I have been riding my bike on the local bike trails for over 20 years. It always amazes me that more people aren’t aware of what side of a bike trail or road you should cycle on versus running or walking. It also amazes me that many paved bike trails do not have signage that lets people know which side to be on.
The main reason for following these rules are to remain safe. With cyclists zooming around corners, you need to watch out for them, even though the responsibility falls on the cyclist to yield to runners and walkers.
As a runner or walker, you should be on the left side of a paved bike path (the opposite side that you would drive on). As a cyclist, you should be on the right side. Cyclists should yield to runners or walkers and faster runners should yield to slower traffic.
If you are running in a bike lane along a road, or running on the shoulder, you should also run on the left side against traffic. The main reason for this is that you can keep an eye on the traffic. With more people driving with their phone in hand, it is more important than ever to take the initiative and watch out for them.
If you are out running around dawn or dusk when visibility is limited, it is a good idea to wear reflective clothing and lights. There are several options ranging from a couple of dollars to over $100. One of my favorite ways to make sure I am seen is the Tracer 360 from Noxgear (click here for my review).
The Tracer360 is a light weight vest that has fiber optic cables that light up with multiple colors. You can pick a solid color or have the vest flash through multiple colors. I have been stopped several times by people asking what I was wearing. It is powered by batteries and they last for several months before needing to be changed. You can buy the Tracer 360 at the Noxgear website starting at $55.00.
Follow the rules of the road or trail and stay safe out there. By taking a few precautions, you can greatly reduce the chance of injury.