Bicycle Safety

Can bicyclists ride two abreast as pictured in the header of this article’ Yes, the law says, ‘Bicyclists may ride two abreast on roadways if they do not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic.’ Also, if they are riding on a laned roadway they must ride in a single lane.’ This is roadway courtsey and allows traffic to pass them in the other marked lane. ‘Bicyclists may not legally ride three or more abreast, which is not often done except on charity rides and ‘tours’ involving large numbers of cyclists. Riding three or more abreast is illegal and charity riders could be ticketed if law enforcement were so inclined.’ Some special rides, like the one James Stewart went on (Hotter ‘n Hell ride in Wichita Falls),’obtain special permits which allow cyclists to ride 100 or more abreast.’ These large rides are exceptions by permit just as parades and street dances which block traffic are. ‘However, charity event riders sometimes show the same discourtsey to motorists that bicyclists rail against when motorists pass too close or take more of the roadway than necessary.’ I’ve been on rides where cyclists spread out taking the shoulder and highway lane too.’ Roadway courtsey is a two way street. Cycling tips:’ Drafting just one rider when going 25 mph gives you the same advantage (27% VO max)’as drafting two or more. (Univ. of Florida study)’ To gain’confidence’when riding in a paceline, start’out by staying one bike length from the rider in front of you, then gradually close the gap as your experience and ability increase.’Once you can ride comfortably within a wheel’s length, you’ll be enjoying the effects of drafting.’The lead paceline rider’s task is to maintain a steady cadence and to yell, ‘slowing’ or ‘stopping’ just prior to the act.’ If you are’the drafting rider do not’stare at the lead rider’s wheel.’ Look out in front of the lead rider so as to anticipate hazards and’speed changes from the lead rider. ‘Happy cycling and be safe! ‘If you have questions or comments, please e-mail me at jsbicycle@hotmail.com.

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