Editorial: A brief primer on etiquette for Bear Trail users

By Asher Freeman
By Asher Freeman


Working out has two specific goals in college: staying in shape and maintaining your social life.

Treadmills in the SLC offer a television to watch while you run, although there is some debate as to the drawbacks of treadmills.

The track in the SLC is a circle that never changes, offering no entertainment whatsoever.

For runners, the best place to run is the Bear Trail, offering different scenery and fresh air.

However, the people socializing on it don’t accommodate so well for those perishing halfway through.

The Bear Trail can become a veritable obstacle course for those trying earnestly to work out.

One obstacle are sorority venting sessions. These loud conversations, most commonly used with hand motions, run an average of three people wide, taking up the entire paved area of the Bear Trail.

If you are in one of these groups and see someone coming in your direction, pause the conversation and part the Red Sea so the runner, dogwalker or powerwalker and pass by without circling around your group, adding distance and the possibility of injury.

The second obstacle is couples on the Bear Trail. While we commend you on your excellent choice of date location, some of your etiquette could use work.

We have no idea why you and your girlfriend are holding hands when you’ve got to be sweaty walking the 2.25-mile trail outside in the Texas humidity, but you have a right to be there. Try not to take up too much space on the trail by walking far apart and spreading your arms. Your hand holding could be interpreted as an invitation for a runner to play red rover.

A problem for everyone is inconsiderate runners and walkers. This should be a warning to the social walkers and a come to Jesus moment for the runners. Think about it: If you’re just walking while the other party is running, don’t be selfish. Give them some space.

Runners, yelling out before you get to a group of walkers is always polite. Use phrases popularized by alpine skiing like “On your left” when approaching your group from behind.

For your safety, walkers, it is best to move to the side. Some runners don’t quite have the proper form with their elbows flapping side to side instead of the steady front-to-back, close to the side motion. If you don’t move off the paved pathway, you could get knocked out.

An obstacle for women on the track is the constant attention they get from men.

Yes, guys, we know that a major factor in you choosing this university was the male to female ratio. This does not mean that you go shopping by checking out the Bear Trail. Your comments can be kept to yourself because your pick-up lines clearly need some work. And don’t even think about reaching a hand out to make physical contact. If the girl is smart, she’ll slap you.

And guys, try not to take yourself too seriously while running. Driving on Eighth Street, you can find easy entertainment watching guys pick up the pace as they run past Collins and then slow down once they think they’re out of sight.

Bear Trail etiquette goes a lot farther than not doing anything wrong, however.

If you’re walking and a runner gets close, begin to cheer and offer support because running somehow seems to steal a person’s oxygen from them and offer a discomfort that wasn’t planned for.

Also people wouldn’t hate it if someone set up a sweet jam session by an area of the Bear Trail.

Runners need to be thankful for the encouragement they are receiving and maybe toss a smile to passers-by every now and then.

All in all, we applaud the campus community for getting out and moving instead of staying in your apartment playing Call of Duty or wasting countless hours on Pinterest.

Bringing this issue to the table will open your eyes to what can be fixed on the Bear Trail to ensure that Baylor keeps its reputation as one of the fittest campuses in the country.