Comments by JSwitow

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Written on Letter: Elitist Mountain Bikers:

Ms. Hayworth,
Surely you jest! I am proud to call myself a member of this "mostly by wealthy, white males" as you call us. I am white and aspire to be wealthy and have a comfortable retirement one of these days. I'm not wealthy now though, and neither are most of those out there enjoying the trails. I certainly don't begrudge those who are.....and I see them all out there building trails on weekends.
A bike is a wonderful thing, most of us feel like we're 12 again when we get on them... and I'm a long way from 12! That is the great thing about mountain biking and America, you can go get it if you want it. You don't have to be wealthy, not even particularly fit, you just have to have the will and a bit of a sense of adventure (stick with it though and you will get fit!). Money may buy you a nice bike, but it won't make you better rider....you have to earn that.
Most of the trails built in South Knoxville and elsewhere in the county have been built by volunteers with a load of "sweat equity", mostly on land that was basically abandoned or used for a dump site. There are a few nights when the trails may be overrun with mountain bikers (Tuesday in South Knox for ex), but most nights and days the trails built by the mountain biking community are there for all to use. The mountain biking community is a great bunch of people and are always looking for/welcoming more great, fun, willing to "pitch-in" people to join the ranks, you should give it a shot. Tuesday nights at Mead's quarry is a great time to show up, there are all levels of rides and loads of comradery! There are other nights when beginner's rides are held, I used to take my son out to one on Wednesday nights last summer, again, starting at Mead's quarry. That ride was/is put on by Tennessee Valley Bikes (a good place to start looking into this crazy sport!)
Come get to know this group a bit, I bet they will change your mind. You won't be the only lady out there and.... you might even have some fun? Actually I can almost guarantee it!
Best,
John

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