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Look. We’re not here to lecture. But a member recently informed us that, while getting exercise on the Schuylkill River Trail, she was buzzed by several cyclists on what looked like training rides. And that’s not OK.

“I had what must have been one of my worst all-time runs on the trail this morning, when I was almost hit by cyclists twice while attempting to keep distance from people,” this member told us. “I reflexively, repeatedly look over my shoulder before moving even a few inches one way or the other on the trail–these people were riding so fast I didn’t see them before I made my move.”

The member also noted one person yelled ‘share the road’ while cycling by.

“I’m a runner first and cyclist second,” the member continued, “and I belong to BCGP because I really care about safety. If I don’t feel safe running on the trail at 7:30am, I’m not sure what I’ll do.”

So. The trail system is a great resource right now, as many gyms are closed and people are required to “social distance” and stay out of groups of 10. But you’ve got to be courteous. This is a stressful time for everyone.

Among the rules:

  • Do not go faster than 7 miles per hour
  • Stay to the right, pass on the left
  • Always yield to pedestrians

For those interested, Philadelphia Magazine did a ‘trail etiquette’ post a few years ago, which gets to the heart of “dos” and “don’ts” on the Schuylkill River Trail, beyond what is just legal and illegal.

Of course, Philadelphia should also be opening pop-up bike lanes on streets for cyclists, since more people are getting around by bicycle during the pandemic.

But in the meantime, be courteous!

We get that you want exercise, and maybe you’re still training for something, but when you’re on a trail meant for people of all ages, abilities, and transportation types, you need to watch out for who’s coming up — and follow the speed limit (which, by the way, is 7 miles per hour!).

Note: Public health recommendations around mitigating the spread of COVID-19 may be subject to change. This content may not reflect the current recommendations. For current recommendations around social distancing and outdoor activity, please check the CDC website.

Randy LoBasso

Author

Randy LoBasso is the policy manager at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

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