A peaceful walk in the woods

By Ben

Some days, I’m one of you. Soaring down the trail on two wheels, flowing into the corners, letting the rear tire drift a bit.

Some days, I’m a parent hiking with my daughter. And, depending on the trail, I’m on high alert for a rider ripping into the blind corner we’re rounding. Slightly stressed and ready to toss my kid into the bushes to dodge a gumby riding too fast to control their bike. Not exactly a peaceful walk in the woods, right?

I live at the foot of Apex, and yet when it’s time to hike, I head elsewhere. It’s a conundrum to love my backyard trail and yet be afraid to take a family walk there.

That’s why today’s Laws of the Trail is all about the kids.

Trails are our best gateway to teaching the next generation the same love of a wild life that we all share. Those quiet moments in the woods that grow into a life-long passion for conservation and recreation are so key, and yet a few careless riders can accidentally teach kids to fear what’s around the next corner instead.

So, with a little perspective, here’s how we protect that young magic: ring that bell. Slow down and let them know you’re coming. If it’s a Saturday afternoon, assume there’s a family around the corner. And if you want to grip it and rip it, ride early. Or after 7.

As the great Al Laws always says: let’s go the extra mile to avoid harshing someone else’s mellow. Especially a six-year old mellow that is just discovering how amazing a wild life can be.

author: Ben