Cycling in narrow lanes

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Oldjohnw
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby Oldjohnw » 19 Aug 2020, 12:09pm

The driver behind can't help being there. The cyclist is equally entitled to be there. Both should be tolerant of each other. I always acknowledge the car driver when he can eventually pass in a sort of "thanks for your consideration and respect". Usually the driver responds in similar fashion. Problems rarely arise but some - both motorist and cyclist - seem to have almost daily confrontation.
John

lbomaak2
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby lbomaak2 » 19 Aug 2020, 12:27pm

Last week I had a few days in rural North Wales, where "only just wide enough for a car" is the standard road width away from A/B roads. All the drivers I met were sensible, but one in particular was ultra-polite.

I was hauling myself up a 1-in-7 hill on my somewhat laden touring bike in my lowest gear (around 32 inches!), when a driver coming down the hill saw me and pulled into a passing place at least 50 metres ahead of me. When I eventually reached him, he leaned out of his window and said "Well done; you are putting me to shame".

Stradageek
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby Stradageek » 19 Aug 2020, 12:34pm

The only idea I might add is that there is one advantage cyclist have over even the largest car which is that most motorists are scared witless about scratching or otherwise damaging their cars. So when trailed by an aggressive motorist I demonstrate how risky an overtake would be by wobbling and weaving a little to show how much space I really need. This is particularly effective with cars approaching from the front on narrow lanes.

I do concur with the majority of the posts however and will always seek a suitable place for a safe overtake and wave the vehicle through at the earliest opportunity.

How would we feel if a group of pedestrians on a dual use cycle path refused to move over?

richardfm
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby richardfm » 19 Aug 2020, 12:37pm

lbomaak2 wrote: When I eventually reached him, he leaned out of his window and said "Well done; you are putting me to shame".

My son and I had something similar with a pedestrian a couple of weeks back. We were going up a long steep hill laden with touring gear in South Wales. We stopped at a Tesco at the top to buy supplies and the pedestrian we passed on the way up caught up. He spent a while chatting and complimented us on cycling up the hill.

flat tyre
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby flat tyre » 19 Aug 2020, 1:58pm

DaveBeck wrote:OK, purely with my cycling instructor's helmet on, I'll answer your question.

You should either ride in the primary position, in the centre of your lane, or in the secondary position, which is to the left of your lane, somewhere around where the nearside wheel of a car will go.

The secondary position could be described as the default position, when you are happy for vehicles to overtake you.

When YOU feel that the road has become too narrow for a vehicle to pass safely, you move to the primary position, ie. "Take the lane." Examples of this include approaching a junction, or a narrow country lane. This has the added benefit of making you more visible to follow vehicles and discourages rash overtakes.

In the case of a narrow road, hold this position until YOU feel it is safe to allow following vehicles to overtake you, move back to the secondary position to allow them to pass.

It can feel daunting to do this at first, but with practice it becomes the natural way to ride as your confidence grows.

The roads are never that narrow for too long, although it may seem like it at the time, so a suitable passing place will soon come (if you know one is coming up, you could also ride a bit faster to get there if possible), and you can let the vehicle past.

Dave B

I do most of my cycling on narrow country lanes and this always works for me.

Pebble
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby Pebble » 19 Aug 2020, 3:06pm

pwa wrote: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.

Indeed, the vast majority of drivers do it properly, and when I am aware they have come down to my speed and believe they will be careful I will do my utmost to get them past, even if that means having to stop and put a foot down or cycle in the gutter. I have no wish to be followed by a car or lorry, the sooner they are past the better, I love my empty roads and the very last thing I want is bad feeling or confrontation.

Problems begin if you get a moron behind, they approach too fast, rev the engine, beep the horn etc. Difficult to know whats best with these idiots, I don't want them there, they're spoiling my day and I want them past as soon as possible. Waiting for a wider bit and moving slowly over to the side has its risks, they are likely to do a bad tempered full throttle acceleration the moment they can squeeze past (they could easily loose control and hit and seriously injure you). My tactic in these situations is to slowly stop and dismount in the middle of the road and walk calmly to the side ready to jump for it if they do anything daft, this tactic is far from ideal but for me seems to posses the least risk. Thankfully these situations are very rare, don't think I have had one this year.

I think vehicles coming in the opposite direction on single tracks are more of a problem, again I do my best to be courteous, but some just drive too fast, and it annoys the hell out of me when I stop in the side to let them past and they don't give a thankyou wave or anything. Again fairly rare, but I did have one a few weeks ago, i'm less than 50 yards from a passing place and an oncoming logging lorry drives straight past the passing place so as we both have to come to a standstill and I have to get off the road - what an utter tw4t of a driver.

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mjr
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby mjr » 19 Aug 2020, 7:26pm

Stradageek wrote:How would we feel if a group of pedestrians on a dual use cycle path refused to move over?

Extremely relaxed, if there's nowhere safe for them to move over to. There are a couple of short narrows on my so-so cycleway route to town where that's the case, so I don't ring my bell when approaching walkers on them. I just coast along slowly until it widens again.

A few times over the years, a walker has looked back, seen me and almost come a cropper trying to move over into a drainage ditch fence until I signalled that it's OK for them to continue ahead of me to a wider bit. It makes me think there are some bullies on bikes around :-(
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chris_suffolk
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby chris_suffolk » 19 Aug 2020, 7:44pm

Had a similar experience a couple of years back with an open top sports car 'impressing' the G/F / Wife / Mistress.~

Stopped and asked what the issues was, as there was nowhere for me to pull over safely. G/F must have had a word, as he stopped and didn't follow me again, even though was in 'such a hurry'.

I tend to allow patient / courteous cars to pass, others I make wait (revving engine, horns, shouting etc) - and it has been known to be upwards of 5 miles on occassion. I see no reason for the poor behaviour on their part. If they want to use the small cut through lanes, then surely the occasional hold up is all part of it - tractors, horses, bikes etc.

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foxyrider
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby foxyrider » 19 Aug 2020, 10:00pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:
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


No its not terrifying, there is only one reasonable course of action which is to proceed forward. now whether you stop to let them pass is another thing altogether, the reasonable thing would be to do so when the opportunity allows but you don't have to.

I get this sort of situation a lot in the lanes around Brizzle, unless its a private road, the driver can't own the road! The best outcome is to meet a tractor going the other direction :lol:
Convention? what's that then?
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fastpedaller
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby fastpedaller » 19 Aug 2020, 10:39pm

I had a motorist 'road rage' me last year *hoot, hoot,hoot! when I was going down a single-track road and I had nowhere to go into. I was doing 37MPH at the time (very good hill & tailwind). I slowed and stopped in the middle of the road, and putting on my "you don't know who I am act" . I said 'Madam, can I ask what appears to be the problem?' Her response "you are going too slow" in a Hyacinth Bucket voice. Me "do you realise it's an offence to harass a cyclist, and furthermore how fast do YOU want to go along this lane? Do you know what speed I was doing?" She just said "too slow, and cyclists should get out of the way" and orf she went :lol:
An old clubmate used to be more effective when in similar circumstances "what's the problem Sir/Madam?" used to shut them up and get apologies - I don't know how he did it 'cos he was only 5Ft 2 in cycling shoes, but they thought he was a copper :wink:
Yesterday I had a motorist follow me for about one mile along a narrow lane (my speed 20MPH) but no hooting etc, at the first opportunity I pulled into a church entrance and they went past (waving thanks) to meet another car from the other direction which then reversed :roll: (I couldn't have timed it better If I'd tried.

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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby eileithyia » 20 Aug 2020, 9:01am

Later on yesterday, this post had me recalling a ride on Northampton birthday rides a few years ago. We had turned into a narrow lane with banked sides of the sort often found in the deep southwest..... approaching us was a rather large tractor that filled the lane... there was nothing for it but to scramble up the bank / hedge as best we could to allow him to pass......
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al_yrpal
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby al_yrpal » 20 Aug 2020, 9:35am

After about 2000 miles in the narrow lanes around here I have never had a problem with a motorist or farm vehicle. Everyone appreciates the lanes dictate that you may need to backtrack and pull in. Many motorists stop and pull over to let me past. Nettles and brambles are the hazard of pulling to the side and I always let motorists know because I dont think many are aware.

Al
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Cyril Haearn
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby Cyril Haearn » 20 Aug 2020, 9:49am

It is really best not to acknowledge or thank with a hand gesture
Taking a hand off the bars cool lead to loss of control with disastrous consequences
Likewise when letting them by, best to stop
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DevonDamo
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby DevonDamo » 20 Aug 2020, 10:20am

Cyril Horn wrote:It is really best not to acknowledge or thank with a hand gesture
Taking a hand off the bars cool lead to loss of control with disastrous consequences
Likewise when letting them by, best to stop


It's this kind of expert advice which makes this forum such a valuable resource. I, for one, shall, from now on remain grimly clamped on to my bars, lest my hand slips off one and disaster ensues. I'll have to adapt my riding style a little - remaining in the same gear for several miles until I find a safe place to pull in where I can safely take my hand off the bars to operate my frame-mounted gear-levers. Far better to do this than take my hand off the bar for a nanosecond and instantly go flying off a cliff.

Jdsk
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Re: Cycling in narrow lanes

Postby Jdsk » 20 Aug 2020, 11:20am

DevonDamo wrote:
Cyril Horn wrote:It is really best not to acknowledge or thank with a hand gesture
Taking a hand off the bars cool lead to loss of control with disastrous consequences
Likewise when letting them by, best to stop

It's this kind of expert advice which makes this forum such a valuable resource. I, for one, shall, from now on remain grimly clamped on to my bars, lest my hand slips off one and disaster ensues. I'll have to adapt my riding style a little - remaining in the same gear for several miles until I find a safe place to pull in where I can safely take my hand off the bars to operate my frame-mounted gear-levers. Far better to do this than take my hand off the bar for a nanosecond and instantly go flying off a cliff.

Well said. But it's not just that. Only one position on the bars, because moving between them is just too risky, no more shoulder checks, we should just drift out to the R without looking, and no more hand signals, which is nicely topical so that we can respond to the current consultation on the Highway Code and have that advice removed.

And it shouldn't be limited to cycling. In fact on this morning's walk I raised my L wrist to tell the time and, sure enough, immediately fell over, taking my companion with me. It's lucky it was just the two of us!

And I wonder if an analogous effect could explain something else that many of us will have observed. Does the distraction of lifting hands to a computer keyboard cause some people to post utter nonsense in web forums?

Jonathan
Last edited by Jdsk on 20 Aug 2020, 2:22pm, edited 1 time in total.