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US Biathlon roller skiing guidelines

Thu, Jun  18, 2009 - By US Biathlon Association

I pledge to uphold the spirit of the US Biathlon Roller Skiing Guidelines, which offers a guide to my conduct as a member of US Biathlon.

General Guidelines.

The following guidelines describe the procedures to be adopted by US Biathlon members at all times when roller skiing:

  • Think safety first.
  • It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that he/she possesses the skills to roller ski safely in the selected terrain as well as to maintain his/her equipment in good and safe working order. It is also the responsibility of the individual to ski in a safe, non-hazardous manner.
  • Choose terrain that matches ability. Avoid areas with steep down hills, stop signs at the bottom of hills, railroad crossings, potholes, or other hazards.
  • Wear protective clothing. A hard-shell, regulation helmet (USCA) is mandatory. Inexperienced roller skiers should also wear leather-palmed gloves, wrist guards, and knee and elbow pads.
  • Ski under control. If in doubt, walk down steep hills or intentionally fall before reaching an unsafe speed.
  • Do not wear “walkmans” or other electronic devices that will decrease your ability to hear and react to any situation that may occur.

Roller Skiing on Public Roads.

The following guidelines describe the procedures to be adopted by US Biathlon members when roller skiing on roads that are also being used by automobile traffic:

  • If roller skiing must be conducted on public roads, select roads with minimal traffic. Roads with wide shoulders are preferable.
  • Refrain from roller skiing where the practice is prohibited by law. In such situations, work through your Club or team to negotiate road closures for periods set aside for roller ski training.
  • Roller ski when traffic is light and visibility is good. Do not ski when visibility is poor (fog, heavy rain, at dusk or dawn when the low sun may blind a driver’s view of objects in the road.
  • Obey the rules of the road. Skiers must adhere to traffic signals and posted signs.
  • Where possible, conduct technique in areas with controlled vehicle access.
  • For time trials, competitions or similar events, on public roads where traffic is permitted during the event, put out large signs that say: “Caution – Roller Skiers Training. Drive Carefully” or similar warnings. If a large event is scheduled, it is desirable also to post marshals to warn motorists of the activity.
  • Wear clothing that is light or bright in color, in order to be more visible to motorists. The use of fluorescent clothing or vests is endorsed as an extra step that should be considered.
  • Roller ski only in a single file and on the right side of the road traveling with the traffic, like a bicycle, or as required by local regulations.
  • Scan the road for traffic and maintain situational awareness at all times, creating time to react to traffic as it approaches. Be aware that wildlife in the road can be a hazard too.
  • When being passed by a car, yield as much room as possible. If practicing skating technique, switch to classic as a vehicle passes so as to take less room on the road.
  •  Be polite to drivers. A good relationship and good reputation with those with whom roller skiers must share the road is an important element in ensuring safety and protecting the privilege to use roads and highways for this purpose.