So, I have a question for you. Being a runner I do feel a little biased, so I think it’s fair to ask for the perspective of others and people who may be on the ‘other’ side of the debate: bikers.
When you’re a runner and you are running along on a ‘bike trail’ do you not deserve SOME space? Now, yes, the name denotes that it’s for bikers but I sort of feel that also encompasses some foot traffic; more like it’s a place for riders/runners that is free of cars.
When I’m running along, if I see a biker approaching I stick to the side and give them ample room. The same goes if I hear one coming behind me, I move to the shoulder and let them pass. I give them respect.
That is not always something that I feel is reciprocated. I DO want to say that it is the minority; for the most part I think the bikers I’ve seen are more than courteous, they even say hello, and I smile and wave.
But there are always a few people that feel they own the bike trail. I’ve had friends who have barely been able to dodge being biked over or hit, they had to practically dive to the side of the road. One of my friends had a biker yell at her, “This is the BIKE trail,” and proceed to play the ‘chicken’ game with her and ride straight at her.
I bring this up today because after a run on the trail there were multiple bikers that happened to do this to me. My friend and I were out there doing a fartlek, and the encounter that really touched a nerve was when two ladies on bikes had the entire path to themselves, my friend actually had moved onto the dirt on the side and I was right on the shoulder. But this lady clearly wasn’t going to move, she was hugging the shoulder coming right at us; she looked up and locked eyes with me and as she passed I could have told you if she had a zit on her cheek, how we didn’t hit was avoided by millimeters.
I was just offended. Here, she looked at me and seemed to actually want to hit me. I just don’t understand it when there is the entire rest of the trail left for her. I know there are always two sides to any story.
Perhaps she had just passed a group of runners who had been hogging the trail and I was just the harrier that pushed her over the edge. Maybe she was having a bad day. Maybe she was tired and on the final miles of her ride; heck, I was in the middle of a ‘hard’ part of the farlek so I know sometimes when you’re tired moving that extra bit does seem like a monumental effort sometimes. Maybe she really doesn’t like runners on the ‘bike trail.’
It’s just that every now and again I wish I could tell bikers: as a runner, I do thank you for allowing us to use the trail even though it is officially a ‘bike trail.’ It’s not that we mean you any disrepect, it’s just that we too like to have a space void of cars and is safer. I will do my best to always move when you pass by, I will take up as minimal amount of room that I can. I do know I can’t speak for every runner on the trail, just myself, and I’m sorry if there are instances where you feel WE think we own the trail. But, I hope you can understand where I’m coming from and we can live in harmony on this ‘bike trail.’
1) Do you have a bike trail near where you live? If so, are you a runner, biker, or both? What has your experience been?
2) What have you been up to this Sunday? Did you do a workout?
I did a fartlek with my friend; we did sets of 2 minutes hard and 1 minute easy.