View Full Version : tough topic: Handling conflicts on the trail.
12-22-2011, 04:08 PM
Look. We're all out there to have a good time wheelin' on the trails. It can be hard to be the "bad guy" who has to tell a person on your trail ride they are violating the rules. How have you (or could you) handled (handle) conflicts with folks on your trail ride or with other individuals or groups on you encounter on a trail ride? Remember that the SITUATION is the important part of this conversation. NOT the individuals involved. Please don't let your stories get too personal.
Example of an easy one: Dealing with drinking on your trail. The rules here are very cut and dry. No drinking on the trail ride. Stay cool. Maybe tell the individual(s): "Drinking is not allowed on the trail during our event. You are welcome to turn around right now and go back to camp to drink. I cannot permit you to be on this trail run with us anymore." You have recognized their choice without adding any personal opinion. Turn around and walk back to your truck. Mark them off the trail on your participant list, note the time, and the reason they are no longer on the trail ride. Take a few deep breaths and check out the scenery for a minute if you have to.
You can tell me about it back in camp at the end of the day. CM has a documented process for handling issues with individuals on the trail.
12-24-2011, 05:32 PM
If you try this approach and they get obstinate or are going to make a scene, I would just drop it for the time being and move on. Deal with it when you get back in to camp where there is strnegth in numbers and the offenders can be barred from any future trails.
12-26-2011, 08:56 PM
I've had to deal with this in similar organized events. The bottom line is that people are going to do what they want to do regardless of any rules. You MAY be able to have the people in YOUR group cooperate out of respect but there isn't much you can do for non-affiliated groups/people, at least not out on the trail. Personally I think that it is a recipe for disaster and possibly injury. When I was new to the fire service I quickly realized that trying to argue with liquid courage is like arguing with a 3 year old. Fortunately I can give them the choice of either a trip to the hospital or jail and I have Police to be my enforcers. I'd suggest reviewing the rules prior to the run and suggest that the liquor come out at the BBQ that evening or stay behind. You’ve said what you’ve had to say and then put the burden back on them. At that point, if someone chooses to drink/violate rules, it’s an easier conversation because they’re clearly in the wrong and shouldn’t have any excuses. Hopefully, when they get pissed and attempt to vent to someone in the group, that person will back you up and the offender will be left with nothing more than embarrassment. I don’t envy you….
12-27-2011, 06:02 PM
I believe a good pre-run drivers meeting is the key to avoiding 99% of problems on the trail. Going over a few key rules there, drinking, for example will save you later. I let them know its not allowed, and if I see it there will be no warning, your off the trail. That one and recovery procedures seem to be the most important to me.
Personally I have not had to revisit any rules out on the trail.
12-27-2011, 06:10 PM
i Believe A Good Pre-run Drivers Meeting Is The Key To Avoiding 99% Of Problems On The Trail. Going Over A Few Key Rules There, Drinking, For Example Will Save You Later. I Let Them Know Its Not Allowed, And If I See It There Will Be No Warning, Your Off The Trail. That One And Recovery Procedures Seem To Be The Most Important To Me.
Personally I Have Not Had To Revisit Any Rules Out On The Trail.
12-27-2011, 08:33 PM
I don't have any first hand experience with leading Cruise Moab Runs, but I've lead several 40's Only Runs with fairly large groups of 15-20 rigs and one thing that happens often is running into another large group coming the other direction on the trail and trying to handle getting 30 rigs around each other without tempers flaring. I think in situations like that, diplomacy and courteousness is key. Stop, get out of the rig walk up to the other group and try to decide the best way to proceed while being as friendly as possible, even when it's 20 side-by-side atv's full of tourists from texas. I've had a few occasions where people want to yell and cuss and be difficult, and it's hard to keep the blood pressure down. But, it always pays to be the one who keeps their cool. :thumb:
12-29-2011, 05:07 PM
Corbet: great tip. just lay it out BEFORE it happens.
Martin: One thing I found works well when you end up head-to-head with another large group is to walk up with food ready to share. Start out with, "Hey, you want some doritos?" Then go into working out a plan to get 10 trucks past 20 trucks.
01-02-2012, 03:50 PM
X3. or 4? When I lead on Saturday, I always remind everyone this is the last day, let's have fun, but don't forget all the good stuff you've been doing all week.. drinking is right in there along with keeping speed down and making good choices on obstacles. We all want to make it back to camp later, we all want to get home alright, we all want to end this CM on a positive note.. all good things to reinforce in the morning meeting.
01-05-2012, 05:45 PM
One other suggestion, should you anticipate a potential issue, is to work out a code word with your tail gunner, which means switch to a different CB or (better yet) Ham channel.
Leader: Hey how's everyone doing.. looks like there's a gap, everyone doing alright?
others: we're fine, :blah:, look at that pretty rock! :blah: :are we there yet? :blah:
Leader: Hey tail gunner, how's the weather back there?
Tail gunner: a little dusty, but other than that just peachy!
top secret alternate channel
Leader: Dude, you got a copy?
Gunner: yeah.. I think those guys in the blue 80 are drinking beer. I think I smelled something, and they sure seem to piss a lot
Leader: Cool, ok. we're almost to the big obstacle, I'll try to walk by them and see what's up. Catch you back on the other channel thanks.
Leader: Ok everyone, we're about to the next big obstacle, couple things I want to review about the line so I'm going to hold up here for a sec until we catch back up as a group.... :blah:
Gunner: will let you know when we're caught up.
01-09-2012, 08:07 PM
These threads are great guys. I've really gotten a lot out of reading through your opinions and experiences.
I would agree that most conflicts can be resolved before you even leave. I always make it a point to have a pre-trip meeting at the trailhead weather its 2 people or 20. Discussing radio frequencies, spotting procedures, and duration between breaks has seemed to make for a more cohesive group.
I have never had any major instances of conflicting interests but have has a few minor events. Usually a quick shout out on the radio takes care of things. I try to use "We" and "us" and "let's" insted of "you" i.e "let's slow it down a bit and try to stay on the trail folks". I'll follow that with a brief conversation with the person in question.
Overall a positive yet firm attitude gets you a long way.
01-11-2012, 05:47 PM
Hey Jon: Thanks for bringing in leadership experiences from Book Cliff Cruisers. Attitude is everything when you start out your morning. yeah, I know, you might not have had your coffee yet but there is a way around that. I'll start a new thread on that topic. Thanks for triggering an idea.
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