Here at Bicycle NSW, we love parkrun! This is because it has encouraged thousands of people worldwide to be more physically active.
Invented in the UK back in 2004, parkrun is a free, weekly, community 5km walk/run. It’s all about encouraging people to get out and be active no matter if you walk or run the event.
parkrun has turned into a global movement with 22 countries hosting events. Here in Australia we have 411 parkrun locations from Cloncurry (outback QLD), to Manjimup (WA) to Woy Woy (NSW) and everywhere in between.
Each Saturday morning starting from 7am - 8am (depending on location) parkrun is hosted on shared paths, race courses, show grounds, parks, sand dunes etc. Children, families, parents pushing prams and people who use wheelchairs all participate.
Shared Path Etiquette
Like most other events, if the area is busy, bike riders tend to avoid it. Some parkruns have over 500+ participants, so it can make shared paths very busy.
We recommend having a look at the parkrun website to see if you’ll encounter any events on your ride.
We have some tips for maintaining a safe shared path for all users.
- Keep left, unless overtaking (similar to road use).
- When overtaking, try to provide one metre of space.
- Travel at a speed suitable for your surroundings. Shared paths often have crowds of people (especially for parkruns!), many young children, dogs, older pedestrians and people who may not be able to hear you easily. Use your bell or politely yell “Overtaking on the left/right” to let pedestrians know you are there.
- Be aware of surroundings such as dogs, children and bike riders.
- If you are planning to stop, we suggest moving off the path to your left.
- Keep animals on short leads so you can react to any hazards accordingly. Often leads can be hard for bike riders to see when riding and can cause accidents.
Bike riders need to be aware that pedestrians may move in unpredictable ways, especially if startled, and you may need to stop in a hurry. People using wheelchairs, mobility aids, prams or managing pets may also be unable to move quickly or leave the path.
“We love seeing more people being active to improve their mental and physical health,” said Kim Lavender, Bicycle NSW Communications Manager.
“We know that parkruns can make shared paths very busy and we encourage everyone to follow common courtesy and safety measures.”
Find out more about parkrun here.