I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

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ScotRoutes
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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by ScotRoutes » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:48 am

A couple of observations from afar..

BB is based around this forum. A lot of folk don't do forums anymore, it's all Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Maybe there's a disconnect of some sort there.

AFAIK there is no shiny web page promoting the BB events. (and, as I've pointed out in the past, not even a way to read newsletters via the front page). I think it's just too easy for folk to miss things.

Ride reports, photos etc appear on the forum but I don't see many on other social media. I'll often post BAM stuff on a bikepacking FB group but I can't recall many BB event reports there.


I'm not saying any of the above is wrong, it's just the way I see it.

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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:02 am

Many of the posters on here know each other from the rides so it's far easier to 'get' the jokes or understand the Expensive hipster brand swear filter.
Yes but surely that's a positive effect of 'community'. Like the majority, I didn't know anyone on here previously, yet now there's many who I class as friends. The doors to this place are wide open and always have been.
Maybe it's a bit like when some talk about PC-ness and what's OK - if you have to ask whether something is OK or inclusive, it probably isn't.
I appreciate that 'this' is probably me but I sometimes do have to ask as I genuinelly don't know. It seems that things I could say quite innocently only a few years ago with absolutely no malice are now hanging offences. From my standpoint, being offended would appear to have become a pastime for some ... but again, that's probably something I'm not meant to say? :wink:
slogan that may alienate those not already in the club?
Perhaps no 'club' should appeal to everybody, after all, clubs of any sort tend to attract like-minded individuals with common interests? If someone were to view a cuddly bear and 'stop being soft' together and failed to see the irony and humour, then (a) I genuinely feel sorry for them and (b) they really ought to stop taking themselves and everything else quite so seriously, I'm sure they'd find life less stressful.

Right, best go and cancel the order for the #GravelWanker stickers :wink:
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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by boxelder » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:03 am

Is it intended though Andrew? Don't know. I can appreciate that some folk might not 'get it'
Absolutely, their decision. It shouldn't matter that it's not for everyone, but we shouldn't be surprised if BB isn't picked out for a pretty flimsy 'best of' list for a mass market sponsor. As I said, there's been no/limited consultation with events - I'm sure Alan G wasn't aware, and as Sean pointed out, that option isn't available any more. There are obviously moves here to broaden BB appeal, with the women's event idea etc.
The "young 'uns use IG and FB not forums" is all too true, and that's the home of the Red Bull stuff.
It could be argued that associating a product, such as Red Bull, with events is a bit cheeky. But then most of them are probably welcome of the exposure.

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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:33 am

BB is based around this forum. A lot of folk don't do forums anymore, it's all Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Maybe there's a disconnect of some sort there.

AFAIK there is no shiny web page promoting the BB events. (and, as I've pointed out in the past, not even a way to read newsletters via the front page). I think it's just too easy for folk to miss things.

Ride reports, photos etc appear on the forum but I don't see many on other social media. I'll often post BAM stuff on a bikepacking FB group but I can't recall many BB event reports there.
I think your observations are quite correct Colin and to a degree I suppose it's almost become policy - rightly or wrongly. I see the forum as the 'hub' and the home of the BB community but I see most social media as something much more shallow. Posting a trip on here takes a degree of effort, it's not much but it's certainly more than is required to post on fb etc. Personally, I believe that adds a degree of worth or value? I might be wrong? I might just be an old tw@t? Some relevent fb pages are quite guarded and will remove posts which they see as even slightly commercial, even if they're potentially of use / interest to the folk who frequent that page ... or it's just my stuff they take down :wink:

Maybe it really is just an age / generation thing? There's plenty here who simply don't do fb and as many who don't do twitter or instagram. I do try and post reminders for things like event entries and the like on other platforms but generally they're quickly swallowed up and lost amongst everything else out there.
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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by Cheeky Monkey » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:42 am

jameso wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:28 am
Very possibly but if so, then I feel the actual problem or issue doesn't lie with this place :wink:
Takes two, perhaps? Many of the posters on here know each other from the rides so it's far easier to 'get' the jokes or understand the Expensive hipster brand swear filter. Maybe it's a bit like when some talk about PC-ness and what's OK - if you have to ask whether something is OK or inclusive, it probably isn't. This isn't the same as the annual debate over Fairytale of New York that's coming up now... similar point about perception though. And bearing in mind the boom in road-packing and gravel multi day has been in the last 3 or 4 years tops while this site and the events has been going a lot longer, so many who'd read that red bull page or Katherine's blog would be relative newcomers into all this.

There's nothing wrong with standing for 'not being soft', celebrating how good it is to be really out there away from the pre-packaged and safe. The Bearbones 'brand' has a good chunk of that and it's part of the appeal of any event along these lines, to a +/- extent. It's not something elitist or to be taken too seriously but if someone were looking at all this as a branding project it'd be fairly easy to see how it aligns with some and not others, or how you might change things for wider appeal (and not doing that is fine, choosing to be a strong brand for a small market vs a wide-appeal diluted brand - both need to be inclusive though, unless you're marketing the Bullingdon Club). I'm not trying to tell you stuff you don't already know here, just my thoughts on where the degree of suspicion or unease may come from - an impression of being a fringe activity plus some in-club banter or slogan that may alienate those not already in the club? It's just as likely that my view is the skewed one here though.
Stu - keep doing what you're doing - it's great. You get people out and doing proper stuff with a unique and genuine flair. Recognition (or just an accurate account) will come when it's written by someone who probably knows better about the subject they profess to be writing about (not read the article, not directed at the author).

This place is fine. If people can't be adult and sensible enough about coming in and engaging then that's more a reflection of them than here. It's hardlyu a closed shop.

I've read a few forums that are pretty well established (e.g. Songs of the Paddle) and have always been respectful and polite when I've rarely posted. It's like trying to join a conversation at a party. It's not exactly hard to do if you have any common-sense or ability to be personable. Depends though, if you want to make the place more "welcoming" (WTF does that means, influwanker friendly? God I loathe the concept of "influencers" sorry, off on one :oops: :oops:) then that's up to you, of course.

TBH I like here because it's almost an antithesis of the poor show that is STW. Maybe that's unfair, there are some pearls and comedy gold therein but the histrionics, absolutism, just makes it a place that I'd rather not bother with.

Then again I was on Chocolatefoot back in the day which was so "straight-forward" it occasionally made you wince :lol:

Edit - I think you're absolutely right to keep the hub of BB as this forum. I know they're out of fashion but we used to have one for my trailbuilding group (SingletrAction), we moved over the FB as some people were enthusiastic to do so and it offered (and delivers) some benefits. Consequently the forum withered and died so we shut it. Now though I think a number of people are missing it and it is missed as a "repository" or more easy hangout for like minded folks.

You're also not as dependent on a third party platform / environment ("it's FB's way or the highway"). Finally, FB is full of poor show, behavior and attitudes on it are poor show, it's a bloody cesspit.
Last edited by Cheeky Monkey on Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by ScotRoutes » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:46 am

Maybe it really is just an age / generation thing? There's plenty here who simply don't do fb and as many who don't do twitter or instagram.
Maybe, but you're telling this to a 61 year old...

For FB, I'll either post a couple of photos or a link to my blog. Effort is minimal, though the blog itself takes a little time. TBH, once I've posted in here I normally just cut and paste.

20 folk doing BB200 ride reports on a bikepacking FB page would get attention, though it might help to throw in the occasional #danglemug photo.

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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by ScotRoutes » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:49 am

TBH I like here because it's almost an antithesis of the poor show that is STW. Maybe that's unfair, there are some pearls and comedy gold therein but the histrionics, absolutism, just makes it a place that I'd rather not bother with.
I don't get this. Many of the same names pop up in both places and I'm more likely to feel negative towards someone sagging one of them off. I've left forums before because their main focus seemed to be "we're not STW".

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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:00 pm

I used to spend a lot of time on STW but not for some years. Moving away was an organic process and not a decision - something changed but it may have been me that altered. Obviously this place isn't STW but that's not by intention, 'tis simply fact.

Anyway, in my mind, one of the really great things about this place and some other forums too no doubt, is the sense of community. I've seen how someone asks for registration at 10am, posts something for the first time at 2pm and is instantly embraced. I've never had to ban anyone and aside from the odd panda have only ever had to issue any form of warning twice. I genuinely believe that alone says something very important.
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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by Cheeky Monkey » Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:11 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:49 am
TBH I like here because it's almost an antithesis of the poor show that is STW. Maybe that's unfair, there are some pearls and comedy gold therein but the histrionics, absolutism, just makes it a place that I'd rather not bother with.
I don't get this. Many of the same names pop up in both places and I'm more likely to feel negative towards someone sagging one of them off. I've left forums before because their main focus seemed to be "we're not STW".
I an aware many appear on both forums, but in itself that's a little disingenuous :cool: The "common names" between both forums represent a far smaller proportion of the "contributing mass" of STW that gives it its own character compared to here. If you don't perceive a substantial difference between the average daily traffic on here and STW then fair enough, personally it's approaching "chalk-and-cheese" to me.

For the avoidance of doubt, it's me that doesn't like STW. I like here because it has a markedly different tone, attitude, approach, ethos (whatever you want to call it). I mention STW because I personally find it crap (or to be overwhelmed with crap), I don't think a significant raison d'etre for here is to be "we're not STW", but it just happens that here isn't.

Forums do become echo-chambers sometimes though and I think it's happen sometimes here re: Crikey, how much, hipster, mug dangling, axes and fires. But people can be snarky and I find most times things have come to a more balanced position, or people have just needed a panda.

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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by Lazarus » Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:16 pm

MLEH world?

STW is like a drunken night out in the pub with all your work coleagues - its macho folk who dont really get on now pissed so its unlikely to be an outbreak of brotherly love [for there are next to no women which is also the case here]and macho arguing posturing happens. And there are some blatant trolls on there [ well I assume they are there still]
Here is more like a night in the pub with your favourite uncle.

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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by jameso » Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:18 pm

Stu - keep doing what you're doing - it's great.
Yes, all well said :-bd I hope anything I'm saying isn't coming across as criticism- I'm even not sure it's got any value, just following a possibility if we're asking the general Q.

My points on what's inclusive or alienating are all 'exaggerated for effect' and about whether it all adds up to a general impression to some that gets passed on so that a comment on FB says "oh that lot, nah, it's all a bit (insert impression or generalisation)". I don't know, I don't use FB outside of about 5 bike-related groups. All over thinking it probably and always harder to understand here from within, better to ask someone looking in from the outside. More likely to be simply about the format and reach, forum vs FB/IG.

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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:40 pm

I hope anything I'm saying isn't coming across as criticism
On the contrary. It's always interesting to hear your views as I think your circumstance perhaps affords you a different take on things to many of us.
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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by ScotRoutes » Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:02 pm

I an aware many appear on both forums, but in itself that's a little disingenuous :cool: The "common names" between both forums represent a far smaller proportion of the "contributing mass" of STW that gives it its own character compared to here. If you don't perceive a substantial difference between the average daily traffic on here and STW then fair enough, personally it's approaching "chalk-and-cheese" to me.
Just be aware that you having a dig at a community many of us are also part of. It makes this place less welcoming (coming back to Stus point) and if forced to choose it would be an easy decision for me.

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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by Cheeky Monkey » Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:30 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:02 pm
I an aware many appear on both forums, but in itself that's a little disingenuous :cool: The "common names" between both forums represent a far smaller proportion of the "contributing mass" of STW that gives it its own character compared to here. If you don't perceive a substantial difference between the average daily traffic on here and STW then fair enough, personally it's approaching "chalk-and-cheese" to me.
Just be aware that you having a dig at a community many of us are also part of. It makes this place less welcoming (coming back to Stus point) and if forced to choose it would be an easy decision for me.
Sorry. What?

Are you threatening a flounce because I've explained why I don't care for STW anymore and why I prefer this place? Do you think me doing so is some sort of attack on some mythical community or other, or on specific individuals who's honour has been besmirched or something? And that on the basis of that you want to take yourself off somewhere else?

Do you need a panda or something?

:cool: but :roll: but :???: but :o but :lol:

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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:32 pm

I don't think Tim is having a blanket 'dig' at STW or anyone who frequents it? I read it that he just finds the atmosphere there different to here and not to his taste. I think I'm right in saying STW have something like a million registered users - that's a massive amount of people from many varied backgrounds. The chances of 'meeting' people there who you don't gel with must be far higher than they would be here for instance?

The common interest thread holding things together is also probably pulled thinner on a general cycling forum than one more specific?
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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by boxelder » Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:36 pm

Sorry. What?

Are you threatening a flounce because I've explained why I don't care for STW anymore and why I prefer this place? Do you think me doing so is some sort of attack on some mythical community or other, or on specific individuals who's honour has been besmirched or something? And that on the basis of that you want to take yourself off somewhere else?

Do you need a panda or something?

:cool: but :roll: but :???: but :o but :lol:
Haha, very good. You had me for a minute there.......

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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by whitestone » Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:35 pm

I think it's obvious to those who frequent both STW and here, and yes I'm one - same username on both, that they are "different". STW is a bit more rough and tumble than here and threads can become somewhat more heated but if anyone here remembers Usenet then both are vicar's tea parties in comparison. There are fairly regular "have a look at what's going on over there" posts on both forums, if there's a bikepacking question on STW I will often post a link to a relevant thread on here, pretty sure Colin does as well. STW is pretty good for the obtuse technical question, I suppose that's just because there's a larger user base so more chance of someone else having come across that problem. As my dad would say: "It takes two to argue".*

All these online forums/communities are self-selecting so almost by design they are cliquey with their own identity, I suppose in online terms you might say they all have their own memes, the sense of humour (looking at you Reg :wink: ) and who knows who takes a bit of assessing. It's worth lurking for a while to get the feel of what goes on before jumping in. I think I lurked on STW for six months before posting and maybe a couple here. Joining is a bit like moving house and walking into the village pub for the first time.

From memory the only real flounce we've had here was the chap with his traffic cone for seat bag.

*Cue Monty Pythonesque response from Reg - "No it doesn't!" :lol:
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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:57 pm

From memory the only real flounce we've had here was the chap with his traffic cone for seat bag.
Does that count? I don't know what the official guidelines say but I'd have thought you had to 'announce a flounce' for it to stand. Just not turning up one day isn't the same is it?
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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by RIP » Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:27 pm

'Announce A Flounce' - I like that. Sounds like another one of Shaf's competitions :smile: .

Traffic Cone Day - I'll never be allowed to forget that one. Nobody's flounced me (can flounce be transitive? It is now) for giving them a big compliment before/since!
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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by Lazarus » Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:18 pm

I'd have thought you had to 'announce a flounce' for it to stand
Agred and usually in a long rambling non sensical post "tired and emmotional" post.

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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by macinblack » Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:39 pm

I visit STW forum every day but gave up posting on there donkeys years ago, mainly due to the big hitters on there seemingly taking issue with folk for sporting purposes. That said its positives outweigh its negatives.
I visit here everyday too and feel far more at home, even though I don't post very often.

BB forum is like sitting in front of an open fire with your pipe and slippers drinking your cocoa, STW is like drinking a takeaway Costa on an underground train at rush hour.

As far as BB events go, how much attention do they need? The BB200 is oversubscribed, The WRT seems like it couldn't take much more (all the decent cake has gone when I get back the the Towers,) I've not done the Winter ride yet, mainly due to other commitments but it attracts enough "special" people from what I can see.

I know Stu was being tongue in cheek about recognition but I reckon the regards held for BB events far outweigh how widely they are known.

I do think that diversity is an issue but that mirrors cycling in general and there is nothing within this forum that suggests elitism or indicates that anyone would be anything but welcome. There is a lot of experience here but anyone dipping their toes into bike-packing is given sage advice without the condescension.

Maybe we need to have a BB sub-forum on Mumsnet?

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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by RIP » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:04 pm

"BB forum is like sitting in front of an open fire with your pipe and slippers drinking your cocoa, STW is like drinking a takeaway Costa on an underground train at rush hour" - there really are some cracking posts on here today! Must be something to do with the season of goodwill and all that cobblers.
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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by Jurassic pusher » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:12 pm

macinblack wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:39 pm
. There is a lot of experience here but anyone dipping their toes into bike-packing is given sage advice without the condescension.

I got plenty of condescension in my bivi bag!
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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by macinblack » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:59 pm

Jurassic pusher wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:12 pm
macinblack wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:39 pm
. There is a lot of experience here but anyone dipping their toes into bike-packing is given sage advice without the condescension.

I got plenty of condescension in my bivi bag!
That's just you being too old to get out of the bag in time Rob. :wink:

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Re: I know I shouldn't be surprised any more ....

Post by wriggles » Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:56 am

I used to be a subscriber and post regularly on STW, but grew tired of the arguments and even the simplest threads being derailed by the "big hitters" and general rudeness of some posters. Plus the classifieds are useless now due to lack of poster history. I now very rarely post and visit less fequently. I guess I am just drifting away from it.

I have cancelled my subscription now which in some way is a shame because some of the articles and newer staff are excellent, although I think they could be a bit more diverse and the obsession with e-bikes is tiresome

Find this forum much more friendly and its interesting that there are rarely any arguments. The culture on here seems to be much more courteous.

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