Running to the right or to the left!

Last weekend I went out running in preparation for our upcomming half marathon (21,1km/13.1mi) next weekend in Hannover. I was going to run 17km (10½ mi) and I was going to push Felix. It started just fine and I think I was over the first 12k (7½ mi) before the trouble started.

I grew up in a country where cars are driving in the right side (no pun on left vs right here ..), where bikes are told to drive in the right side, but pedestrians should, when there are no sidewalk or bikelane, walk (or run) in the left side – the reason is that then you, as a pedestrian, can better see the vehicle getting closest to you. They can give you some space and you can .. jump out on the shoulder 😉

Anyway, went running and I was pushing Felix. I didn’t go on an empty road with no shoulder, but a bikelane in Eilenriede (Hannover, Germany), the local “city forrest” (some might call it a park!) – it is pretty busy place where bikes are used as a means of transportation, where people come to walk or bike to enjoy the forrest, where people inline skate and, like me, to run.

As I said – after about 12k (7½ mi) the first trouble came. A person (trying not to judge on stereotypes) came heading against us on the bikelane – I pull to the left – the person, who drives the opposite way, does the same .. here is not much space on the side so I pull as far left as I can and hold my hand out to the left to signal which way I go, but … CRASH. The person hit the baby jogger! Noone are hurt and it only the scare – we continue running.

Not even 5 minutes later … the scene repeats itself … CRASH!!! Again noone was hurt – just the scare. There must be something wrong. Two people in less than 5 minutes .. hmm .. 13k (8mi), I’m a bit tired in my legs now. Can it really be that people can not see me?

Keep on running, keep on running .. but unfortunatly a few minutes later yet anoter person approach us, pulling to the left (our side) .. I signal with my arm that I run “on our left”, but the person looks like it is not going to change .. we did not crash this time .. I yell at the person and in the last minute pull right around .. nothing happened. What is up? am I invisible?

Afterwards I’ve asked quite a few people about what side I’m suppose to run in in Germany on a bikelane. Everyone says that on a road without sidewalks etc. it is the left side like I’m used to .. and that it probably also is the case for running on a bikelane, but they also all say that there are people who does not seems to understand this!

I’m none the wiser, except that I better take more care – maybe I’ll start run in the middel of the road 😉

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