A rider in North Conway, New Hampshire
A rider in North Conway, New Hampshire (Photo: Joe Klementovich/Aurora)

The Mountain Bikers Fighting New Trails

A rider in North Conway, New Hampshire

Since the sport’s early days in the seventies, mountain bikers have carved illicit trails on public and private land. Pioneering riders create winding singletrack in their favorite nearby hills, then carefully share the location with only a handful of friends. But in recent years, as the sport has grown bigger and bigger, government agencies and some adventurous entrepreneurs have sought to adopt pirate trails into official networks. This usually means better maintenance, maps and signage, trailhead parking—and a lot more riders. In New England, some feisty veterans are pushing back against the wave of modernization, saying it’s ruining their neck of the woods. Our friends at the Outside/In podcast report on a generational shift in the sport that’s got a lot of people fired up.

Podcast Transcript

Editor’s Note: Transcriptions of episodes of the Outside Podcast are created with a mix of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain some grammatical errors or slight deviations from the audio.




Outside Podcast Theme: From Outside Magazine and PRX, these are Dispatches, stories from our writers in the field.

Under normal circumstances, to introduce an episode, I'll talk about why the story we're giving you today is important. Maybe talk about something personal that has some tangential connection to what you're about to hear. Except today, that personal story for me comes about halfway through the episode. What you're about to hear. It comes from our friends Outside In from New Hampshire Public Radio. And a while back, the host, Sam Evans Brown, told me he was working on a story about mountain biking and that it might be a good fit for Outside. And the story was a good fit. And we got to talking about it except there are text messages. And I told them a story about my dog. And finally he was like, Hey, can we record this? So we did. And you'll hear it later. And Sam does a great job introducing his own show. So instead of coming up with something else, just gonna hand it over to him. Here's Sam.

[Listen to Outside/In here: http://outsideinradio.org/shows/2019/1/2/rake-and-ride]



Frick-Wright: That’s Sam Evans-Brown, host of Outside In from New Hampshire public radio. This episode was produced by Sam and Taylor Quimby with help from Justine Paradis. Jimmy Gutierrez, Nick Capodice, Ben Henry, Hannah McCarthy,Jason Moon, and Lauren Chooljian. It was brought to you by Arizona, where it's currently warm enough to go mountain biking, even on pirate trails. 70 degrees in Phoenix today. The Outside Podcast is a production of Outside Magazine and PRX. We'll be back next week.

Follow the Outside Podcast

Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, and have since expanded our show to offer a range of story formats, including reports from our correspondents in the field and interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and the outdoors.