Why cyclists ride two abreast, or side-by-side, is a question we receive often from non-cycling friends and neighbors. So let’s talk about what the law is, and why riders are riding next to each other instead of single file.
According to MassBike: Cyclists “may ride two abreast, but must facilitate passing traffic. This means riding single file when faster traffic wants to pass or staying in the right-most lane on a multi-lane road.”
Of course, like most things, it’s a little more complicated than the definition. As described by Peter of Wilborn of BikeLaw.com, cyclists ride side-by-side for a variety of reasons including:
Increased visibility for drivers
Facilitating passing – multiple riders, riding side-by-side, can be easier to pass than a long string of riders
Taking over a lane when turning left
Signaling to drivers that it is not safe to pass when approaching a blind turn.
When approaching cyclists riding two abreast, slow down and give them time to arrange themselves into a single file, recognizing there may be a reason they don’t do it immediately.
As with any situation involving drivers and riders, the key is to pay attention and practice patience. Together we can ride and drive safely.
To provide the best experiences, we use technologies like cookies to store and/or access device information. Consenting to these technologies will allow us to process data such as browsing behavior or unique IDs on this site. Not consenting or withdrawing consent, may adversely affect certain features and functions.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.