Bicycles on the road

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by ThatOtherGuy, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. ThatOtherGuy

    ThatOtherGuy Been here awhile

    May 15, 2010
    Raleigh/Asheville, NC
    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?

    MODERATORS NOTE: This thread has become a monster and unfortunately prime grounds for trolling and personal attacks. The Perfect Line is one of our two somewhat safety oriented forums on ADV. As such we will try to keep focused on constructive dialogue relative to bicycles on the road.

    For those that want to troll or name call, there is this thread in JM. Have at!
  2. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

    Jul 9, 2007
    the 'Ha
    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.
  3. Norhasken

    Norhasken Tryin' to find my way

    Aug 20, 2007
    On the couch
    As much separation as you can get.
  4. kpt4321

    kpt4321 Long timer

    Jun 25, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    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)
    squonker, djorzgul and Chibiabos like this.
  5. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

    Jun 18, 2009
    the hills
    3 feet is the accepted minimum.
  6. lemieuxmc

    lemieuxmc Banned

    Mar 19, 2009
    East La Jolla... it's just Clairemont!!
    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...
    novaks47, djorzgul, digger2 and 3 others like this.
  7. NC Scott

    NC Scott MOmymamamamaMOmymama

    Jul 22, 2005
    Taken from the South Carolina DMV (Your laws may vary):

    Edited those that did not specifically relate to passing.
  8. johnnuke

    johnnuke Submariner

    May 23, 2006
    Alexandria, Va
    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.
  9. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

    Aug 4, 2007
    Northern Vermont
    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.
    Millercm1 likes this.
  10. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

    Mar 24, 2004
    In Yonder Hills

    And for horses, too.

    Knuckle Buster likes this.
  11. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Sep 25, 2011
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    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.
  12. DiabloADV

    DiabloADV Semi-Occasional

    Oct 17, 2010
    Nor Cal, USA
    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.
  13. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

    Jul 5, 2005
    Golden CO
    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
  14. Signal

    Signal it's such a fine line between stupid and clever

    Aug 16, 2007
    and "legal" minimum in many states (Utah included)
  15. O.C.F.RIDER

    O.C.F.RIDER Loose nut behind h/bars

    Feb 28, 2004
    Hewitt,New Jerseystan
    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

    novaks47 likes this.
  16. BrandonR

    BrandonR Been here awhile

    Oct 21, 2007
    There's really only one rule I'd like you to follow when passing me: Treat me like a human not like an obstacle.

    If I'm in the lane there's a good reason for it, don't assume you can see everything I see. If there's a decent shoulder I'll be on it.
    mysz74 and Watercat like this.
  17. NC Scott

    NC Scott MOmymamamamaMOmymama

    Jul 22, 2005

    I have friends and former co-workers that were in the group when Dr. Burke was killed. From their accounts, the Defendant likely had a similar idea. Problem is he hit four people and killed one. He now faces vehicular homicide charges.

    Seems like it would be easier to just wait, give plenty of room and go around.
    mysz74 and Screamingkiwi like this.
  18. dolomoto

    dolomoto Destroyer of Motorcycles

    Jun 9, 2005
    Veneto, IT
    Hey, OCF...substitute whatever that is your're riding with a bicycle and me passing you like that.

    Then what's your take?

    We all gotta share the road...NOT THE LANE.

    Life is too short to get all worked up by some fat cyclists trying to get fit.

    Screamingkiwi likes this.
  19. kenny61

    kenny61 old and crippled

    Jul 11, 2010
    in a drainage ditch
    Im with Chris I live in a bicycle hot spot and these moron pricks pick the narrowest, hilliest, most heavily travelled road to ride 3 wide and shake there elastic coated multi colored man ass at you... If not 3 wide they drive down the middle of the road so you have to go completetly into the other lane to give them there 3 feet...

    No its not me in the video but I wish it was...

    <object style="height: 390px; width: 640px"><param name="movie" value=""><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="360"></object>
    O.C.F.RIDER likes this.
  20. FlySniper

    FlySniper Bleh...

    Aug 16, 2007
    I don't mind bicyclists on the road, but I wish they would use common sense when picking their route.

    Recently I was out riding and crested a hill in a left hand sweeper only to be confronted by a wall of spandex heading my way IN MY LANE.:kboom
    I spotted a gap large enough to fit my DR through, steered deeper into the turn, missed the first wave then straightened it up and got on the binders in time to miss the now panicking second wave (who were also IN MY LANE).

    This road is two lane, has some nice turns and elevation changes with a 55mph limit, I was riding legal and not trying to burn down the road.

    About a quarter mile on down the road I watched as even more stragglers bunched up... looked to me like they were intentionally blocking traffic from passing. TN law limits them to the right 1/3 of the lane, single file and they are required to facilitate passing when safe by using the shoulder, this road has (clean)shoulders at least as wide as the lanes.

    From here on out, I think I like OFC's method... wish my bike was diesel!:deal
    O.C.F.RIDER and novaks47 like this.