How’s your memory on high school physics, up to Newton’s first law of motion? I’ll give you a reminder, save you the hassle of dusting off your copy of Principia Mathematica.
First Law: In an inertial reference frame, an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a force.
Or; stuff stays where you put it unless you give it a prod. Traditionally, giving things a prod then moved you onto Newton’s 2nd law where the object in question would accelerate in the direction it was prodded. Irritatingly some pesky scientists now went and (sort of) made a material with negative mass, so when poked it moves towards you*.
Having crowbared in a current (non political) affairs story, how does this swing round to bikes? Weeel, riders seem to react to their environment. If the local trail push in one direction, the riders tend to go with it, until something changes and then they get pushed in a new direction.
Not sure what I’m on about? If you live somewhere with a chairlift and bike park, you tend to ride a big heavy bike and hit jumps a lot. Live somewhere flat with rolling trails, you probably ride a XC 29’er. Live somewhere flat with no trails at all, you’ve probably bought a shovel and started digging trails (as in the proper definition of trails, jumpy ones). Finally, live somewhere with chairlifts and cracking natural tracks, you probably don’t both much with a shovel. i.e. Live in Chamonix, why bother building trails, there’s so many good ones already.
Only there’s always someone who want to be counter intuitive, to go in the wrong direction when pushed. And in this case, they’re building trails. The someone is really plural, as from Le Planet to Servoz folks are heading out and tweaking, modifying, extending or just straight up creating, trails.
I know who some of trails are made by, others I dunno, so it’s not for me to map out where the building is. But, if you get out a fair bit around Chamonix you should notice the more popular ones. The more hidden ones are an incentive to go and explore more, you never know where you might find the next gem.
I guess it’s also an incentive to go and add to the work that’s being done. Doesn’t need to be much, trail maintenance is as useful as making a new trail. The commune does grand work keeping the marked trails well maintained but there’s plenty of wee unmarked tracks that 5 mins work a ride to move fallen trees, kick clear drainage or push back encroaching shrubberies will make a difference.
And, if you all can do that then I don’t have to do anything and can just leech off everyone else’s hard work.
On the subject of getting something for nothing, the Chamonix lift accessed riding season started last week. Then ended after 1 day following the last minute change of mind by Compagnie du Mont Blanc to NOT keep Flegere running but fire up Brevent instead. Flegere lifties were happy with bikes, Brevent less so. Riding plans changed from lapping the Flegere trails to riding assorted valley trails under summer skies if not always summer temps. The pictures might look like they’re from August, but they were all definitely taken this April. Hence you’re getting a blog post about all the grand trail build work folk have been doing rather than how great it is to be riding off the lifts already.
The sun’s taking a wee break for a few days so I guess I should head off into the woods with a shovel and saw too. You never know, maybe the next post will be directions to the new greatest trail you’ve never ridden.
I wouldn’t get your hopes up but.
*Think how awesome negative mass materials could be in bikes! Tyres that roll uphill, pedals that accelerate away from your feet. It’ll be like an e-bike but without all that pesky attached stigma that you’re not a “real” cyclist just because you’ve got a motor in the downtube.