Saturday, February 24 , 2018, 2:37 pm | Fair 59º

 
 
 
 

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.

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