Some advice for cyclists on trails
This letter is directed to cyclists who share the local trails with walkers and joggers. I have a few suggestions:
- when approaching pedestrians from behind, slow down and give them plenty of notice that you are coming. Ringing a bell is helpful;
- keep in mind that people tend to move to the right if they think someone wants to pass them (because of their experience driving a vehicle);
- make sure that the pedestrians have figured out what is going on before you pass them. Give them some time (several seconds) to react to your warning; and
- if you hit someone, or they fall trying to get out of your way, stop, apologize and make sure they are OK before riding off.
I have run on the trails at Burnaby Lake for many years. I have found that yelling “on your left” or “coming up on your right” can be confusing to people, especially older people, children and people who don’t understand English well. They may just hear “right” or “left” and move in that direction, which is not what you want. I’ve found it works better to simply call out “excuse me,” and then wait for them to figure out how they are going to move to let me go by.
Finally, a note of warning to walkers and joggers: watch out for a woman with medium length, curly dark hair who rides a mountain bike along the Capitol Hill trail westbound at around 8 a.m. She is the one who inspired this letter.