Walkers when you're out cycling & also filtering during busy traffic.

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  • JustAnotherSaverJustAnotherSaver Forumite
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    cattom said:
    If I'm about n about going to the shop or to the farm to get eggs, I'd sooner walk than drive. I all ways walk facing oncoming traffic, and  if I see or hear a vecihle coming all ways get on the verge, or make for the nearest gateway,makes life easier for everyone. unfortunately not everyone thinks that way, as I have noticed when I've been  driving and people walk in the road,when there's a perfectly good grass verge they could hop on for a few seconds.
    Your post reminded me of runners who run on the road when the pavement is next to it with no obstacles and nobody else on it. 

    Perhaps they're specifically tarmac training. 
  • FarfetchFarfetch Forumite
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    I have heard from the odd runner who says roads with tarmac are easier on the leg than concrete pavement but doesn't excuse them running in bike lanes near me when they're made of the same stuff as the pavement!

    He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.

    -Harold Wilson


  • JustAnotherSaverJustAnotherSaver Forumite
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    Farfetch said:
    I have heard from the odd runner who says roads with tarmac are easier on the leg than concrete pavement but doesn't excuse them running in bike lanes near me when they're made of the same stuff as the pavement!
    Possibly. I always thought there must be a reason behind it, even if it's not one I know about.
    I can understand the idea, especially as someone with a foot condition myself where I find myself in discomfort where most people wouldn't and am on the receiving end of plenty "what's up with you".

    Still though, when in the road I will make way for anything that can cause me harm, regardless of whatever code says I have priority.
  • rdrrdr Forumite
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    Farfetch said:
    Cyclists can go all the way around a roundabout in the left hand lane, just ensure very clearly that you are signalling to do so. Otherwise, try and get into gaps in traffic early so you can take the lane and stop people passing via unsafe squeezes
    They may, but in most cases, it is far more dangerous than taking the car line as you are crossing the traffic more and in places and ways they don't expect.
    I find that entering a roundabout with a lorry on your right (as long as the road gives you plenty of space) can shield you a little.
  • JustAnotherSaverJustAnotherSaver Forumite
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    Agreed on doing the unusual can cause problems. 

    I know plenty of people bang on about being overly courteous. My wife is pretty frustrating to it. She has before, allowed someone to her left on a roundabout go first. No wonder they then stay there wondering what on earth is going on because who in their right mind will signal someone to their left to go first. Honestly! Slightly different to what you were saying there but it just reminded me. Some times its just better to stick to what you know everyone will expect. 
  • Manxman_in_exileManxman_in_exile Forumite
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    I ask how old you are because I've come to the conclusion this is an age thing.  I walk, run, cycle and drive a lot on our local back roads and I have observed that the people walking in the footpathless road ahead of me with their backs towards me are invariably younger people.  Middle-aged and older people tend not to.  (Maybe that's why they've lived so long... )
    I'm an 80s child who had parents from the early 60s and early 40s so make of that what you will. I remember plenty of look both ways when crossing. I remember plenty of getting yanked by the arm for dawdling as i crossed the road. I remember plenty of being told not to mess around in the road - all giving the image that the road (main road at the very least) is a place for cars, not for people to be hanging about. What I don't remember, because it didn't happen, is being told to walk towards oncoming traffic.
    I'm nearing my 40s with this approach to walking on the road and i'm not dead yet. I'll take my chances for the next 40 years.

    Ok - thanks.  I find this an interesting question, but for completely the opposite reason that you do!

    Did your parents (and perhaps you?) grow up in an almost exclusively urban or suburban environment where all roads had footpaths?  I can see why - to a five year old - walking into oncoming traffic may seem counterintuitive (not to say very scary) if they're used to always walking on pavements.  You need an adult to tell you what to do where there isn't a footpath until it becomes obvious why it is safer.  Where I grew up virtually all the roads would be classed as "back roads" by UK standards and by you, and many of them would have no footpath on either side of the road.  You quickly learn which way of walking along such roads is safer - and it isn't walking with the flow of traffic!

    I'm curious to know, if you are driving along a narrow country "back road" with no footpaths, and you round a left hand bend and confront some pedestrians walking in the same direction you are driving in, do you prefer them to be on your side of the road with their backs toward you (which is what you advocate), or would you rather see their backs on the other side of the road from you facing oncoming traffic on that side of the road (which is what I and every one else advocates)?  I'd genuinely be surprised - and a bit worried - if you felt more comfortable confronting pedestrians walking on your side of the road away from you rather than towards you.

    I do run in the road facing traffic (even where there is a footpath sometimes) because the camber favours my right knee.  But if traffic approaches me (and of course I can see it because I'm running towards it, not away from it) I return to the pavement until it is past.  If there is continuous traffic I stay on the pavement.  On a rural road with no footpaths I always run facing oncoming traffic - subject to the one exception I explained in my earlier post about approaching right hand blind bends.  To run with the flow of traffic would be suicidal.

  • princeofpoundsprinceofpounds Forumite
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    Also taught to walk facing traffic. With the occasional exception for very tight bends where it can sometimes make sense to cross and walk on the 'incorrect' side to where there is more visibility, then cross back.

    As a driver, it's much better knowing that a pedestrian on the road has seen you too. If you're coming up behind them, there's always that risk that they just step out sideways if unaware (unlikely, but not that unlikely with e.g. headphones and puddles on the road edge)
  • esuhlesuhl Forumite
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    Farfetch said:
    Cyclists can go all the way around a roundabout in the left hand lane, just ensure very clearly that you are signalling to do so. Otherwise, try and get into gaps in traffic early so you can take the lane and stop people passing via unsafe squeezes
    Cyclists CAN use the left lane to go round a roundabout.  There's a large two-lane roundabout near me with a cycle lane painted on the left.  However, it's complete insanity to use it.  Motorists simply don't expect to have to give way to traffic when they're exiting a roundabout. They will assume you're "in the wrong", and react aggressively and dangerously (I know, I tried it).

    At ALL junctions (including roundabouts), you should be cycling in the centre of the lane.  The majority of cycling accidents occur around junctions, so it's vital to feel confident and safe, and to make yourself visible.  If a roundabout is "too scary" to cycle round using the correct lane, there's no shame in cycling on the pavement.  Official police guidelines are to allow cyclists to use the pavement if they don't feel safe on the road (and do so courteously/safely).

    A lot of getting your road-positioning "right" just comes down to experience.  I drive, but cycling has really opened my eyes into how road-design affects motorist behaviour.  There's a narrow country lane with sharp blind-bends, and parts where motor-vehicles have to slow down to 10mph to pass.  Yet motorists often speed, and overtake me (and each other) on blind-bends.  Not just "boy racers", but 90-year old old ladies who just seem a bit confused as to what they should be doing. :neutral: A mile away is another road with the same speed limit, same two lanes, but it's incredibly wide.  There is a very long, slow bend, and the road is wide enough for vehicles to overtake me, leaving a 1.5m gap, and not even crossing the dotted white line!  Yet they almost NEVER do.  It's like the road layout is doing some Derren Brown mind-trick, and I can't figure out why...  Anyway, recognising the "blackspots" helps.

    Another thing is to beware of cycle-lanes and cycle-paths.  They can be incredibly dangerous -- off-road/pavement cycle paths often have concealed junctions with footpaths, and no indication to pedestrians that they are about to step into moving traffic!  I've learnt that you should never use a roadside cycle path unless you are familiar with it and know of any concealed junctions.

    Cycle-lanes painted onto roads are rarely wide-enough, and often force you into an "incorrect" road-position.  To motorists, a cycle lane is like any other lane.  So long as they don't cross the white line, they think they can drive as fast and as close to you as they like.  On-road cycle lanes at junctions are madness.

    One thing that helps is to behave impeccably on the road.  I've often had aggressive motorists "stuck" behind me, revving their engines, starting risky overtakes and aborting...  And then I've moved into the centre of the lane to stop them overtaking, so I could wave across people waiting at a zebra crossing, or to let out a vehicle in slow-moving traffic.  And more often than not, the aggression of the driver behind slips away as they recognise that you're not "the devil incarnate" as they assumed.
  • esuhlesuhl Forumite
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    Agreed on doing the unusual can cause problems. 

    I know plenty of people bang on about being overly courteous. My wife is pretty frustrating to it. She has before, allowed someone to her left on a roundabout go first. No wonder they then stay there wondering what on earth is going on because who in their right mind will signal someone to their left to go first. Honestly! Slightly different to what you were saying there but it just reminded me. Some times its just better to stick to what you know everyone will expect. 
    Yep -- I completely agree.  This was another part of the "learning curve" when I started cycling regularly.  I hate to inconvenience others, and saw lots of opportunities to let motorists "go first" when I had priority.
    The problem is that it can take an unexpectedly long time for you to gesture, for them to be sure that they've interpreted your gesture correctly (if they've seen it), and then to make their manoeuvre.  During this time, it's too easy for other vehicles to approach from behind (where you can't see), changing the situation, leaving everyone confused as to who is going where and who has priority.  Often you end up stopping and getting into a protracted, "After you / No, after you" situation.  Or they just ignore you completely!
    There are a fair few situations where it does make sense to allow another vehicle in front of you -- generally when you can take the lane, when the traffic speed is very low, or when motorists would be significantly inconvenienced if you go first.
    But, because it can be so dangerous, I'd recommend that beginner/unconfident cyclists always avoid giving up their "right of way" unless they're absolutely sure they aren't putting themselves in a dangerous position.


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