We Are in This Together

The other day, the temperature was about 68 Fahrenheit (20 Celsius), sunny, with about a 5-mph wind. In other words, perfect. It is not unusual to have days like this. You see, I live in Phoenix, AZ, and it is February 2021. Although no one can really argue that the summertime is pleasant here, we can boast that the other 7 or 8 months out of the year most definitely are. So, for days like these, those of us who like to play outside, do. And it isn’t as if we wouldn’t be going outside when its 107F, but c’mon, 68 is better in every way. Of course, I am not the only one who feels this way. As my fellow local mountain bikers will attest, we share most trails in this part of the world with hikers and sometimes, horses too. On said perfect days like these, hikers out number bikers about 30 to 1. Or at least, it certainly feels like it. And that’s fine, I mean, hikers are out there enjoying what they like to do as well. But when did we arrive at a place and time where people forget that shared trails mean just that and these trails are for everyone, not just hikers and not just bikers? Thankfully, the majority of people comply with the rules and don’t adopt poor attitudes and a sense of entitlement that unfortunately, has become increasingly common. But why are these negative encounters becoming more and more frequent? I don’t have the answer. Maybe it’s just a sad reflection of our society at large. Yes, 2020 brought a lot more people to the out of doors, which as a whole, I think is great. But I really wish some people would leave their poor attitudes at home. And yes, I get it, these interactions are usually limited to just a few seconds, but let’s just try and remember that being able to enjoy the out of doors is a privilege and even if we might get annoyed with each other, let’s try and remember why we are out there. I can say without a doubt, my reasons have nothing to do with giving people a hard time and everything with enjoying the limited time I have to be out there doing what I love. More of us should take a step back and try to remember that. Until then, I better grab my bike because its 74 degrees and sunny.