How To Share The Road

Common Courtesy Keeps You Safe On The Bike Path

Some of my favorite running routes are along the local bike paths, and I always ride my bike on a bike path because I am not comfortable enough with my skills to ride in traffic–especially while I’m learning to use clip in shoes. Now that I have used the bike paths as both a runner and a cyclist, I have some tips on how to share the road.

Run Bike

Tips for Cyclists

  • Be courteous.
  • Signal when you pass–use a bell, or a friendly “on your left!”
  • Slow down through congested areas.

Tips For Runners 

  • Be aware–if you wear headphones, make sure you still can hear ambient noise.
  • Acknowledge cyclists–wave or scootch to the side of the path so the cyclist knows you heard his/her signal.
  • If you are running with a friend, go single file when someone wants to pass.
  • Stop and look for oncoming traffic before you take a left turn or turn-around.

I know these tips sound simple, but I can’t tell you how many times I see people who don’t exercise these common courtesies. Cyclists fly by without a signal. Runners stretch across the path even when someone is trying to pass. I’ve seen so many near misses!

As a runner, I’ve been guilty of making a u-turn without looking behind me. As a cyclist, I’ve nearly crashed into a runner who decided to take the path on the left just as I was passing her. (That was before I was wearing clip-in shoes, so I was able to stop suddenly without falling over!)

If runners and cyclists would follow these simple tips on how to share the road we all could stay safe and have fun.

Do us all a favor and pin this image
to help everyone remember to share the road!

Share The Road

I’m linking this up with Tuesdays On The Run as my running pet peeve, because cyclists who don’t signal and runners who run three across on a busy path are my biggest pet peeves!

Have you gotten into an accident on a bike path?

Do you have other ideas on how to share the road?

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14 Responses to How To Share The Road

  1. carlybananas says:

    I think just being thoughtful and remembering you're not alone on the trails and paths is the most important thing. I can't tell you the number of times that someone has zoomed up right behind me and then passed me really close even though the W & OD is nearly empty. A little over a week ago, someone startled me so bad I nearly lost my footing and tweaked a muscle. And I was running on the very far right edge… which is why I stumbled, I stepped off the trail and onto a rock. I'm totally ranting right now… but I think common sense is probably the best idea for everyone haha.

  2. Steena says:

    I won't even bother with the bike paths anymore, people are all assholes.
    I'm vulgar.

  3. Perfect timing – the best place for me to run while we are on vacation is along a bike trail. Yesterday there weren't too many bikers but I still have several more days on the trail. I actually left my music at home because I figured that would help me be more aware of my surroundings.

  4. Alison says:

    Great tips will post to FB soon!

  5. Being courteous works both ways. I see groups of runners (or walkers) spread across the whole path seemingly oblivious to cyclist or other runners/walkers. I hate to say that they are almost always women.

    I think beyond being courteous, just being aware, like you said, is the most important thing. And for runners, know that when a cyclist says "on your left," you're supposed to move to the right, NOT the left yourself!

  6. Carrie says:

    Great tips. I think people tend to be oblivious for sure. That goes for when we are driving, too.

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  8. Ashley says:

    These are great tips! So many people don't even think about the little things. I don't run along bike paths but it frustrates me on sidewalks when people walking don't move to single file even when I've been yelling excuse me for an entire block and then I have to run around them in the street and cross my fingers I dont get hit by a car.

  9. Stacey says:

    Great tips! I especially agree with cyclists needing to slow down when passing someone–I was running on the C&O trail this weekend and a cyclist going pretty fast squeezed between me and another runner going the opposite direction–it was nuts!
    Stacey recently posted…My New Training Plan + TotRMy Profile

  10. HoHo Runs says:

    Great reminders. I’ve never run any place where there were cyclists. That’s hard to believe. Even my neighborhood park’s trail is closed to bikes.
    HoHo Runs recently posted…Runner Pet PeevesMy Profile

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