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ADAM BATTY

Finding new routes for rad rides is pretty simple nowadays. You have standardised signs and symbols that give empirical evidence to inform your choices. Elevation can be calculated. Distance can be measured. Headcam footage absorbed. Bleep boop beep. There you go. You have a pretty accurate estimation of what to expect from your new ride before you’ve even rolled out of the garage. However, figuring out what to expect from the new group you’ve found in some dark corner of the internet is not always such a predictable experience.

I’ve moved around the country a lot and my bike always follows. However, it’s always been difficult to find a group that suits my riding needs. This often leaves me feeling a little lost out on the trails. There are only so many introspective solo rides you can deal with before you think ‘I’m going to have to speak to some strangers on the internet’… Sadly these online yelps of desperation have not always resulted in a fully warrantied box of friends being delivered to my door. They have, though, given me a good knowledge of the mountain bike group language. I’ll share this knowledge with you now via some handy translations. Slogans converted into expectation-busting truth-speak because, as with many personal ads, no one can resist a bit of embellishment or selective self-editing.

‘Generic All-Terrain Cycling Club – Off-road enthusiasts who enjoy exploring the great outdoors on mountain bikes.’ At first glance, this group seems like it would ideally meet your mountain bike needs. However, the subtle use of ‘allterrain’ and ‘great outdoors’ implies that rigid bikes and army surplus clothing will be the real theme of the group. All routes will be plotted around medieval ley lines and disused pits.

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