Be Courteous Out There

We’re mighty fortunate that it’s spring as we deal with the doom and gloom around us. Fortunate, too, that we have so many trails to invite us outside.

I bicycle on the river trails every day, and it’s wonderful to see so many folks running, walking dogs, biking, pushing strollers. Sometimes it gets crowded, and I fear collisions, but luckily people are generally pretty careful.

But paying attention is critical, or collisions will happen. One basic protocol is for bikers to call “Passing on the left” as they approach others from the rear — since even when paying attention, walkers can’t know what’s coming up behind. This is good for both the biker and the walker — it’s safe and courteous.

There’s a problem here, though, that often makes the situation unsafe: headphones. I might call out “Passing on the left” from a distance, and get no response, so I call again as I get closer — and sometimes still no response — so then I’m right up behind the person and have to shout “Hey!” and then maybe they, startled, jump to the right and glower as I pass. 

This is especially a problem with skaters, who understandably fill the path as they glide right and left down the middle of the path; getting around them is tough if they don’t move right when I call out.

So as we escape our home sojourns in whatever ways we manage, and enter the world of others, let’s be safe and courteous, always.

 Jeff Harrison