by Erick Wikum
I spent January and February in Northern Wisconsin and skied three cross-country marathons, including my 19th American Birkebeiner. The “Birkie” is a 50km (~30mi) point-to-point race that finishes on the main street of Hayward, Wisconsin. The finishing stretch is lined with hundreds of cowbell-ringing fans. There’s a particular point on the route that features a tight turn where snowmobilers gather to rate and provide good-natured jeering to skiers who fall. Tight turns are just one challenge of ski racing. Another is sharing the trail with thousands of other skiers.
Sharing the Little Miami Scenic Trail with others is far easier, but just as important. The trail is home to bicyclists, walkers, runners, roller skaters, roller skiers, horseback riders, and others. The benefits of using the trail in so many ways come with a responsibility to respect the rights of others and to act in a way that promotes the safety of our fellow trail users and ourselves.
To remind you of the importance of sharing the trail, I would like to share this video from a cross-country ski race, the 90km 2012 Swedish Vasaloppet. This video shows a particularly challenging, heavily trafficked downhill on the racecourse. The spills are a cross between painful and humorous. As you watch, be mindful of the importance of sharing our beautiful Little Miami Trail with others safely.