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Rules of the Road

Rules of the Road

Meredith Minix

What a beautiful time to exercise outside. The days are warm, the nights are cool, the humidity is low, and the sky is beautiful. What more could you ask for?

In a word: SAFETY!

While heading into work today, on Braddock road of all places, I saw a cyclist riding his bike against traffic on the road! This brings me so much frustration. Frustration for other drivers, frustration for other cyclists…when are people going to begin using their common sense?

In the interest of all my fellow outdoor enthusiasts and fellow motorists, let’s review the rules so that everyone can stay safe while exercising and enjoy these beautiful days outdoors:

• Bicycles are vehicles. They follow the same rules as motorists do, so stay on the right, with traffic.
• Cyclists are harder to see on the road, so ride conspicuously and make your intentions clear.
• As with any motor vehicle, a cyclist should also be prepared for an emergency. Check tire pressure, brakes and chains before your ride.
• And for anyone on the road, rage makes all situations worse. Keep your head and anticipate what others may do.

As for my runners and walkers:

• Always run against traffic.
• Use your common sense. As with cyclists, think ahead as to what traffic may do and make sure you can be seen, whether day or night.
• If on a sidewalk or on a trail, follow the rules of the posted signs. Stop at a stop sign, don’t make sudden U-turns, and pay extra attention in blind curves.
• Always run/walk on the right side of the path and never more than two people wide.
• When passing, always pass on left and always vocalize where you are to people in front of you.

Follow these rules, mixed in with a little common sense, and the roads, trails and sidewalks will be enjoyed by all. Have a great time outside this fall!

Meredith Minix is the owner of Fitness Together studios in Fairfax and Tysons. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Leisure with an emphasis in Sports Fitness and Management. A married mother of three young children, Meredith excels at helping her clients juggle family, career and exercise –the balancing act of the 21st century! Find Meredith and her local Fitness Together colleagues at ftcustomfitness.com and follow them on Facebook to get their health tips and fitness news.