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riding in pairs

dcabdcab Posts: 255
edited July 2008 in Road beginners
riding 2 up on the a59 near skipton 2day clear road no oncoming traffic we were given some stick by a d*^+ head in a transit ! not known for my good nature i gave him a gob full of choice words, he then pulled over gave it the big i am " i'll nock u off yer effin bike"!
i replied in my best french that i would take his teeth out with le boot to which he went on his merry way . the question were does the law stand on riding 2 up?
veritas vos liberabit


  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,599
    2 abreast is perfectly legal. It's good manners to pull into single file when on a narrow road, but not required.
  • nolfnolf Posts: 1,287
    Highway code says you're allowed to ride 2 abreast. But to just avoid the agro, on a narrower/busier road I prefer riding single file.
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  • Smokin JoeSmokin Joe Posts: 2,706
    If you've got following traffic, riding two abreast is just asking for trouble. Even the most reasonable people will get annoyed if they cannot overtake just because you want a chat with your mate.
  • juankerrjuankerr Posts: 1,099
    I've got to agree. Riding 2 abreast with following traffic is going to annoy anyone, legal or otherwise.
  • dcabdcab Posts: 255
    dual carridge way, 8am ,no oncomming ?
    veritas vos liberabit
  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,599
    dcab wrote:
    dual carridge way, 8am ,no oncomming ?
    In your circumstances, it was the driver at fault. You've done nothing wrong.
  • geoff_ssgeoff_ss Posts: 1,201
    A very dear friend of mine was killed and her husband seriously injured on an empty dual carriageway when riding single file by a hit and run driver (who eventually turned out to be drunk). So even singling out doesn't always work with drivers who imagine cyclists have no right even to be there at all.

    I really don't think you were doing anything wrong at all but, in the end, we have to trust that car drivers are reasonable people. Sadly, a very small percentage aren't and, even if it's only 0.1%, we're likely to come across one quite often.


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  • feelfeel Posts: 800
    dcab wrote:
    dual carridge way, 8am ,no oncomming ?

    TBH i think that riding 2 abreast on a dual carriage way is very dangerous. Reason is that cars tend to be travelling much faster 60+mph is not unusual in the inside lane and 70+mph is not unusual in the outside lane. Vehicles will be approaching so quickly that you will not be able to adjust your position to single file. Also it is quite unusual to see bikes 2 abreast on dual carriage ways ( i never have) so other vehicle drivers will not expect it. Time of day is irrelevant. I think it is easy to imagine a very dangerous scenario with 2 very fast approaching vehicles.
    I think it is much safer to be 2 abreast on country lanes, even though they are narrower. Vehicles approach slower giving you more time and sensible drivers will not be surprised to encounter slow vehicles / horses etc.
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  • weyayemanweyayeman Posts: 1,141
    As far as I remember the highway code says we must not ride more than 2 abreast.Commonsense says if in doubt go single file.They(motorists) are always in a tearing hurry,we aren't and we are normally chilled.Let them have the heart attack and the stress.

    ps on a duel carriage way normally theres a margin i.e. white line with run off space ,at least there is here.Personally I never go on duel carriageways or A roads,but Im lucky where i am.
    How son yee divent need gaan doon the Pit,coz thas plenty coal in the coal hoose
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    Highway Code rule 66 : ... /DG_069837
    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

    Whether A59 at that time of day is a 'busy' road is a different question....[/list]
  • psychlepsychle Posts: 83
    feel wrote:
    I think it is much safer to be 2 abreast on country lanes, even though they are narrower. Vehicles approach slower giving you more time and sensible drivers will not be surprised to encounter slow vehicles / horses etc.

    I've been encouraging the girlfriend out on the bike this year. Saturday morning we were out, had just turned off the main single carriageway onto a quieter back road. On a long, straight uphill section, I moved alongside to pace and encourage her. One car overtook, no problem, another car overtook, again no problem. Quiet for a bit, then I hear the rising pitch of an accelerating car behind. As he speeds by my shoulder he decides to hit his horn in a prolonged manner. I reply with a prolonged hand signal. A moments hesitation then the brake lights go on (though not all of them). Immediately, I'm out of the saddle sprinting towards him, the brake lights go off and the car starts moving away, not so brave now, I thought. I sit down again, but then the brakes go on again. So I'm back out of the saddle. I approach the driver and actually remain quite civil, "What's your problem?" I ask, between deep breaths.
    "You were swaying all over the road and I've a small child in the back" he replies. :?
    I'm not sure whether I'm more stunned at the initial complete lie or the total irrelevancy of the second part of his 'argument'.
    I reply that I was not riding in any sort of dangerous or illegal manner, unlike his driving.
    He then says, "Where's your yellow vest?" The adrenaline is now subsiding and I realise just what an idiot I am dealing with.
    I simply reply that I don't have a yellow vest.
    "Yeah, exactly" he says.
    "Look, don't just make things up," I say "If you have a point to make I'd like to hear it".
    "Oh, I'm not arguing with you" is his final retort and he speeds off.

    You'll note he never even mentioned riding two abreast, though I'm pretty sure that's what actually caused his ire. Unless that's what he meant by "swaying all over the road"?
    This was my first real confrontation with a driver in over 20 years of cycling. It confirmed every suspicion I ever had.

    "Like a pig towing a cart-load of sausages - I draw my own conclusions"
  • daz51daz51 Posts: 159
    This reminds me of a few weeks back in Shropshire. Sunday afternoon between Leintwardine and Knighton and a cycling club were riding along in pairs. The road was quite busy and there must have been about 12 pairs.

    Traffic were struggling to overtake safely and to top it off one pair decided to start overtaking other pairs to get to the front.

    This to me is totally dangerous for everyone involved, the cars + cycling club.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 10,714
    psychle wrote:
    He then says, "Where's your yellow vest?" The adrenaline is now subsiding and I realise just what an idiot I am dealing with.

    Bloody genius, what a twonk.

    Hindsight and all, but I would have asked him where his and his childs yellow vests were, otherwise how are us cyclists meant to see them!

    From a personal point of view, and not a holier than thou perspective, I only ride 2 abreast on quiet country lanes, and am always checking over my shoulder, ready to drop to single file as soon as traffic approaches.

    Even on a more major road, I wouldn't want to take the risk, all you need is someone not paying attention, and being accelerated from 20-60mph via is there bonnet does not feature on my wish list.

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  • Robmanic1Robmanic1 Posts: 2,150
    ......and yet, on the continent (especially the Canaries I've noticed), the traffic will patiently sit behind riders two abreast until they're completely confident of the cyclists safety, so perhaps it boils down to the attidude of drivers in our glorious country towards cyclists.
    When driving I'm nowhere near important enough to be rushing anywhere so I'm happy to see folk out on there bikes, and not a little jealous usually.
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  • Smokin JoeSmokin Joe Posts: 2,706
    I think you've got to be both sensible and fair with riding two abreast. You are only doing it to chat to your companion, and in situations where it is causing vehicles who would otherwise be able to pass you to sit behind it is both selfish and asking for trouble.

    I rode a sportive earlier this year, and at one point I had three riders ahead of me who were blocking the whole lane while a driver sat behind them for over a mile. The old boy in the car was as patiant as a saint to his credit, and did not lose his temper or try anything dangerous. I felt so embarrassed I stopped behind a gate for a pee to lose sight of them as they were making me cringe.
  • that post about the guy asking where's your yellow vest...I thought at first he was a Tour de France fan, and it seemed like a bit of a strange line of argument. ...then I realised he meant a hi viz vest....


    I'll get my coat...
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    psychle wrote:
    "Where's your yellow vest?"

    Was he worried you might be cold ?
    What business is it of his whether you're wearing a vest or not, or what colour it is ?
  • psychlepsychle Posts: 83
    andy_wrx wrote:
    Was he worried you might be cold ?
    What business is it of his whether you're wearing a vest or not, or what colour it is ?

    Well... quite. If he'd mentioned 'two abreast' or even 'h*lm*t' I'd have had a basis on which to respond, but 'swaying' and 'yellow vest'???
    It was just too bizarre for me.

    As a footnote, the very next day we were heading up the same road and who's standing at the side on the exact spot of the previous days encounter? Two police with a speed gun. :roll:
    It might have been interesting if they'd been there 24 hours before.

    "Like a pig towing a cart-load of sausages - I draw my own conclusions"
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    He'd probably reported you at the copshop and they were there to see you riding 'without a vest'
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