One of the things I most enjoy about Woodbury (besides two yoga studios) are the miles of bike trails. I run on them almost daily and I bike on them occasionally.
I probably would bike on them more — except I discovered they really aren't for cyclists.
They are for walkers and runners — 50 percent of whom have a pooch with them.
I'm not complaining by any means. But with the recent headlines of cyclists getting hurt on our little roads, you have to ask, "Why didn't they use the bike routes?"
Because you can get hurt on those too.
Case in point. I was traveling on a winding route that was heading downhill. I was going a little fast and the trail was a little slick. You can tell where I'm going here, right?
A couple and their dog all of a sudden were right in front of me on MY side of the path (their left side, my right) I braked suddenly and my bike skidded. I had a flash of me lying on the ground with their dog barking at me. Alas, I was able to control my steed and go around them. But not before I could see the lady stare me down.
Was I going fast? Yes, I was on a hill and I don't feel like riding my brakes all the time. But in defense, they were on the wrong side.
So we were both wrong, but we were both right in sharing the path.
After this instance, and a couple more where I've had other cyclists almost run me down on my bike, (its hard when you are going around tight corners) I've decided the bike paths are not for me and my bike.
But like heck I'm biking along Valley Creek Road or Lake Road either. I'm by no means a professional cyclist. For one, I don't have a fancy bike shirt in bright colors with logos, which seems to be the number one gear to have. So where do I go?
For now, I'm sticking to running on the paths and biking only occasionally on the Gateway Trail, where I haul my bike to a drop off point in Lake Elmo. I've rarely seen walkers/runners on this trail.
If you are a regular bike path user, here are some tips to follow:
1. Be sure to loudly and clearly say "On your left" when passing runners/walkers. Don't assume if they have earbuds in they can't hear and you just fly past. I've had cyclists do that and it freaks me out. I can hear you talk to me even with my ear buds.
2. If you are looking for a real workout on the trails, don't. Take it easy. There are many twisting, almost blind, corners. If you are going fast, you could hurt yourself or someone else.
3. Wear a helmet for crying out loud. Many decent ones are less than $50.
If you are a cyclist or runner — are you signed up for the Woodbury Days events on August 25-26? If not check out the Country Mile here: http://www.woodburydays.com/country_mile.aspx and the bike event here: http://www.woodburydays.com/bike_ride_2012
Please share your thoughts about the trails. Do you agree or disagree?