Safety tips for walkers, joggers and bicyclists
The weather outside is…delightful? Indeed it is. The good weather makes it possible to do all the things that we love to do. Hiking, biking, jogging: you’re only limited by your own imagination.
Watching the sunrise over the Superstition Mountains is a sight rivaled only by the majesty of an Arizona sunset. The colors are beautiful and brilliant, and a walk at sunrise or at sunset is one of the best ways to get some exercise and enjoy the beauty of the Sonoran Desert.
Our beautiful weather is what makes Apache Junction one of America’s favorite winter destinations. In fact, people from all over North America make their way here every year–practically doubling our population each winter.
The winter growth is a welcomed phenomenon for our local businesses, and each year, we look forward to excitement that comes with the return of our part time residents. The winter growth is not without its challenges though.
The increase in our population means that there are more people out and about enjoying the beautiful weather and the plethora of activities available to us here in AJ. Be it walking, jogging or biking, the opportunity for accidents increases. Since we have several months of good weather in front of us, here are some safety tips to help you get the most out of the winter season.
Walk, run, or jog on the left side of the road, against the flow of traffic. If you are walking or jogging at night or before dawn, wear bright colors; maybe even florescent. Also, carry a flashlight of some sort with you. Many stores sell affordable LED lamps that you can clip right to your hat or jacket. This allows drivers to see you as they approach. A good light will help you see also. There are many desert areas around town with some uneven surfaces (and the critters that we love), so being able to see your path is of the utmost importance.
Ride your bike with the flow of traffic, on the right side of the road. Make sure you bike is equipped with reflectors. It is also important to have a light mounted on the front of your bike if you’re riding in the dark. It’s not just good common sense, but it’s also the law. Take some time to familiarize yourself with Arizona bicycle safety laws. Some may object to the unfashionable look of a bike helmet, but there have been some stylistic advancements made in the bike helmet world. You now can express your individualism with a variety of colors and designs, while protecting your brain. Nobody means to fall, but it happens. Broken bones mend, but brain injuries can be downright deadly.
Don’t forget to drink water. This is still a dry climate, and it’s important to stay hydrated. The cooler weather can be deceptive, and the effects of dehydration may not be obvious at first. Add to all the activity the coffee and tea that we all love so much, and you have a recipe for dehydration. Drink a glass of water with that toffee nut latte.
Whether biking or walking, pay attention to your surroundings. If you must listen to music through headphones while you’re enjoying the outdoors, it’s recommended you only use one and leave the other ear open to listen for approaching traffic or potential warnings of danger.
AJPD wants everyone to enjoy the beautiful weather and all the amenities available in the Apache Junction area. We are currently passing out red reflectors at the police department. Just come into the lobby to get your free reflector. Stay safe out there.