• This topic has 108 replies, 62 voices, and was last updated 11 years ago by poly.
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  • Is it illegal to ride two abreast?
  • anotherdeadhero
    Free Member

    Ah motorists. 15 seconds travelling at 25mph when they could be doing 60mph causes them to boil their piss.

    One of the narrow lanes I regularly use is a rat run that motorists use to skip motorway junctions and ‘avoid’ the rush hour traffic. I pull over at every passing place to let people through, only to swing straight back pass them again at the junction with the main road, full of stationary traffic.

    Yet if i were to cruise down the lane at a steady 15mph, causing the motorists piled up behind me absoluetly no overall delay whatsoever I’d get mown down in an instant. Motorists seem unable to prevent themselves pulling all kinds of stunts to get past a cyclist, only to join the back of a queue of stationary traffic and the cyclists to sail through.

    Speed limit in my village is 30mph. I know from the speed trap sign that I tend to cruise through at 28mph on my road bike riding to work. This isn’t willy waving, thats just a comfortable speed the bike seems to do of its own accord. Yet nobody will sit behind me, they absolutely HAVE to get past the cyclist, even if it means swerving round parked cars and children walking to school at 40-50mph, dicing with oncoming traffic or getting past me, only to find they can’t get through the availible gap in oncoming traffic, so cutting me up and slamming the anchors on. If I ride assertively to prevent them doing this, you can often palpably hear the piss boiling.

    I don’t understand where this manic, rabid impatience comes from, its not like operating a motor vehicle is hard work.

    ourmaninthenorth
    Full Member

    ourmaninthenorth totally understand but that means a car driver could argue a cyclist pulled out without any warning. Swings both ways.

    Noted, and I sort of see your point, though in the situation I describe, the cyclist moving from the inside to the outside lines isn’t moving any further across the path of the car. The riders are two abreast, and that is maintained by the “through and off”. So, though a driver may think a rider is pulling out without looking, in fact he is probably highly aware of the car (having been checking over his shoulder while on the inside line for the last man to move past on the outside), and will also be aware of a car. Most riders will also in this situaiton still give a shout of “car up” (up your arse) so the line is aware of its presence.

    Your point is really much the same as ADH’s – people in cars can’t bear to be “held up”.

    All of the language of journeys is about how easy or not it is to make progress: “the traffic was heavy”, “those lights never stay on green for the long”, “I got stuck behind a tractor/caravan/cyclist/horse rider”. The thought process when getting in a car is not “I have 20 miles to drive, I ought to set off with enough time to reach my destination even if I can’t average 60mph”, but one of “I have to go to pick up the kids from school at 3pm. It’s 10 miles away. the road is a 60mph limit. That should take me 10 minutes. Oh my god there’s a person on bicycle holding me up, stopping me from getting to my destination at the speed and time that I want to”.

    I don’t understand where this manic, rabid impatience comes from, its not like operating a motor vehicle is hard work.

    It’s because it isn’t physically hard that people spend too much time unaware of their surroundings or the implcations of their actions.

    dave-c
    Free Member

    Yet if i were to cruise down the lane at a steady 15mph, causing the motorists piled up behind me absoluetly no overall delay whatsoever

    Except that they would have entered the queue further back and as such had to queue longer.

    MrAgreeable
    Full Member

    Dave C, you are crediting rush hour motorists in Bristol with a politeness that they do not possess.

    Nick
    Full Member

    It’s obvious that we have to share the roads

    It’s nice to be considerate

    It works both ways

    Ride two abreast when safe

    If a car is behind you it’s easy peasy to just drop down to single file to make it easier for them to get past

    On the occasion when it would be dangerous for a vehicle to overtake then ride in a defensive but un-confrontational manner, they have a metal box around them, you don’t

    Wave in a friendly manner as they go past

    Live a long life in harmony with the world

    aP
    Free Member

    Width restrictors also bring out the “gottagetpastatallcostsotherwisetheentireuniversewillceasetoexistand nevermindthatthere’sanotherrathermorevulnerableroaduserintheway” gene in motorists on my way to work, which only means that I open their rear passenger doors or bootlid about 15 seconds later as they queue in traffic about 300 metres down the road.
    On the other hand there was a group of road riders out near Peaslake a couple of weeks ago who were riding 1-3 abreast without any indication of realisation of what was behind them, but then they made a big deal of attempting to wave me through on a completely blind S bend which I knew about and had no intention of overtaking in a suicide manner.

    maxray
    Free Member

    Junkyard I commute every day, I also drive a car and do not have a view that either has more right to the road. Alas it is a sad fact that some car drivers and some cyclists actually ride with the purpose of inconveiniencing the other which doesnt really help anyone. You can ride defensivly without taking up the whole road you know.

    Its a bit of a deviation from the OP about legalities of riding 2 abreast anyway.

    anotherdeadhero
    Free Member

    Dave C, you are crediting rush hour motorists in Bristol with a politeness that they do not possess.

    And the ability of other cars to materialize out of thin air, to join the back of the queue. There are no turnings or other roads ajoining.

    hora
    Free Member

    Can I point out something more relevant about this thread? The title. I love to ride two breasts. **** love it 8)

    TandemJeremy
    Free Member

    I am with ADH on this . The nuber of times I get carsd impatiently overtaking then stopping in a queue 50 m up the road while I sail past them again is untrue. staying behind the cyclist would cost them no time and save them petrol

    james
    Free Member

    “and usually travel quicker, than tractors, diggers”
    How many decades ago was this?

    Overtaking cyclist in a tractor is the much harder on a conventional (non high speed) tractor as you may only be able to go 5-10mph faster than most roadies seem to go along at

    “motorists accuse cyclists of “thinking they own the road”. Any cyclist thinking he owns the road is clearly delusional and I don’t think many such cyclists exist. What the motorists seem to mean is actually “why do these people not understand that I own the road?”

    Don’t cyclists, horses and pedestrians have a legal right to the road? whereas motorvehicles have to pay for that right with Vehicle Excise Duty (not road tax), although since the fuel ‘crisis’ of around 2000 agricultural vehicles don’t have to pay it (but still have to have the VED disc and display it)

    zaskar
    Free Member

    I don’t mind riding two up but keep an eye/ear for cars and move to single file way ahead before a car arrives.

    Busy roads-forget it-ride single file.

    Tell the busy body to **^&*^& off.

    MTFU?

    ourmaninthenorth
    Full Member

    Nick – all good points well put.

    I think the “share the road” capaign has real value, and certainly does cut both ways.

    I’ve also adopted a rather more relaxed approach to the sort of weirdness TJ describes – if they want to try to overtake and then find themselves alongside me, stationary at the back of a traffic queue, with half their car obstructing the oncoming lane, they’re more than welcome.

    I’m not bothered with the right vs licence to use the road – we’re all on it here and now, so let’s try to get along..! 🙂

    callous
    Free Member

    Depends on whose breasts they are and how broadminded you feel

    Junkyard
    Free Member

    maxray

    Junkyard ….. You can ride defensivly without taking up the whole road you know.

    I have to stop idiots tryiong to overtake me on a blind bend I said so in my post I do have to take up the whole of our side of the road or else they will happilly floor it to 50 mph in a 30 zone around a blind corner to overtake me (half in each lane)and then slew into me when the inevitable car comes the other way. When they have to put all of the car on the wrong side of the road they see the stupidity of the move.
    I dont ride like this for the entire journey that would just be stupid/incosiderate just the one corner and I am doing the speed limit at the time! The rest of the journey is a quietish wide B road with no need to cycle like this

    dave c – Member

    Yet if i were to cruise down the lane at a steady 15mph, causing the motorists piled up behind me absoluetly no overall delay whatsoever
    Except that they would have entered the queue further back and as such had to queue longer.

    Were you being ironic?
    If no one overtakes them how are they further back?

    NICK view is spot on IMHO

    hora
    Free Member

    Depends on whose breasts they are and how broadminded you feel

    I’m always up for firing a salvo/broadside across anyones breasts. I dont want my tombstone to say ‘he didnt manage to shag Kate Arnold or the others with the nice breasts’ 😥

    dave-c
    Free Member

    Were you being ironic?
    If no one overtakes them how are they further back?

    No I was not. Usually you see that kind of thing at junctions where other cars would be pulling out in front of you or you might be trying to pull into a queue on another road. Apparently not in this case.

    Driller
    Full Member

    The terminology of the Highway Code works as follows:

    You Must = It’s the law.
    You Should = Advisory.

    Therefore it isn’t against the law to ride two-abreast.

    After years of wondering why roadies ride two (or more abreast) I’ve recently found that if we ride single-file drivers will usually come past, often too close, when there’s oncoming traffic. Riding two-abreast means there isn’t usually enough room so they don’t overtake when there is oncoming traffic.

    I’m not commenting on which is safer though, but it does seem to stop drivers squeezing past your elbow.

    BigDummy
    Free Member

    I dont want my tombstone to say ‘he didnt manage to shag Kate Arnold or the others with the nice breasts’

    Dude, you are on fire this week. I just don’t know how your brain keeps it up. 8)

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    I don’t think the space taken by 2 abreast is significantly different to single file. As a cyclist, when I’m in the car I will always make the point of waiting to overtake cyclists in the same way as I like to be overtaken, leaving enough space which usually means moving onto the other carriageway. If you have to do that, you have to wait until it’s clear in which case, 1,2, 3 abreast – what’s the difference?

    The problem is perception, most drivers don’t think the same way and they think they can squeeze past a single cyclist, hence when they see 2 abreast and can’t it ‘boils their piss’

    What frightens me is the reaction of drivers behind me when I’m in a car behind a cyclist. ‘Why’s he going so slow! Why doesn’t he overtake! I’ll get really close up behind him to show how annoyed I am – maybe I’ll gesticulate too!’ – so that when I do overtake in a safe manner – the ****t behind me almost inevitably learns nothing about why I delayed overtaking and worse, feels he’s already been delayed so he’s F88ked now if he’s going to wait behind the cyclist and get a further delay! So he ploughs past risking the cyclist even more.

    You can’t win!

    D0NK
    Full Member

    Theotherjonv Yep I’ve seen that too and a few times people have tried to overtake my car whilst I’m waiting for a safe opportunity to pass the cyclist.
    As already pointed out, overtaking bikes you’re supposed to leave the same amount of room as you’d leave a car so a single bike or 2 abreast is no different. I hadn’t thought about the single file in large numbers actually making overtaking more difficult, someone should point this out to motorists.

    flatback
    Free Member

    7 YEARS ago when i was the road club .clubrun captain i was or the 7 of us out on a cold windy quiet day on not to busy a road was repromanded by some police who were held up behind us for a few seconds we was riding 2 abrest, so i contacted the ministry of transport, and they replied that while not illegal to ride side by side they hoped that cyclists would single out on busy roads.
    so i contacted them again to ask for a definition of busy roads and they replied there was none, they just hoped cyclists and motorists would have common sence and “get along together”

    flatback
    Free Member

    ow and one more time when a large gang of us was out a motorist shouted out of his sunroof that riding when side by side was illegal, and one of the guys said when he got home he should find a member of his family who could read and he would find out it was not illegal

    surprisingly he did not like that

    hora
    Free Member

    MMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

    oldgit
    Free Member

    In decades of riding I’ve never had issue with this.
    It sort of comes as second nature when to swing into single file or stay as you are. Probably comes from years of club runs.
    Problem is wether you’re in the right or wrong if you don’t assess the drivers behind you, you could end up getting hurt.
    And from the cases that I have heard of people getting in accidents, the drivers of the cars at fault haven’t been baseball cap wearing Corsa drivers but more often nice old folks driving oversized cars that flap when facing anything in the road.

    sockpuppet
    Full Member

    If a car is behind you it’s easy peasy to just drop down to single file to make it easier for them to get past

    it is when there’s only two of you. but in that case you should really be in single file.

    if there’s, say, a dozen it takes ages to single out and holds up the cars behind even more

    oldgit
    Free Member

    Takes a couple of seconds. As soon as a shout goes out the rider nearer the kerb eases forward and the outside rider just slips in, what we talking? up to two seconds.
    At least we don’t hold up the traffic like horses, who never ever move into single file and no one seems to mind???

    IanMunro
    Free Member

    Yes I agree completely sockpuppet, they really shouldn’t be allowed on the road at all.

    sockpuppet
    Full Member

    [puzzled face] i was trying to go for the ‘pro-two-abreast’ vibe. seems i missed it. [/face]

    for larger groups, two-abreast is often best, but then we do tend to avoid busier roads by and large. a really long single file just makes drivers overtake half of the group, get hung out and then barge into the middle of the line – not a happy scenario!

    although, tbh, i find i get far more abuse when out on the road on my own that in a group. my current love-to-hate activity is the “rush to overtake on the way towards a red light, slam on to stop and then get in the way.”

    aP
    Free Member

    I reckon the worst drivers around at the moment are 25-35 year old women and blokes about 60. The women are very agressive towards anything that is in their way and the blokes just don’t give a shit either way as they’ve just left the pub.

    hora
    Free Member

    Approaching Burton-on-Kendal in the lakes yesterday- circa 30 road riders- not even attempting to filter/keep to the left- they just filled the whole lane and TBH **** idiots were candidates for an accident. They werent pegging it either so no excuse. Idiots? Its a 50/60mph limit- imagine rounding a bend to find someone ambling along at 10mph next to the white line?

    I hungback for a fair while until I found a long stretch but seriously, I couldnt work out if they were making a group-critical mass protest or they were just plain idiots. Country roads and idiots, killing people since the dawn of time.

    BillOddie
    Full Member

    bend to find someone ambling along at 10mph next to the white line?

    Or a horse or a tractor or a queue of stationary vehicles.

    Surely you should be driving within your stopping distance?

    hora
    Free Member

    Minimize risk?

    PeterPoddy
    Free Member

    which only means that I open their rear passenger doors or bootlid about 15 seconds later as they queue in traffic about 300 metres down the road.

    I REALLY must remember to do this next time…..

    aP
    Free Member

    I don’t do it very often, but I do make sure that there’s a very good escape route beforehand. Its reserved for really proper displays which require a round of applause – like the guy who cut me properly into a kerb at a width restriction and then turned, smiled and gave me the finger – he was stuck in a queue of traffic about half a mile further on with absolutely nowhere to go. I was very polite though, checked that there wasn’t anything that would be let free by opening the door, popped my head in and suggested that if he was going to do that to someone in future it’d be a really good idea to make sure that he wouldn’t be stuck in a traffic jam 5 minutes down the road, waved and cycled off.

    wyadvd
    Free Member

    despite what the highwaycode says, the ‘narrow road’ thing is a bit of a red herring imo. if the lane of a road is so narrow that if a motorist overtook you (allowing a safe width) then he would be in the collision path of an oncoming motorist (even if the cyclist were hugging the hedgeline!) then it makes no difference where the outermost cyclist is placed. i commute mostly alone on the narrow lanes round ashford in kent,, and i KNOW FOR SURE that i am safer when i rider wide ESPECIALLY ON NARROW COUNTRY LANES. this is especially true when rounding left hand bends, when you can both see and be seen very much earlier by oncoming and rearcoming vehicles. the only place i would be tight left or single file is a very tight right bend.

    allthepies
    Free Member

    Holy thread resurrection, batman!

    nwilko
    Free Member

    single file,2abreast,3,4..
    doesnt matter,at the end of the day position yourself in a way which forces the cardriver to overtake you safely.
    the moment you “assume” the car behind will only overtake when its safe to do so may be your last..
    sod holding em up, yourlife is worth more than them getting to the next queue of traffic 10seconds sooner..

    wyadvd
    Free Member

    in fact, if John Forester and John Franklin are to be believed, then the norrower the road, then speaking from the point of view of the cyclist’s safetly rather than from the point of view of not delaying motorists by more than the statutary 20 seconds, the narrower the road, the wider a cyclist should position themselves. But lets not bother ourselves unduly with cyclists safety shall we? Nahh..

    wyadvd
    Free Member

    in fact, if John Forester and John Franklin are to be believed, then the norrower the road, then speaking from the point of view of the cyclist’s safetly rather than from the point of view of not delaying motorists by more than the statutary 20 seconds, the narrower the road, the wider a cyclist should position themselves. But lets not bother ourselves unduly with cyclists safety shall we? Nahh..

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