In this world everyone has a nemesis. Most of us try to go through life without pissing people off but guess what, we are going to fail. It seems to be in our nature to dislike something about pretty much everyone and everything we come across. The great George Carlin once stated about driving, “Have you ever noticed, anybody going slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” I think George summed up the human condition pretty well.
All of us runners have nemesis’ coming at us left and right and many times from the front and back. We battle fatigue, injury, our brains, rattle snakes, grizzly bears and the occasional battle with ole #2. These obstacles pale in comparison with the trail runner’s real nemesis. I am by no means comparing this group to the Empire or the Cobra Kei. They are much worse. What form of evil could I be describing? What creature could annoy and agitate us to the levels of the Cobra Kei? It would be none other than ………MOUNTAIN BIKERS!!!!!!
I am not implying all people who mountain bike are inherently evil. I just think there is something about those helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, clip in shoes, fingerless gloves, shoulder pads, and shin guards that bring out some lurking evil. For those unfamiliar with the situation between us and them please let me explain. The two parties in question share a love for the environment, nature, the sun, the rain and the fresh air. The problem is we also share an 24-inch-wide trail. This should not be a problem considering we have developed our own language to let others know of our intentions, such as “on your right”. Though, it continues to be a problem. Alas, I have the solution. I am going to go Elon Musk here and put a billion dollar idea into the public and let you run with it. I call them “momentum slowers”. I have noticed when a mountain biker is going uphill, they are generally tolerable and have less issue sharing a bit of the single track. Going down hill is when Darth Vadar on a Trek rears his ugly helmet. As us on nothing but two feet cruise down an incline, we fear nothing more than the sounds of rubber sliding and grinding down the same dirt. When we fear the imminent attack of the two-wheeled monster, we spend our time living in the rear-view mirror. As with life, “when you’re too caught up in what happened in the past you miss what’s in front of you”. Insert visual of you looking up at the sky wondering how you ended up on your head. You may ask, how will your idea help. Let me explain.
“Momentum slowers” are pieces of plastic, rubber or metal that you attach to a bike’s wheels that when activated slow the forward progress of the bicycle. These can be activated with your feet, hands or through an APP if your tech savvy. I’m leaving the details to the more industrial savvy of my readers. Imagine the utopia we would live in if mountain bikers had the ability to slow their momentum while going downhill. Not only could this mend the relationship between us adventure seekers, it may prevent broken bones. I don’t want any credit for this idea, I just want these accessible to the masses, so we can all share our love for the outdoors in harmony. Hopefully someone knows someone in marketing that come up with a clever name for this product.
When we all learn to slow down and take a brake we will see that we live in a beautiful world with many amazing sights and sounds. When our mountain biking rivals take a brake, they will realize we have many things in common. Taking a brake will allow us to say good morning, encourage each other on our endeavors and wish each other safe travels. Welcome to paradise my friends.