It’s officially Summertime here in the Washington, DC area and that means one thing:-
total chaos out on the multi use trails lots of people out enjoying the beautiful trails our area has to offer. As a biker, runner and driver I have witnessed some crazy and dangerous behavior out there the past few weeks. I hate so many people out on the trails I love that so many people are out exercising and enjoying the lovely weather. For everyone’s safety and sanity, we can all share the roads and trails if we follow some simple rules of etiquette and safety.
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. I saw a group of 8 women obliviously running across the trail the other day as I was approaching on my bike. I had to yell 3 times for them to move over.
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 bikes approaching. 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, with the words “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 Garmin 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. Please take caution and care when deciding whether to pass another biker or a group of runners. If you are not sure whether you have time to pass them before crashing into oncoming bikers, please do not attempt to pass. It is very scary to see another biker coming at you in your direction.
3. If you are riding in a group, please disperse and drop back as you approach another biker or a runner. Note this often requires you to slow down for a few seconds.
4. 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”. Too many times they get frazzled and move left. It’s great that kids are wanting to ride their bikes & be active however it may not be the best idea to take them out if they are not ready.
5. 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.
1. When approaching an intersection that frequently has bikers, please slow down and look to see whether there are any pedestrians or bikers. Not only is it good manners to allow them to cross, it is the law. Those big signs alerting you to pedestrians are there for a reason.
2. Consider making eye contact or waving to bikers and runners so that they know you see them.
I am pretty sure that we can all use the trails and paths without causing major incidents if we all practice a little smarts and a lot of manners.
What tips do you have for bikers and runners to get along?