Yes, Get Out There - But Be Safe
But, please, do it safely.
We've been having remarkably grey, rainy, foggy weather the last few days. Yesterday was particularly bad, and I had to go out late in the afternoon. As I drove, I crested a hill with a sharp curve and nearly hit a runner. I avoided her, but was shaken.
It's great that she was out running; I applaud her. But on a remarkably grey, rainy, foggy afternoon, she was wearing all grey - grey sweatpants, grey shirt, grey gloves. The only tiny bit of color was a light pink cap. She was not making it easy for drivers to see her.
Please, when you're out on the road, make it as easy as possible for drivers to avoid hitting you! I often get quite angry at distracted drivers when I'm running or biking. But we have to run/ride with common sense. We have to be responsible for our own safety, too.
I also run on the wrong side of the road when it seems safer. I know that runners and walkers are supposed to run against traffic. But with the hills and curves, I want to be on whichever side gives the driver the best chance to see me. The hill where I came too close for comfort to that runner is one where I run on the other side. Coming over the hill at that angle, it was very difficult to see her. The cars coming the other way have a longer and clearer view.
A couple of other safety reminders:
If you're riding or running in a group, stay single file. Save your talking for after. If you ride 6 abreast and don't move to single file when you hear a car coming, all you do is put yourself in danger and really anger drivers. Remember, we're sharing the road. Angry drivers are more likely to make mistakes and hit you or someone else.
And maybe think about not wearing earphones. Oh my - did I really just say that??!?! I know the world can't do much of anything anymore without earbuds in. But if you're in traffic, you want to be able to hear cars. I never listen to music while running. I have to be able to hear approaching cars; the roads near me are just too hilly and winding to be confident that any driver will see me. And when I'm in the woods, well, it just seems wrong to blast tunes. I'd rather enjoy the quiet and peacefulness of nature. And besides, I want to be able to hear a bear or a snake slithering.
These are just a few quick reminders. Definitely get out and enjoy yourself. Just give yourself the best chance of being seen by drivers, hunters, and any other potential hazards out there.
- BY Julie Goodale | 12.07.2011
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