Trail Ramblings: Yun Saksena On Sharing the Trails – Etiquette

Read what our board president has to say on the matter.

Did you know we have 4134 miles worth of trails around Lincoln? Over 92 miles of these are
in Lincoln city limits! Our most ridden trails are Rock Island, Billy Wolff and the Mopac.
Whether you’re riding, rolling, running, or walking, it’s important to be considerate of others
and to stay safe so we can all enjoy the trails together.

It’s so wonderful to ride ice-free trails, to hear birds chirping and to see more people on the
trails! My pent-up energy from the Winter tempts me to ride faster than I should. But then
I’d see the cute kids (teens and adults), dogs (and their humans), and the wildlife…I’m
reminded of the days when I’d get my kids to freeze to stay safe. Freeze like the Dance
Freeze Game. That way bikers didn’t have to worry about them darting around
unpredictably. People seem to appreciate it when I give them plenty of notice before
passing. I’d slow down to a jogging pace “Hello! Good morning! Bike coming on your left…”
People would move to the right, recall their dog, shorten the leash, gather their kids, nudge
the person they’re with… and wave “Thanks!” I’d pass on the left at jogging pace, giving
them lots of space, “Thank you! Have a great day!” Sometimes I’d hear “You too!” If other
people are heading towards me as I’m trying to pass people on my right, I may delay
passing. It’s better to stay safe.

Here are some guidelines whether you’re riding, rolling, running, or walking…

  1. Keep right
    Just like when driving, or walking in a busy mall, it helps with traffic flow and safety.
    If you’re with friends, stay to the right side of the path. If there’s a centre line, stay to
    the right of it. If there’s no line marked, imagine one, and stay to the right of it.
  2. Give people lots of space
    Whether someone’s in front of you or next to you it keeps everyone safe. If you’re
    riding with friends, go single file when passing or if people are on the opposite side
    of the trail. Same if you’re running or walking and there are bikes on the trail. When
    passing, leave as much space as possible between you and others.
  3. Yield to oncoming traffic
    Sometimes that means waiting for a safe opportunity to pass. If in doubt, wait.
  4. Talk to people
    Respectfully let people know if you’d like to pass. Be friendly. Smile. Try starting with
    a greeting like “hello”, before “on your left”.
  5. Slow down when others are around
    Especially when passing e.g., jogging speed. Going faster is more dangerous, and it
    can scare people.
  6. Look ahead
  7. Listen

Be aware of your surroundings. Others may want to pass you safely.
If you like to listen to music etc., use pods that allow you to hear your surroundings.

  1. Stay in control
    Ride at a speed that allows you to easily slow or stop. Make sure kids can control
    where they go e.g., staying to the right.
  2. Be Seen
    Wear bright colours, reflective clothing and use lights.
  3. Keep dogs on short leashes and keep them in control
    Even if your dog is the cutest, some people may be fearful, and loose dogs can cause
    Enjoy the trails!