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ThatOtherGuy 10-12-2011 12:26 PM

Bicycles on the road
What is the proper way to pass a bicyclist going in the same direction that you are?

I've passed a few and just moved over to the left side of my lane while they are on the right side.

Should I actually move over into the other lane?

Yossarian™ 10-12-2011 12:28 PM

If the bicycle is at the far right, I will slow to about 30 mph and pass within the lane, at the extreme left, but only if I cannot move the the opposite lane. If able to move to the opposite lane I will always do so.

If the bicycle is not at the far right, I wait until I can pass using the opposite lane.

Norhasken 10-12-2011 12:41 PM

As much separation as you can get.

kpt4321 10-12-2011 01:02 PM

Just give them as much space as you can within the lane. If the guy is so far into the lane that you can't get past, wait until you can do so safely, but that's fairly non-courteous on his part. On a narrow, quiet winding road, I'll go out into the other lane, if it is safe to do so, but I don't believe this is to be a necessity. If your bike is loud, consider not hammering on it until you give them a bit of space (also, if your bike is loud, consider fixing it, for the sake of all people and motorcyclists everywhere).

Really, just use any reasonably good judgement. No need to over-analyze this one.

(From a motorcyclist, cyclist, and a runner)

anotherguy 10-12-2011 02:27 PM

3 feet is the accepted minimum.

lemieuxmc 10-12-2011 02:35 PM

Roll up behind them with the clutch pulled in and idling, then hit your Fiamms , rev it up, and pop the clutch so you wheelie right on by...

NC Scott 10-12-2011 02:38 PM

Taken from the South Carolina DMV (Your laws may vary):


Remember, it is unlawful to harass, taunt or maliciously throw an object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle. Here are some of the critical points to remember:

1. When attempting to pass a bicyclist, you must treat the bicycle as any other vehicle you would pass.

3. The horn should be used to attract the bike rider’s attention and not as a threat to get out of your way.

4. Drivers must be careful when driving close to cyclists and should maintain a safe operating distance between the motor vehicle and the cyclist.

5. Before passing a cyclist in a narrow traffic lane, wait until the traffic is clear in the opposite lane and then change lanes to pass the cyclist. Do not attempt to squeeze past the cyclist.
Edited those that did not specifically relate to passing.

johnnuke 10-12-2011 02:45 PM

Thanks for your concern...
At least you asked. Lots of folks would rather just hit us.

As an avid triathlete and cyclist I say just move as far to the left of the lane as you can. If there is a decent shoulder, we cyclists will probably be using it anyway, so just sliding to your left a little bit is enough. If there is no shoulder, just do whatever you can to get enough separation to safely pass (in the lane, out of the lane, whatever). We are expecting to get passed so it doesn't usually surprise us.

As for the cyclists who ride the middle of the lane there is usually a reason (unless the guy is just a clueless prick). I will usually ride the center of the right turn lane approaching an intersection to prevent prevent someone from squeezing by me and then immediately turning right without enough room (the classic right hook). I figure the car will be slowing for the turn anyway, so me at 15-20 mph isn't too much of an inconvienience.

Thanks for watching out for us. Us 2 wheeled guys gotta stick together.

Boondox 10-12-2011 02:52 PM

I give them three feet and generally avoid moving over to the centerline where all the road grit and debris accumulates. One of my pet peeves is people who move all the way into opposing traffic to put a car width between them and a bicyclist. Giving a bike three feet versus causing other motorists to brake hard to avoid a collision. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

rocker59 10-12-2011 03:26 PM


Originally Posted by ThatOtherGuy (Post 17060186)
What is the proper way to pass a bicyclist going in the same direction that you are?

Should I actually move over into the other lane?


And for horses, too.


_cy_ 10-12-2011 03:36 PM


Originally Posted by ThatOtherGuy (Post 17060186)
What is the proper way to pass a bicyclist going in the same direction that you are?

I've passed a few and just moved over to the left side of my lane while they are on the right side.

Should I actually move over into the other lane?

the best way to pass any cyclist is treat it like a car. if you've got room to pass in other lane. by all means do so. giving a cyclist LOTS of room is very much appreciated.

cars/trucks may get a bent mirror, but it's hospital and/or death for the cyclist.

DiabloADV 10-12-2011 03:41 PM

I've ridden tens of thousands of miles on bikes, solo and with large groups. When I come upon a cyclist on a one-lane road that is winding or otherwise tricky to get into the other lane, I slow behind the cyclist until I know he/she knows I'm there. I can then tell if they know what they're doing. If they know what they're doing, they hold their line and I can pass with as little as a couple feet. If they don't know what they're doing, I get at least a car width room before I pass.

On a motorcycle, no need to even slow down. Just move to the left of the lane and keep rolling.

BikePilot 10-12-2011 03:46 PM

I'd agree with D-adv

As an avid bicyclist (mostly city riding), I much prefer that bikes and cages just go right on by. Nothing more annoying than a cager (usually, bike would be just as bad though) without the guts or ability to go on by. Lanes are insanely wide. Only on the most unusually narrow roads might there not be enough space for a cage to go by me when I'm peddling along (now whether they can keep up to pass in the first place is another matter :wink:). I don't care whether you give me 3' of 6" as long as you don't run me over.

So contrary to some of the above posts, waiting and giving lots of space is not only not appreciated by this cyclist, its downright disliked. Also, it pisses off all the cages behind you and they'll often take out their frustration on the innocent bicyclist.

I've noticed an alarming number of bicyclist riding in the center of the lane for no reason. This is just plain obnoxious imho.

Like some of the above posters, I'll only ride in the center if there's a good reason - usually b/c I'm about to turn left.

(note, I realize the above is all in contravention of SC laws - I can't help it if the laws are dumb)

Also, when you are stopped up in traffic, try not to block wherever a bicycle will sneak through - usually on the right. Its annoying to have to weave in and out of a bunch of cages 'cause they can't all line up and leave one side or the other of the lane open. When I'm in the city I'm passing cars much more often than the other way 'round and I'm sure not giving y'all 3' of space :lol3

Signal 10-12-2011 04:03 PM


Originally Posted by anotherguy (Post 17061143)
3 feet is the accepted minimum.

and "legal" minimum in many states (Utah included)

O.C.F.RIDER 10-12-2011 05:10 PM

Around here they (the bicyclists) think, and act, like they own the fucking road. The ride 2 or 3 abreast and DO NOT move over! One day on Clinton Road there was about 10 of them riding 2 abreast and when two of them heard me coming, they looked back and swung all the way out to the double yellow so they were then 4 across. I grabbed a handfull and shot right between the two jerk-offs at about 70 mph. I normally used give all these people lots of room, but what these idiots did pissed me off to no end. Even in the car, around here, they WILL NOT move over and stay 2 abreast. WTF??? They're the new bosses? All others with the temerity to use THEIR road will be forced to almost stop and then have to risk an improper passing ticket to get around these fuck-wads.
And before you start with the..............Oh, it's a couple of smart-asses on the bicycles, it happens all the time around here. My wife has the same shit happen to her.....a lot! I've asked others if they have the same experience with the bicycles, and the answer is always.............YUP!

GO FAST----------PASS CLOSELY----------SCARE 'EM!
Hey Bicyclists around here................................:fyyff


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