For the past few months, I have eschewed biking on the Scenic Loop in favor of riding the Leon Creek Trail. The Trail is not only flatter, but also safer because motor vehicles are not allowed. This week, though, the Trail seemed less safe and more like the Wild West, and I’m not referring to the snakes, deer, and roadrunners that are continually crossing in front of me.
As I previously blogged, I almost had an accident a few days ago when a fellow rider laid his bike down in front of me. Then yesterday, I had an altercation with a jogger who yelled at me as I went by because I failed to alert him that I was passing. I might have let the yell go except the guy was running on the left side of the Trail, so who was he to complain. As his words sunk in (“Hey, next time, tell me you’re passing on the right.), I decided to stop my bike and ask him if he was talking to me. He assured me that I hadn’t misheard his comment, but kept running past me, so other than a few exchanged comments, nothing more serious happened. Funny how the brain quickly decides whether to flee or fight.
Later in the same ride, I twice encountered skateboards rolling unmanned in front of me on the trail. Although I’ve never hit a skateboard with my bike, I shudder to think what would happen.
And then today, I happened upon several riders who seemed to be taking blind corners at about 25 mph. I’ve never heard of these speedsters running into anyone on the trail, but I would be shocked if they haven’t. If I were in control of the trail, I would impose a 20 mph speed limit, which happens to be as fast as I comfortably ride.
Btw – I checked with a good friend who regularly runs on the trail, and she confirmed that it would be good manners to alert runners who I am passing, even though 80% of them have music earphones that prevent them from hearing anything. I tried to employ those manners today, and eventually it got to be second-nature. Plus, it gave me an excuse for a brief encounter. A win-win.