Cyclists worry about speeding cars on the road and mountain lions on the trails. Most riders forget that it's the mundane hazard, like a pedestrian, that's more likely to cause a crash. Ride smart around pedestrians to make roads and trails safe for everyone.
Ride on the street to avoid pedestrians. It is illegal to ride on sidewalks in many cities, expressly to prevent accidents between pedestrians and cyclists.
If it is legal to ride on sidewalks in your area, slow down, use a bell to warn pedestrians of your presence and walk your bike through crowded areas.
Yield to hikers when you ride trails. On multiuse trails, always control your speed to be able to stop suddenly to avoid a collision.
When a bike path paints separate bike and pedestrian areas, stay on your side. Pass pedestrians on the left, give a verbal warning of your presence and provide plenty of clearance as you pass.
Take foot traffic into consideration when you plan your bike route. Hit your favorite trail or path during low-use times.
Article Written By Kathrine Cole
Kathrine Cole is a professional outdoor educator. She teaches rock climbing, backpacking, cycling, and bike maintenance classes. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, a Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Trainer.