Why Cyclists Ride Two Abreast - and how it makes group riding safer - BikeWalkNC

Headlines are quick hits from media outlets from Missouri and around the world. Follow the headline link for the full story. The source of this headline says:

Group rides are extremely popular among recreational and competitive cyclists. Although social interaction is a major incentive to ride in groups, so is safety. One technique cycling groups use to reduce the risk of collisions is riding double file, particularly in narrow lanes and when approaching intersections. This article discusses how riding double file can deter common crash types and what group cyclists should consider when choosing their position on the roadway. . . .

The default formation used by many experienced cycling groups is double file. Compared to single file, a double file formation makes the group more visible from behind and in front, and shortens the length of the group by half. This reduces the likelihood of the most common crash types faced by lawful, adult bicyclists: drive out, left cross, and motorist-overtaking.

Space Required for Passing

In a typical-width travel lane, there isn’t enough room for a motor vehicle to pass a bicyclist within the same lane. Motorists must move into the next lane to pass safely.

Most roads feature marked travel lanes that are too narrow for drivers of motor vehicles to pass a cyclist safely within the same lane. By attempting to pass within a typical 10? wide lane on a rural road or city street, the driver of a pickup truck or SUV would strike a cyclist riding near the edge of the lane.

Bicyclists need a minimum of four feet of operating space to maintain balance and avoid surface hazards, and require at least three feet of passing distance for safety. In order to have proper clearance from wide landscaping trailers, commercial trucks, and transit buses, at least sixteen feet of pavement space is required. This space might take the form of a sixteen foot wide lane, a travel lane next to a wide paved shoulder, or a travel lane next to a bike lane.

MoBikeFed comment: This is a great explanation of this very common group riding technique, by a cyclist and lawyer. Click through to read the entire article for much more information.