I'm trying to find a concise phrase that sums up my feelings, it's probably
'It's not what you ride it's how you ride it'
We have a trail near us of about 17km (it isn't called anything
), if I want to ride it as fast and as 'big' as possible then I'll go for the full suss and stormtropper look, if I want to take it easy and do it in a more technical way then it's the Rocky Ridge (or Lava Dome now), keepads and piss pot and nice and easy and going around the bits that are impractical to do on a rigid bike, in fact it's often a bigger feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment after a descent with the Marin.
The trail centre full kit brigade....well it's a lot like this site, there are people on here who have beautiful bikes that will never get ridden just polished but whatever floats your boat and if you're happy then who is anyone to judge.
Although I will agree doing a 500m easy trail in total clobber and full face is a bit overkill and makes you look a tit, just like riding in the car park bouncing up and down to 'test' your suspension.
The snobbiest riders I have ever met are Italian and French roadies, I would cheerfully feed the lot through a woodchipper.
Edit: to all those who sneer at uplifts, there is no way on earth I'm riding 17km on tarmac uphill on a downhill bike. Also we have ski lits
If it's only 500m push the bastard or a least try to ride.