Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 7:54 am | Partly Cloudy 44º


Captain’s Log: Safety and Outdoor Exercise

Let's all help prevent calamities by obeying laws and being more willing to let others go first

It does my heart good to see folks using leg power to move about town. Walking, jogging, running, bicycling, skateboarding — it’s all good.

Capt. David Bacon
Capt. David Bacon (Ramona Lisa McFadyen photo)

Heart rates are up, muscles are moving in natural ways, and being outdoors makes it way better than using a walking/running/bicycle machine inside a building — in my humble opinion.

Hmm, hold that free-spirited thought for a second. There is a security benefit to using those inside machines. People can plug their ears with music devices, close their eyes and race into virtual oblivion without a thought to safety. They still need to worry about coronary, pulmonary and other health-related safety issues, but they don’t have to take rapid action to avoid being run over or colliding with another exerciser. Well, unless it is an exceptionally rowdy day in the gym.

Street exercisers, however, have a death-defying obstacle course to strive to survive, and I wince at the near-misses I observe regularly. Vehicle drivers aren’t always willing to cede the road, no matter who has the right of way.

Then, too, people walking, jogging and riding are often guilty of stepping into an intersection when they should wait for the light or for a large vehicle to complete a turn. State Street, for example, is a scary place for both drivers and nondrivers. Try standing near a Lower State Street intersection and watch drivers and people on the street. Don’t do this right before going in for a blood-pressure test or you (and your physician) won’t like the test results.

The thought of hitting a person with my vehicle just scares the heck out of me. That is the stuff of nightmares. Being hit by a vehicle, when I’m on walkabout, scares me even more. One is difficult to live with, and the other is difficult to live through.

So what do we do?

I’d feel silly just recommending that we all obey the laws and be more willing to let the other person go first. After all, that doesn’t seem to be what human nature drives us to do. We need risk, competition and interaction. But on the street it will cost us — maybe cost us our lives.

Yup, after sitting here drumming my fingers on my desk, I’m going to ask us all (myself included) to obey the rights-of-way laws better and to be more gracious about letting the other person go first. Can we do this?

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.