Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Conversation

Last night after our brief SORBA meeting I went back out for a quick loop to help burn some of the excess calories I have gained over the past two non-riding months.

As I was coming back down toward the main parking lot I encountered two trail runners about a half mile apart. I didn’t have my bell on the new bike so I loudly clicked my brakes as I approached them hoping not to scare them as I know how it can be when your heart is pounding in your chest.

I was able to get around the first guy with little trouble on either end. When I approached the second runner, the trail was tighter so I was hanging back until I had enough room to pass when he just stopped and got off the trail. That wasn’t how I wanted the pass to go down but I took it.

As I was loading my car up, the first runner came up and he was parked one car away from me. I felt I owed him an apology so I said “Sorry about making you stop, I was just waiting for a better place to pass.” He said “Its ok it just took me out of my rhythm.”

We proceeded to have a lengthy conversation as I had admitted to trail running and he admitted that many of his friends ride mountain bikes. I asked him how his experiences with bikers have been lately and he said “I think my friend is going to shoot the next biker he sees.” That pretty much summed things up for me so I went on a political apology of sorts about how we are trying to educate all bikers blah blah blah.

Well this guy was very receptive and I think he was genuinely glad to meet someone who showed compassion for all users of trails. He also discussed the fact that the top of Sulphur Springs (the downhill course) is being destroyed by bikers. I was able to reverse his thinking and made him realize it was mostly the design of the trail and water flow that caused all the damage. I made sure he realized that UpState SORBA were the ones working on the trails and he said “Now I love that new Kanuga trail.” I made sure he knew that we played a pivotal part in helping that trail get built. Ok, probably not pivotal but I have to push for good community somehow and we did help.

He also mentioned that he had seen some people “really moving fast” on the upper section and I explained about the race and how we had emphasized that during normal park hours everyone should still respect users and stay within control.

I am excited to see a race at Paris, I really hope that we can help educate all users about how multiple trail use should be utilized but it is such a large job. If you read this, please remember to do your best to help out.


1 comment:

Palmetto Solo said...

Good game - You should consider running for political office.