2 Abreast

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
ian s
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Joined: 24 Jun 2008, 12:59pm

2 Abreast

Postby ian s » 23 Apr 2014, 12:16pm

There seems to be alot written here about riders 2 abreast lately, and the motorist's dislike of it, I realise it is not illegal, and is probably safer for the cyclists, and in most cases does not impede decent drivers any more than a single cyclist does, but I do not know how the bad drivers are to be convinced of this. Any suggestions?

vak11
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Joined: 18 Feb 2013, 1:37pm

Re: 2 Abreast

Postby vak11 » 23 Apr 2014, 12:34pm

I don't think it is possible to convince most people when they are in an agitated state. Most aggressive drivers tend to ignore anything that we say to them during the club ride as they have already decided that they are 'right' and we are 'wrong'. Nowadays we tend to ignore such comments and carry on riding regardless. Often responding to aggressive behaviour tend to escalate the situation wheres a polite smile and carrying on regardless is better for our enjoyment of the ride.

I now tend to carry a copy of the 'highway code' in the hope that I may be able to use to convince at least one driver that they are wrong - however have not come across one who was actually interested in finding out if their understanding of the law is accurate!

However I was able to point out to some of my non-cycling friends and work colleagues that they perhaps do not understand the highway code as well as they originally thought. The only reason this worked is because they already knew me and the discussion on this topic was undertaken in a calm and rational way.

Postboxer
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Re: 2 Abreast

Postby Postboxer » 23 Apr 2014, 12:58pm

Ban the bad drivers, take their licences away, then they aren't drivers any more and so the problem is solved.

Ayesha
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Re: 2 Abreast

Postby Ayesha » 23 Apr 2014, 1:31pm

Two cyclists riding side-by-side only become unlawful if they are causing danger to other road users or are riding ‘inconsiderately’.

‘Inconsiderately’ might include not ‘singling out’ when traffic is forced to slow behind them.

Here’s the Highway Code the motorist might draw your attention to:-

68

You MUST NOT
• carry a passenger unless your cycle has been built or adapted to carry one
• hold onto a moving vehicle or trailer
• ride in a dangerous, careless or inconsiderate manner
• ride when under the influence of drink or drugs, including medicine.
Law RTA 1988 sects 24, 26, 28, 29 & 30 as amended by RTA 1991

and

66

You should
• keep both hands on the handlebars except when signalling or changing gear
• keep both feet on the pedals
• never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends
• not ride close behind another vehicle
• not carry anything which will affect your balance or may get tangled up with your wheels or chain
• be considerate of other road users, particularly blind and partially sighted pedestrians. Let them know you are there when necessary, for example, by ringing your bell if you have one. It is recommended that a bell be fitted.

Bicycler
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Re: 2 Abreast

Postby Bicycler » 23 Apr 2014, 1:45pm

This has to depend on road width right? If there are two forward lanes (generally a dual carriageway) it is no hassle to use the other lane for overtaking. If there is only one forward lane and a single cyclist couldn't be overtaken safely with oncoming traffic, then again there is no hindrance in having to wait for the other lane to be clear of oncoming traffic. On a properly single track road where a single cyclist couldn't be overtaken it is also a non issue. It can only be a problem where a road is wide enough to allow cars to safely pass a single cyclist despite oncoming traffic or where a road is less than two lanes wide but more than single track and there is room to safely overtake a single cyclist.

Ayesha
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Re: 2 Abreast

Postby Ayesha » 23 Apr 2014, 2:10pm

Road width has nothing to do with it. THE issue is volume of traffic and causing an obstruction to the smooth flow of traffic.

If there is NO traffic, a cyclist can slalom the cat’s eyes down the centre line without causing danger to anyone but himself.
When there is a steady stream of traffic, two cyclists riding ‘Two-a-breast’ just because they can, gets cyclists a BAD name.

Driving at 70 mph along the centre lane of a motorway with a queue of vehicles behind, when the left lane is empty, is now an offence.

Cyclists riding two-a-breast with a queue of vehicles behind, is ‘Inconsiderate’ and is an offence.

Bicycler
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Re: 2 Abreast

Postby Bicycler » 23 Apr 2014, 2:18pm

But road width has to matter. The cyclists are only obstructing following traffic if there would be space to safely pass a single cyclist but not two cyclists side by side. If the traffic would still be unable to pass if they singled out or would only be able to pass far too close then the cyclists are only obstructing unsafe manoeuvers. Arguably this is equivalent to taking a primary position rather than riding in the gutter.

A safe passing distance is not dependent on the volume of traffic or whether there's a bit of a queue. I would expect most groups of cyclists to find a place to pull in and let a long queue past if such a situation persisted but that's a separate matter.

Bicycler
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Re: 2 Abreast

Postby Bicycler » 23 Apr 2014, 2:26pm

Ayesha wrote:Driving at 70 mph along the centre lane of a motorway with a queue of vehicles behind, when the left lane is empty, is now an offence.

Only if you believe the nonsense in the tabloids

LollyKat
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Re: 2 Abreast

Postby LollyKat » 23 Apr 2014, 2:56pm

On Saturday we were driving back to Glasgow when we caught up with a tailback following six cyclists strung out in single file.This was on the A809, the main road to Drymen and a popular route to Loch Lomond. It is quite narrow, twisty and often busy. The cyclists were riding in the gutter but there still wasn't room to overtake without crossing the centre line, and because of bends and blind summits it wasn't possible to pass them all in one go.

According to this part of the HC
• never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends

they were doing the right thing. Yet if they had been riding 2 abreast it would have been much easier for cars to get past, as they would have formed a single compact bunch.

I'm pleased to report that none of the cars I saw hassled these cyclists and gave them plenty of room when they did manage to overtake. Except perhaps ourselves....a large hole had blown in the exhaust and we sounded like a TT motorbike :oops: .

mnichols
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Re: 2 Abreast

Postby mnichols » 23 Apr 2014, 3:02pm

Ayesha wrote:• keep both hands on the handlebars except when signalling or changing gear


Does that mean it is illegal to drink from a sports bottle or take a bite from a snack bar/gel when moving?

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: 2 Abreast

Postby [XAP]Bob » 23 Apr 2014, 3:35pm

mnichols wrote:
Ayesha wrote:• keep both hands on the handlebars except when signalling or changing gear


Does that mean it is illegal to drink from a sports bottle or take a bite from a snack bar/gel when moving?


And scratch an itch - adjust glasses/hat or adjust anything else on the vehicle.
No tuning the radio now, or switching on lights...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way.
No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
A good pun is it's own reword

There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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Mick F
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Re: 2 Abreast

Postby Mick F » 23 Apr 2014, 3:58pm

mnichols wrote:Does that mean it is illegal to drink from a sports bottle or take a bite from a snack bar/gel when moving?
Yep.
Illegal whilst driving a car too.
Mick F. Cornwall

boliston
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Re: 2 Abreast

Postby boliston » 23 Apr 2014, 5:36pm

Mick F wrote:
mnichols wrote:Does that mean it is illegal to drink from a sports bottle or take a bite from a snack bar/gel when moving?
Yep.
Illegal whilst driving a car too.
surely you are allowed a non alcoholic drink if driving on a hot day?

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Mick F
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Re: 2 Abreast

Postby Mick F » 23 Apr 2014, 5:45pm

:lol: :lol:
There have been a few recent press reports of people being done for eating and drinking - even when stopped at traffic lights - apples, sandwiches etc, not beer or a bottle of vodka!
Mick F. Cornwall

PH
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Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am

Re: 2 Abreast

Postby PH » 23 Apr 2014, 10:40pm

mnichols wrote:
Ayesha wrote:• keep both hands on the handlebars except when signalling or changing gear


Does that mean it is illegal to drink from a sports bottle or take a bite from a snack bar/gel when moving?


No.
It means they're advising you not to.


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