Get your direction right.
– Cyclists ride in the same direction as cars.
– Runners run facing the traffic.
Should you wear headphones?
– Not if you are riding. Remember that cars will be coming up from behind you. Your ears will give you a good idea as to speed and distance.
– You can run with earphones although you are safer without them. If I am on my own I always run with music. I keep the volume down to a level that leaves me fully aware of my surroundings.
Cyclists and runners need to constantly look around. Dogs, potholes, cars, slippery sand all need to be mentally noted.
Cyclists have developed their own hand language whereby they warn one another about impending danger on the road. I believe that runners should do the same. If you see a pothole and are unable to talk then point at it and follow it with your finger as you run past. This should be sufficient for the person behind you to avoid danger.
Wear colors that stand out. The more visible you are the better. Cyclists should have rear and front lights on their bikes.
Run/Ride with a Friend when possible.
You are always safer when you are with someone. This isn’t always possible but should be encouraged. Make sure that you know how to contact your friend’s family in case of
Have your emergency details at hand – Don’t go out anonymously.
I have been a member of sweatsafe for a number of years. My sweatsafe band has an emergency number on it and a short members code. Linked to my code is the following:
– my name
– medical aid details
– blood type
– any illness that I might have that a paramedic should be aware of
– two phone numbers of family members.
Sweatsafe upon a call will get a Netcare Ambulance out to their stricken member. This service is done free of charge.
They contact your next of kin.
They relay pertinent health information to the paramedic and doctors in casualty.
They also cover medical aid shortfalls to a set amount.
Tell your family where you are going.
This is especially important if you are going out on your own.
Don’t run the same route every day at the same time. Vary your routes and the time that you leave.
Carry a phone and ID if you choose not to link up with a company like sweatsafe.
I always ride with my cell phone. I have run from time to time with it but find it really uncomfortable. Having a cell on hand enables you to respond appropriately if you come across someone who is ill or that has had an accident.
I believe that we should all greet people when running and riding. However you should not start up a conversation with someone who pulls up alongside you while you are training. Greet and ignore if you are feeling at all uncomfortable. You need then to try and get out of the situation as soon as possible. Run into an open drive way, zip into a petrol station, do whatever it takes to ditch the person alongside you.
Look BIGGER than what you are.
Cyclists that can hear a car coming up behind should pull out slightly into the road. You need to look big. As you hear the car draw near, pull in as close to the curb as you safely can.
Runners facing oncoming traffic should swing their left arm across the body. You will look slightly wider than normal. As the car goes past try to get yourself as small as possible.
Please be careful out there, and please feel free to add any point that might help us all be safer while training.