Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Mountain Bikes and Horses

Let me just say that I am all for multi-use trails. I think we can all learn a lot from each other and that there is a lot of open space out there we can share IF we can all respect each other.

I understand the thrill of mountain bike riding, maneuvering your bike on hard-to-traverse trails and the thrill of controlling your speed - just barely - as you fly down a trail.

I'm also a horseback rider and one of my biggest trail fears is a bike rider coming up behind Lena too fast and ending up kicked from here to eternity. And then some.

The thing that I'd like to impart to bike riders is that we can't control this animal 100% of the time. They are prey animals and they react to a threat in a strictly fight-or-flight way. And here's the thing - it is all over long, long before human neurons can begin to fire and direct the situation. And if she doesn't hear you until it's too late, there's no way I'll have heard you before then. No way at all. Her ears are much, much better than mine are.

The thing I'd like to impart to horseback riders is that the bike riders really enjoy their riding as much as we do and most of them really are decent humans who don't want to scare you, your horse, nor do they want to get hurt themselves.

So how can we work together, folks?

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