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Apparently not all runners are wild about me; AtLarge weekend deal.

Saturday, October 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

Bike on a Trail photo for October 14, 2011.

Bike on a Trail photo for October 14, 2011.

It was a little on the warm side yesterday, but the humidity was low enough that my mountain biking session, for the most part, was very enjoyable. I set out to do at least 30 miles, and I wound up doing just shy of 32 miles.

Unfortunately something happened early in the ride that sort of tarnished the rest of the trip…

I should start off by mentioning that I’ve been riding the trails at Wekiwa State Park for more than a year without a problem, and I’m usually out there 2-3 times every week. Some of the trails I ride are not designated for bike use, however when I first started riding at Wekiwa the rangers made it clear that I could use those trails so long as I was careful and always yielded to runners and hikers. A few months ago after getting a dirty look from a runner I again asked a park ranger if was still OK for me to ride the hiking/running sections of trail. Once again I was told the unwritten rule is that they don’t mind so long as I always yield to foot traffic.

Over the past year I’ve passed dozens upon dozens of runners and hikers without incident; in fact, I’ve actually become friends with some of them. So yesterday I was doing my 4.5 mile timed XC bike run from the springs to the fishbowl (turned in my second best time ever, BTW!), and I was approaching a runner coming from the opposite direction. We were on a section of trail that is wide open with excellent visibility, and there was plenty of room for both of us. Still, just to be safe, I got way off to the right just on the edge of the trail. He was coming right down the middle of the trail and not really paying attention, and he didn’t see me until we were about 15 feet away from each other. I was prepared to stop, but he moved over to his right with an irritated look. As we were passing I said, “Good morning!”, but he looked at me like I’d just insulted his mother and yelled, “This is not a biking trail!” I thought about stopping to discuss it with him, but I was about a mile into my timed run and simply kept going. Off in the distance I heard him yell (with annoyance), “YOU KNOW THAT, RIGHT?!”

By the way, this guy had the most awesome Magnum P.I. power ‘stache I’ve seen since the 80s. There’s about a 90% chance he’s a cop.

I thought those last 8 miles felt extra tough!

I thought those last 8 miles felt extra tough!

You know, we’re all out there for the same reasons: get some exercise and enjoy nature. I had permission from the rangers to be where I was (and I’ve literally passed rangers on these same trails before and they’ve just smiled and waved at me), but it really bothered me that I upset someone. In retrospect I wish I’d broken off my timed bike run and stopped to smooth things over. I get the feeling that the next time I see this guy he’s going to be livid because he probably felt like I was ignoring him. Even though I was given permission from the park staff to ride the non-red blaze trails, the runners have no way of knowing that. So technically I’m in the wrong–and that’s certainly how this guy saw it. Still, it was such a non-issue: there was plenty of room for both of us. I don’t understand why some runners have a problem with sharing the trail so long as the bikers are careful to yield (which I always am).

I ride because I enjoy it and it relaxes me–I sure don’t want drama. I don’t know. Maybe I’m going to stop riding the non-red blaze trails out there. That would suck, though, because if I do that then there goes my timed XC course along with the best biking trails at Wekiwa. Maybe I’ll talk with the rangers again and see if we can get some of the hiking trails officially changed to shared bike/pedestrian trails. I don’t understand the seemingly arbitrary designations anyway: there are miles of singletrack designated for shared bike/pedestrian use which are virtually identical to some that are not. It doesn’t make any sense.

Chris Mason, owner of AtLarge Nutrition, emailed me with this weekend’s special deal! Keep in mind that in addition to the deal shown below all during October AtLarge is tossing in a free bottle of Multi-plus (a $23.95 value) with any order!

Nitrean+ Dutch chocolate has just been chosen as the Best Protein for Men by Men’s Health magazine (November 2011 issue – 125 Best Foods for Men).

This award is a HUGE honor for our company and a wonderful validation of its excellence in a saturated marketplace.

To celebrate this occasion we are going to run a 3 day sale (this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday – the 15th, 16th, and 17th) on Nitrean+ Dutch chocolate. Every jug will be $10 off (normally $57.95, now only $47.95)!!!

If you haven’t yet tried it do so now and see why it was voted Best Protein for Men. If you already love it, stock up!

-Chris Mason, AtLarge Nutrition.

John Stone Fitness Comments

5 Responses to “Apparently not all runners are wild about me; AtLarge weekend deal.”
  1. Hey John,
    Fun story! Not many people run in Wekiva, and I happen to know a majority of the runners that brave the trails. Once you mentioned the Magnum P.I. moustache, I knew EXACTLY who you came across! He is a long-time runner from Winter Park, a phenomenal athlete back in the days, and still this day running his age group/masters quite competitively. He probably felt he had more “right” to the woods than you did, he’s been running there for probably 15 years-haha! So; just stick to the women, they’re friendlier! ( :
    Oh, and Dutch chocolate? The best- I grew up in Holland, and their chocolate is unsurpassably the best.

    Take care,


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    • Hey Lori, that’s so cool that you know who the runner I had the encounter with is! He looked to be in great shape. Regardless of how long either of us have been using the trails, I agree that he has more “right” to the trails than I do (bikers should always yield to foot traffic), but that doesn’t mean we can’t peacefully co-exist out there.

      If you happen to see him, please let him know I was not ignoring him, and I was just in the middle of a timed run (…and also that his mustache f’ing rules!) Again, in retrospect I wish I’d stopped and talked with him to smooth things over instead of continuing on; I truly felt bad about not stopping, but I was on PR pace.

      Yes, I wish all of my human encounters in the woods could be with attractive, athletic women, but it’s an imperfect world we live in. 😉

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    • Hey Lori, I ran into this guy again today. It’s not the guy you know. His mustache was nowhere near as epic as I originally thought. It was more of a Freddie Mercury than a Magnum. Anyway, it was not a pleasant conversation. Full story in my October 21, 2011 blog.

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  2. Ignore that noise. We have some runners/hikers like that where I live. Those are public trails, he didn’t build them.

    Luckily 99% of runners/bikers are awesome people. You just encountered a 1%er.

    Keep riding them and just be pleasant when you encounter him again. Kill him with kindness.

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    • Since Lori knows him maybe she can sort of let him know that I’m not such a bad guy after all. If I ever see him again I’ll definitely stop and talk with him. I really hate conflict where there should be none. He runs and I bike, but at the end of the day we’re not that different: just a couple of guys trying to enjoy the trails and exercise in the fresh air.

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