Lately, there seems to be a few collisions between motor vehicles and cyclists in the HRM. I just want to put out a friendly reminder to cyclists and drivers to keep aware when you’re on the roads. Remember there is still some snow on the edges of the road, and drivers may not be used to dealing with cyclists just yet.
A hospital bed (or worse) doesn’t care if you were right or wrong. Obey the laws and be safe please.
Good on you if you follow the proper rules of the road. Shame on you if you don’t.
Most of us are great ambassadors for cycling, but it only takes a few to ruin it and make every motorist hate us.
Yes, good advice! I like to be right. I like living a whole bunch more. As a year-round commuter as well as general rider, I have learned a few things, and seen a few more things. Keep alert! Look ahead. Anticipate things. Keep aware of changing scenarios. Make your intentions known. Oh. And trackstanding. Nothing soothes the savage driver or mesmerizes traffic like trackstanding. It’s like kids. You get mad cause they did something stupid, but the cute factor melts you over. Same applies, they are all like, “Wow! You can have your spot after all. That is cool. I don’t see how that is possible! No, really, you go first. I insist.”
Seen two roadies on the Waverly Rd today side by side taking up almost half the lane… with the twists and turns of that road it seemed arrogantly stupid to me.
Saw the same thing in the valley yesterday and thought the exact same thing.
Imagine what non cyclists filled with road rage are thinking.
I roll down my window and scream “You fuckers give us all a bad name”
Same thing Saturday on the Old Sambro Road on Saturday… right in a downhill section with lots of twists and turns just past the school in Harrietsfield… riding side by side taking up pretty much the whole lane. I just shook my head and thought ‘thanks a lot guys…’ I understand it’s fun to ride side by side and chat or whatever but come on, you’re not doing cycling any favours annoying car drivers.
OK, I admit, I frequently ride two abreast. In my experience it is rarely an issue, though on heavily travelled roads I do tend to ride single file. The worst experience I had was when a motorist tried to kill my club once by passing, pulling in, and brake checking us before abruptly turning. To my mind because one idiot did that doesn’t mean other cyclists (whether on their bikes or in their cars) should heap abuse on people riding two abreast.
Riding two abreast isn’t dangerous to anyone so why does it paint cyclists in a bad light? The worst you can say about it is that it can frustrate motorists, as if motorists have the right to travel at the posted speed limit (or higher) whenever they are on the road. They don’t.
In a considerate society, there is nothing wrong with riding two abreast as long as both the cyclists and the motorist cooperate to allow the motorist to pass safely in a reasonable amount of time. Just like we don’t ride runners or pedestrians off the road, either, but move over/slow down to allow them to travel safely.
Honestly I am shocked that some of you actually yell at people riding two abreast. Are these riders antagonizing you or other motorists? That has not been my experience on the road. If the riders aren’t aware of a motorist behind them, a polite tap of the horn is usually enough for cyclists to single up or indicate to the motorist when it is safe to pass. It might mean the motorist takes 10 or 20 more seconds to get to his destination. Big deal.
At the end of the day, we have to stop thinking that roads are for cars. Roads are for people, whatever mode of transportation they are using. While it is true that transport on the road (by walking, bike, car, etc) can be used as a means to get to a destination, many walkers and drivers also use the roads for recreation, just like some cyclists do. Riding two abreast allows cyclists to engage in conversation, much like recreational walkers and motorists do when they are out enjoying the roads. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
I think the problem is , is some cyclists are militant about it. Simply refusing to let the other car pass under any circumstances at all. Its share the road for both parties and if 2 cyclists are taking up a whole lane and not moving its as pig headed as the brake-checking-abrubt-turner. Like anything, you had to be there (for both the good and the bad)
I’ll take a swing at the hornet’s nest… ride single file on the road it’s just the right thing to do in traffic.
Anyway everyone knows the sense of entitlement rules, some people (in cars) are more important than others (on bikes) and being slowed down by 10 or 20 seconds is going to ruin their lives. Like in the classic right hook scenario, they have get to Tim Horton’s RIGHT NOW before they run out of coffee to sell.
In reply to Adam, the situation I witnessed was dangerous for not only the two cyclists but also the people riding in the vehicles. if you know the Waverly road at all you’ll know it is winding and narrow. A driver, doing the speed limit (which is his right, btw) could come around a blind curve/hill and either end up taking out one or both cyclists or swerving into the oncoming lane to avoid the cyclists and have a head on collision. The narrow roads that are favoured by cyclists were never built for ‘sharing’. Even the people that live on these roads are taking risks when they chose to walk along them as there is nowhere really suitable for them to walk.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the sharing of the road when there is room for it. A road that has no paved shoulder and is barely wide enough for a car is unsafe, imo. I ride my mountain bike on the 102 to the airport and feel completely at ease as there is a two foot wide paved shoulder for me to be on… that being said, there was a fellow killed while riding that highway about 10 years ago when an SUV lost control and flipped over onto the guy.
Well said. Its not bikes or cars that bother me. Its A**holes and they ride in both
Personally, I feel the two abreast thing doesn’t help things, not maybe until motorist think differently about cycling. I always make the wife ride single file with me on the roads… Only exception might be on our quiet neighbourhood streets, where I might scoot next to her when there is no traffic. I know it can be enjoyable, but the law says to stay as far right as is safe. Pretty sure NS has some rules about group size and riding technique. Either way, it’s not a great idea. Now, that being said, I know of some roads in the valley where you would have way more than enough warning time for the very odd car to not surprise you.
My point, is that it can be reasoned, but still might not be a great idea. “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial”.
Some places in Europe, the bike is king. Not here yet, but maybe someday.
I think that the guys in Pictou County have a 10 rider rule. Meaning there can be no more than 10 in a group at once, which makes it easier for cars to pass and quicker to check up if you are two or three abreast when a car comes up from behind.
I am not sure that any other clubs or groups have the same rule. I have been on some big club rides within this province and been embarrassed at times with the disorder in the masses.
Ultimately, it is us who are the lowest in the food chain when it comes to road usage, and WE need to prove that we should be there. Sure there is no harm in riding two abreast, just give some indication to the passing vehicle that you actually know they are there, and that you are not going to weave further out into their path.
There are a lot, (A LOT) of redneck, ignorant, Hillbillys in Nova Scotia, who believe that someone riding a bicycle in tights “aint right”, and will jump at the slightest opportunity for a confrontation or a vehicular homicide.
I believe that it is our responsibility as cyclists to become great ambassadors for our sport, and for our right to share our roads.
Some suggestions I have are simple:
Large groups should have a safety car follow the group as a buffer and warning to cars that there are cyclists ahead.
Smaller groups of riders need to keep alert and have a rule that the person in the rear keeps a keen ear to the road and alert those ahead who will drop back into line asap.
We owe it to ourselves to put our best feet forward and be responsible to ensure that our government and fellow road users give us the respect that we desire.
Respect is a two way street, but sometimes, I feel that some of us forget that part.
It is true that the NS Motor Vehicle Act does specify that single file riding is the law:
Sec 171 (6) Except when passing another cyclist, cyclists on a highway shall ride in single file.
To be honest, that won’t prevent me from riding two abreast when I feel it is safe to do so.
Safe to do so to me would mean a car would never know it even happened, or would see it unfold before their very eyes. That might not be legal, but it would be far less frustrating than waiting forever to pass doubled riders. I don’t see it being great in the HRM core, but as I said, the valley, or similar type areas might be a lot easier to judge this than around here. Having been in a vehicle with other people who have got so irate at cyclists, it seems like adding coals to the fires, to me. I know it might be nice to ride two abreast, for sure, but you don’t, (or at least shouldn’t), see motorcycles and cars doing it.
I do ride mainly in the Valley. My club rides the busier roads in single file.
My main concern was with the suggestion that we expect 100% moral purity from cyclists in order for us to advance our interests. Everyone knows that motorists break more laws than cyclists do. That doesn’t seem to prevent them from advancing their interests.
I would like to point out that motorists don’t have the right to drive at the posted speed limit at all times. Motorists must not exceed a careful and prudent speed. In many cases a careful and prudent speed is actually less than the posted limit.
I didn’t see that mentioned when you first posted, I must have missed it…
A person can be well within their legal and ethical right to do something but it doesn’t mean that person won’t still be seriously hurt or dead if not acting responsibly. It reminds me of people that charge across a crosswalk without looking to see if it’s safe because “the pedestrian has the legal right of way”.
Agreed. The OP’s point is well taken, let’s be careful out there, whether we ride on road or off.
And so concludes the first of many contentious issues on the new PedalTrout !