Getting outdoors and being active has been key to physical and mental health during the recent pandemic. More and more, people are getting outside on the roads and trails for the first time. It’s important to remember that there is proper etiquette for using and sharing the roads, sidewalks, pathways, and trails throughout our state. Here are a few ways to show courtesy to your fellow #100ALMILES participants.
Share The Path
One of the beautiful things about getting outside to run/walk/roll/ride is that it allows for time to focus on ourselves and our thoughts. I often find that I can go deep inside my mind on a run and almost forget everything around me. But it’s important to remember that others are using the same paths/sidewalks/trails. Be aware of those around you and share the path. If someone is coming towards you on the trail, make sure to move over slightly in order to equally share the space. If you’re logging miles with another person and approach others doing the same, make sure to fall into a single-file line as you approach the other people. Never force others to have to step off the path/trail because you and a friend are walking side-by-side. Everyone has equal rights to trail and pathway usage.
Give A Warning
People move at different paces and in different directions. This is especially true when you mix walkers and runners with cyclists and wheelchair athletes. It’s important to give warning to those around you when approaching. The standard rule is that faster moving people should give a verbal warning and announce their intention. When approaching someone from behind, common etiquette is to announce “On your left” and to move to the left of the user. This will reduce the chances of a collision and injuries occurring. With the recent increase in users to roads and trails, it’s important to be more vigilant about safety and courtesy.
Follow All Rules and Laws
I mentioned in an earlier blog post this year about the importance of following the six-foot rule when being active right now. Though that rule is in place for the pandemic, it also works well for general trail/path/road etiquette when logging miles. Knowing laws and rules in place locally is important to keeping everyone safe while being active. Cars have been required to follow the 3-feet rule for years, which states that vehicles must stay 3 feet distance from cyclists and pedestrians. Additionally, other rules regarding road use include runners/walkers going against vehicle traffic, while cyclists go with it. This is designed to keep everyone safe and respectful!
Greg Wingo is the manager of the 100 Alabama Miles Challenge Ambassador Program and owner of ROAM Projects, an outdoor recreation consulting company.