Saturday, May 07, 2011

Ride in pairs or single file

The popular "Share the Road" slogan is widely supposed to be directed at drivers. We cyclists tout our right to the road and most of us shrug off the occasional ignorant
encouragement to ride on the sidewalk instead. But we're not helping our cause when we go riding with our buddies and spread out across the whole road. That's often not safe -- and it's certainly not sharing.

Even for the athletes among us, a group ride is an important social event. We like to talk as we pedal. It's natural to say what we're feeling, catch up on the news of family and friends, tease a pal about a colorful shirt or fancy energy concoction. But on streets and roads we need to ride in pairs or single file, not big clusters that expose us to careless or impatient drivers. We need to learn how to safely and efficiently stretch out into pairs or a single file at the cry of "Car Up" or "Car Back". After all, "Share the Road" means us, too.


Eddie Suarez - Kpeste99 said...

I know we should go single or double wide when cars approach but because our lanes are all "sub standard width" it means the car has to enter the oncoming travel lanes to pass us. I'm of the thinking that because they have to enter the other lane anyway, we should go three wide. This shortens the peloton and exposes us for less time to the passing vehicle.

Single file, we can be 60 feet long. Double file then it's 30 feet long. But if we go three wide then it's only 20 feet or about the same space as a full size SUV.

JHop said...

What I didn't mention in the article Eddie is commenting on is that riding single- or double-file is required by law in Florida.

Eddie Suarez - Kpeste99 said...

Morning JHop! I know thats what the law says but i think it should not for reasons stated above. Maybe single file works when theres room for both car and bike in the travel lane but if a car has to enter the oncoming traffic lane, then i want the least amount of exposure.