Rules of the Road

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sticking to the right whenever possible, making it clear when you're passing on the left and casting a few looks over your shoulder go a long way to ensuring a peaceful run or ride. Here are a few other tips based on the risky behavior I saw on the Capital Crescent Trail.

· Turn down your tunes. Or, better yet, take them off. Walkers and runners have a habit of wearing iPods, and now cyclists are doing it a lot, too. Riding with headphones is illegal in Virginia, and even though it's permitted on the Capital Crescent Trail, it won't make you any friends. Just as for pedestrians, it's a dangerous practice because you can't hear what's going on around you.

· Double means trouble. There's nothing wrong with two people walking down the trail side by side. But when the one on the left is pushing a stroller or is a child, it's trickier for him or her to slide over to the right into single file. Keep the more vulnerable or less mobile person toward the outside of the trail.

· Change is good. If you think you can pick a pace and stick with it for an entire outing on a popular path, ha! Setting out at a steady clip is great, but sometimes conditions will warrant that you slow down (no matter your means of transportation).

© 2008 The Washington Post Company