Friday, December 31, 2010

Future Trail runners and Mountain Bike Jerks

My 19 year old nephew was excited when I told him about my upcoming trail race. The Bandera 100K. He wants to come. I explained how it was an all day commitment. He insisted on coming and asked if he could run also, So I asked if he would be willing to pace me from mile 31 to 42. He smiled broadly and agreed. It is going to be wonderful having him with me and introducing him to our sport.
Two other nephews, ages 5 and 6 asked me if I would take them to "The Mountains" again. They wanted to go hiking. We headed out to O.P. Schnabel park and I took them on some of the more technical and challenging trails. They were loving it. On a descent some mountain bikers asked if we knew where we were going because they didn't. I said yes and told them where they could find some good riding trails, They thanked us and asked if they could come through. They maneuvered gracefully down the steep trail and disappeared. Further down the trail we heard other mountain bikers coming up behind us. I warned the kids and asked them to move over. The kids were a little slow, when the lead biker yelled out in a demanding tone, "coming through, We need the trail"
This got me HOT. I was a mountain biker before I was a trail runner and I know hikers and runners have the right of way. And was Especially careful with kids! I stopped and held my bottle out in front of the lead rider and yelled back at him "We own the trail! Hikers have the right of way!" "Don't tell me you NEED the trail"
I am not normally hot headed folks. But this guy was a jerk. There were kids on the trail. I heard him mutter something to his two buddies about not going to argue about it with me. I felt like following him and confronting him. But, what would that teach the kids?
I cooled down and we climbed back up the "mountain"

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