For fitness enthusiasts who find themselves in or around the BWI Airport, the nearby BWI Trail in Glen Burnie provides an excellent venue for running and biking. It’s a 12-mile paved loop around the airport with access to diverse views of the city and its residents as they go about their daily lives. However, it can be bustling – and you could run into a mishap if you’re not careful. Here are some personal safety tips to remember before the need to consult a doctor or lawyers should arise.
Sharing the trail
The BWI Trail connects with Baltimore and Annapolis, and certain sections experience a lot of traffic. Even along the more peaceful sections of the trail, always remember that you are on a trail along with fellow pedestrians, joggers, and bikers. Families take their kids and pets here for a walk. Photographers could also be present, taking pictures of the available views and city life.
There are many different experiences offered along the trail. A section runs through the pine forest of Friendship Park, and in the northern area, there is a good view of the aviation runway. You can catch a glimpse of a horse farm as well. For those looking for an athletic challenge, parts of the trail have well-marked hard curves and climbs.
No matter what you’re seeking here on the trail, be mindful of the people around you and their activities, and the speeds at which they are going. Pets and kids may wander across your path; photographers can be stationary. Remain alert, and pay attention to your surroundings – it is not recommended that you play loud music on earphones, or get too focused on your handheld devices.
Stop, look, listen
At times the BWI trail runs along busy roads with multiple lanes of traffic and crosses driveways and parking lots. Slow down and pay attention to the motor traffic as you approach these areas. Vehicles are moving at a greater speed, with a narrow margin for error. Also, road signs reminding drivers of the foot traffic may not be as frequent as those on the trail.
Trail etiquette gives pedestrians the right of way. Faster bikers, skaters, and joggers could overtake from behind. It’s common courtesy to overtake from the left, and call out to or otherwise notify those ahead of you. For cyclists, a top speed of 10-15 miles per hour is recommended. And even if it’s not required by law, wear a helmet for added protection.
Courtesy and safety
Among the community of fitness enthusiasts, it’s said that simply being courteous to your fellows will help to improve everyone’s experience on the trail. If you get injured while running or encounter a malfunction with your bike, it would be great to receive help from others – and even better if you could be that helpful person. That being said, one must always balance this with a measure of caution when dealing with strangers or when in unfamiliar areas. Trust your instincts.
If you are heading out alone, always keep some form of identification on you, along with any medical conditions. Let someone know where you are going. Keep your mobile phone with at least one emergency contact if something happens.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure. Taking reasonable precautions to minimise risks of accident or injury is a simple way to enjoy the experience and scenery of the BWI trail safely.