Kindness On A Mountain Bike

“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”   William Arthur Ward

harbison_stateThis past weekend I rode a 10 mile mountain bike trail at Harbison State Forest. With high temperatures and lots of humidity, the heat index was over 100 degrees.

Harbison State Forest is a popular attraction to hikers and bikers alike, as it located less than 20 miles from downtown Columbia.  It was particularly crowded this weekend due to the Labor Day holiday weekend.

As I was riding on my mountain bike on Sunday, I was consciously aware of the opportunity to be kind:

1.  Hikers and bikers tend to act like they are on an elevator – they are very stoic on the trail.  They almost always pass you in silence.  However, if you make a point to smile and say something kind, they almost always respond back to you.
2.  When approaching hikers or other riders on a mountain bike, slow down and offer the right of way.  I believe if you show courtesy and kindness on the trail, it will be reciprocated further down the path.
kindness3.  When it’s really hot out, bring extra water and be prepared to offer it to others on the trail.  I first offered water to two runners who declined, but then I came across a beautiful pit bull that was only 6 months old and struggling with the heat.
Her owners did not bring enough water and I was worried their dog was overheating.  So I stopped my mountain bike and pulled out my extra bottle of water.

The dog was apprehensive at first, but eventually came over to me and started licking the end of the bottle.  I eventually poured the water on her back and she immediately perked up.  She was so sweet.

It’s funny, but who would think about sharing acts of kindness with strangers on a trail?  Pretty cool stuff.

What other acts of kindness can you think of on the trail?