Last Sunday, I was hiking at MacRitchie Reservoir’s nature trail. I head a man’s voice, saying, “On your right” a few times. You can tell from the voice that he was running. Usually, most people would move to the left to allow the runner to overtake on the right.
Upon hearing that, a father in front of me pulled his son to the side to make space for the runner. As it is a nature trail, some parts of the trail is narrow and only allow 1 person in each direction to pass. On top of that, people have to keep an eye out for rocks and roots that protrude. After that father had pulled his son to one side, the mother shouted loudly, “Why should we give way? It is the runner’s responsibility to make his own way.” From the accent, it was obvious that she and her husband are Singaporeans.
The runners and hikers in my vicinity all turned to stare at her. I began to hope that she or her husband or her child would have a minor run in with a runner so she would know why the whole family should walk in single file on a narrow trail and not walk and talk loudly like they are shopping in Orchard.
The problem is, it is not just her. There are people who hike in groups and they walk together, leaving no room for people to overtake and for the other people in the opposite direction. As much as these people enjoy the luxury of walking abreast, there are also people who enjoy the luxury of running at their own pace without having to slow down or say “On your right” each time a bozo is hogging the path. Why do I wanna risk spraining my ankle just to make last minute maneuvers?
Come on. It is not your grandfather’s trail. Be more gracious and share can the trail? Just keep to the left. You wouldn’t die if you don’t walk side by side with your friend for awhile.
Tong Buay Tiao