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Rethinking lane positioning on rural roads

OakLeaf2010-05-01 09:02:26 +0000 #1
I've been thinking about this ever since someone posted about weaving around in her lane while cycling.

But lane positioning while running is different from cycling in two respects: (1) I can hear cars coming before they can see me, usually long before, and (2) I have a lot of lateral maneuverability.

I don't want to be facing traffic while I'm ascending, or when I'm on the inside of a turn. If I run exclusively facing traffic like a good law-abiding little citizen, then a car crests the hill, and boom, there I am in their field of vision and their path of travel, ten feet ahead of them. Or a car apexes a right-hand curve (right hand to them), and boom, there I am in their field of vision and their path of travel, ten feet ahead of them. I've had enough scary experiences to last me a long time, and I haven't been running all that long.

My new strategy is to cross the road, to run with my back to traffic, when I start a short ascent, or get within 1/4 mile the top of a longer one. Same whenever I enter a blind left-hander. Then as soon as I'm past the apex/summit, back over to facing traffic.

Always assuming there are no cars coming when I'm wanting to cross, of course.

I tried this on Sunday and it worked beautifully. Not one driver had to panic-cut their wheel to the left to avoid me. I didn't once have to make a decision whether I was going to risk a sprained ankle or poison ivy by diving into the ditch, or whether the risk of being flattened by the oncoming car was small enough to chance.

Do you agree? Or am I missing something?


limewave2010-05-01 09:10:42 +0000 #2
I do that too. Not on every ascent, but on the ones where cars will be speeding or there are definite visibility issues. I feel more safe doing that.
indigoiis2010-05-01 09:47:20 +0000 #3
This is how I do it, too. If I can't see what's over the hill, I'll cross over to the right. If I can't see what's around a left bend, I'll cross over to the right. I think I visualized in my head what it must be like for a driver... just like you, I saw how it would be a really quick panicky thing for them.

Sometimes I just run flat out in the middle.

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