Nearly taken out by white van man!

I remember posting some time ago that I mainly run on the treadmill at the gym because its not great to run where I live. Don't get me wrong, its lovely countryside but not much in the way of paths and deep tractor tracks on the fields just perfect for turning an ankle on. Perfect for a nice walk in my sturdy walking boots but running is a no no. Anyway I decided that as I AM A RUNNER so says Laura, enough of the treadmill so my first post graduation run was up the road, round the village hall field, grassy but not too bad and on round the triangle to return by the footpaths that my daughter assured me were in fact there so I would be quite safe. A little road run down a very quiet lane, no problems and really quite enjoyable, turn right and bingo, no path on the main road, not to worry as pretty quiet so on I go, now a ROADRUNNER! I make sure I am facing any oncoming traffic and keep well over, suddenly there is white van man fast approaching me in my bright orange flurescent running top but because there is a car coming behind me, white van man decides that he will keep on driving at me like I really want to jump in the ditch! Scary close thing and I'm not happy and quite shaken. Next run tomorrow will be back at the gym but I will run up the lane from the gym to the main road and back again and maybe around the grounds and just pop in for a post run shower, hope they don't think that too weird. Well that's my plan. Anyone else had problems with traffic?

16 Replies

  • Sounds horrid, and not surprised you were shaken.

    If they think you're weird, that's okay. Weird isn't necessarily bad! Happy running :-)

  • Def agree that weird isn't necessarily bad, am a bit eccentric myself anyway!

  • Oh what a horrible van driver. Some people have no sense and no courtesy at all. I run short distances along country lanes and have never had any problem but am always wary. It's great when you can get onto paths or farm tracks. Can you suss out some safer routes in advance perhaps?

  • Better planning is needed I think. I was so pleased to be doing the local area run though especially as it included a bit of a hill that I always notice when walking home!

  • I do all my running on narrow country roads, the scenery is stunning and inspiring, listening to animal sounds,insects and birdsong is a major factor in my enjoyment, but it certainly is dangerous and I find it it is best to assume the driver will not see me. I listen out for oncoming vehicles and hop into the (nettle-filled) ditch if anything is coming. This is far from a perfect system, as I am hard of hearing so absolutely cannot listen to music when running, but more particularly on windy days and today when it was raining heavily, a driver came up behind me and had to rev the engine for me to realise it was even there! Take it easy and be careful, if you have any alternative safer route it might be better to opt for that instead. Keep safe!

  • Ooh I have a picture of you hopping in the ditch now! I am having to do a bit more planning I think. You take care too and keep safe.

  • Hi

    Virtually all my running is on country roads with no footpaths. I've experienced the stupidity of the white van idiots too, but I think you're generally ok if you take a few sensible precautions

    - face the oncoming traffic as you say. I have one exception to this. Where there is a blind bend and i can safely cross to the opposite side so that I am better seen, I do so.

    - be seen. Wear high visibility clothing, even at midday in summer! I notice that certain discount retailers will sell you a black running shirt for pennies, but charge lots of money for a high vis yellow version..... In my book it's worth the money.

    - use your ears. Like everyone else here, I started with Laura's podcasts. I moved on to my own music, but I now run with no headphones at all, simply because I want to hear the traffic coming at me and be able to react.

    - be sensible. I cannot outrun a vehicle, so if a car is about to turn into a road that I wish to cross, I either stop and wait, or if the need to keep going is too strong, I deviate from my route slightly by holding the edge of the road and running into the turning, crossing when it is safe and the I return to my route.

    - avoid running in obviously dangerous conditions. Unlit country roads with no pavements are passable with precautions but they are dangerous. At night, they're doubly so. In fog..... Well, I never run in fog.

    - be courteous to other road users. I ALWAYS acknowledge road users who slow down or pull out for me with a smile and wave of thanks. As a driver I always appreciate the same and I just don't get the arrogance you see in one or two members of the cycling fraternity who seem to think they have some kind of moral authority. There's room for everyone.

    Safety first and always,

  • Thank you Rob for the tips. You are right in what you say. I wasn't mentally prepared for running in the road. When I had to cross over I had to keep moving while waiting and must have looked like I was wetting myself! I will take your advice on board next time I road run!

  • I bet you find other members use the gym as their base. You need to study p google maps and figure a safe route for you. It may involve repeating a section and circling back sooner in order to avoid roads like that. I am realizing i am very lucky for the riverside paths and parks in this part of Glasgow. All the safety of developed paths, the greenery and birdsong of the country, and nowhere near a vehicle. There are spots so jammed with runners, bikes, mums and pushchairs and dogwalkers we almost need traffic lights though!

  • Sounds great Nilzed. I suppose everywhere has its good and bad points. We have no lights round here and I'm not going out in the dark in the winter months but no need to worry about that now!

  • What a horrid experience. The roads are so dangerous these days, it's difficult to know what to say. I'm lucky in that I can go for a run without ever touching a road but I agree with Rob and his Westie about some cyclists. I have almost been mowed down by some of them as I run on paths which are meant to be shared between cyclists and pedestrians but, as Rob states, some cyclists do think they have some sort of authority. I was driving into the marina where I live the other day and the little road in passes between the park and a Premier hotel so it is always busy at Bank holidays and the like. Three girls on bikes cycled right across in front of my car, coming onto the wrong side of the road to do that. The number of times I've been running and a cyclist has sped rudely past me. Interestingly, I also cycle, and on those same paths. I keep to a steady pace and don't go too fast out of consideration for others on the path. When approaching pedestrians from behind I generally call out "Good morning/afternoon, I'm coming up on your left/right, may I ride through please?" It is very rare that people don't appreciate this - one lady said she wished all cyclists were like me as it would make life easier. It's only if people totally ignore my verbal intention that I will resort to using the bell. Anyway, I hope you feel better after a run on the treadmill and a little excursion around that route another time. Good luck and best wishes.

  • Oh Fitmo, don't get me on cyclists. Have to say I have keen cyclists in my family but some can be inconsiderate. Lat year when I was visiting Cambridge I was shouted at by a cyclist for standing still at he edge of a shared footpath/cycling track which didn't have a lane divider. Cyclists are king in Cambridge!

  • Probably all the Hooray Henry's and Henrietta's from wealthy families - think they're superior!

  • I've cycled for the last 30 years and I even did the professional bike instructor course (Bikeability, it replaces the old Cycle Proficiency and is for adults too) and these days I am ashamed of the behaviour of the vast majority of cyclists and terrified by them too! They seem to think they have right of way and they shoot past without warning. There are a lot of so-called shared paths where I live but I tend to run and walk on the ones which are pedestrian only. I won't go on to talk about cyclists on the roads apart from saying that 'something must be done'!

    The experience with the white van sounds horrible. I do think our crowded roads are leading to less patience all round.

  • Its all about being polite and considerate really isn't it Annie. I must admit that with it being early post grad days for me I am so focused on maintaining my run that I am maybe not paying enough attention to what's going on around me.

  • Sorry you had such a horrid experience with a stupid white van man. I hope he gets piles. I was nearly run over by the local funeral director's van a couple of months ago, but that did make me giggle, I admit :D

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