Foothills trail users need to come together.
Im a mountain biker, married to a hiker, born of a runner and dog owner. I stop and smell the wildflowers. I take selfies of my bike. I stop and talk to friends when I see them on the trails. I ride alone. I ride with others. I stop for runners, walkers, hikers, climbers, horses and people who are faster than I am. Even the ones who dont want to share the trails with me. But I dont mind, because I know that without all of you, I wouldnt have a trail to stop on.
Lately, some people have been talking about how we cant get along anymore. They say we dont understand each other, that we dont share the same needs, that were too different. But all I wanna do is get out and ride. And I know thats all you want, too. Yeah, I know you dont like riding a bike like I do, but I know you love your walks. I know you love to run. I know you love your horses. Well, guess what: I love all that, too. So please dont say we cant get along. Dont tear us apart. Baby, I think we should stay together.
I know we have our differences. Sometimes, you spandex guys just go too fast, and you dont stop for me on Sidewinder when Im suffering uphill. Occasionally, you runners with earbuds cant hear me when I approach from behind, saying On your left! When you dont clean up your dogs poop, and I accidentally run over it, flipping it up in the air and sometimes on my shirt, it hurts me, baby. But I still love you. I really do.
I love it when you smile while I stop for you on Hulls Gulch. I love the sense of community I feel when each of us looks the other in the eye and says, Hey, thank you! You have a great hike/ride/walk! And you know what? I can tell that you mean it. And I mean it. Because I really appreciate you. I see you. I value you. Without you, none of this exists.
So I think we should keep living together. How bout it? Will you keep living with me? I know Ive startled you before by riding too fast, but I can slow down for you. After all: It takes just a few seconds. And I dont mind. If it means we all get to live together and enjoy the splendor of a beautiful day on the trails, then Ill do it, baby. Hey, this can work.
Go look at Detroit, Chicago or St. Louis. They dont have any trails, and everybodys always fighting. I dont wanna fight with you. I want us to be together forever. Together, all this can be ours. Because itll never be just mine, or yours, or theirs. Or worse, no ones. If we work together, if we share all this and appreciate what each of us brings to this relationship, well all be happier. I think were better off together than we are apart.
Patrick Cusick is an avid mountain biker and a former elected SWIMBA board member. Patrick rides for Team Top Serious, and has no intention of running anyone over, ever.