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  1. #1
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    Group rides... to ride 1 wide or 2

    Alright this got me introuble.

    I hate riding in the bike lane for various reasons. I usually ride to the left of the bike lane but not far in the road. Tonight I was riding next to another rider because his light was dead and mine was working. We were doing about 21 MPH during this time. I did not hear or notice the car behind me but the rest of the group that was waiting for us to get back from the big hill did. I got yelled at for riding in the road with a club jersey again.

    I believe that I have as much right to my 1/3rd of the lane as any one else. The question is should I have been riding in a single line? The car had plenty of room to go around but did not.

    Now the question, on a group ride do you think it is approprate to ride in two lines taking you out of the bike lane? I probably should have been riding in the bike lane but...

    What would you do?...
    Just your average club rider... :)

  2. #2
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
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    Around here it's legal to ride two abreast , and usually (but not always) pretty safe as well. Typically we ride side by side only when cars may pass safely. This occurs about 80% of the time on group rides I'm on. In areas where cars would be forced to wait more than a few seconds to pass, we narrow it down to one line of riders.

    It sucks that a fellow cyclist yelled at you for riding two abreast while in a club jersey, that wouldn't happen around here. Maybe your town has different standards and "rules of the road".

  3. #3
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    From numerous discussions of this topic here and elsewhere, I understand that some states allow cyclists to ride two abreast unless that obstructs or hinders the flow of vehicular traffic. Pennsylvania says this: "Limitation on riding abreast. -- Persons riding pedalcycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of pedalcycles." But, analogous to Mtn Mike's habits, we in my clubs usually call out "car back" and single up, so we don't hold traffic up, as a public relations/good will gesture in this heavily-populated suburbia. And with some of our winding, blind-curves back roads, it's also safer for the car to pass a single line than have to move further across the center line to pass two riders: if the car had to swerve back in because of on-coming traffic, we're in trouble, too.

  4. #4
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    Every city/township has it's own regulations that cyclist need to be aware of.
    The club ride leader should make everyone aware of the laws that regulate cyclists along the route (single file or two abreast).
    This gets more complicated on long rides that go through several municipalities.

    As for getting yelled at. I would discuss the incident with the club board/organizer.
    If you do not get an apology ask that your membership fee be returned and kindly hand them back their jersey (after you tear it in half).
    Life is too short to ride with power weenies.
    Enjoy

  5. #5
    Senior Member LordOpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn Mike
    Around here it's legal to ride two abreast, and usually (but not always) pretty safe as well. Typically we ride side by side only when cars may pass safely. This occurs about 80% of the time on group rides I'm on. In areas where cars would be forced to wait more than a few seconds to pass, we narrow it down to one line of riders.

    It sucks that a fellow cyclist yelled at you for riding two abreast while in a club jersey, that wouldn't happen around here. Maybe your town has different standards and "rules of the road".
    Ditto all that from riding patterns to getting yelled at.

  6. #6
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    I am going to talk to the individuals at the meeting this week. I think there is a consensious with a few because I do not submit to bike lanes all te time I am doing something wrong. It is not the whole club but a few people who disapprove of my riding.

    My view is that if it is in my interest to riding in the middle or to the left of the bike lane that is my choice. If I feel like I am ibstructing traffic then I will move. If I do not see that car and someone says it I will move. I do not want to thrash the club which is made of many many good people because of the opinions of a few.

    Thank you for in info about riding 2 abreast, I will check the laws in my area out...
    Just your average club rider... :)

  7. #7
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    it needs to be brought up with the organizer if you feel it's an important issue. i can see your side of it, but i also see that the club doesn't want to cause any undo problems with traffic. several complants from drivers to the club and the result may be unfavorable to all the members.

  8. #8
    Senior Member LordOpie's Avatar
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    The club should use the complaints as an opportunity to educate the drivers.

  9. #9
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    I agree.

    I think the problem is they want to keep a good name in the community. Drivers around here are horrible already and we do not want them to use us as target practice...

    Now where is my sign? (NOT worth 100 point, he is!)
    Just your average club rider... :)

  10. #10
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    The priorities, IMO:
    Safety - What behaviour will get you killed?
    The Law - Relates to Safety, but only in the general case. Sometimes circumstances demand otherwise. This applies to your situation, somewhat. But your buddy F'ed up.
    The club - The public at large will only remember the things/people that annoyed them. If you're wearing their jersey, you represent them. If you want to ride with a club, play by their rules. Or find another club.

    In your case, their were mitigating circumstances, but around here, the lanes are wide enough for two experienced riders to ride 2 abreast w/out getting out of the bike lane.

  11. #11
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by my58vw
    I agree.

    I think the problem is they want to keep a good name in the community. Drivers around here are horrible already and we do not want them to use us as target practice...

    Now where is my sign? (NOT worth 100 point, he is!)
    Another point that has been echo 'd on these forums is that when a bike lane exists, it is NOT REQUIRED by law that cyclists stay in that lane. They may ride anywhere in the roadway within the confines of laws governing any vehicle. I don't know if thats the law everywhere, so again I would check my local laws if I were you. I also understand that common curtousy to auto drivers is someting to consider. Maybe cycling's image is something your club is highly sensitive to.

  12. #12
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    My normal Tuesday group rides double file for almost the entire ride.

    In SC, you are required to use a marked bike lane when it is there.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    Seems to me if you have a dedicated bike lane, you were in the wrong be not being in it.

    If it's just a shoulder, then it's back to your town's laws.

    Being yelled at for being out in the street "wearing your club jersey" implies that it would be OK with him if you weren't in a club jersey. That makes his transgression even worse, if you ask me.

  14. #14
    Announcer EventServices's Avatar
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    The risks you run by riding a single file line:

    1. cars approaching from behind may feel like they can "thread the needle" between your line and oncoming cars. This leaves you no margin for error.
    2. if there's a side wind that causes riders to echelon out into the lane, you'll be wider than a double paceline.

    I think that the more real estate your group takes up, the more you discourage motorists from flying by you. Unfortunately, you piss off everybody in the county.

    Check your local ordinances. If the bike lane is adjacent/attached to the roadway, you're likely obligated to use it. If it's more of a wide sidewalk away from the road, it's probably optional.


    btw, In Michigan, you can ride on the road regardless of a bike lane if you're 18 or older.

  15. #15
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    The problem with bike lanes is that they are usually full of crap, have low hanging branches... etc etc. Since I am a tall and realitivly heavy rider (in comparison to the normal rider) I am always dodging low branches, rough road, glass etc. Every flat tire I have has been in the bike lane from crap in the road or things like pinch flats.

    On most of out roads, freedom is just a foot or so off of the bike lane. I would rather just ride on the line. Our club has been around for some 100 years and their repuation is a big part of the club. Many of the older members are very reputation oriented.

    BTW when I ride with a large group I ride where everyone else rides, it is usually the small groups where I tend to ride where I need too...
    Just your average club rider... :)

  16. #16
    Senior Member Cyclingmaniac's Avatar
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    my58vw:

    Greenting from San Gabriel area! Just a few friendly thoughts!

    First, always ride in the safest way possible! Obviously you will lose the battle between a bike and car! In the State of Califonia, you are entitled to take up a full lane if the number of riders is 6 or greater! The law does get a little gray when you are six or more and there is a bike lane present. At six or greater, you are at that point considered a vehicle. (Of course, please read my first statement!)

    I share the frustration of being yelled at whether I'm out of the bike lane or inside the bike lane. Some areas are more biker friendly than others! If it is your team members that disapprove of your riding, there may be a "fear factor" involved. They are fearful that you will get hit and ultimately crash into them! I can appreciate the "reputation" factor that might be involved! But a more mature tact would be for the members to seek understanding as to why and where you ride and for you to seek understanding as to why "reputation" is such a high priority for them. (PLEASE don't misinterpret my comment: I'm not saying that you are inmature about your approach!)

    Worst case scenario . . . find another group that is more accepting of our riding style.

    May the wind be at your back!

    The Cyclingmaniac!

  17. #17
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    I just checked on the law and it states that if there is a bike lane you need to use it unless something is blocking the lane, it is hazardess, etc. You should stay as far to the right as possible safely. The law is quite gray though. If I was given a ticket I would go to court about it...
    Just your average club rider... :)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclingmaniac
    In the State of Califonia, you are entitled to take up a full lane if the number of riders is 6 or greater! The law does get a little gray when you are six or more and there is a bike lane present. At six or greater, you are at that point considered a vehicle. (Of course, please read my first statement!)
    Bad info - there is no "6 or more riders may take up a full lane" provision in the California Vehicle Code. The CVC sections related to bicycling can be found here:
    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/vc/tocd11c1a4.htm

    The "6 cyclists" provision you heard about sounds like an "urban legend".
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  19. #19
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'd say that sounds suspicious -- what happens to less than six riders? It's doesn't seem to make sense to me.

  20. #20
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Most states have laws allowing cyclists to ride two abreast and take a lane. The question of whether or not it is 'considerate' of auto traffic is situational. Not counting bike lanes, which I dislike for several reasons, riding single file is only easier for the cars if the lane is wide enough to safely share with the cyclists; which IME is rare. For all other times, cars must cross into the next lane to pass; so it's only a question of how far they have to move. Whether they only cross halfway into the next lane to pass a single, or all the way to pass a double line, the other lane has to be unoccupied; so the difference between passing a single or double line is minimal, and a double line will be shorter. My observation is that in most cases riding single file is merely a gesture to assuage the cager's emotions, not to actually help the traffic flow.

    It's 'considerate' to keep the double paceline off the centerline; that way cars can see around the bikes easier. (That wasn't an issue for the OP.)

  21. #21
    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by my58vw
    The problem with bike lanes is that they are usually full of crap, have low hanging branches... etc etc. Since I am a tall and realitivly heavy rider (in comparison to the normal rider) I am always dodging low branches, rough road, glass etc. Every flat tire I have has been in the bike lane from crap in the road or things like pinch flats.

    On most of out roads, freedom is just a foot or so off of the bike lane. I would rather just ride on the line. Our club has been around for some 100 years and their repuation is a big part of the club. Many of the older members are very reputation oriented.

    BTW when I ride with a large group I ride where everyone else rides, it is usually the small groups where I tend to ride where I need too...
    I believe this hits on CA Driving code #80212 (if I remember right) which basically states that you should be in the bike lane UNLESS there is a hazardous obstacle in the bike lane, and in that case you can take the regular "car" lane. Glass, Low hanging branches, crap like that can be filed under road hazards.

    As far as being berated for riding in the street while wering your club's jersey... that's crap. It's stuff like that, that keeps me from joining a real "club" with rules and regulations and bylaws and junk. It is good to have a good name in the community, but come on!

    jeff
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  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lrzipris
    From numerous discussions of this topic here and elsewhere, I understand that some states allow cyclists to ride two abreast unless that obstructs or hinders the flow of vehicular traffic. Pennsylvania says this: "Limitation on riding abreast. -- Persons riding pedalcycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of pedalcycles." But, analogous to Mtn Mike's habits, we in my clubs usually call out "car back" and single up, so we don't hold traffic up, as a public relations/good will gesture in this heavily-populated suburbia. And with some of our winding, blind-curves back roads, it's also safer for the car to pass a single line than have to move further across the center line to pass two riders: if the car had to swerve back in because of on-coming traffic, we're in trouble, too.

    when it is clear, or when we are riding in a back rode we have been known to ride 2-4 abreast. Its good for wind resistance, and then we dont loose some of our older slower riders. When necessary we yell "car back" and get into single file lines. If we always rode single file, we would be 300 feet long when everyone is on the ride.

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