Spring has sprung here in the DC area and everyone is emerging from their cocoons. They are all emerging at the same time and heading to the bike trails which is fantastic and horrible at the same time. It seems as though many have forgotten the basic rules of safety and courtesy. As a runner and a cyclist, I believe I can be objective here and offer a few reminders to everyone. I’ve written about this in the past but it seems as though a refresher is necessary. Runners, cyclists & walkers let’s all share the trails.
Runners, Cyclists & walkers let’s all share the trails
Stay to the right
When running on a multi use trail, try to stay to the right so that cyclists can easily pass you. Please avoid running 3 and 4 abreast and avoid crossing over the halfway point of the trail. When cycling in a group, on a trail, ride single file to share the road with runners and walkers.
If you are running with headphones in, it is pretty hard to hear approaching bikers. Please make sure you can hear what is going on around you for your own safety and the safety of others. Just the other day, I yelled out at a runner with headphones and she could not hear me at all. Just not smart.
Cyclists please give adequate warning when passing runners and walkers so that they can move right. Shout out something like, “bike passing on your left”. I also like to let runners know that “3 bikes are passing” so that they stay alert to all riders. Runners please move when someone shouts out at you.
Little Ones and Dogs
I love it when kids are excited about exercising outdoors. However, nothing scares me more while cycling than little people out there on their bikes or skates. Keeping children to the right of you on the trail keeps them safer and keeps other cyclists safer. I’ve noticed kids can get confused with left and right which has caused some near misses for me. I now shout out something like, “stay where you are I am passing you”.
Please keep leashed animals in control and to the right of you. Most trails have leash laws that are they for everyone’s safety. I have almost been knocked off of my bike by big dogs or pet owners not paying attention to oncoming cyclists. Take care to be in control of your dog and able to pull them back when cyclists and runners are approaching.
Obey the laws
As a cyclist, you are expected to obey the traffic signs. That means stopping at stop signs and not assuming that cars will automatically stop for you. It’s definitely fun to ride super fast out there, but riding on a multi use trail means that sometimes you have to slow down or stop completely for pedestrians.
Not only is it not very neighborly to disregard the basic rules of the road, it’s dangerous too. If runners, cyclists & walkers could all be a little more courteous, we could all get along much better.
What annoys you most out on the trails or roads? Any tips to add here?