As a runner and a cyclist I've heard all the arguments. The bottom line is, there is only one correct way to be running or riding on the trail. For those of you in Sacramento and the surrounding area, you know that when I'm referring to "the trail", I'm talking about the American River Bike Trail, which we are blessed to have in this area.
If you aren't in Sac-town, but have a bike trail in your area, don't stop reading! These rules apply to you too.
This post was inspired by a few things: a) my constant surprise at things I see people doing on the trail (or generally things that make me think "WTH is that person doing? Really?"); b) my love of rules and how British people follow them (more on this later) and, c) the tool-bag who thought it was appropriate to drop an F-bomb on my cousin (who was running on the correct side).
1. Which side is the correct side?
3. ...and the runner that says, "Why does it matter what side I'm on?"
a) See who/what is coming towards you
b) Move over when bikes are approaching
The bike is going much faster than you and the rider is probably clipped in.
It's way easier for you to move. Trust.
4. If I'm running in a big group why do I have to move? Shouldn't the cyclist be able to see us?
(except one of those mom's is a dude, but whatever). Anyway, it's cool to run next to each other but when you see a bike approaching, you should get single file and move as far to the left as possible. Once the bike passes, go back to your business.
5A. ...and the cyclist says, "why do you push your stroller on the pavement instead of the dirt?"
Um hi. Next time you run 10 miles while pushing a 30+ lb. Munchkin in a 15+lb. stroller, maybe you'll understand. Yes it's a Bob and yes it rolls on dirt, but it's way easier to push it on the pavement, so that's why. I moved for you, be nice.
Let's finish this stroller discussion with a bad example.
This chick is totally on the wrong side!
6. Can I run with my dog on the trail?
Sure, of course. But please keep your dog on a leash. Unless your name is Caesar Milan, your dog is not well behaved enough to run on an active mixed use trail without one. Thank you.
7. Is the trail a good place for me to teach my child how to ride their bike?
Sorry, no it isn't. Please teach little Johnny or Susie how to ride in a large, safe open area. Once they are fairly skilled and know their right from left, then cautiously take them for a ride on the trail.
OK, so I think that about covers it.....whoops....
8. Why do I love rules and how British people follow them?
Both times I've visited London the overall politeness and respect for our fellow man has struck me. It's nice to see people being nice to each other. Then I started noticing all of these little nice signs...
Mind the Gap....don't fall in the hole when you're getting on the tube!
Look Right....cause we drive on the other side here!
Walk Left, Stand Right....ahhh, no pushing, just stay to the left if you're on the move and stay to the right if you're moseying.
So, I love British people and their rules. Some rules are meant to be broken, but some are meant to be followed. The trail rules are meant to be followed. It's for safety people....and general traffic flow. Let's take a lesson from the British and follow the rules on this one....and be nice too!