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Christine Luff

How to Share the Roads and Trails with Cyclists

By August 20, 2013

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I spend a lot of time running in New York City's Central Park and, over the years, I've witnessed some pretty nasty arguments and collisions between runners and cyclists. Even though I'm a runner, I have to admit that runners are sometimes just as guilty as cyclists when it comes to bad behaviors. If you frequently run on bike paths or parks with lots of cyclists, follow these tips to stay safe:

  • Follow the rules of the road. Many parks and bike paths have written rules for where you should run or bike. Some reserve lanes for runners and walkers, or suggest that runners stay to a particular side of the path. Look for posted signs, ask other runners on the path, or do some research online to find out if the path or park has specific rules.
  • Communicate and pay attention. If you're approaching a cyclist and need to pass him, let him know on which side you're trying to pass. (Hopefully they'll do the same for you.) Before you stop or turn around, make sure your path is clear. I've seen a lot of collisions happen because a runner stopped suddenly and turned right into a cyclist's path.
  • Make sure you can hear. If you're wearing headphones, you may not be able to hear a cyclist yelling, "On your right!" as he tries to pass you. Your best bet is to save your music for the treadmill, or at the very least keep one ear bud out or turn the volume way down.

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