View Poll Results: How do you feel about runners, hikers, walkers using our trail?

32. You may not vote on this poll
  • The more the merrier!

    7 21.88%
  • Meh, I could care less, they don't bother me.

    17 53.13%
  • I think they are a hazard and wish they'd run elsewhere.

    2 6.25%
  • This is a bike trail, built by riders for riding only!

    6 18.75%
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Thread: Runners on the Alum Creek trails, OK or not OK?

  1. #1

    Runners on the Alum Creek trails, OK or not OK?

    Here is a poll and a discussion topic for the Alum Creek trail riders. This year has seen a big increase in the number of trail runners. The mountain bike trails are purpose built for mountain bikes but we biker are a friendly group. No serious incidents have come to my attention, a few runners with some anti-social behavior but in general a friendly group. If you've had a "encounter" describe the particulars for us.
    Gregg Soster
    National Mountain Bike Patroller

  2. #2
    I've seen them too. I don't mind them at all, but perhaps some signage that advocates this trail is designated for MTB use and that "friendly and courteous" behavior is expected between runners and riders. After all, it's harder for us bikers to slow down, unclip, navigate tree roots, etc. while on a bike versus just stepping aside.

  3. #3
    Big Terry
    when i came down to work and ride, i saw a lot of runners, all on P1. not one of them was rude, and every one of them yielded to me before i had a chance to stop and move for them. they all greeted me with a smile and a friendly word, and as long as they act like that i dont see a reason to not let them run.

  4. #4
    Probably a stupid question, but isn't this state property? Which body of government makes the decision on what is or is not acceptable?

  5. #5
    The Park decides which trails have what kind of traffic. Alum Creek has designated horse trails, hiking trails and bike trails. Different groups use different trails.
    Gregg Soster
    National Mountain Bike Patroller

  6. #6
    Virtually all the hikers/runners I encountered this year on my 40 plus laps around P1 & P2 were traveling in the opposite direction of the typical counter-clockwise flow of most MTB riders and they all got out of the way.

    Twice I was at P1 when a local high school had brought its’ cross-country team to run on the trail. I got a little pissed b/c they were heading down the trail in the counter-clockwise direction and I assumed that they would slow me down and act like the typical high school douche nozzle but to my surprise they were also polite and got out of the way.

    As long as the hikers/runners understand it is primarily a MTB trail and continue to give the right of way to MTB’ers then I’m cool with it.

  7. #7
    I've only had one issue that i can think of. A guy was running CCW with an unleashed dog behind him. When the dog heard me coming it turned sideways across the trail and just stood there. The runner wasnt paying attention and just kept on. I think he was wearing earbuds. I came up on the dog and balanced for a moment hoping he would move but the darn thing just stood there.

    Otherwise no problems.

  8. #8
    I'll start off saying I've never had a problem with a runner. One on my friends that I ride with even runs the trails sometimes. Don't have any problems with runners. But...

    It seems that the amount of runners I have encountered on the trail has quadrupled for me this year. Almost like the word is getting out. Alot of the times Alum feels like I-270. Alot of traffic. People faster than me. People slower than me. Runners. Walkers. All this equals a big loss of flow. I don't know how many people trail run. Is it possible before long we could be overun by the amount of runners vs bikers.

    Chestnut. One way. Bikes only. I think that might be a couple of the reasons I have enjoy Chestnut alot this year. I think at Chesnut there is a trail for running on the other side of park. I didn't even know there were hiking trails at Alum

    Also the couple times I've helped out working on the trail. I don't think anyone has said they run the trails and wanted to help out.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    40 17′ 56″ N, 83 4′ 19″ W
    I have encountered 1 group of runners on p2 this year and several on p1. All were polite and running clockwise. With that being said I do agree with Mark on the fact that bikers should have the right away, and all runners should run clockwise. I have had an incident with a runner having a non-biker friendly dog, and that was kind of aggravating. I recently took my gf to p1 on a whim, and she decided to run the trail while I rode. I ended up passing her about 3/4 of the way thru and almost didn't even notice her. If she wasn't watching out for me I would have ran her over leaving nothing but tire tread down her butt cheeks. This made me realize how in the zone us bikers are with focusing on the trail. I don't ride "to watch out" for runners, I'm more focused on 5 feet in front of me instead of an oncoming runner. So if push come to shove and a sign at the trail head is ever needed, I think it should just state the obvious.
    Trek Fuel EX
    Specialized Rock Hopper
    Trek 4300

  10. #10
    My turn...Trail runners are fine as long as they run clockwise, which most of them do. The biggest problem with the runners I have encountered is the ear buds, running two by two, or with pets; sometimes a combo of all three! I have had to stop several times and yell loudly to get someones attention that I was behind them. It seems there are more runners at P1 then P2, and as someone above mentioned, there seems to be a much larger number running this year (almost every time I go). I will also add, I have recently encountered quite a few people riding the trails clockwise during heavy traffic times, and a lot of helmet less folks out there. I agree with Bahdler, there probably could be a sign advising runners of dangers and how they should run the trail.

  11. #11
    Never had a problem with any runner I've encountered. They are alert and moved off the trail before I even saw them. I slowed down to pass, thanked them, and they responded in kind.

  12. #12
    Runners/hikers do seem to get out of the way pretty quickly and I haven't really had any bad encounters. I had more of a problem with a slower rider wearing headphones this past weekend than I have with any runners. I wiped out trying to pass him not realizing that he had headphones in and couldn't hear a word I was saying.

    It is still a nuisance having to slow down at all though because once you get in that groove, slowing down to be cautious for a runner/hiker/dog can really throw the pace off.

    The last thing I can add is that there are very few MTB trails in the area that we can ride, but many trails that can be used for running and hiking. It would be quite a different story if we were to ride on trails that weren't designated for mountain biking.

  13. #13
    Big Terry

    Re: Runners on the Alum Creek trails, OK or not OK?

    @mike- sadly that's something we are going to have to endure. It's perfectly acceptable for walkers/runners to use the trails we ride on, but blasphemous for us to ride the trails they hike/run on.

    Maybe in another 20 years attitudes and perceptions may change.

    Sent from somewhere not sitting on my ass in front of the computer.

  14. #14
    I run on P2 sometimes when my non-biking GF is in town. I've never had an issue with anyone when I'm biking or running. I usually find a bunch of bike parts, tools and other trail junk when running. It also give me a chance to pick up those errant sticks waiting to tear off a derailleur or mess up a wheel.

  15. #15
    I run and ride Alum a lot. There has been a lot more running traffic this year for some reason. The one thing I'd like to inject into the conversation....after running there for several years, I definitely feel its way safer to run with bike traffic opposed to running into it.

    This may seem odd, but if you are paying attention, you can always here bikes coming well before they actually catch you. There are so many tight twisty corners and if you are running into traffic on a blind corner, I think it gets dangerous. Every close call I have ever had has been because of this.

    Since I've been running with traffic, I haven't had any problems at all and feel way safer.

    I also try to never run during peak riding hours. I try to run early or late to avoid the traffic

  16. #16
    Thanks ATF for the runner perspective. In principle I agree that running with traffic, you can hear and avoid bikes, plus you may travel as fast as some riders, so you never encounter them during your run as you're always ahead of them.

    Where your argument does not work is when the runner is using headphones. In my experience, at least half of the runners seem to be oblivious to any sounds around them, this happens with bike riders wearing headphones as well.

    Hmm, I see a pattern developing here...
    Gregg Soster
    National Mountain Bike Patroller

  17. #17
    The other item which might be a bigger topic is who would be at fault if an accident were to occur? The mountain biker who is riding on the designated bike trail or the runner who is the pedestrian and will likely still have the right of way even though they are running on a bike trail?

    It is funny, after doing a quick Google search I found a forum of runners discussing this . If all took the tips they discussed such as leaving the iPod at home, running the same direction, and even helping out with trail maintenance, I don't see how there would be many problems with either community sharing the trail.

  18. #18
    Though I'm riding most of the time I've also ran both trails quite a bit at the beginning of the year. I think you guys are hitting all the points pretty well.

    For me while running I can't think of one instance where I was even close to impacting a rider and that's mostly because a mtb is a loud sob coming through the woods so you have plenty of time to get out of the way. I have always ran with traffic and never against it mostly for the reasons stated above.

    Unfortunately while riding I have had 2 well 3 recent incidents with runners. One was a runner who was running with traffic and had headphones in both ears blasting and I almost had to tap him on the shoulder to get around him...scared the crap out of him and he apologized profusely and I kindly let him know I didn't think he should have his headphones in and up that loud being a runner or a rider. I saw him in plenty of time and really it was just an inconvenience.

    The 2nd incident/s was with the same group of 3 runners and I met them both times in pretty much the 2 worst spots on the trail downhill blind corners. Both times resulted in me locking up tires and them scattering to both sides of the trail at the last second which left me trying to pick my way through them instead of them all going to one side. They didn't have headphones in but I suspect running in close proximity and against traffic increased the danger.

    With all that being said I'm still all for runners using the trail. Maybe I'm biased because I run it as well but really if a person is considerate/careful there is no reason it cannot be done safely. I've had more problems with slow riders wearing headphones than runners and I wouldn't go as far as to think they need banned because I know plenty of riders who wear one bud and have the volume low enough to hear other riders. I'd say leave it the way it is(MTB trail) with the unwritten acceptance of runners. Runners should always yield since it's a mtb trail though I know that isn't the case on multi-use trails. Either way try to be safe and considerate no matter what/where you run/ride and know people will make mistakes.

  19. #19
    That is a good post Stilesp. I agree that banning headphones might be a bit harsh as I tend to use the one bud & low volume approach when riding sometimes. Hopefully runners will contribute to the trail fund (which I still need to do as well) and it will make for a better trail for everyone. Off-topic, but is there going to be a donation post at P2?

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by mike0o2 View Post
    That is a good post Stilesp. I agree that banning headphones might be a bit harsh as I tend to use the one bud & low volume approach when riding sometimes. Hopefully runners will contribute to the trail fund (which I still need to do as well) and it will make for a better trail for everyone. Off-topic, but is there going to be a donation post at P2?
    The same day the donation box went in at P1, we installed one right next tot he kiosk on P2. The P1 box is certainly getting more donations. It hard to beleive the P2 box is difficult to see as it is actually a bit in front of the kiosk. No option to move it either without a backhoe, we used a lot of concrete...
    Gregg Soster
    National Mountain Bike Patroller

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