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Amelia Nielson-Stowell: Reasons to Run: Bikers vs. runners

Published: Thursday, Sept. 15 2011 3:55 p.m. MDT

I ran Davis County's famous Legacy Parkway Trail for the first time this summer. It was part of the race course for the Bountiful Handcart Days half marathon, and I was expecting to love the wildlife trail.

But there was one huge disappointment: rude bikers.

Now I know from my bike rides that sharing a trail with runners isn't that fun. Passing runners on a bike, no matter how experienced of a biker you are, is a challenge. Bikes are a sometimes clumsy contraption that don't exactly allow for easy maneuvering. And runners are often oblivious to who — or what — may be trying to pass them. Some are wearing headphones, others are running while talking with friends and others still are so "in the zone" that they've just tuned out.

Still, that's no reason to yell. We're all trying to share the trail.

But that's what happened during the Bountiful race. It was a smaller race — roughly 150 runners — but the bikers' reactions were as if they were pedaling against the Boston Marathon.

When we stopped at an aid station at mile 6, a female biker yelled "Move out of the way!" to the runners behind us. Later, around mile 7, another man yelled "WATCH OUT!" with a loud "GEEZ!" as he rode off when the ladies I was running with didn't move into single-file quickly enough for him.

Again, I get it. I've been there. What I don't get is yelling at another outdoor enthusiast trying to enjoy the trail. A simple "Heads up!" "On your left!" or "Bike coming through!" in a friendly tone gets the same message across — without being so hostile.

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