We Are A Community

A very tragic thing happened this week. Firefighter and paramedic, Eric Williams, was stuck by a bicyclist while running along the American River trail. I heard about it from another coach at Kaia on Tuesday. When I read about what happened it broke my heart, and I started crying. I am holding back tears as I type this now.

I don’t know this person, and I don’t know his family but like I have always said, the running community is strong here in Sacramento. It is a large community, but small at the same time. We all know someone who knows someone. If something happens to a fellow runner it is hard not to feel effected by it. I myself have been brushed by a cyclist as they pass, and even yelled at. Even though I stay on the correct side of the trail, I run on the dirt when a bike is coming and I don’t wear headphones when I am running so I am able to be more alert. On that same note, I have seen runners on the wrong side of the trail. I have seen them running 3 side-by-side as bikes pass and I have heard them yell at the cyclists too.

We all blame each other. The cyclists are too fast, they are assholes, they act like they own the roads….Runners are inconsiderate, they have headphones in and can’t hear you coming, the take up the trails….Instead of playing the blame game we need to take responsibility. We need to be respectful of one another. After all we are all out there to enjoy the trails, just one of the amazing offerings of Sacramento. Instead of being hateful and hurtful of one another, think about the fact that you probably have a lot in common with the people out there running and biking.

Say hi to one another as you pass by. Tell someone good morning, or afternoon. Wave to each other. What happened to Eric is a terrible thing. Maybe it could have been avoided, maybe not. Whatever the case, let me ask a favor of you: Please be mindful and respectful of one another, and be aware of your surroundings. My heart and all the positive thoughts in the world are going out to this family right now.

Thanks for reading. Have a good day friends.

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7 thoughts on “We Are A Community

  1. So well said; just pay attention and understand that we are all out there using the recreation trail to be active and have fun. I love when runners and cyclists alike say “good morning” to me! I try to say it all the athletes I see!

  2. I’m so sorry to hear about this. It never should have happened. I don’t know the details but I’ve been known to stay away from multiple use trails for that reason. I can’t tolerate the bicyclists who ride too fast, and many do. A runner or walker is just too vulnerable and no match against any machine with speed. My heart goes out to Eric and his family.

  3. I hear what you’re saying. I ride with a club that utilizes a few of the off road paved trails here in Omaha. Our group sometimes can number 15 to 20 cyclists. The lead rider will shout out “bike Up” or “Runner Up” when someone is approaching and the word is passed down throughout the group and we always reduce our speed. When passing we shout “on your left” and we reduce our speed. This is probably the most thoughtful cycling club I’ve belonged to (I have ridden with groups that weren’t.) When riding alone I use the same procedures.
    You are right. We all need to be conscious of one another. We share the same love of the outdoors and trail running and riding. Common sense is sometimes hard to find these days, but when all involved use it all involved with benefit.
    Peace to you, your family and the running and riding community in my beloved Sacamento.
    My thoughts go out to Eric and his family.
    Keep up the good work, Haley.

    • The people I run with do the same thing, we call out when a bike is coming.
      Thanks for reading. My hope it for people to share this story & learn from it.

  4. I have family in Sac and when I visit I use that trail to run on (in fact I’ll be there next weekend). It’s definitely popular, lots of walkers, runners, cyclists. I, too, have always tried to stay in the dirt on the correct side when I can. What a tragic story, I hope he is able to make a full recovery. You always think running on paved trails is the safest route to go (no cars) but anything can happen.

  5. So sad! I hadn’t heard about this until you posted this. Now I’m seeing the stories out there. Very sad and scary. And you’re comments are spot on when it comes to finger pointing. We should all use the trail responsibly.

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