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“On Your Left!” – Good Bike Trail Etiquette and Keeps Running Safe!

"On Your Left"


On your left,” I have heard it thousands and probably said it hundreds of times in my 23 years of serious running.  Mostly I hear this phrase on bike trails as bikes pass which is common courtesy and good trail etiquette since they are usually going 100 MPH. Then you get that occasional bike that blows by you, never giving you any warning and missing you by inches,  just about giving you a heart attack.

Denver (and I’m sure other cities) has done a great job of designing its bike trails and for a runner these trails are a godsend since you can run just about any distance you desire with minimal street crossings.  Some trails are made of asphalt, some cement and even some with crusher fine but all, at least in Denver, are in great condition and a pleasure to run. On any given day you will see an abundance of runners, walkers and bike riders.

Meeting New Runners – Always a Pleasure!

Meeting New Runners

When you are away from your running family, there is a void — a missing link.  Your running group is comparable to the TV show Cheers, a place where everyone knows your name.  You feel comfortable, relaxed, accepted and happy.  When you’re away on travel or a vacation, although you still probably get in your miles, it’s just not the same.  Things are missing such as your motivation, mental focus, competitiveness and overall connection you have when you’re running with your friends–basically you are on your own.  Sure, you pass other runners and say hi, but it’s really the same as passing cars going in the other direction.  Once you finish your run, you just move on with the day.  No spice!   Conversely, when you finish your run with your running family, there’s conversation, connection and maybe breakfast, dinner or just a beer.  You get the whole package with your running family and it  makes you feel fulfilled and whole.

All Runners are Champions!


Red Reaching - LEGO® Sculpture by Nathan Sawaya


This week while on vacation, my wife Debbie and I took a walk along Keawakapu Beach (in Kihei, HI) to the Shops at Wailea.  We like to go there so we can have our favorite coffee (that a fellow vacationer recently turned us on to) at the Honolulu Coffee Company.  As we were walking through the shops, I saw this sculpture through the window of the Eclectic Image Gallery and it spoke to me.  It’s made completely out of LEGO® bricks (yes, legos!).  It’s the vision and creative artistic work of Nathan Sawaya, who actually published a book titled “The Art of the Brick: The Pictorial” that’s a collection of photos of some of Sawaya’s most amazing sculptures and portraits.  This particular sculpture is called “Red Reaching,” and when I saw it, I instantly thought of a runner crossing the finish line.  Many runners raise their hands in the air when crossing the finish line and us runners know exactly what that feeling is like.  This picture (taken w/my iPhone) honestly does not do this sculpture justice!  In person, it has many more obvious details, even down to the nose!  Seeing it in person is both mesmerizing and breathtaking.  Click here for a more detailed picture.

Remembering a Run and Gaining a Friend!

Mike Fontes - Jim Lynch - Randy Caley at the 2011 Tucson Marathon


It is amazing how running can be the catalyst to establish new friendships.  Many of my friends are runners and I cannot think of a better group of friends to associate with.

During one of our Saturday runs with Runners Edge of the Rockies in Denver, I stopped at one of our aid stations, looked down at the ground, and found an iPod Shuffle.  I hung on to it and took it home.  Immediately, I posted on our running group’s website asking if anyone lost an iPod Shuffle and that I had found it.  A member, Mike Fontes, responded that it was his, so I wrote back to let him know I would bring it to the next run.  I actually had no idea who Mike Fontes was so, after asking around, I found him.  Turns out that at that time, Mike was running in a slower pace group and actually weighed more than he does today.  He was just getting the running bug.  I gave him the iPod Shuffle, he said thanks and that was that.  I then headed off for my run with my pace group.  Little did I know, Mike would soon become a standout in our running group.

The $1.00 LIVESTRONG Yellow Wristband Lesson


A $1.00 Wristband Taught Me a Lesson!


About five years ago I noticed everyone wearing a yellow rubber bracelet with the words LIVESTRONG on their wrist.  I knew it  had something to do with the Lance Armstrong Foundation.  Cool I thought.  One day shortly thereafter, while working out at my 24-hour fitness, I  noticed they had them for sale for just $1.00.  So, I bought one and have been wearing it ever since.  Besides being an inexpensive piece of “jewelry,” it’s also become the biggest $1.00 lesson I’ve learned, and I now wear it proudly today for a reason.