Pirates in the 17th century who committed acts of robbery or criminal violence at sea used have a phrase, “no prey, no pay”. It essentially meant that if you weren’t successful in a robbery or raid you wouldn’t get paid. It led to pirates going after bigger and more risky booty.
To many pirate trails, trails built without the express permission of the land owner, offer a reward far greater than anything else in mountain biking: harder, more technical lines, bigger drops all un-groomed and unadulterated.
The reality is to get better you need harder trails, something which is not always a priority among trail builders.
Sure there are valid reasons for and against pirate trails, but we shouldn’t get caught up in the petty arguments of a minority. The fact is we need people digging pirate trails. We need people telling us why they’re bad and we all need progress.
Without pirate trails and without folk riding them there would be no just cause to argue for tracks to be built in new areas.
So, I say, provocatively, It’s often better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission