(photo credit-Jimmy Daly/RunWashington)
Ah the official start to summer in Washington means everyone returns en masse to the trails. Being both a biker and a runner I saw some crazy behavior out there this weekend. If we all follow some Simple Rules of Etiquette, we can peacefully coexist on the beautiful trails surrounding our Nation’s Capital. I’ve definitely been guilty of violating a few of these rules myself but for everyone’s safety and sanity let’s all try to be more aware.
My top 10 gentle Reminders of Trail Etiquette:
1. Please remember to stay on the right side of the trail. If you are running in a group, please disperse as you see bikers coming in the other direction.
2. If you hear a biker yell, “On your left”, please move over to the right side and let them pass. It’s also courteous to give a wave so they know you have heard them.
3. If you run with headphones, please consider leaving one ear out so that you can hear the above bikers. This is for the safety of both of you.
4. If you are running with a dog, please make sure that your leash is short enough so that you can control your dog and keep him from running in front of bikers. In addition, please make sure your dog doesn’t freak out when he sees groups of runners approaching.
5. When you are coming up to an intersection and you see a large red octagonal sign, saying “STOP” it means you. Please don’t assume that cars will stop for you or that they see you. Note this may require you to stop your watch and wait for a few seconds.
1. Please give adequate warning when approaching runners/walkers by shouting, “on your left” or tooting your bike horn and then thank them for moving right as you whiz by.
2. If you are riding in a group, please disperse and drop back as you approach another biker or a runner. Note this may require you to slow down for a few seconds.
3. If you are biking with small children, please consider keeping them to the far right and using yourself as a buffer for other runners and bikers. In addition, please make sure they understand what to do if they hear someone yell, “on your left”.
4. When you approach an intersection and see the big red STOP sign, it applies to you as well. Please do not assume that cars will stop for you. Wait for some kind of signal from the driver that it is ok to cross. You may have to unclip and wait a few minutes.
5. Please make sure that when you pass other bikers/runners that you have adequate time to do so without nearly taking out another biker coming in the other direction.
If we all take the time to follow basic rules of etiquette and safety, I am pretty sure that bikers and runners can co exist on the same trails.
These are my top 10 Safety Rules for bikers & runners. Did I miss anything? What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen a biker or runner do?