Cycling two abreast

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Matt1962
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Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:36 am

Cycling two abreast

Postby Matt1962 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:37 pm

Much (often deserved) criticism is made of cyclists ignoring the rules of the road; but one thing that seems to enrage many drivers more than anything else is actually perfectly legal and might even be regarded as best practice. I'm speaking about riding two abreast.
I have been out cycling with a friend from the village quite a lot over the last few months and we have had several bizarre encounters with furious horn blowers who then proceeded to overtake - thereby demonstrating that they weren't actually being held up at all by our two abreast riding. If there are obvious situations where a pair of cyclists could obviously create an obstruction or hazard then we ride single file, so there is certainly no intention on our part to 'make a point'.
Why the animosity?

Gareth
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Location: Berkshire
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Re: Cycling two abreast

Postby Gareth » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:05 pm

Possibly because more road width is needed to pass safely?
there is only the road, nothing but the road ...

Jonquirk
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Location: Guildford

Re: Cycling two abreast

Postby Jonquirk » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:29 pm

Highway Code rule 66 says you should never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends.

So there you have it. When a car comes up behind two cyclists riding abreast the driver immediately decides that the road is narrow and busy (because he wants to get past) and so concludes that the cyclists should be riding in single file. Failure to comply may lead to a heated response and abuse.

Carbon Based
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Location: London

Re: Cycling two abreast

Postby Carbon Based » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:00 pm

Matt1962 wrote:...might even be regarded as best practice.


Where I have a preference, I'd probably prefer they were two abreast and the group was shorter in length.

I'd guess the cause of animosity for many drivers is that side by side means they have to overtake rather than barging past those in single file. In which case it's similar to cyclists taking a wider position.

Matt1962
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:36 am

Re: Cycling two abreast

Postby Matt1962 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:28 pm

Carbon Based wrote:
Matt1962 wrote:...might even be regarded as best practice.


Where I have a preference, I'd probably prefer they were two abreast and the group was shorter in length.

I'd guess the cause of animosity for many drivers is that side by side means they have to overtake rather than barging past those in single file. In which case it's similar to cyclists taking a wider position.


Yes, I agree. My solo road position would not be greatly different from being the outer of a pair. But if one pair of cyclists can cause such distress, I wonder what these people do on encountering a horse, a tractor or old mrs. Brown in her Honda Jazz?

gannet
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Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:23 am

Re: Cycling two abreast

Postby gannet » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:16 pm

I rarely ride with others, but I do take the primary position where I think appropriate - doing so once resulted in a rather unpleasant confrontation after someone decided to make a point...

Sometimes drivers just need an excuse :(

Matt1962
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:36 am

Re: Cycling two abreast

Postby Matt1962 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:43 am

gannet wrote:I rarely ride with others, but I do take the primary position where I think appropriate - doing so once resulted in a rather unpleasant confrontation after someone decided to make a point...

Sometimes drivers just need an excuse :(


When I'm driving I much prefer cyclists to make themselves an obvious presence, whether it be two abreast or in prime as it makes my own course of action much easier to determine - particularly as related to the expectations of other (mainly following) drivers.
I try to avoid exaggerated 'point making' when cycling - moving to the left to allow people past when (for example) climbing a hill at 10mph is good manners, but only when I'm sure they have seen me and adjusted their speed etc. accordingly.


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