Cycling in narrow lanes

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markbiker
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Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby markbiker » 18 Aug 2020, 10:28am

I live in a rural area and have just started cycling.
The lanes are very narrow in places and only just wide enough for a car.
This morning I was cycling in one of the most narrow parts of my route where it is only just wide enough for a car. A car came up behind me and there was nowhere for me to pull over so I kept cycling to a wider part of the road where I would pull over.
While cycling at this point the car driver started hooting and continued to do so, probably for 10 or 12 times. I pulled over to let the driver past when I could.
What are cyclists rights in this situation?

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby Cyril Haearn » 18 Aug 2020, 10:36am

If there is no room to pass one must wait

Sounds like a normal driver, trying to bully you out of the way. Such person should be sent for psychiatric help
Last edited by Graham on 18 Aug 2020, 11:03am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: specific gender guesswork diverts from subject matter
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Paulatic
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby Paulatic » 18 Aug 2020, 10:54am

In that situation I’d of been tempted to stop in the middle of the road. Get off and look carefully at the rear of the bike then stroll up to the driver and ask innocently what it was you were trying to alert me about.
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roubaixtuesday
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby roubaixtuesday » 18 Aug 2020, 11:00am

I think you did exactly the right thing. Engaging with folk like that can result in very bad outcomes. You already know they are a rude, impatient bully encased in a tonne or two of high speed metal. You don't want to discover they're violent too.

I always look for the next opportunity to let a car pass on such a lane, regardless as to their behaviour.

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ncutler
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby ncutler » 18 Aug 2020, 11:02am

You have as much right to be on the road as anyone else. If there is no room for traffic to overtake then it just has to be patient.

Personally, I always try to make room for vehicles to overtake, but only if it is safe to do so. Don't cycle too close to the side of the road, give yourself space to wobble left without hitting anything, give yourself space to avoid holes, gravel, drain covers, rubbish in the gutter. If in any doubt about space for overtaking move out towards the centre of the road so that there is absolutely no doubt that overtaking is not possible.
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DaveBeck
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby DaveBeck » 18 Aug 2020, 11:03am

markbiker wrote:I live in a rural area and have just started cycling.
The lanes are very narrow in places and only just wide enough for a car.
This morning I was cycling in one of the most narrow parts of my route where it is only just wide enough for a car. A car came up behind me and there was nowhere for me to pull over so I kept cycling to a wider part of the road where I would pull over.
While cycling at this point the car driver started hooting and continued to do so, probably for 10 or 12 times. I pulled over to let the driver past when I could.
What are cyclists rights in this situation?


You've done exactly the right thing. When I do this, I always wave to thank them when I move over. Some say you shouldn't, but why not? I do it when I'm driving and someone waits for me, same difference really.

There is is the occasional muppet who can't wait a few seconds more, they're probably like that on a bike too if they ride one! But I find that the vast majority of drivers aren't like that; down here in Cornwall anyway! And will wait until the road becomes wider and they can pass safely. It's probably because more and more people are now cycling and now see things from both sides.

If you've only just started cycling, try and find a book called Cyclecraft, by John Franklin. It's used as the reference for the Bikeability training and gives you a lot of useful advice about various road situations.

Enjoy your cycling!

Dave B

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby Cyril Haearn » 18 Aug 2020, 1:01pm

'Did the right thing' maybe

But what if the driver keeps threatening, blowing the horn, should one try to ride on to find a wider place while the vehicle follows a few inches behind and there really is nowhere, nowhere to go (steep banks or walls, bridge), what then?
Last edited by Cyril Haearn on 18 Aug 2020, 4:59pm, edited 1 time in total.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby thirdcrank » 18 Aug 2020, 1:36pm

IMO, it's always best to think of your duties as a road user, rather than your rights. As others have said, you behaved correctly, indeed, it's hard to see what else you might have done. The niceties of language probably make no difference until things go wrong. "I was doing my best to reach a safe place for the vehicle behind to overtake" seems much better than "I have a 'perfect' right to ride down the middle of the road as long as I see fit."

Cyclecraft has been mentioned and +1

http://cyclecraft.co.uk/book.html

DaveBeck
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby DaveBeck » 18 Aug 2020, 1:41pm

They did exactly the right thing. As described, there was not enough space for the driver to pass without hitting them or their bike. There was no other choice! The fact that they may be blowing their horn isn't going to make the road any wider.

What is required by the slower vehicle, (horse, tractor, bicycle, slow car driver etc.) as defined by the Highway Code, is for it to pull in and let faster vehicles pass at the first, safe opportunity. I believe that you should not let more than 10 vehicles stack up behind you before you should definitely pull in at the first available chance

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby Cyril Haearn » 18 Aug 2020, 1:45pm

What if there is no room to let them by, high banks or walls?
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Jdsk
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby Jdsk » 18 Aug 2020, 1:58pm

DaveBeck wrote:You've done exactly the right thing. When I do this, I always wave to thank them when I move over. Some say you shouldn't, but why not? I do it when I'm driving and someone waits for me, same difference really.

There is is the occasional muppet who can't wait a few seconds more, they're probably like that on a bike too if they ride one! But I find that the vast majority of drivers aren't like that; down here in Cornwall anyway! And will wait until the road becomes wider and they can pass safely. It's probably because more and more people are now cycling and now see things from both sides.

If you've only just started cycling, try and find a book called Cyclecraft, by John Franklin. It's used as the reference for the Bikeability training and gives you a lot of useful advice about various road situations.

Agreed x3.

Jonathan

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NUKe
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby NUKe » 18 Aug 2020, 3:12pm

An old friend of mine had a solution to this. He rode an old AJS motorcycle round Suffolk hi ways and byway, he worked restoring windmills and lived his life at the same pace slow, occasionally he would get the impatient motorist behind. One particular evening , after not leaving a junction going when the motorist thought he should, And started blowing the horn Chris walked back to driver and Said
“Oh how lovely to see you, its been so long” he then inquired after the guys brother, he had the guy hook line and sinker, babbling away, describing how he had not been sleeping well, The guy didn’t know what to do, it was only when another car pulled in behind, Chris went Wait a minute your not Nigel, my mistake sorry. Went back restarted his bike and left the motorist totally flummoxed.
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DaveBeck
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby DaveBeck » 18 Aug 2020, 4:50pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:What if there is no room to let them by, high banks or walls?


Well I don't know about you, but I'd keep going forward until there was room. Wouldn't you?

Unless of course the Star Ship Enterprise was in orbit and you could get Scotty to beam you up!

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby Cyril Haearn » 18 Aug 2020, 4:53pm

DaveBeck wrote:
Cyril Haearn wrote:What if there is no room to let them by, high banks or walls?


Well I don't know about you, but I'd keep going forward until there was room. Wouldn't you?

Unless of course the Star Ship Enterprise was in orbit and you could get Scotty to beam you up!

I asked above, what should one do in a narrow lane, no space to let them by, where the driver continues to harass one by blowing their horn and following very closely?
..
I really think 'humourous' remarks about Starship Enterprise are inappropriate
The situation described is terrifying
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pwa
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby pwa » 18 Aug 2020, 5:08pm

If the driver behind is doing their bit right, not beeping or driving too close, I pull over (preferably without stopping) at the next wide bit and everyone is happy. I wave them past as I pull over. But on the very rare occasions when the driver shows impatience I make them wait a bit longer by cycling slower but still in the way, then pulling over with a bit less haste. I need to do that very seldom though, once every few years perhaps, and I do most of my cycling on lanes. Most drivers on the lanes around here are very good.