equal trail access to this high
- intensity sport.
- Terri Alvillar

it's Ok to discriminate against white males. The trails are there to
be utilized not some private playground for you and the people who fit

ride a bike.

I am happy to see anyone on the trails, 2 wheels or 2 legs, white or otherwise, male or female.
Anyone except you that is.

--The Ogre http://ogrehut.com
 
T

Terri Alvillar

Guest
"Pete" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> "Terri Alvillar" <[email protected]> wrote
> >
> > In fact, this is another good reason why mountain bikers should not have equal access to
> > off-road trails. Mountain bikers are a special interest group, white males in the normal age
> > range of peak physical strength, they dominate all other user groups, they especially endanger
> > frail trail users (the very young and the very old) and

> > and age discrimination to give equal trail access to this high intensity sport. Terri Alvillar
> > http://homepage.mac.com/terrialvillar/mountainbikedamage/PhotoAlbum11.html
>
> In fact, this is another good reason why road bikers should not be given equal access to public
> streets and highways. Road bikers are a special interest group, white males in the normal age
> range of peak physical strength, they dominate all other user groups, they especially endanger
> frail drivers and pedestrians (the very young and the very old) and

> and age discrimination to give equal trail access to this high intensity sport.
>
> Pete

But that's not true. On the road, the cyclist is the frailest and most vulnerable. Just the
opposite. Motor vehicles on-road are to cyclists what mountain bikers off-road are to hikers and
equestrians, objects of danger and fear. Terri Alvillar
http://homepage.mac.com/terrialvillar/mountainbikedamage/PhotoAlbum11.html
 
M

Martees

Guest
"Terri Alvillar" <[email protected]> spewed in message :

Motor vehicles on-road are to
> cyclists what mountain bikers off-road are to hikers and equestrians, objects of danger and fear.
> Terri Alvillar http://homepage.mac.com/terrialvillar/mountainbikedamage/PhotoAlbum11.html

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Objects of danger and fear? The last time I had that said about me it everything to do with my
advocation and NOTHING to do with my hobby. I'm a 44 year old mtb rider who likes dirt roads and
single track. I endanger nobody from the seat of my bike. Now, I HAVE felt that my life was
endangered by horses and dogs who were not trail ready or otherwise out of control.

Get a life and stay out of mine.

Marty
 
B

Bill Wheeler

Guest
On Sun, 16 Mar 2003 23:13:12 -0800, Geneb <[email protected]> wrote:

[snip]

>The National Sporting Goods Association, which tracks sales and participation figures in about 60
>indoor and outdoor activities, didn't even begin monitoring mountain biking until 1993. That year,
>the association reported that 4.6 million Americans had ridden a mountain bike off-road at least
>once. Within three years, that number had nearly doubled, to 8.1 million.

uh...at least once? IMHO that should not qualify as "Mountain Biking"

[snip]

>"There's nowhere near enough diversity," Blumenthal said. "It's a huge issue.
>
>"And it's not just a philosophical issue, it a practical thing.

Nothing more needs to be said.

Peace, Bill

The mind serves properly as a window glass rather than as a reflector, that is, the mind should give
an immediate view instead of an interpretation of the world.
:-]
 
B

Bb

Guest
On 18 Mar 2003 05:38:36 -0800, Terri Alvillar wrote:

> Motor vehicles on-road are to cyclists what mountain bikers off-road are to hikers and
> equestrians, objects of danger and fear.

"objects of UNFOUNDED danger and fear" is more like it. In all the hundreds exchanges of
friendly greetings I've had with hikers, only a couple have exibited signs of "danger ande
fear". In both cases, I was moving about the same speed that they were (slowly enough to have a
foot on the ground). Of course, my mere existance probably classified the incident as a "near
miss" in their minds.

Our hikers have a gorgeous set of hiker-only singletrack trails that are much more accessible than
any mountain biking trails. Yet they still often choose multi-use trails. Apparently they must not
be feeling THAT much "danger and fear".

--
-BB- To reply to me, drop the attitude (from my e-mail address, at least)
 
T

Terri Alvillar

Guest
BB <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> On 18 Mar 2003 05:38:36 -0800, Terri Alvillar wrote:
>
> > Motor vehicles on-road are to cyclists what mountain bikers off-road are to hikers and
> > equestrians, objects of danger and fear.
>
> "objects of UNFOUNDED danger and fear" is more like it. In all the hundreds exchanges of
> friendly greetings I've had with hikers, only a couple have exibited signs of "danger ande
> fear". In both cases, I was moving about the same speed that they were (slowly enough to have a
> foot on the ground). Of course, my mere existance probably classified the incident as a "near
> miss" in their minds.
>
> Our hikers have a gorgeous set of hiker-only singletrack trails that are much more accessible than
> any mountain biking trails. Yet they still often choose multi-use trails. Apparently they must not
> be feeling THAT much "danger and fear".

At least you admit you have instilled fear in, and endangered, others while mountain biking. You
fail to account for the multitudes (hundreds in our county alone) of hikers and equestrians who have
ABANDONED trails which mountain bikers use due to fear and danger. Terri Alvillar
http://homepage.mac.com/terrialvillar/mountainbikedamage/PhotoAlbum11.html
 
B

Bb

Guest
On 19 Mar 2003 06:45:16 -0800, Terri Alvillar wrote:
> BB <[email protected]> wrote:

>> In both cases, I was moving about the same speed that they were (slowly enough to have a foot on
>> the ground).

> At least you admit you have instilled fear in, and endangered, others while mountain biking.

This is twice now in this thread that you've shown that you are so bent that you don't even pay
attention to the thread. I made it clear that I was moving the same speed as them - thus they would
have been equally "endangered" if I had been walking, i.e. not at all.

> You fail to account for the multitudes (hundreds in our county alone) of hikers and equestrians
> who have ABANDONED trails which mountain bikers use due to fear and danger.

And you fail to account for the multitudes (hundreds in our county alone) of hikers and equestrians
who chose to use multi-use trails when they have single-use trails in the same park (the SAME point
I discussed in my post, but you apparently were unable to read that as well).

I made two points; you responded to both by pretending I said something completely opposite. If you
can't carry on a conversation, perhaps you should disable your reply key. Of course, I expect you're
just being a troll (giving you the benefit of the doubt that you might not be a complete idiot).

--
-BB- To reply to me, drop the attitude (from my e-mail address, at least)
 
T

Trekkie Dad

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Terri
Alvillar) wrote:

>
>
> But that's not true. On the road, the cyclist is the frailest and most vulnerable. Just the
> opposite. Motor vehicles on-road are to cyclists what mountain bikers off-road are to hikers and
> equestrians, objects of danger and fear. Terri Alvillar

LOL

Don't know much about road cycling, either, Terri! (Reminds me of mikey advocating "weaving
uncontrollably, so motorists will give the bike rider a wide berth") I didn't realize how
terrifying were the 6000+ miles I put on the road bike last year. Maybe I should be spending more
time on the trails!

TD

--
[email protected] World Without Cars Dictionary of Vandemisms (2001) is available at:
http://trekkiedad.freeservers.com/wwc.html ICQ# available on request
 
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