Trailblazers

How to ride and run safely and considerately

Multi-use trails should be enjoyable for walkers, runners, skaters, cyclists, and in Fort Worth, even horseback riders. With a skyrocketing population and increased popularity in trail use, the result is an often-congested pathway. Hitting the trails can be an energizing start or decompressing end to a hectic day, and all it takes is a little common sense and adhering to a few guidelines to avoid collisions and ensure everyone’s right to use the trail is respected. And don’t forget to be friendly. Wave, smile, and say hello. After all, you have the same mission of getting a little exercise and some fresh air. Answer the questions below to test your trail etiquette awareness.

1. What should you shout before passing someone on bike or on foot?
a. “Get out of the way”
b. “On the left”
c. Don’t say anything at all

2. Cyclists should travel where on the trail?
a. In the same direction as car traffic
b. In the middle of the trail
c. Zigzag back and forth

3. If you need to stop, what should you do?
a. Sit down on the trail
b. Move off to the side
c. Push yourself beyond your comfort zone and keep going

4. What side of the trail should runners use?
a. They shouldn’t use the trail and should run on the grass
b. With the flow and as far right as possible
c. On the left side of the trail

5. Who should yield to whom?
a. Runners should yield to cyclists
b. Cyclists should yield to pedestrians
c. Runners and cyclists should both yield and not move ahead

6. Of the three, which is the most dangerous for trail users?
a. Dragons
b. Quicksand
c. Headphones blasting loud music that prevents them from hearing others

7. If your dog has an accident on the trail, you should?
a. Make sure nobody saw and quickly walk away
b. Carry baggies in your pocket and clean up after your pet
c. Warn the next person you see and tell him/her to clean it up

8. If you are running or riding with a group of friends, how should you travel as a pack?
a. Run or ride side-by-side, taking up the width of the trail
b. Stay together but in a single-file line
c. Forget the run and go grab a beer instead

9. What’s one of the most important things to remember when passing?
a. Checking behind you is just as important as looking ahead
b. Don’t pass; simply adjust your speed to the people in front of you
c. If you approach someone, you should turn around and go the other direction

10. If you are on the trails in the evening or after sunset, how can you stay safe?
a. Wear a headlamp or hand torch or utilize a light on your bike
b. Make sure clothing is reflective and that you are visible
c. Both a and b are correct

Answer Key:
1. b, 2. a, 3. b, 4. b, 5. b, 6. c, 7. b, 8. b, 9. a, 10. c

Click here for a list of some of the best gear on the market for keeping runners and cyclists safe.

Send the Right Signal

Outside of the car-free trails, cyclists must adhere to another set of rules. Drivers can’t be expected to read bikers’ minds. Using hand signals can save lives, so here’s a refresher course on the signals you need to be sending.