Summer just changed to Fall and that is a big deal. Major change is a major problem because our lazy brain gets in a twitter and fights tooth and nail to stay the same.
My first major problem was the clocks. The smartphone, IPad, and laptop did the “fall back” automatically. I pushed the dang buttons on the bedroom clock and finally got it right. I ignored the coffeepot clock and the truck clock button still does not work so it will stay wrong until Spring. I am ashamed that my new smart wrist GPS step counter and time teller is still wrong and maybe I can get one of the grandkids to push the right stuff to reset it over Thanksgiving.
Enough fussing about the newfangled stuff. Let’s get to the serious walking business. This is the time of year that gets dark sooner and stays dark longer, and now when must brush up on walking with SAFETY FIRST LAST AND ALWAYS.
It is the time of year to show out, be the center of attention, and “steal the show. Wear the brightest orange, yellow, or red reflective, blinking, weird, attention grabbing, stuff you can safely walk or run in. Drivers do not expect you, so you are responsible to make sure they see you. Dawn and twilight are warning words to walkers, because drivers have vision problems with the rising and setting sun.
Some of us walk on roads with no sidewalks. Stay on the side of the road facing traffic. Always be alert to take evasive action. Walkers do not do well in head-on encounters with cars and trucks.
Be aware of bikers and fast runners. Here are the “rules of the game”. Bike riders approaching from behind should holler “passing on right/left” and maybe ring a bell. Not all bike riders or fast runners know the rules. A walker’s job is to listen, move to single file and be careful. Bike and walker collisions can result in busted bones and head injuries and remember, you are not wearing a helmet. If you are not on a sidewalk or a wide bike lane, it is a good idea to walk in a single file.
I need to warn you that it is not a good idea to mess with your smartphone or GPS when walking. I have had two close calls this week. I must quit doing something stupid.
Look both ways before crossing any street. Some towns have controlled intersections and it is a good idea to cross at pedestrian crossing lights. Drivers and bikers may have a green light but don’t expect you to be in the crosswalk. Make eye contact, wave and smile. It is your job to be seen.
If you walk with a pet, use a short leash, and teach them to leash walk. Pets like to show out.
Be aware out there. Use places used by other walkers, runners, and bikers. Pick well lighted areas especially when the clock falls back. If somebody looks suspicious, change your course, or go into a busy building. Sometimes if I got a bad feeling, I take my walking stick. Make the bad folks pick another target.
This is great time of year to start the Brisk Walking Habit. Be happy and safe.