You've spent all that money on a swish bike, or a new phone which you take running to track your route. How annoyed would you be if your bike ended up in the water and your phone smashed because you crashed into someone?
You may know your local towpath like the back of your hand but the people using it change everyday. Toddlers enjoying feeding the ducks with their grown ups might step into your way not knowing they need to look first. Pets living on boats might jump down onto the towpath and end up under your wheels or feet.
Please, take a different route if you want to race.