[Nothing on this blog should be confused for legal advice. I am not a lawyer, public official, or officer of the law. You, the reader, are liable for your own behavior and knowledge.]

Friday, December 12, 2014

Riding Single File

Why don’t cyclists ride single file instead of two abreast on narrow roads so I can more easily pass?

Many cyclists do make an effort when on group rides to ride single file. Typically, though, this is a symbolic courtesy. You’ll remember that giving a single cyclist a safe passing berth almost invariably means that the motorist needs to enter into the path of opposing traffic (i.e. the left lane). Nothing changes in this situation if there are two cyclists riding abreast; the motorist is required to wait until there is no oncoming traffic in order to pass the cyclists safely. This is why the yellow “please ride single file” road signs that some municipalities post are so wrongheaded; they give the misguided impression both that it is cyclists who are causing problems and that it would be safe to pass single-file-riding cyclists in situations when it would not be safe to pass cyclists riding abreast. In short, you may have the impression that it would be quicker and more convenient to pass cyclists in a single file, but this is simply not the case.

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