Riding in pairs

Robbie1958
Robbie1958 Posts: 148
edited May 2010 in Road beginners
I usually ride at weekends with a friend, and was wondering what etiquette people observe when riding in pairs, it must surely be different to riding in larger groups.

I.e is it ok for riders in pairs to ride side by side. I can imagine that motorists can get quite upset that cyclists are apparently taking up most of the left lane. but i would have thought it was safer, making sure that motorists have to pull out to overtake instead of slipping by.

Up until now we have ridden one behind the other but vehicles coming seem to squeeze by. when i am riding alone i usually ride about four feet from the curb, so maybe one behind the other in pairs ir more preferable.
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Comments

  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,234
    If it's a social ride I will ride shoulder to shoulder to have a chat. If it's a hard session then one behind the other to get some drafting. With regards to traffic, if it isn't safe to pass a pair then they shouldn't really try to pass a solo cyclist but if the road is difficult to pass on I would generally go line astern just so motorists don't think I'm being deliberately difficult although in truth it will not make much difference to them.
  • CarleyB
    CarleyB Posts: 475
    When I ride with my daughter I ride in front, or on a cycle path we ride side by side. Its hard riding with your child though as I can't concentrate fully on pushing myself, I suppose the same could be sid for group riding though.
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  • stokepa31
    stokepa31 Posts: 559
    side by side when on quite roads but tend to pull in if its narrow and or busy. never overlap wheels and never undertake your buddy
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  • stokepa31
    stokepa31 Posts: 559
    oh yea and if its windy, let your mate take the lead :)
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  • softlad
    softlad Posts: 3,513
    CarleyB wrote:
    When I ride with my daughter I ride in front

    when I ride on the road with my kids, I will ride behind them - you are much more likely to get hit from behind on the road, rather than from the front.....plus, I can keep an eye on what they're doing too...

    To the OP - riding two abreast is perfectly legal and reasonable - although on narrower roads you might want to consider singling out if there is traffic trying to pass....
  • CarleyB
    CarleyB Posts: 475
    softlad wrote:
    CarleyB wrote:
    When I ride with my daughter I ride in front

    when I ride on the road with my kids, I will ride behind them - you are much more likely to get hit from behind on the road, rather than from the front.....plus, I can keep an eye on what they're doing too...

    To the OP - riding two abreast is perfectly legal and reasonable - although on narrower roads you might want to consider singling out if there is traffic trying to pass....

    Good point
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  • paulorg
    paulorg Posts: 168
    I think the highway code says you can ride side by side as long as you aren't causing a blockage to other traffic
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  • Red Rider
    Red Rider Posts: 93
    Depends on the road. On busier main roads tend to ride one behind t'other drafting cos its quicker.

    Most of my riding with a buddy round here tho is on much quieter roads and we'll ride next to each other. If its narrow and there's a car wanting to get by, whoever is on the right moves in front so the car can overtake (I agree with Pross that it doesn't make much difference - but it does make them happier :roll: ) then the guy behind comes back alongside.

    If the roads are clear cars can overtake the pair of us or sit in our wake. Up to them.
  • I think side by side is reasonable where safe to do so. I get pissed off in the car when clubs are out 2 and sometimes 3 breast and show no intention of moving out of the way.

    I always keep an ear out for cars and move back in single if an obstruction is present. No wonder people get pissed of when groups ride as a if it were the TDF.

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  • Eddy S
    Eddy S Posts: 1,013
    The Highway Code says as part of Rule 66:
    You Should

    • never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends
    I’m a sprinter – I warmed up yesterday.
  • Spinner28
    Spinner28 Posts: 58
    I know what the highway code says but....

    I was out on a club ride the other week, riding side by side on a wide road, when a police traffic car pulled alongside us. The copper said quite sarcastically"single file hey lads. It's much easier isn't it?!!" We didn't argue with him. He then turned around further down the road and came back to check on us. By this time we were flying down hill at roughly 35Mph, so he turned round again and followed us down the hill to the lights where he gave us a lecture about not riding in the middle of the road. I argued back this time as 1.we were riding almost at the speed limit 2.the curvature of the road would've made it impractical to ride in secondary position at such a speed, as we need more of the road for control and safety purposes(poor road surface near the curb etc). His answer was that if we have to ride out in the road at that speed then we need to slow down to a speed that's sensible and suitable for our "modes of transport"!!!! With that the lights changed and he took off.
    Interesting. So he suggests that rather than cycling with the traffic flow, we descend on our brakes to keep us at roughly 10mph or less, so that we can safely stay in at the kerbside away from passing motorists?!!!
    The mind boggles.
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  • crankycrank
    crankycrank Posts: 1,830
    Spinner28 wrote:
    Interesting. So he suggests that rather than cycling with the traffic flow, we descend on our brakes to keep us at roughly 10mph or less, so that we can safely stay in at the kerbside away from passing motorists?!!!
    The mind boggles.

    Actually you should just put your bikes on your car rack and drive around. :roll:
  • daviesee
    daviesee Posts: 6,386
    I think side by side is reasonable where safe to do so. I get pissed off in the car when clubs are out 2 and sometimes 3 breast and show no intention of moving out of the way.

    I always keep an ear out for cars and move back in single if an obstruction is present. No wonder people get pissed of when groups ride as a if it were the TDF.

    10 riders in pairs take up aound or over 10metres of road length.
    10 riders solo take up over 20 metres of road length.

    If it is safe to pass then it is easier to pass 10m than 20m.

    But that is just theory. Unfortunately reality is very different, squeezing etc.

    Example this morning. A car squeezed passed me at a pinch point going head to head with an oncoming car. He only made it because the other car and I slowed down. The road widened after 2 metres. He couldn't wait till we travelled 2 metres :roll:
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • Ben6899
    Ben6899 Posts: 9,686
    I'm surprised the copper had a go at Spinner28's club run for riding 2 abreast and in a primary road position. I was out the other day and caught up with a bloke - decided instead of flying by I'd have a breather and a chat if he seemed receptive.

    He was and we talked at length about road position for the next couple of miles. He was a copper and advocated riding 2 abreast as the recommended practice... "if your mate goes down while he's behind you, then how do you know?" was one of the reasons he gave.

    Makes sense, but I agree that we need to share the road just as we expect motorists to do so and go single file at narrow sections with traffic. Heck, I've even dismounted before on some of the narrow lanes to let farm vehicles go by... it's not the end of the world.
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  • Rich Hcp
    Rich Hcp Posts: 1,355
    AS mosdt of the posts uggest, its common sense, I try to show courtesy to other road users by making a positive move to give them more room and an opportunity to overtake.

    If a Tractor goes by, i tend to dismount, those things they hang off the back are scary!
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  • sheffsimon
    sheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    Ride in pairs, unless you have got a car up your ass. In which case, single up until the traffics gone.

    + if you dont ride in pairs how are you gonna half wheel your mate and give them some pain. :wink:
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    OP - have you read the Highway Code - and the bit for cyclists ? It could be a good idea.

    Basically we ride 2 up on quiet or wide roads. If its busy then 1 up, and if cars are having probs getting through, we single out. No point in pissing off 1t of metal.

    Shocked at the police car - thats bloody ridiculous. I'd have reported him. Theres plenty of police on this forum - I'm sure they have a much better idea.
  • Robbie1958
    Robbie1958 Posts: 148
    cougie wrote:
    OP - have you read the Highway Code - and the bit for cyclists ? It could be a good idea.

    Basically we ride 2 up on quiet or wide roads. If its busy then 1 up, and if cars are having probs getting through, we single out. No point in pissing off 1t of metal.

    Shocked at the police car - thats bloody ridiculous. I'd have reported him. Theres plenty of police on this forum - I'm sure they have a much better idea.

    I did read the highway code, but what should happen and what does in reality is sometimes two different things. It is interesting to know what other people do. I like many others don't want to upset motorists, but i also want to be as safe as i can.
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  • softlad
    softlad Posts: 3,513
    cougie wrote:
    OP - have you read the Highway Code - and the bit for cyclists ? It could be a good idea.

    would be an even better idea for car drivers to read it... ;)
  • CarleyB
    CarleyB Posts: 475
    softlad wrote:
    cougie wrote:
    OP - have you read the Highway Code - and the bit for cyclists ? It could be a good idea.

    would be an even better idea for car drivers to read it... ;)

    wouldn't it just!
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