Tuesday, May 24, 2016

LEFT!!! and Trail Etiquette

With the warm weather returning so will runners and cyclists to many of the area trails. Along with that includes the return of individuals and groups who use the trail in manner that can only be described as self centered. They have either forgotten, unfamiliar with, or ignored any semblance of trail etiquette. Treating the trails like their own personal training ground. So while they are out getting their fitness on they either don’t or worse yet, don’t care how their actions impact other trail users.

Ever seen elite athletes competing in the Boston Marathon or the Tour de France plugged into an iPod while they compete? Than you should train in the same manner. There was a time before iPods and Walkmans and when you trained you learned to listen to your body and the world around you. You developed a sense of rhythm and timing, you used objects and individuals ahead of you as a way to set a pace and go that extra distance. Running and cycling plugged in means you can’t hear what is going on around you, especially when someone is warning you that they are going to pass you.

If you are out for a run or ride and there is more than 2 of you, stay two abreast. Anything more than that and you are making it difficult for people to pass you, no matter which direction other trail users are coming from. I know that sounds obvious, but I am talking to you the 30 college aged young women who managed to block the entire trail while out for a run. And the eight cyclists near Boathouse Row riding in a peloton oblivious to everyone else. Both groups make life difficult for the rest of us.

Every year I encounter hammerheads and the wannabees who emulate them. Including the attitude that they and they alone are the ones that trails are intended for. This is a problem with cyclists and runners of both genders. The solution is for clubs and retail stores to do an annual reminder for the membership and customers. Along with signs big enough to read at trailheads. Because individual trail users trying to educate other trail users are met with derision and scorn.

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