Trail questions

map 12-8-2012

Saturday was one of those screwed up days where we knew it would be tough to get a workout of any kind in, be it running or riding.  We budgeted our time, however, and protected a couple hour window in the early afternoon with the idea of going for a bike ride.  When the time came, Pam and I looked at each other and asked ourselves, “Do we really want to get the tandem out today?”.  We had been going non-stop since 6 am, it was cloudy and dreary, and although the temperature was hovering around 50 degrees, it seemed colder than it was.

The collective answer was “No.”, but we didn’t really want to completely forgo a workout, so Pam suggested we take the single bikes over to the Galloway Trail and ride it for two laps.  That would give us a pretty laid back couple of hours while still allowing us to get outside and work out some of the kinks for 20 miles.

We did that, and were glad we did, even if riding on on the trail isn’t my most favorite experience.  There really weren’t many people out at all…we weren’t sure if it was the time of day, the time of year, or just the fact that it was cloudy and dreary.

One thing that did kind of frustrate us, was the number of times we startled someone either walking or running as we passed.  Pam has a bell on her bike and makes it a point to ring it as she approaches a pedestrian from the rear.  I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t feel bad if we startle someone who had headphones in their ear and are jamming to tunes as they walk or run.  If we did our part in announcing our presence, and I can’t help it if they can’t hear us.  I do feel bad, however, when someone doesn’t have anything in their ears and just about jumps out of their skin when Pam rings that bell.  It probably happened four times Saturday, and I’m not sure how to do things differently.  The bell is purposely the loudest we could find, so after the last time it happened, I suggested she try to ring it a little sooner so they might not think it is so close.

What do you think?  Have people gotten so used to “on your left” that the bell isn’t registering?  It seems like we got just as many startled looks when we used that approach as we do with the bell.  I’m beginning to think that if we ride on the trail, it’s just collateral damage that we can’t do anything about.  What is your experience?

God bless…


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3 Comments on “Trail questions”

  1. Yep, I try to acknowledge bicycles when I am jogging or visa-versa but notice that several people are so isolated from the rest of us they feel like I am infringing on their “privacy” or something when I do. I still feel like I should though. Even if it is to soothe my own conscious. I suppose it is a form of manners isn’t it?

  2. william Says:

    when I ride my bike I use the phrase ”passing on the left”.Or good morning .But I think the bell with a good morning is a great idea.

  3. rlhoover Says:

    While Jan and I are on a trail, we are always talking and that helps to alert those without ear buds that we are coming up on them. But then when we get close we say, “Passing on your left.” or something like that.

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