Single track roads

oldwheels

Legendary Member
This comes up regularly but is worth repeating.
On single track roads with passing places use the passing places to let other vehicles pass from both directions. Use the first available passing place tho' it would be excusable when climbing a steep hill to get to the top or the first convenient spot before stopping.
As a known cyclist I get regular complaints about cyclists refusing to pull over and allow overtaking and I have just had more about one group who would not pull over for about 3 miles this week.
On one memorable occasion some years ago a trike refused to pull over for a tail of at least 30 vehicles. I was about 17th in line and could not see the end behind me. Eventually a public spirited motorcyclist worked his way to the front and forced him into a passing place. He then had the gall to shake his fist at the vehicles passing who blew their horns at him.
This was all traffic from one ferry which is why they were bunched up.
For ferry traffic it is easier just to wait for 15 or 20 minutes and let them all past before moving on. The buses are usually last but there are often one or two terrified stragglers behind them.
 
Location
London
I used to sometimes ride in a group where one regular was in the habit of riding in the middle of the road when he knew vehicles behind were trying to get through. He once even stopped in the middle of a slow single-track road where the exit from the bend was blind. Plonker.
I put the habit down to some sort of aggressive victimhood complex - ie - embrace cycling as it might seem to be bottom of the heap so that they can then push other folk around. You get it in various walks of life/exchanges.
share the road folks - I usually find motorists show their appreciation when you let them through.
 

steverob

Veteran
Location
Buckinghamshire
It's the way things are nowadays unfortunately - there are too many people, whether pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers, lorry drivers, whoever, who believe that the the rules of the road applies to everyone EXCEPT them and those of us who do follow them end up getting the stick for it.

Was cycling along a very long straight bit of just slightly wider than single track road a while back - wide enough that a car could pass me safely without needing to slow, but not wide enough for two cars to pass each other. One car overtakes me quickly and easily and I can see in the distance, maybe half a mile ahead another car approaching from the opposite direction. There were two designated (signed) passing places between the two cars however, so I assumed that one of them would get used by one or other of the drivers and everything would be fine.

Of course that didn't happen. Both drivers carried straight on past their respective passing places and met each other head-on in the middle. They then had a Mexican stand-off before proceeding to try to edge round each other at a ridiculously slow speed (by which time I'd caught back up to the car that had overtaken me originally), scraping each other's wing mirrors as they squeezed past and getting their precious paintwork scratched by the tall hedges on the other side, all of which probably wasted more time than if one of them had pulled over in the first place and let the other through. In their battle to be "FIRST!", both of them had ended up as losers. Gave me a good laugh though!
 
OP
oldwheels

oldwheels

Legendary Member
I used to sometimes ride in a group where one regular was in the habit of riding in the middle of the road when he knew vehicles behind were trying to get through. He once even stopped in the middle of a slow single-track road where the exit from the bend was blind. Plonker.
I put the habit down to some sort of aggressive victimhood complex - ie - embrace cycling as it might seem to be bottom of the heap so that they can then push other folk around. You get it in various walks of life/exchanges.
share the road folks - I usually find motorists show their appreciation when you let them through.
My experience also is that motorists show appreciation on most occasions when you pull over to let them pass.
One possible problem we have now is that there are a few places hiring ebikes. I have passed a few kitted out in obviously new dayglo jackets and helmets who do not acknowledge the existence of other cyclists and certainly not a lowly triker like me. People on bikes rather than cyclists and they may contribute to driver rage.
 
OP
oldwheels

oldwheels

Legendary Member
It's the way things are nowadays unfortunately - there are too many people, whether pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers, lorry drivers, whoever, who believe that the the rules of the road applies to everyone EXCEPT them and those of us who do follow them end up getting the stick for it.

Was cycling along a very long straight bit of just slightly wider than single track road a while back - wide enough that a car could pass me safely without needing to slow, but not wide enough for two cars to pass each other. One car overtakes me quickly and easily and I can see in the distance, maybe half a mile ahead another car approaching from the opposite direction. There were two designated (signed) passing places between the two cars however, so I assumed that one of them would get used by one or other of the drivers and everything would be fine.

Of course that didn't happen. Both drivers carried straight on past their respective passing places and met each other head-on in the middle. They then had a Mexican stand-off before proceeding to try to edge round each other at a ridiculously slow speed (by which time I'd caught back up to the car that had overtaken me originally), scraping each other's wing mirrors as they squeezed past and getting their precious paintwork scratched by the tall hedges on the other side, all of which probably wasted more time than if one of them had pulled over in the first place and let the other through. In their battle to be "FIRST!", both of them had ended up as losers. Gave me a good laugh though!
If I overrun a passing place as can happen on rounding a blind bend it is always quicker and easier to reverse. Many of the visiting motorists cannot reverse and we often wonder how they ever got a drivers license in the first place as they would certainly fail a test.
 

ebikeerwidnes

Über Member
I used to live in North Wales and used a lot of single track roads.

Summer always created problems with people (i.e. tourists) wandering around these roads without the sense to keep a mental note of the last passing place - and without - apparently - the ability to reverse, especially around a corner.

Worst case ws actually in South Wales (we were on holiday) when an old couple came round a bend on a hill. As I had just come up the hill as it was a dead end, I knew that there was a passing place just around the bend - but the next one behind me was about 300 yards away up a steep hill and around a tight bend.
The old couple refused to reverse even when I went up to them and politely pointed out where the passing place was and offered to guide them. So I ended up having to reverse up the hill and round the corners. I ended up in a cloud of clutch smoke at the top - the clutch lasted several years after that - apparently Nissan must use good clutches!!!

Oh - moreon topic - I often use a single track road on my normal ride - it has 2 passing places which I often use to let cars past - they normally wave thanks!
 
I was driving my pony Jack in his cart in Shropshire along the back lanes about 12 years ago and at one point near Bishop's Castle I think it was, had been caught up by a large tractor and trailer/harvester thingie which must've turned into the lane from a farm we'd passed earlier. When I pulled Jack into a gateway to let the driver past (after all he was at work and I was on holiday) he leant out of the cab window and said no, he wasn't going far, that it was a treat to watch the pony trotting so smartly, he wished his old grandfather was still around to appreciate it and if the pony didn't mind the noise, he'd love to follow along behind for a couple of miles until the crossroads.
I reassured him that Jack was very steady and off we went leading the way - for a few hundred metres until round a bend I came face to face with a car and caravan combo.
Well the road wasn't wide enough for both of us and they weren't going to reverse that was made perfectly clear, oh no, even if it would've meant poor Jack having to double back and end up travelling three times the distance on an increasingly hot and sweaty day.
Until the harvester came up behind me too ...
I don't think the caravan came out of the final argument between it, the hedge and the ditch unscathed as it was backed wibbly-wobbly down to the crossroads where I could turn off in my direction and the tractor driver in his. But it was still on its wheels and I think the damage was mainly cosmetic. Actually there was no need even for that, as the tractor driver offered to move it for them, quite kindly - and knowing what even 15 and 16yo 'Young Farmers' are like at reversing tractors and trailers, I'd trust one of them over a middle-aged weekend caravan tower, anytime!

Why do people - KNOWING they are incompetent at reversing - still drive along a lane which is clearly a squeeze just for a car, let alone a caravan? Mad, totally mad!

ETA when I was told - very aggressively - YOU'LL have to turn round and go back so WE can get through, I just smiled (sweetly I hoped but I suspect it might've been nastily) and said, we'll just wait for a while, Jack'll be glad of a rest and he's perfectly happy browsing in the hedgerow for as long as it takes ... and at that point the harvester/trailer thingie came round the corner :whistle: ...
 
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ebikeerwidnes

Über Member
I was driving my pony Jack in his cart in Shropshire along the back lanes about 12 years ago and at one point near Bishop's Castle I think it was, had been caught up by a large tractor and trailer/harvester thingie which must've turned into the lane from a farm we'd passed earlier. When I pulled Jack into a gateway to let the driver past (after all he was at work and I was on holiday) he leant out of the cab window and said no, he wasn't going far, that it was a treat to watch the pony trotting so smartly, he wished his old grandfather was still around to appreciate it and if the pony didn't mind the noise, he'd love to follow along behind for a couple of miles until the crossroads.
I reassured him that Jack was very steady and off we went leading the way - for a few hundred metres until round a bend I came face to face with a car and caravan combo.
Well the road wasn't wide enough for both of us and they weren't going to reverse that was made perfectly clear, oh no, even if it would've meant poor Jack having to double back and end up travelling three times the distance on an increasingly hot and sweaty day.
Until the harvester came up behind me too ...
I don't think the caravan came out of the final argument between it, the hedge and the ditch unscathed as it was backed wibbly-wobbly down to the crossroads where I could turn off in my direction and the tractor driver in his. But it was still on its wheels and I think the damage was mainly cosmetic. Actually there was no need even for that, as the tractor driver offered to move it for them, quite kindly - and knowing what even 15 and 16yo 'Young Farmers' are like at reversing tractors and trailers, I'd trust one of them over a middle-aged weekend caravan tower, anytime!

Why do people - KNOWING they are incompetent at reversing - still drive along a lane which is clearly a squeeze just for a car, let alone a caravan? Mad, totally mad!

ETA when I was told - very aggressively - YOU'LL have to turn round and go back so WE can get through, I just smiled (sweetly I hoped but I suspect it might've been nastily) and said, we'll just wait for a while, Jack'll be glad of a rest and he's perfectly happy browsing in the hedgerow for as long as it takes ... and at that point the harvester/trailer thingie came round the corner :whistle: ...
Many years ago we stayed at a caravan/camp site in South Wales
It was on a small single track road - which was just off a main road
EVERYTHING from the camp site had a map showing the approach road - and an unofficial one way system so that no caravan would need to reverse
It also made it clear that the local farmers along the road also adhered to this unoffical system
AND the camp site had erected BIG signs at each end of the road making the system clear


soooooo
we camped there for a week in out tent
and when we left - keeping to the one way system in spite of wanting to go the other way - and half way along we come across

YUP

some numpty came along towing a caravan - hence ignoring the system

shortly after another caravan came up behind us

I've said this before

bit when we came down from the trees we really should have been more careful about who came down with us!
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
People on bikes rather than cyclists and they may contribute to driver rage.
Cyclists: dividing and conquering ourselves since 1888!

Driver rage can't be increased. They are already as angry as can be, trying to move increasingly badly designed vehicles around increasingly ill suited roads.

It is always up to the road user in front to decide whether the passing place is safe and suitable for them to use. Most motorists won't use them, so it's not a surprise if most cyclists won't, as bike tyres are far more fragile than car tyres.
 
OP
oldwheels

oldwheels

Legendary Member
Cyclists: dividing and conquering ourselves since 1888!

Driver rage can't be increased. They are already as angry as can be, trying to move increasingly badly designed vehicles around increasingly ill suited roads.

It is always up to the road user in front to decide whether the passing place is safe and suitable for them to use. Most motorists won't use them, so it's not a surprise if most cyclists won't, as bike tyres are far more fragile than car tyres.
Not where I live. Passing places are the same surface as the roadway. Motorists at least on the less used route I mainly frequent go into passing places for me on a trike. Some even reverse into one when they have overshot to allow me to continue. The main problem in my case is distance uphill between passing places can take me some time as I am slower than I used to be on 2 wheels.
Comedy happens when two convoys meet with not enough room for them all in the passing place. The ones at the back are very often angry and frustrated as they have not been allowed to overtake for miles.
This week on a car journey it took 8 miles at about 30 mph on a road I would normally do about 55 mph before I could get past. Ferries do not wait.
 

lane

Veteran
This comes up regularly but is worth repeating.
On single track roads with passing places use the passing places to let other vehicles pass from both directions. Use the first available passing place tho' it would be excusable when climbing a steep hill to get to the top or the first convenient spot before stopping.
As a known cyclist I get regular complaints about cyclists refusing to pull over and allow overtaking and I have just had more about one group who would not pull over for about 3 miles this week.
On one memorable occasion some years ago a trike refused to pull over for a tail of at least 30 vehicles. I was about 17th in line and could not see the end behind me. Eventually a public spirited motorcyclist worked his way to the front and forced him into a passing place. He then had the gall to shake his fist at the vehicles passing who blew their horns at him.
This was all traffic from one ferry which is why they were bunched up.
For ferry traffic it is easier just to wait for 15 or 20 minutes and let them all past before moving on. The buses are usually last but there are often one or two terrified stragglers behind them.
So long as they don't start hooting me before I find a place to pull over otherwise they will be sat behind me for some considerable time.
 
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