I’m taking a page from the original etiquette bitch to cover the do’s and don’ts of swimming in the lap lanes and riding and running on the trail. You wouldn’t think it would be necessary to cover these basics, but I’ve gathered years of anecdotal evidence supporting the need for such remedial training.
(Correction: The TRUE original etiquette bitch is Mom-101. What can I say — all three of us know how we like things to be.)
First up, proper use of the lap lanes.
If you aren’t swimming laps, or even making a pretense of swimming laps (I’ll get to you in a second), get out of the lap lanes. Period. Also, get your beach balls, floating rafts, and candy wrappers out of the lap lanes. Finally, lap lanes are not a thoroughfare. If you get in my way, I will kick you and I will not feel bad about it.
If you and your bestie are clinging to kickboards and idly floating along — in two separate lap lanes, natch — as you yak for an hour, please share a lap lane.
If you are wearing a bikini, get the fuck out of the lap lanes.
Next, the trail. Allow me a moment to summon my strength.
Start by reading the handy-dandy signs posted all along the trail regarding etiquette. Unfortunately, they don’t cover all the transgressions I’ve witnessed, so I’ll elaborate.
Other signs are also posted along the trail regarding local ordinances. Read those too, and then leash your dog and get your Vespa off the trail.
Families, it’s adorable to see you out and about, getting some fresh air together instead of languishing in front of the TV, but please use some common sense. Educate your kids on trail etiquette beforehand — specifically the rule about riding/walking/running on the right, passing on the left. If you need to stop as a group, move off the trail. Don’t create a human roadblock.
New mamas, welcome to the trail. Contrary to what your raging hormones may tell you, you and your baby are not the center of the universe. Please read the signs. Also, benches are not meant for step-ups, particularly when you’re stepping back onto the trail and not paying attention to oncoming traffic. Go find a Stroller Strides class.
Old ladies on rollerblades, please keep practicing in your driveway for a few more weeks.
Fellow cyclists, please wear a helmet. Please. I’m genuinely concerned about you, and myself too; if you wreck, I don’t want to see the contents of your skull.
Fellow runners, please carry water. I worry about you too, and I don’t want to have to interrupt my training to call 911 if I find you suffering from heat stroke.
Grasshoppers, you are revolting. Get off the trail and into the grass, please.
I really do love to see people out being active, no matter what their age or fitness level. Ride your bike, walk your dog, push your baby — it’s all good. Just be safe, smart, and courteous about it, and we’ll all get along fine.