Photo by Jarvis
Running is a healthy activity. It can really improve one’s health, it is quite the social activity, you don’t need a special place to do it, and it is not expensive to engage in. I used to be a runner myself until both of my knees cried out, “NO MAS!!!” That was why I got into cycling. However, one thing I never, ever did as a runner, and certainly do not do as a cyclist, was put myself, and others, into harm’s way by moving opposite traffic. I have railed about this in previous articles, and spoken to runners themselves and law enforcement regarding, but it seems the Human Animal is a difficult one to reason with.
Today was quite the show. It was pure stupidity, near-tragedy, and then comedy on parade for one, young lady and some motorists (myself included). Obviously feeling “Empowered,” she believed it was her absolute duty to run against traffic, on a four-lane highway, with a posted speed of 45 MPH, even though there were two (2) juicy, sidewalks on either side of the road available for her use. Oh, and just for good measure – A brilliant set of headphones sat atop of her head, no doubt both feet swooshing along to her favorite tunes, oblivious to her plight. She was the master of her own, little world. And, why shouldn’t she be. Her peers have instilled the notion it was perfectly safe and acceptable to go head-on with motor vehicles and cyclists. Heck, it is even supported, and encouraged, in the running media both in print and on-line.
Well, after viewing this particular woman while I was driving west on that particular road (she was running westbound, in the eastbound number two lane), I commented to my wife on the stupidity of the runner, and how dangerous her behavior was to herself and others. Then, just as soon as I had finished my comments, a rapid succession of three cars almost hit her (the near-tragedy), and then Lil’ Runner Girl decided it was best to get out of the street and leapt onto the sidewalk. That was the comedy part of the event. And, it all transpired in less than seven seconds. Yes, one can be killed that quickly, and don’t expect motorists this day and age to pull over and see how you are, post collision.
So, just what is the basis for my ire? Well, there are enough problems on the road for everyone as it is without having arrogant runners thinking they can run anywhere they like, regardless of the consequences. For a pedestrian, the street is a very dangerous place to be. Running in the street opposing traffic, basically daring the inattentive motorists of the world to hit you, is completely beyond madness.
And, I thought cycling was dangerous.