Riding Two Abreast.

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cycle cat
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Riding Two Abreast.

Postby cycle cat » 12 May 2012, 6:16pm

What are your views on this? As far as I know it isn't actually illegal.
Rule 51 of the Highway Code says " You should not ride more than two abreast."

However, if you are cycling down a narrow country lane and a car wishes to pass, it seems pointless
to stay riding two abreast.
The considerate thing to do would be to go back to single file until
the car has passed.
That is what I do when cycling with friends.
We'll often pull over and get a cheery wave in response.

Be considerate to other road users and give them a good impression of cyclists.
I'm hoping that's what most people on this forum would do.
Hopefully they wouldn't block the road when it was safe for a car to pass as I witnessed earlier today. Unbelievable!
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snibgo
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Re: Riding Two Abreast.

Postby snibgo » 12 May 2012, 6:49pm

Riding two, three, four or any number abreast isn't, of itself, illegal.

If riding abreast blocks motorists when a pass would be otherwise be safe, we should single out. In other circumstances it doesn't make any difference, and riding abreast shortens the overtaking distance so motorists should be grateful for the consideration. They aren't, of course.

reohn2
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Re: Riding Two Abreast.

Postby reohn2 » 12 May 2012, 7:42pm

IMHO the whole thing about riding two abreast is to be considerate and sensible about it,there are times when it's good road craft not to and not just on narrow roads either,I'm thinking in heavy traffic with oncoming vehicles as an example.
However I'm constantly surprised by some motorists who think it isn't legal at all,we've had problems with cars on deserted,wide roads by people leaning on the horn as they pass and on a couple of occasions we've had oncoming cars cross the white line and drive at us.
I had a discussion with the electrician who used to work for me,he was totally amazed and surprised when I told him it was perfectly legal.
Education wouldn't go amiss for both cyclists and motorists methinks.
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reohn2
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Re: Riding Two Abreast.

Postby reohn2 » 12 May 2012, 7:44pm

snibgo wrote:Riding two, three, four or any number abreast isn't, of itself, illegal.

Though I can't find a need to ride more than two abreast.
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Big T
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Re: Riding Two Abreast.

Postby Big T » 12 May 2012, 7:54pm

If you are riding in a group, riding 2 abreast makes a nice compact unit. Singling out makes the group twice as long, and can make overtaking more difficult. Also, singling out can encourage following motorists to overtake when perhaps they shouldn't i.e. when there is oncoming traffic and the road is narrow. We had an incident today where a car tried to overtake a group of 12 of us(singled out), got halfway along the group and then cut in because there was a car coming the other way. Didn't cause a crash but there was some very sharp braking from those of us at the back.

That said, we try to single out where possible and safe to do so. Better to have an impatient driver in front of you rather than behind you.
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TonyR
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Re: Riding Two Abreast.

Postby TonyR » 12 May 2012, 8:03pm

The only reason they cant get past is they insist on driving around two abreast, often without even having the excuse of a passenger occupying the other seat. There would be plenty of room on the road for everybody otherwise. :wink:

wirral_cyclist
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Re: Riding Two Abreast.

Postby wirral_cyclist » 12 May 2012, 8:21pm

My usual road position (primary ish) probably allows for another rider to my left and if that theoretical rider 'singled out' all that would do is lengthen the overtake, my position wont often change unless it is the thing to do to suit my safety bearing in mind following/oncoming traffic, road etc. If I did the gutter grovel that most motorists want I could well be killed 'accidentally' by a (rather too) close pass, but in my usual road position a motorist would have to deliberately kill me. I find that my usual road position dissuades risky overtakes at danger areas and a slight move to kerb (secondary ish) is enough for following motorists to commence overtaking - I'm damn sure if they realised I was modifying their behaviour they'd be furious...

A lot of people use a 'little wobble' to get more room - you shouldn't be squuezed for space in the first place.

rjb
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Re: Riding Two Abreast.

Postby rjb » 12 May 2012, 10:26pm

TonyR wrote:The only reason they cant get past is they insist on driving around two abreast, often without even having the excuse of a passenger occupying the other seat. There would be plenty of room on the road for everybody otherwise. :wink:


We should make everyone drive Messerschmits and wear helmets - ( like in the film Brazil ) - http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?q=messer ... ,s:0,i:129

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Grandad
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Re: Riding Two Abreast.

Postby Grandad » 13 May 2012, 12:03am

We had an incident today where a car tried to overtake a group of 12 of us(singled out), got halfway along the group and then cut in because there was a car coming the other way.


The clubrun that I was with today had 12 out. We split into 2 groups of 6 and left a gap of about 100yards between to enable cars to pass in 2 bites. This is a club rule for all of our groups.

aprildavy
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Re: Riding Two Abreast.

Postby aprildavy » 13 May 2012, 12:25am

The other week, there were a group of cyclists ahead of me, some riding three abreast on a quiet country road. Then a 4x4 came round the bend and nearly killed the outer rider of the three abreast group. He missed by a few inches. Funnily enough, I was thinking, now there is an accident waiting to happen.

There were nearly only two left riding on a narrow road, that is barely wide enough for 1 bike and 1 car to pass... Fortunately the group saw sense and then rode a bit more carefully, one or two abreast...

Malaconotus
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Re: Riding Two Abreast.

Postby Malaconotus » 13 May 2012, 12:48am

TonyR wrote:The only reason they cant get past is they insist on driving around two abreast, often without even having the excuse of a passenger occupying the other seat. There would be plenty of room on the road for everybody otherwise. :wink:


^^^^ This. Why are cars designed two abreast? If driver and passengers sat single file cars would be far more fuel efficient and the roads would be less congested. Most cars have just one person in, less than two feet wide, but the cars are six or seven feet wide.

So why do cars have a passenger seat alongside? Because it's more sociable, I guess. So why do cyclists ride two abreast?.....

DevonDamo
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Re: Riding Two Abreast.

Postby DevonDamo » 13 May 2012, 1:46am

My 2p: Don't ride two abreast when there's anything behind you, ever. It's just antagonistic. We are usually slower than other vehicles - on fast roads or uphills sections, much slower. We must accept that drivers will want to overtake us at the first opportunity. By riding close to the kerb single file, either close together or with a car-sized gap between you, you're signalling that you're trying to help drivers overtake you safely. In my experience, drivers usually reciprocate by giving you miles of room and making sure they've got plenty of room to complete the overtake. There are, of course, idiots on the roads too, but attempting to block them where you consider it unsafe to overtake will not necessarily make you any safer. The driver will not know that you are riding two-abreast in order to postpone their overtake until a more suitable point - they will just think you are having a nice chat and don't care about the hold-up you are creating. Having an angry idiot behind you may not improve your situation.

TonyR
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Re: Riding Two Abreast.

Postby TonyR » 13 May 2012, 7:56am

Malaconotus wrote:
TonyR wrote:The only reason they cant get past is they insist on driving around two abreast, often without even having the excuse of a passenger occupying the other seat. There would be plenty of room on the road for everybody otherwise. :wink:


^^^^ This. Why are cars designed two abreast? If driver and passengers sat single file cars would be far more fuel efficient and the roads would be less congested. Most cars have just one person in, less than two feet wide, but the cars are six or seven feet wide.

So why do cars have a passenger seat alongside? Because it's more sociable, I guess. So why do cyclists ride two abreast?.....


The average car occupancy is 1.6 people which drops to 1.2 for commuting and business journeys. So really dragging all those extra seats around is both inefficient and anti-social. But perhaps we should join in as cyclists by adopting Prof. Knoflacher's frames on all our bikes.

3putter
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Re: Riding Two Abreast.

Postby 3putter » 13 May 2012, 3:20pm

DevonDamo wrote:My 2p: Don't ride two abreast when there's anything behind you, ever. It's just antagonistic. We are usually slower than other vehicles - on fast roads or uphills sections, much slower. We must accept that drivers will want to overtake us at the first opportunity. By riding close to the kerb single file, either close together or with a car-sized gap between you, you're signalling that you're trying to help drivers overtake you safely. In my experience, drivers usually reciprocate by giving you miles of room and making sure they've got plenty of room to complete the overtake. There are, of course, idiots on the roads too, but attempting to block them where you consider it unsafe to overtake will not necessarily make you any safer. The driver will not know that you are riding two-abreast in order to postpone their overtake until a more suitable point - they will just think you are having a nice chat and don't care about the hold-up you are creating. Having an angry idiot behind you may not improve your situation.

In my experience, cycling in the gutter encourages close passes and is therefore more dangerous for the cyclist.

From the op, if the road is not wide enough for a car to safely pass a single cyclist without crossing the white line, then it should make no difference if cyclists are riding two-abreast. Cars will still have to cross to the other side of the road to overtake safely.

graymee
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Re: Riding Two Abreast.

Postby graymee » 13 May 2012, 3:25pm

Riding two abreast on a narrow road quite possibly isn't the wisest of moves. On a fairly wide single carriageway however, there's no reason why people shouldn't ride two abreast and it can be beneficial as it stops drivers overtaking too closely by forcing their way between the cyclist and oncoming traffic. When the road ahead is clear the motorist can use the full width of the road to overtake so isn't inconvenienced.
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