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Old 11.06.2010, 18:09
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One lane roads

One lane roads with bidirectional traffic. What to do?

Yesterday I was up in the big mountainous nowhere on a perfect little two lane road. The road got narrower and narrower until it exactly the width of a car plus a motorcycle with no shoulders on either side. On one side the road was carved out of the rock, on the other side was a pretty steep cliff with no guardrail. As the road was constantly switching back and forth, there was absolutely no visibility for the road ahead. I met up with two cars that were coming down fairly quickly, luckily both times not in the curves.

All of you who drive in the mountains must know some roads like this. How do you drive them? I tried to stick to the right-hand edge of the road, but that big cliff right next to me was intimidating, to say the least. What about the right-hand curves? I wasn't sure if I should be sticking to the right, i.e. driving as close to rock wall as possible, or more to the left-hand side where I would have a better view around the curve.

I suppose the safest option would be to avoid such roads at all, but sometimes it's unavoidable. Anyway, the view... the view... so amazing...
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Old 11.06.2010, 18:13
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Re: One lane roads

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All of you who drive in the mountains must know some roads like this. How do you drive them?
Defensive riding - maintain visibility at the expense of speed and road position.
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Old 11.06.2010, 18:17
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Re: One lane roads

Easy: Drive slowly and in the middle of the road.

If you go uphill, you have the right of way (in a very narrow place, the downhill going car has to back up). Only exception: Trucks and busses have the right of way if you are in a car. The Postbus usually uses his horn to warn cars around a corner.
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Old 11.06.2010, 18:24
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Re: One lane roads

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Easy: Drive slowly and in the middle of the road.

If you go uphill, you have the right of way (in a very narrow place, the downhill going car has to back up). Only exception: Trucks and busses have the right of way if you are in a car. The Postbus usually uses his horn to warn cars around a corner.
Check the post-bus timetable and avoid driving while it is on the road. Better still, park your car and ride the post-bus.
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Old 11.06.2010, 20:26
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Re: One lane roads

Drive with the window down and radio off. Blow your horn on blind bends and listed for others doing the same the other way. Use headlight in the day. Drive very slowly. Uphill has priority (in theory).

Be ready to have some small damage to your car, rather than drive off a cliff avoiding a collision...
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Old 12.06.2010, 06:15
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Re: One lane roads

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Easy: Drive slowly and in the middle of the road.
Not good advice for motorcycles which it appears the op is talking about - the limit point becomes all important in this situation with the understanding that the road goes on beyond the limit point. I'd also add for the sports bikes riders - keep your head up.
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Old 12.06.2010, 09:24
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Re: One lane roads

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One lane roads with bidirectional traffic. What to do?

Yesterday I was up in the big mountainous nowhere on a perfect little two lane road. The road got narrower and narrower until it exactly the width of a car plus a motorcycle with no shoulders on either side. On one side the road was carved out of the rock, on the other side was a pretty steep cliff with no guardrail. As the road was constantly switching back and forth, there was absolutely no visibility for the road ahead. I met up with two cars that were coming down fairly quickly, luckily both times not in the curves.

All of you who drive in the mountains must know some roads like this. How do you drive them? I tried to stick to the right-hand edge of the road, but that big cliff right next to me was intimidating, to say the least. What about the right-hand curves? I wasn't sure if I should be sticking to the right, i.e. driving as close to rock wall as possible, or more to the left-hand side where I would have a better view around the curve.

I suppose the safest option would be to avoid such roads at all, but sometimes it's unavoidable. Anyway, the view... the view... so amazing...
Interesting screen name! And yes I know what you mean! Those kinds of roads can be a little scary.
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Old 12.06.2010, 14:45
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Re: One lane roads

Keep your speed at 100km/h and just as you hit the bend, steer the steering wheel according to the way of the bend then pull the handbrake and DRIFTthemotherfunkerout. < --- KIDDING!!!

You should Slow Down, honk your horn or flash your headlight and Take It Easy around the bend.
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Old 12.06.2010, 15:30
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Re: One lane roads

Above Kandersteg there is a road that is so narrow that traffic takes it in turns every 30 mins (if I remember correctly) the traffic direction alternates.

At least you know that you won't meet any other traffic coming in the opposite direction, but you may have to wait if you arrive there at the wrong time.

Last edited by Deep Purple; 30.09.2011 at 17:32.
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Old 12.06.2010, 15:50
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Re: One lane roads

Thanks to all the replies. I guess I should have made it more clear that I was on a motorbike. Maybe some of the Baselers know the road in question - it was the tiny tiny back road leading up to Wasserfallen somewhere in Baselland near Titterten. The road was seriously only blind curves. It felt like driving a slalom.

It's a good idea about using the horn, I hadn't thought of that. On the other hand, using the horn through each of these curves may well have resulted in a dead battery by the end! This is one case where I wish motorcycle helmets didn't block so much of the "ambient noise" frequencies. It would have been nice to be able to "listen out" for other cars, as it wasn't possible to "look out."

Slow driving goes without saying. On these little roads there are always some kinds of big rocks in the road or nasty potholes anyway. Can you imagine my embarrassment to be passed by a mountain bike on my big street machine?

So, some of you are saying to aim for maximum visibility in the right curves (i.e. road position far left), others make note of the "limit line(?)" implying a far right position. Is this situation like driving through Aeschenplatz - there's no real way to do it correctly?
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Old 12.06.2010, 16:30
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Re: One lane roads

Also prayers may help ;-)
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Old 12.06.2010, 18:27
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Re: One lane roads

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So, some of you are saying to aim for maximum visibility in the right curves (i.e. road position far left), others make note of the "limit line(?)" implying a far right position. Is this situation like driving through Aeschenplatz - there's no real way to do it correctly?
That's probably right - but go do some advanced training, it's worth every penny. btw, limit line doesn't suggest a far right position for right handers but, depending on the curve, a more left to far left position.
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Old 12.06.2010, 18:52
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Re: One lane roads

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Can you imagine my embarrassment to be passed by a mountain bike on my big street machine?
Yes. Also please next time could you ensure your builders crack is covered! Nearly ruined my cycle.

CK
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Old 12.06.2010, 19:00
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Re: One lane roads

I will just say this thread gave me sweaty palms and a horrible sense of vertigo, along with a sick feeling in my stomach.
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Old 12.06.2010, 19:12
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Re: One lane roads

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Above Kandersteg there is a road that is so narrow that traffic takes it in turns every 30 mins (if I remember correctly) the traffic direction alternates.

At least you know that you won't meet any other traffic coming in the opposite direction, but you may have to wait if you arrive there at the wrong time.
It also costs 10 chf toll.
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Old 12.06.2010, 19:30
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Re: One lane roads

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Check the post-bus timetable and avoid driving while it is on the road. Better still, park your car and ride the post-bus.
Here is a postbus coming out of one of the innumerable tunnels on the road to Derborance, would hate to meet it while driving ...

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Old 12.06.2010, 20:56
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Re: One lane roads

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It also costs 10 chf toll.
I was a passenger in my friends car. I don't recall any toll. Perhaps they had a permit as the live locally.
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Old 13.06.2010, 06:59
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Re: One lane roads

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Here is a postbus coming out of one of the innumerable tunnels on the road to Derborance, would hate to meet it while driving ...



OMG! LOL! He takes up the whole road and barely fits throught the tunnel.
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Old 13.06.2010, 12:38
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Re: One lane roads

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Above Kandersteg there is a road that is so narrow that traffic takes it in turns every 30 mins (if I remember correctly) the traffic direction alternates.

At least you know that you won't meet any other traffic coming in the opposite direction...
This is another of those nice theories - you know you shouldn't meet any. I knew a chap who didn't read the rules on the road from Lenk up towards BŁelberg but he was just lucky and didn't meet anyone coming down (he also had summer tyres in the middle of winter). And on the single track road though the tunnels towards Biltis on the Walensee we once met a chap coming the opposite way at the wrong time. I'm sure he must live there though and probably risked it when there wasn't likely to be any traffic in the other direcion as he backed through those curves as fast as we could get round them going forwards.
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Old 13.06.2010, 13:02
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Re: One lane roads

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This is another of those nice theories - you know you shouldn't meet any. I knew a chap who didn't read the rules on the road from Lenk up towards BŁelberg but he was just lucky and didn't meet anyone coming down (he also had summer tyres in the middle of winter). And on the single track road though the tunnels towards Biltis on the Walensee we once met a chap coming the opposite way at the wrong time. I'm sure he must live there though and probably risked it when there wasn't likely to be any traffic in the other direcion as he backed through those curves as fast as we could get round them going forwards.
Fair point. Care at all times even if it is your right of way then.

On the route I was on there were occasional points wide enough to pass another car.
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