Randy Rogers Had it Right

By Mark Langton

IMG_23141When I first met North Ranch Mountain Bike Club (nrmbc.org) founder Randy Rogers, he told me of his simple concept when encountering others on the trail. “You should slow down enough to have a brief conversation with them. Like, ‘How are you? Have a nice day.’” I told him I thought that this was overly courteous, and if you simply slowed down and said “hi” as you passed, it would be sufficient.

Now, 20 or so years later, I have to admit that Randy was right. Because in having that brief conversation, you not only slow down, you also show care and concern for the other trail user. And if we want to promote a backcountry that is harmonious and safe, then we all must act as if we are a family. Sure, like most families we may have our differences, but in the end our goal should be to care for, and be kind to, each other. After all, we’re out on the trails for the same reasons; to enjoy nature and to renew our spirit.

I challenge you to try this simple, easy experiment: When safely passing someone, including other cyclists, slow down to the point you’re almost going their speed (or stop if necessary), and ask “how are you doing?” (or the abbreviation “howdy!”). Pause just long enough to let them reply. If they don’t, at least you initiated the pleasantry. If they do reply, recognize the feeling you get from the exchange. They feel comforted and cared for, and you have done something nice. If that’s not a win/win, I don’t know what is. And at the risk of sounding cliché, you are paying good karma forward, which in most cases is contagious. And please drop me an email at mark@corbamtb.com or post a reply and let me know how it goes when you try this experiment. I’d really like to hear your experiences. Thanks!

(By the way, if you’re already using this method of trail courtesy, Thank You!)

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