Ready to get out and move
Published 7:01 am Thursday, April 9, 2015
Are you ready to get moving? Tis the season to enjoy the beautiful weather and the great trail system in Austin, whether you enjoy walking, bicycling, running, rollerblading or even long boarding.
First, take a look at a trail map. They are available to download at the city of Austin web site at www.ci.austin.mn.us/park-recreation/bike-trail-map. You can also find printed versions of the map at the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, Rydjor Bike Shop and the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce. You’ll be able to see where the nearest trail entry point is to your home and workplace.
When you are on the trail, watch for QR codes on the trail signage. You can scan with your smart phone and get a digital map of the trails with “You are here” arrow.
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Some guidelines for safe use of the trails, whether you are bicycling, walking, jogging, or skating:
• Be courteous. All trail users, including bicyclists, joggers, walkers, wheelchairs, skateboarders, bladers and skaters, should be respectful of other users regardless of their mode, speed or level of skill.
• Don’t block the trail. When in a group or with your pets, use no more than half the trail so as not to block the flow of other users.
• Keep Right and Pass on the Left. Stay as near to the right side of the trail as is safe, except when passing another user. Pass others on their left. Yield to slower and oncoming traffic. Look ahead and back to make sure the lane is clear before you pull out and pass. Do not move back to the right until safely past. Remember kids and pets can be unpredictable.
• Give audible warning before passing. Give a clear signal by using voice “on the right,” bell or horn before passing. Give the person you are passing time to respond. Watch for their reaction. So that you can hear these signals, don’t wear headphones on the trail.
• Stopping. When stopping, move off of the trail. Beware of others approaching you from behind and make sure they know you are pulling over.
• Obey all traffic signs and signals. Use extra caution where trails cross streets. Stop at all signs and intersections and be cautious when crossing driveways. When entering or crossing a trail yield to traffic on the trail.
• Use lights at night. Be equipped with lights when using a trail at any time from dusk to dawn. Bicyclists should have a white light visible from 500 feet to the front and a red or amber light visible from 500 feet to the rear. Other trail users should have white lights visible from 250 feet to the front, and a red or amber light visible from 250 feet to the rear.
• Clean up litter. Do not leave glass, paper, cans, plastic, or any other debris on or near a trail. If you drop something, please remove it immediately.
Inspired to get moving? Make a commitment to commute to work or school on May 15 with your feet. It is national Bike Walk to School/Work Day and Austin will be participating. Find out more at www.walkbiketoschool.org.
Kids and adults are welcome to come get a safety check on bikes and get fitted for a bike helmet at the Bike Safety Bash at Lions Park on Sunday, May 17. The event runs 1 to 3 p.m. and families need can get a high-quality helmet fitted for a $5 co-pay or $10 co-pay for adults.