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Question - Can cyclists take up the whole lane?

Karl2010Karl2010 Posts: 511
edited May 2011 in Campaign
Havn't got a highway code book handy.

Are we allowed to take up a whole lane if cycling on our own? What about cycling in a pack?

Posts

  • Yes and Yes. There is a rule about not riding more than two abreat though. A quick check revealed no lane use limitations.

    From personal experience I have a section of road which is a long smooth descent and normally a tailwind on the way home. This means I am normally travelling at or even faster than car speed in that region. I used to get people whose brain was incapable of believing this and so tried to overtake then found themselves slamming the brakes on to survive the roundabout at the bottom. In one instance a young lady mounted (not just clipped) the pavement and went inside a lampost doing this.

    On another section of my ride home I have a dual carriageway with a busy left hand turn where I was once knocked off by someone who literally turned through me.

    Both these situations have been solved by me riding about three quarters of the way out towards the white line.

    In short my message is use the whole road to stay safe. You don't need to be inconsiderate just ride positively
  • PorgyPorgy Posts: 4,558
    What he said. I do it loads when I need to.
  • Karl2010Karl2010 Posts: 511
    +2

    I do it myself when i have to. Just wandered if it was against the highway code...

    Oh and those new, smooth, down hill roads are awesome!! Espesh with a tail wind :)
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Beware of the offences of careless or inconsiderate cycling.

    If you were deliberately delaying trafic by occupying whole lane, then you COULD be guilty of this offence.

    Like most things legal, there is little absolute
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  • acidstratoacidstrato Posts: 945
    do it when you need to or when you wish to prevent dodgy overtakes. Do this myself alot

    but dont if you dont need to, that would be arrogant and inconsiderate in my opinion
    Crafted in Italy apparantly
  • beverickbeverick Posts: 3,461
    spen666 wrote:
    Beware of the offences of careless or inconsiderate cycling.

    If you were deliberately delaying trafic by occupying whole lane, then you COULD be guilty of this offence.

    Like most things legal, there is little absolute

    Not to mention obstructing the highway where the same is true even in the absence of traffic.

    Bob
  • really, really fat ones probably could.
  • BunnehBunneh Posts: 1,329
    This guy does

    mechanics_suspension_fat_motorcycle.jpg
  • Sirius631Sirius631 Posts: 1,015
    Bunneh wrote:
    This guy does

    mechanics_suspension_fat_motorcycle.jpg

    Oh, that poor scooter! If he could get it up to speed it'd make a good windbreak for pacing.

    The primary position defined in the British national training standards is the middle of the traffic lane that you are travelling in. You should move wider than this if there is a hazard in your path. I would hesitate to position myself at 3/4 of the way across the lane as a default as it would overly deter drivers from making what would otherwise be a safe overtake manouver in the opposite carriageway. 1/4 of a lane space is not enough IMHO, and it unneccesarily winds other road users.
    To err is human, but to make a real balls up takes a super computer.
  • rakerake Posts: 3,281
    no helmet. hes beking the law.
  • G-WizG-Wiz Posts: 261
    Generally it's a balance between taking enough road to make drivers conscious of you, and not enough to aggravate the psychos who think they have a god-given right to uninterrupted travel at speed-limit +10%

    In my experience the latter is only possible by sticking to my own driveway.

    Thanks for the tip Sirius631, I usually go as far as the left hand tyre track, which is enough to stop cars shooting past without any conscious overtaking move, maybe I should take a bit more?
  • kitsunegarikitsunegari Posts: 131
    I often have to ride in the middle of the lane because around Cambridge the roads are terrible (especially after the bad winter), and the edges of the roads are always worst.

    Also the number of drains that aren't level with the road..makes for a sore saddle if I don't.
  • rake wrote:
    no helmet. hes beking the law.

    look at his plate hes beking it twice!
    'dont forget lads, one evertonian is worth twenty kopites'
  • Karl2010 wrote:
    Oh and those new, smooth, down hill roads are awesome!! Espesh with a tail wind :)

    Where are they Karl? It's all potholes down here in deepest Cheese-shire
    I'm at that difficult age... somewhere between birth and death.
  • DmakDmak Posts: 445
    I had this today, the speed limit was 30, I may have been doing around 35 at which point I checked behind and moved to the inner tyre lane to get away from the curb and somebody thought it OK to overtake me and honk their horn! Oddly enough caught up with the guy and managed to contain myself to the point of "THANKS MATE!"

    Most drivers are sound, some are too cautious and some too careless, another bell curve eh.
  • Yes and Yes. There is a rule about not riding more than two abreat though. A quick check revealed no lane use limitations.

    From personal experience I have a section of road which is a long smooth descent and normally a tailwind on the way home. This means I am normally travelling at or even faster than car speed in that region. I used to get people whose brain was incapable of believing this and so tried to overtake then found themselves slamming the brakes on to survive the roundabout at the bottom. In one instance a young lady mounted (not just clipped) the pavement and went inside a lampost doing this.

    On another section of my ride home I have a dual carriageway with a busy left hand turn where I was once knocked off by someone who literally turned through me.

    Both these situations have been solved by me riding about three quarters of the way out towards the white line.

    In short my message is use the whole road to stay safe. You don't need to be inconsiderate just ride positively

    +1 on that.

    Guess its all about being safe and using common sense - sometimes you cant account for other road users who to be honest are going to be rude, cut you up and blare the horn at you though if they are that type of driver they are just as likely to do the same with other car drivers too.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Yes and Yes. There is a rule about not riding more than two abreat though. ...

    Actually, this is a myth that is widely believed.

    There is no law preventing you riding more than 2 abreast. The highway code is rather weasily about the issue- it twists the legal position in its statement of the "rules". A classic example of why reliance should not be placed on the HC for the correct legal position.

    That said, I would not recommend riding more than 2 a breast in any event, and often its not even appropriate to ride 2 a breast
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  • beverickbeverick Posts: 3,461
    Looking at it from the driver's point of view on a wide road with good sight lines it may be preferable to ride three or even four abreast in groups rather than line astern.

    If you consider 8 or 9 cyclists in a single group riding four abreast they will take up more or less the same road space as a tractor and will probably be travelling at a similar speed (ok some tractors can top 40mph on road but many still do 20!).

    Line the same riders will occupy more or less the same length of road as two articulated lorries and will probably be travelling 3-5mph slower. On a narrow road they could be just as hard to pass as the lorries.

    Four of us rode through the Yorkshire Dales in the autumn and kept in two units riding two-abreast with about 75-100m between us. We found it the safest configuration as it gave drivers the shortest overtaking distance for each group and allowed them to pass us in two overtakes rather than having to carry out one long manoeuvre.

    Bob
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    rake wrote:
    no helmet. hes beking the law.

    look at his plate hes beking it twice!

    They are all driving on the right, so depending on which country they're in I guess they might not be beking anything. Apart from the scooter
  • Sirius631 wrote:
    Bunneh wrote:
    This guy does

    mechanics_suspension_fat_motorcycle.jpg

    Oh, that poor scooter! If he could get it up to speed it'd make a good windbreak for pacing.

    The primary position defined in the British national training standards is the middle of the traffic lane that you are travelling in. You should move wider than this if there is a hazard in your path. I would hesitate to position myself at 3/4 of the way across the lane as a default as it would overly deter drivers from making what would otherwise be a safe overtake manouver in the opposite carriageway. 1/4 of a lane space is not enough IMHO, and it unneccesarily winds other road users.


    Im affraid scotter will give up in time :):):):):):)
  • gary.hounsomegary.hounsome Posts: 296
    I also use all of the road when needed. I see alot of people riding the white line or even inside the white line, this just invites traffic to pass as they normally would if you were not there and at speed.

    I always keep in the left side tyre track on national limit roads, this encourages people to slow behind you and overtake when there is nothing coming the other way, any closer to the edge cars will pass when there is oncoming traffic.

    In 30 zones i will keep in a bit more as i dont mind the traffic passing a little closer as they are not going so fast. When approachinf junctions to turn right i move into the middle of the road early enough as well as when going over roundabouts so people do not line up beside me in the same lane and then cut me up.
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