12 kph. Max.

In Vancouver, one shares the road or sidewalk with a dizzying array of vehicles: cars, moped, bikes, bladers, runners, scooters, and the very odd Segway (he appeared to be using it in lieu of a wheelchair). In general we peacefully co-exist with the usual frustrations between drivers and bikers who look precarious, runners who don’t yield to faster-moving bikers and bladers, and between runners and walkers who walk four-across the sidewalk.

I guess I’ve created in my mind a hierarchy of transportation modes, slotting runners between bladers/bikers and walkers since I’m personally not that fast. Runners are in the midst of getting some exercise but are slow enough to give you plenty of warning that we’ll be crossing your path. I’d like to think that most runners are generally alert enough for their own safety to be aware of peripheral activities and feel the social responsibility to take whatever action is appropriate.

So I was really disappointed when we were out running and a woman in my group felt that we were fast-moving vehicles (we were going 12kph – max.) who screeched first at a youth ahead of us who fumbled with his basketball. Later in the same run, a girl darted from her bench in the open area (i.e., not a path) outside Scienceworld to fetch her hair accessory just as we were arriving and was scolded for her impulse in front of her friends.

Why can’t we all just play nice?

2 Comments so far

  1. Henry (unregistered) on August 10th, 2006 @ 4:06 pm

    You always have the most interesting of posts, Wynne –
    I’m one of those really slow guys that go at 10km/h max, but I try my best to keep good running etiquette. Some running clinic instructors are very good and dwelve into this subject and some instructors … should really be taking notes rather than instructing. To each their own on what a good running instructor is, how fast and how experience s/he must be to be one.
    I tend to go by the following etiquette when running in a group:
    1) if its crowded, run in a SINGLE file. Usually, I put my hand behind my back and point to my heel to indicate ‘single-file’
    2) use your hands to signal for left/right turns
    (lets people in front of you know which way your group is going and also helps with the pack behind you)
    3) if you see any kind of hazards like potholes, fire hydrants or obstacles, indicate a direction you want to run
    4) if you decide to spit flem out, signal
    5) try running on the right side of the road
    6) if you decide to do a 10:1 break or even slow down, signal
    7) when crossing a street look both directions and yell “CLEAR” if it is clear

    that’s all I can think of for now. These rules may seem a bit outrageous for you at first, but as you get faster and faster or if you decide to do fartleks, these rules become more and more important. Some clinic instructors don’t know or care or just mock these rules. But one isn’t exactly ‘playing nice’ if your group takes up the whole sidewalk running on the left side instead of the right now is it?
    I personally find the average runner to be a bit lacking on running etiquette when they are in groups, mostly breaking etiquette rule number 1)

    I’d be interested the riding chemistry of the pros like Ryan and his peloton.


  2. Ryan Cousineau (unregistered) on August 10th, 2006 @ 6:53 pm

    I Am Not A Pro. As competitive cyclists go, I’m beer league.

    If you see any cyclists on a sidewalk (as opposed to a multi-use path (MUP)), please tell them to go elsewhere.

    MUPs are notoriously dangerous, because of the potential for extreme speed differentials between traffic like cyclists and strollers, and the tendency for really random, undisciplined movement. The only one I would recommend to cyclists moving faster than a jogging pace is the 10k Seymour Watershed path, because it is very wide and there’s virtually no traffic on it after the first kilometer or two.

    Cycling pacelines, it pains me to say, have considerable dangers, especially as they get bigger. The usual problems are chain reaction crashes, or undisciplined riders half-wheeling and crashing. Paceline etiquette calls for smooth, steady riding, as much hand-signalling of hazards as possible, and fenders with extensions in the rainy season.

    But the advantages of riding in a paceline are tremendous. Moving at a steady 30 km/h pace, I can see the considerable jump on my heart rate monitor as I go from drafting to taking my turn at the front of the line. At faster speeds it matters even more.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.