I mountainbike, hike, jog, cross country ski, snowshoe, and dog walk on trails. Mountainbiking might be my favorite sport and what I do most but I like doing those other activities also. Where I live, most of the people who use trails are not one sport trail users and that’s why we’re all fairly open minded about access. Let’s not stereotype or belittle other trail users. Mountainbikers and trail runners have a lot in common.
As to Rob Juric’s question about who has the right of way, we all have the right of way and we all get out of the way. Just because we’re bombing down a great downhill run doesn’t mean we don’t slow down and pass hikers cautiously or even stop if needed. And at the same time if we’re hiking, we step out of the trail for cyclist. All of this is usually accompanied by friendly greetings. Try it! If we all just give a little, we all gain a lot.
Some of this could be ignorance. The local trails I have been on have little signage as to who is maintaining the trail, much less who to contact. You have to do some digging. And not all of these trails have websites. I’m a dual user too and am often traveling for work so I can’t help out on a dedicated trail work day so I donate where available (and belong to two major organizations) and pick up debris when I seeing, regardless of where I am at. But I guess I would fit his standard of a parasite because I can’t help out on a given night. I don’t think it’s that black and white.
Lazy? No. Ignorant? Probably. I started trail running years before I started mountain biking. I never even thought about volunteering or supporting trail maintenance activities as I just assumed this was the job of the park employees. It’s only when I took up mountain biking seriously and started delving deeply into the sport did I become aware of the fact that in many parks much of the TM is due to the work of volunteers, most of whom tend to be MTBers. So there is clearly an educational component. But I also think that MTB’ers care more about trail conditions, flow and features than many runners do. It never bothered me if there was a tree down or there was trail erosion from a running perspective as it never really disrupted my flow. Hard to call a group of fitness junkies “lazy” especially when trail running is much more challenging than running on the road or at the track.