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Old 10-13-08, 07:58 AM   #1
mrbUSA
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Hogging a lane and becoming an obstacle

On my A1A ride yesterday, I watched a pack of appprox. 20 cyclists coming down off Boca Inlet bridge and as they hit the bottom, they remained in the center of the road with several cars "patiently?" trailing behind them. It's not like they were racing; they were chatting to each other etc. This whole stretch of A1A has bike lanes so cars can safely pass. Instead this group continued 3 and 4 across and blocked the motor vehicles from passing.

How do you folks view this? Is it okay or the norm in group rides?

I think it's one reason that some motorists have a gripe about cyclists. I think it's arrogant on the part of the riders. Go ahead and fire away. I'm just looking for some opinions.

PS; on the riders behalf, it's much safer to stretch out on these bridges because of the metal grating and some motorists will try and pass instead of waiting another 30-seconds. It would be a long fall and swim assuming you don't fall onto the deck of a boat. But still......
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Old 10-13-08, 08:05 AM   #2
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A&S xxxxx
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Old 10-13-08, 08:08 AM   #3
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I agree, it's arrogant. I ride in large groups like that all the time and sometimes we let cars build up behind us but as soon as there is a clear shot we ride single file if possible and wave them on. In my state two abreast is legal till there is a faster vehicle wanting to pass. 4 abreast is not sharing the road and indeed would piss off your average driver.

Sometimes though it's safer to travel in a tight pack then it's analogous to following a slow car (hazard lights on) or farm vehicle. Drivers won't complain about the farm vehicle as much as they would the bikes though - go figure. IT would be very dangerous for cars to pass 20 riders single file around a corner and when drivers approach and see riders single file it invites them to zip right on by.

So it depends on the situation but four abreast none the less is not right.
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Old 10-13-08, 08:12 AM   #4
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A&S xxxxx
Perfect. Wouldn't want to get off course in the Road Cycling forum with this topic. Thanks a bunch.
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Old 10-13-08, 08:24 AM   #5
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Perfect. Wouldn't want to get off course in the Road Cycling forum with this topic. Thanks a bunch.
You're welcome.
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Old 10-13-08, 08:53 AM   #6
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i try and stay 3 feet from the white line to share, but if people start making boneheaded passes because i'm giving up too much lane to the left of me, I plop my self dead center of the lane so they have to swing to the other lane to pass me.

It pisses me off when a car passes me when another car's coming in the other lane. Putting me and the oncoming car in danger to save 3 seconds isn't gonna fly.
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Old 10-13-08, 09:03 AM   #7
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For a minute there, I thought A&S meant Arrogant and Selfish.
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Old 10-13-08, 09:12 AM   #8
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For a minute there, I thought A&S meant Arrogant and Selfish.
Considering the source, you're not far off track.
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Old 10-13-08, 09:13 AM   #9
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Considering the source, you're not far off track.
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Old 10-13-08, 09:17 AM   #10
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I don't know the particulars of the traffic in the example the OP gave, but I take the lane as a single rider quite regularly. I do it most commonly when I'm riding the same speed as traffic or when there's no safe shoulder for me to ride on (like the short overpasses I have to navigate to get out of the city to the country roads). As a single rider, occasionally I'll use the sidewalk over those overpasses if traffic is really heavy (rush hour).

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Old 10-13-08, 09:46 AM   #11
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The law typically states that if there are multiple lanes in a given direction then cyclists can occupy the entire lane. If there is a single lane, then they need to ride as far right as safely possible. It does not sound like this pack of cyclists were doing so in this situation, and thus, as far as the law is concerned is in the wrong. I tend to agree with the law in this case as well.

There are stretches of single lane road where our club will not typically single up and ride to the right of the lane. These case are few, and as per the law, is because it is not safe to do so. Usually because we are approaching a left hand turn where giving a motorist the idea to pass us would be unsafe, or likewise on a winding section of road where it would be equally unsafe.
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Old 10-13-08, 10:22 AM   #12
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Varies by state as to situations where taking the lane is permitted. In Michigan there is a 'no mandatory sidepath' law. So a paved shoulder or bike lane being there would be immaterial. I don't like riding in bike lanes or on shoulders because that's where all the flat-causing debris is. Also, we are allowed to take the lane if it is too narrow to safely share (minimum 3-foot passing rule, which means anything under 14 feet wide would be considered 'substandard.') Ironically, these rules mean I often take the lane when, if there were simply a wide outside lane, I would be able to safely ride further to the right.

Bike lanes don't exist for the convenience of cars, although I'm sure that's what they think. Bike lanes exist because too many beginner riders ask for them, believing that a 4" wide paint line will somehow keep those big bad cars from rear-ending them.
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Old 10-13-08, 01:51 PM   #13
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it's the same as a big slow truck, i don't see the problem.
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Old 10-13-08, 01:53 PM   #14
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A&S xxxxx
This is a perfect thread...for A&S

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Old 10-13-08, 02:57 PM   #15
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Not to hijack, but my experience has been that drivers really respect white lines.

Just saying.
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Old 10-13-08, 03:17 PM   #16
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This is a perfect thread...for A&S

And so it goes......
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Old 10-13-08, 04:00 PM   #17
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My view is that in large groups, it is better to remain as a pack---strength in numbers---and just because there is a bike lane, it doesn't mean cyclists must use it or remain in it, at least here in Ontario. Cyclists are entitled to the entire right lane, generally, and, if turning left, may occupy the entire left lane. If some motorists are inconvenienced, so be it. The cyclists are not doing anything illegal and are not endangering anyone either. Motorists don't feel the slightest bit guilty about inconveniencing, endangering and imposing their exhaust fumes on cyclists, why should they feel agrieved if cyclists adopt a similar attitude or impose upon them a little?

If there was a parade of cars moving slower than normal, would the motorists waiting behind demand they move into the bike lane? No. Sharing the road sometimes means having to go slower and endure inconveniences. I think it's arrogant for motorists to think cyclists should get out of their way simply because they have the ability to go faster. Just because they can go faster, doesn't mean they should.
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Old 10-13-08, 04:46 PM   #18
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I was of the understanding that cyclist lost the fight to get 5 feet wide bike lanes on much of A1A and as a result many bike lanes there are 3 feet or less wide. If that is true, I would not be willing to use the bike lanes either.

Also, are the bike lanes free of glass and other debris? It is extremely unsafe if the cyclist in a group ride have to move out of the bike lane to avoid debris.
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Old 10-13-08, 05:08 PM   #19
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^^^ The cycle lanes on A1A are wide enough for 2 riders, side by side.
Arrogant roadies are a huge problem in this area. Ive attended meetings
to try to advocate and when you see the home movies of what people are
talking about there is nothing to defend. This is a good A&S thread because
a lot of these people will not ride in the lane even if it is open. Yeah, you can
legally take the road, but why when you know you are only contributing to an
already over the top culture of hostility ?
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Old 10-13-08, 06:49 PM   #20
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If the road is under 14 feet width, riders have the legal right to ride no more then two abreast in a lane. Florida does not have a mandatory BL use law either.

However, you describe "three and four across" - do you mean riders? I would assume so.

I'm still not entirely clear on your description of the situation, though if I may say so, provided the riders were taking up one lane, while a second lane to the left or right is free for traffic to safely pass, I see no problem in such use of the lane. Besides the fact that it is legal to do so on a sub-14ft lane, the cluster of cyclists riding 2-abreast is far shorter to pass then a single line.

Likewise, it protects the group far more then if they were spread across a single line down the BL (particularly in the case of possible left-hooks at intersections) and it prevents any long string of cyclists from plugging the entire road in a left-turn merge situation.

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Old 10-14-08, 10:08 AM   #21
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I thought only arrogant motorists can take up extra room on the roadway. The need to move 4 empty seats at speeds that make motoring the #2 killer performs a "greater good" for our society then any health or global warming benefit cyclists will ever hope to accomplish.
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Old 10-14-08, 11:14 AM   #22
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Bikes on road. Big deal. Motorists can either slow down, or start cycling. Or just keep on whimperin' and whamperin' about those Horrible Bikes that -gasp- Slow Them Down.
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Old 10-14-08, 11:31 AM   #23
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The nerve of those roadies to ride their road bikes on the road!
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Old 10-14-08, 11:40 AM   #24
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Drivers won't complain about the farm vehicle as much as they would the bikes though - go figure.
Maybe because farm equipment is a fixed width. The tractor cannot make itself skinner. A pack of bikes can easily do so, and should, especially if there is a bike lane available.
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Old 10-14-08, 02:38 PM   #25
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it's the same as a big slow truck, i don't see the problem.
Yeah except they're expected to actually pull over and stop off the road is need be to let vehicles pass...


I agree with what someone said up higher, drop to single file and let them pass safely.


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PS; on the riders behalf, it's much safer to stretch out on these bridges because of the metal grating and some motorists will try and pass instead of waiting another 30-seconds. It would be a long fall and swim assuming you don't fall onto the deck of a boat. But still......
Alas, it comes down to safety, if they don't feel safe letting them pass yet, then wait it out a little while longer, but don't be cruising along being little chatheads without acknowledging there are people waiting on you.
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