Roadies – Country Lane Etiquette

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  • Roadies – Country Lane Etiquette
  • I just carry on cycling. But most of the **** driving on country roads in the lakes aren’t from the lakes and they dont seem to have a clue how to drive on country roads. So they’ll over take and then drive in front of you slower than you were cycling.


    So they’ll over take and then drive in front of you slower than you were cycling.

    Classic! I get that a lot too.


    highway code rule 169

    what defines a queue of traffic though?

    I tend to hold my line until it is safe for me to give way, either a layby, a junction, gate, etc. Bu t am not going to do anything that is going to damage me or my bike. As for the driver being late for a meeting, your in the country, plenty of horses, walkers, cyclists, tractors. You should have left earlier!!!


    Okay, I think I’m gonna rethink my cycling policy, sound like I am being too nice…. come to think about it, I have never had a cyclist pull over to let me pass…. what an over-considerate guy I am


    I do 95% of my riding on country lanes, but I only really know of one where the road isn’t wide enough for a car to get past, which made me feel a bit uncomfortable. Although you can guarantee if a car comes up the other way, they will be up on the grass verge at 40mph without a second thought.

    Premier Icon zilog6128

    Classic! I get that a lot too.

    yup. They’re desperate to overtake, then drive really slowly because the road is narrow/bendy, or meet a car coming the other way and stop or try to reverse into you (had that a few times!).

    I try to let cars past ASAP but normally I use Street View to plan my routes and try to avoid narrow roads where possible.

    Okay, I think I’m gonna rethink my cycling policy, sound like I am being too nice….

    Yes, do it!

    Never yield to the motorist!

    Premier Icon scotroutes

    Pretty regular occurrence in certain parts of the Scottish Highlands where single track roads still abound. I normally cycle up the middle of the road until I can pull into a suitable passing place. I think it helps if you at least acknowledge the presence of the driver behind you and then give them a gracious wave/thumbs up when they pass.

    Depends a little on what sort of speed I can maintain but it doesn’t really bother me to pull into a passing point and let the car(s) behind go past. If there’s no passing point then I’ll carry on riding normally. So pretty much the same as the OP.


    Okay, so I’ve been getting a few miles down on the roadie recently, because I am fed up of running, and it doesn’t seem to be doing my MTB’ing much good.

    My training route is not very far, but most of it is down country lanes, because they are a pleasure to cycle on…… well, mostly a pleasure…..

    If I’m on a narrow country lane and I get a car coming up behind me, regardless of speed (unless I’m caning it and they drive like a Granny) I generally pull in a bit, to let them overtake.
    However, if there is no room to overtake, because the lane is too narrow, what is the rule of thumb?

    I normally keep going until there is a slight pot-holey lay-by type thing on the side, and then brace myself for impact as I swerve into it and slow down, frantically waving for the car to overtake quickly so I don’t have to unclip. However, this does the bike no favors, and the chances are I will fall off at some point if my front wheel gets pot-holed.

    The otherside of the arguement of course, is to just keep riding and pretend the car doesn’t exist, which is very tempting, and I have seen a lot of roadies do it, but it is also very inconsiderate and a pain in the arse if you’re the poor bugger in that’s late for a meeting driving behind them.

    What’s the law say? What do you do? Am I being an idiot? (I suspect so, but hey, I’m just trying to be considerate, which is a lot more than I can say for some of w***ers I see about when driving)


    Can’t see the point in unnecessarily annoying or endangering other road users, no matter what type of vehicle they’re travelling in. If I’m riding I’ll tend to let people pass as soon as I can, I won’t ride off the road or stop, but it’s preferential to them attempting a pass when it’s unsafe. If I’m driving I’ll hang back and often find cyclists stop to let me past. It probably helps that most of the people on the small roads around here are locals and we don’t get many tourists.

    A smile & a friendly wave works wonders 🙂 (although not so much for the woman who drove into me from behind on a roundabout & didn’t stop!)

    Premier Icon scaled

    Either I don’t cycle on the same sort of lanes you do or I’m an utter bastard on a bike 😀

    I’ve honestly never pulled over to let a car past, if its not safe for a car to pass (blind bends etc) I’ll be in primary position entering the bend and tighten up to end up in secondary. Can’t say I’ve ever had a queue of traffic behind me either though.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy

    I wouldn’t ride over pot-holes or road-side debris/mud/gravel to let a car past but there’s usually plenty of passing places in the narrow roads around here so I’ll slow and let them past then. If there’s nothing for quite a while (and I know it will be the same for quite a while longer) then I’ll usually pull over and stop to let them through.

    Premier Icon martinhutch

    As above, single track roads have passing spaces or gate entrances fairly regularly. I’m not going to press myself into the nettles when a driver can wait 20 seconds or so. If he met a tractor coming the other way, it could take him far longer to negotiate.


    I stop and get out of the way.


    I just wait for a natural passing place and pull over.
    Unless I’m going down-hill or on a strava.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs

    Varies, depending on conditions, what the road is like, how fast I;m going etc.

    I tend not to pull in anymore, I’ve had far too many instances where I’ve pulled in to let a car past, he’s floored it round the corner and then there’s a tractor coming the other way which I could have got past. But now with him in the way I have to stop, unclip…

    Most cases it’s going to be no more than half a mile or so until there’s a safe overtaking opportunity.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    Ride where it’s safe, not in the bushes. If there is no room to pull in then there is no room. If they are being a dick then slow right down before pulling in where you can – so they don’t clip you on the way past and giving you chance to get the reg.

    In the end ride positively and with some purpose and you should be fine.

    I move out the way whenever I can, cyclists get enough bad press as it is.
    Unless it’s a segment then just scream ‘SSTTRRRAAAVVVAAAAA’ at him & carry on


    Much the same as above, pull over when I can and a smile goes a very long way


    Motorists seem to have a must-overtake-cyclists-at-all-costs mentality. If I’m doing 25mph on a single track road, the motorist has no business passing me, because I’d generally get from A to B quicker than a car down narrow, twisty bends.

    So I hold my line. If they’re going faster than cycling speed on single track roads, they’re going too fast if they were to meet an oncoming car, horse, bike…

    On narrow double-track roads, I’ll deliberately block cars overtaking if it’s unsafe – they seem to forget that I can generally see over hedges as my head is 2ft higher than theirs, and if they’re trying to overtake me on bends, it’s me that will die if something comes the other way!

    My philosophy is that it won’t kill them to spend 2 minutes doing 25mph, but it might kill me if they try to pass me.

    The flip side is that I’ll wave them through if I can see it’s safe round a right hand bend – a thumbs-up doesn’t go amiss, and I think motorists have a bit more respect for cyclists that obviously have a bit of road sense.


    I depends on the road tbh. if it’s a twisty, bumpy single road I’ll take primary position, i don’t want a car overtaking me only to have another car coming the other way. instinct means the driver will swerve my way.

    if it’s straight, I’ll pull over as safely as I can, or if there’s a layby, and a car is struggling to get past I’ll pull over*

    *if the driver decides to beep his horn at me, I’m staying put, they can go and **** themselves

    You apply as much common sense/courtesy as possible, and don’t expect that to be returned.

    As for your example – I’d try to move to the side and let them pass if possible – but I wouldn’t go riding into potholes to do so – if you get knocked off the bike as they speed up to overtake – not good.


    Another advocate here for not taking the ‘second-class’citizen’ approach.
    If there’s no room to pass and no room to pull in then car will have to stay.
    Equally if I can see there’s something coming the other way, I’ll take primary and wave the car back – as Shibboleth says, you have better visibility than the driver…
    If there’s a blind bend and therefore me letting the car overtake and potentially leading them into a head-on collision, then I’ll keep primary – who’s to say a lawyer wouldn’t try and argue I was a contributory factor if I let a car past when the road ahead wasn’t clear?
    Equally, if the car patiently waits until it’s clear then they’ll definitely get a thank you wave, or once I can see it’s clear ahead for an overtake then I’ll ease in and wave them through…

    It’s a matter of commonsense and mutual safety IMO, not a dogmatic ‘must-let-car-through’ or ‘must-take-primary’ approach


    you primary responsibility is your own safety– we are vulnerable road users, and therefore defensive riding is a must, but like others, eye contact is always going to help, and most motorists will appreciate your position–there are always going to be the lumpenheads who dont, but so what– i too will wave them past at a suitable/safe opportunity– but you should not feel intimidated by them–same as tailgaters–just slow down till they back off/get the message– as others have noted, most ‘local’ traffic on small roads is considerate–its only when they become ‘rat runs’ or infested with ‘sunday’ drivers that issues develop…..

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