Share the trail

Jul 272003
Authors: Colleen Buhrer

Bikers want cars to give them space on the road, so is it too much to ask the bikers to give runners and hikers space on the trails?

I was running on the High Line Canal in Littleton this weekend. As I was running, bikers would often come flying up on my left side with no warning and almost close enough to brush my scared, scaring me to death. This was not something that made my run all that enjoyable.

Bikers often get upset when cars get too close or do not treat them with respect on the road. Why can’t bikers do the same for other people on the trail?

It would be nice if they would at least give a warning that they are approaching. We cannot always hear the tires on the cement and making runners jump as a bike flies by is not respectful.

Keeping somewhat of a distance would be nice as well. As runners or hikers, especially alone, we do not take up very much space. It wouldn’t take much effort to give just five feet of space, while informing us that you are passing by.

If bikers want so much space and respect on the road, maybe they could pass that space and respect on to the runners and hikers on the trails.

Also, while I was out I would smile at or say hello to the people I saw, runners and bikers alike. The bikers just gave me looks like, why are you smiling at me? Or you are just in my way. They were not even remotely friendly.

This is one of the first times I have encountered this unfriendliness while outside getting exercise. Usually I am hiking where there are very few bikers and the other hikers are extremely friendly.

I can only really come up with one reason as to why there is this unfriendliness out there. When hiking or running the other runners and hikers are laboring through the same activity. This gives them a common ground and a place of mutual respect for each other.

Bikers do not have this same common ground with the runners and hikers. There is no mutual respect. For the most part, runners are just in the way. We are in the way the same way bikers are in the way to cars. It is not so much that bikers/runners are disliked by their faster and stronger counterpart. It is more that the cars/bikers are scared they will hurt the bikers/runner and thus have to slow down and go around them.

It is hard to imagine how the others feel. When I lived on campus I as always irritated by the cars on campus, because they were everywhere, made me wait for them and I was scared they would run me over. Now as a commuter to campus, I am irritated by the walkers because they are everywhere, make me wait for them and I am scared I might run them over.

When I remember what it was like to be a walker I am less irritated. It is important to remember what it is like to be in the others shoes and respect that. Be friendly and courteous to the ones with a different mode of transportation or different method of exercise.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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