There can be a lot of surprises along a trail. As cyclists, it is easy for us to put our heads down and grind out the miles, especially along sections of the trail where there are no people in sight. However, for the safety of others and yourself, stay alert! I was cruising down the GAP once only to realize at the last minute that the bridge hadn’t been completed and there was a void between it and the trail with a substantial drop.
Also, it is not uncommon to encounter wildlife along the trail. One of the last things I want to do is to try to untangle a snake from my spokes or get knocked off my bike by a startled deer leaping across the path. So stay alert and be aware of everyone and everything around you.