Saskatoon runner shares tips for sharing the trail after collision with mountain bikes

Saskatoon runner Jen Kripki was running along a single-track trail in Edmonton this past weekend when a pair of mountain bikes flew over a hill and slammed into her.

“It was so fast that I didn’t even see or realize what had happened until I was already hit,” she recalls.

Kripki was thrown to the ground and the apologetic mountain bikers dismounted and stayed with her until she was back on her feet.

At the time of the collision, Kripki was 45 minutes into a 3.5-hour long run — part of her training for the upcoming Sinister 7 Ultra trail race — and decided to keep running.

“It might have been the adrenaline,” she says.

She finished her 37.5-kilometre run and then took stock of her injuries. She had broken a couple of ribs, whiplash and significant bruising all along the right side of her body. She posted a photo of her bruising to her social media feeds to start a conversation about the need to safely share single-track trails.


Jen Kripki shows off her bruises after colliding with mountain bikers on a single track trail in Edmonton on June 19.

Even though her collision happened in Edmonton, Kripki knows the potential for similar accidents exists in Saskatoon, particularly at this time of year when trails are more crowded and lush vegetation reduces visibility.

Kripki hopes runners and cyclists remember the following points when setting out on the single track trails in order to prevent such accidents:

  • Don’t wear earbuds; wearing earbuds makes it difficult to hear oncoming traffic
  • Wear bright clothing so you are visible to other trail users
  • Make noise when approaching blind spots (which could involve using your bell if you’re cycling)
  • Take the blind spots slowly and cautiously, remembering that you never know who or what is coming through in the opposite direction

Despite her injuries, Kripki is moving again — albeit slowly — and still plans to make it to the start line of the Sinister 7 Ultra next month.