As a daily commuter by bicycle who also happens to be forced onto multi-use trails (I’d prefer to just use roads and deal with cars) for part of that commute, I am constantly surprised at the ridiculous, mindless behavior and actions of pedestrians, but also other folks on bikes.
Here’s a tip, for everybody who ever steps foot or rolls tire onto a multi-use trail, and it’s so simple I am probably about to blow your mind. Just treat it like you’re on a road. Ever noticed how there’s that fancy dashed line painted down the center? It’s trying to send you a message and remind you of a more familiar place.
When driving your car, do you often just stop in the middle of the road to gaze at a bird, an airplane, or any other distracting object? When driving your car do you turn left and/or right across traffic without checking to make sure the coast is clear? When driving your car do you pretend to be in one of those other countries that uses the opposite lanes as us over here in America? When driving your car, do you honk every time you pass someone to notify them that they should simply continue doing what they’re doing (Ok, I threw that one in because I’m sick of getting yelled at for not saying, “On your left.”)?
If you answered no to all of those questions, then transferring those behaviors to the trail should be second nature. If you answered yes to any, please stay indoors and beg your boss to let you work from home. Just because traffic on the trail doesn’t consist of 1 ton vehicles traveling at high rates of speed, I assure you that getting hit by a person on one of those 40lb Capital Bike Share tanks who has the bike handling skills of a toddler just off training wheels will feel twice as bad.
(This is all prompted by the guy who yelled at me this morning because he and his 3 buddies were running four wide like they’re coming out of corner 4 at Talladega taking up the entire trail and I suppose expected me to stop and/or get off the trail so they could proceed with their four wide plod fest. Wrong dude. Notice how I didn’t lose that game of chicken. Though, it shouldn’t have come to that in the first place.)
Oh, and you’re welcome. I just made the world safer.