Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

stick50jr
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Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby stick50jr » Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:28 am

Today I came across a small group of cyclists travelling north on South Road dressed in cycling club uniforms (presumably a training ride). I was concerned to see them attempting to ride two abreast in the bike lane. I say attempting because the rightmost riders were either on the unbroken line or encroaching on the next (motor vehicle) lane. As I approached from the rear I gave them a 'toot' to warn them that traffic was approaching and moved to the extreme right of my own lane to pass them (70 kph near Flinders Uni).

The group caught up to me at the next lights. I was surprised to have one of the cyclists demand that I wind down my window and announce in an outraged tone that 'it is legal to travel two abreast'. Although I thought this was counter-intuitive, I made it my business to check whether this claim was correct (maybe the club cyclist was correct and I was wrong, despite the attitude).

However, I found this booklet online http://www.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/23438/DPTI-Cycling-the-Law-Booklet.pdfhttp://www.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/23438/DPTI-Cycling-the-Law-Booklet.pdf

At the top of page 13 it states:
Where there is insufficient room for two riders to ride abreast
in a bicycle lane, you must ride in single file. During the bicycle
lane operating times, you must not ride outside a bicycle lane
abreast of another rider unless you are overtaking.


I was relieved to find that I was correct, but disappointed that a club cyclist was ignorant of this piece of common sense. I guess it is a case of rule 151 (two abreast allowed) being trumped by rule 247 (stay within bike lane).

I've taken the opportunity to post here in the interests of educating cyclists that may otherwise think two abreast in a narrow bike lane is a safe option! (Obviously, if there were no bike lane then cyclists can legally and readily fit within a typical motoring lane.)

I guess most riders are more sensible and have a better sense of self preservation.

stretts
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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby stretts » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:58 am

Gday,

Sorry to hear they had a go at you - as a cyclist who has experienced both friendly honks of the horn and ones filled with anger it is sometimes hard to tell the difference when out on the road. In this case it seems you were being fairly reasonable. Unfortunately the laws regarding bicycle lanes are quite confusing and with operating times varying depending on the lane in Adelaide there is usually confusion.

There is also a provision I believe that a rider may ride outside of the bicycle lane when it is not safe or practicable to do so. So for instance in the case of a bicycle lane that runs right next to parked cars (which is often the case here) it is not safe to ride in the bike lane as it is also considered the 'dooring' zone where a driver may open their car door without looking as a cyclist is riding past. This resulted in the death of a rider in Melbourne recently, and is very dangerous.

As it was 70kph near Flinders I assume the bike lane did not have parked cars next to it. SO the next question is what time of day was it? That way we can determine if the lane was in operation or not.

The next consideration is in my opinion judging for oneself what the best course of action is in this instance, what is the safest thing to do. I am assuming this is a multi laned road, so if I was the driver I would simply change lanes to pass them without bothering the riders and thus avoiding any sort of confrontation. The example I give is that sometimes cars break laws on roads (not running red lights, but minor indiscretions) and I look past them all the time as both a cyclist and a driver - because the instance does not inconvenience me in any way.

This does not excuse their behaviour toward you as it doesnt sound like you were being aggressive or provocative in any way. But yeah, two abreast situation really depends on the context and often imo riding two abreast does not inconvenience a motorist, especially on a multi lane road. Hope you have a great day!

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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby stretts » Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:00 am

Caveat: I am not a bunch rider, I ride as a commuter to get from a to b so my experience of riding two abreast is zero. If any club riders feel they should weigh in please do so :)

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RonK
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Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby RonK » Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:51 am

stick50jr wrote:As I approached from the rear I gave them a 'toot' to warn them that traffic was approaching...

Ah, the injured innocent.

Judging by the reaction, it's not hard guess what kind of "toot" you gave them. Almost certainly it was not the friendly kind.

I was on the receiving end of a totally unnecessary blast only this morning, and my response would have been similar if I had caught up with the driver.
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biker jk
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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby biker jk » Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:02 am

Looks to be a bicycle lane at all times. Also a four lane road.

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outnabike
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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby outnabike » Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:21 am

We don't know if it was a dedicated bike lane without seeing posted roads signs of course, but to me I would just round them up and be on my way. Consider that a car may usually drop of passengers and that it is wider than two bikes together, I would not toot the car either. We are all just traffic.
Tooting a rider may not be wise in view of a traffic light coming up either. You see, we cop so many toots gestures and stupid comments that at times we get to really not know what the driver is doing.
I imagine that if the road allows for parked cars on occasion and a cyclist is forced to go around it; or someone is looking for a street entry in a slow vehicle, no one would bother to toot. Suddenly it is an offending cyclist? And he held you up? I mean the lights held you up not the cyclist. Or you are so offended that you have to re-educate the bloke?
Maybe he was doing a one kilometre overtake and about to pass when a motorist came buy and distracted the poor rider.... :)
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stick50jr
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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby stick50jr » Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:19 pm

Thanks for your comments. It was a 'toot' (the shortest possible duration to actually close the horn contacts) not a normal 'honk' and certainly not a 'held blast'. I know the difference and that's why I used the term 'toot' :)

But yes the reaction was outrage and I omitted much of his other 'attitude' (comments) ... he certainly got under my skin. Unfortunately I was unable to correct his misunderstanding of the road rules 'on the spot'. So I dare say, I have left this rider with the impression that I'm a driver at war with cyclists. Hence I've gone to the trouble of registering and posting on this forum to at least make some riders aware of this rule.

There is no doubt in my mind that the bike lane was active, there were no cars parked on this section and traffic was heavy (16:30). As a motorist, I take my responsibility to not injure or kill cyclists, pedestrians, motor cyclists and even other motorists very seriously. If I 'toot' a rider who appears unable to ride straight enough to stay in their lane (two abreast made it impossible, I suspect), it is because I want to avoid an accident and I want to give the rider the opportunity to in this case drop back into single file.

I guess my post won't change attitudes, but I would like to see at least club riders made away of the rules. There are many hopeless drivers and riders around, many with attitude. Observing the rules and having a highly developed sense of survival will be best for us all.

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RonK
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Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby RonK » Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:26 pm

stick50jr wrote:If I 'toot' a rider who appears unable to ride straight enough to stay in their lane (two abreast made it impossible, I suspect), it is because I want to avoid an accident and I want to give the rider the opportunity to in this case drop back into single file.

I guess my post won't change attitudes...

Perhaps you need to do some work on your own attitude. As the overtaking driver it is your responsibility to overtake safely even if that means you have to wait, regardless of the type of vehicle you're overtaking.
Other road users are not obliged to get out of the way when you demand.

That this incident has offended you so much that you went to the trouble of joining a bike forum to vent at people whom it's highly unlikely were involved clearly shows you have an overblown sense of self-entitlement.
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stick50jr
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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby stick50jr » Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:12 pm

RonK wrote:As the overtaking driver it is your responsibility to overtake safely even if that means you have to wait, regardless of the type of vehicle you're overtaking.

Acknowledged. All of this was observed... my mistake was to have had the audacity to 'toot'. I am after all a 'belt and braces' type when it comes to safety.
RonK wrote:Other road users are not obliged to get out of the way when you demand.

Acknowledged. But I suspect you too would instinctively 'toot' if someone starts to wander in the interests of mutual safety.
RonK wrote:That this incident has offended you so much that you went to the trouble of joining a bike forum to vent at people whom it's highly unlikely were involved clearly shows you have an overblown sense of self-entitlement.

Yes he did get under my skin... I'm sorry you can only see my post as a vent. I had the impression that many cyclists might be a bit ignorant of this particular rule. But you are a little offended perhaps that I should point out a rule, at all. I was happy with the considered response of most posters above but I did expect that someone like you would only see me as 'venting'.
Cheers

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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby trailgumby » Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:36 pm

stick50jr wrote:Yes he did get under my skin... I'm sorry you can only see my post as a vent. I had the impression that many cyclists might be a bit ignorant of this particular rule. But you are a little offended perhaps that I should point out a rule, at all. I was happy with the considered response of most posters above but I did expect that someone like you would only see me as 'venting'.
Cheers

He has made a fair point, in my view. Cyclists are on the receiving end of so much aggression and bigotry on a regular basis from entitlement-minded motorists who as a rule are shockingly ignorant of the road rules it is *very* difficult to find any kind of sympathy. If it is unsafe to pass the bicyclist, you ... don't pass the bicyclist. The pedal to the left of the gas pedal exists for a reason. Use it.

You have 2,000kg of metal and glass around you to protect you in a collision with a cyclist. They have a couple of microns worth of Polyester. The onus is therefore on you to be the more considerate operator, just as it is on cyclists when they are around pedestrians, unless you are of the view that "might makes right", in which case my 18 wheeler* trumps your SUV. As such, a minimum passing distance of 1m at 60km or under is recommended (and compulsory in Qld, soon to be in other states) when passing a vulnerable road user.

Are you aware that unless there is a sign saying "Bike LANE" it is entirely optional for cyclists to use it under RR 153?

* I don't actually own one, but I believe my point is made.

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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby Thoglette » Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:55 pm

stick50jr wrote:I've taken the opportunity to post here


Well, welcome. You might find it a little warm in the kitchen but thanks for making the effort

stick50jr wrote:I guess most riders are more sensible and have a better sense of self preservation.


You won't be suprised to find that "riders" are as much a cross section of society as any other.
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RonK
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Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby RonK » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:35 pm

stick50jr wrote:
RonK wrote:Other road users are not obliged to get out of the way when you demand.

Acknowledged. But I suspect you too would instinctively 'toot' if someone starts to wander in the interests of mutual safety.l

No - when driving my car I treat cyclists as my equals - as legitimate road users, not mere inconveniences who might delay my arrival by a few seconds.

If a cyclist appears to be "wandering" I assume it's for a legitimate reason of which I'm unaware - perhaps glass or other debris, an obstacle such a drain or porthole, a tight point which may make overtaking unsafe. These are situations cyclists face many times on each and every ride given the condition and design of the roads.

Above all I never put myself in a position where I need to use my horn to "warn" a cyclist. I don't think I own the road, so it's not difficult for me to share it.
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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby MikeM » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:50 pm

As someone who rides around 300 kms a week I find this post, especially Ronks reply displays everything that is bad in cycling. How are we supposed to have mutual respect on the road when both parties fail to obey the laws of common courtesy, never mind obeying the law in general.
I gave up bunch riding several years ago due to the attitude of fellow cyclists who think it is their right to take up half the road. Never mind the rights or wrongs of this, but it really fuels the anti cyclist sentiment in a portion of motorists that puts every cyclist at risk.
The first rule of cycling and driving should always be to do so safely, if riding 2 or more abreast is unsafe or creates angst between cyclists and motorists then it puts everyones safety at risk.
I was told something years ago that I have personally found to be fairly accurate " 70% of cyclists are idiots whilst only 3% of motorists are idiots, the problem for cyclists is that the 70% of cyclists that are idiots only have the potential to hurt themselves where as the 3% of idiot motorists have the potential to kill 100% of the cyclists".

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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby cage » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:03 pm

^^ +100
If drivers and riders spent more time worrying about their responsibilities than their rights then roads would be far safer.

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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby Magpie » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:58 pm

Agree with Mike M

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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby trailgumby » Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:05 pm

MikeM wrote:The first rule of cycling and driving should always be to do so safely, if riding 2 or more abreast is unsafe or creates angst between cyclists and motorists then it puts everyones safety at risk.

Interesting comment about two abreast. Given that nearly every driver drives two abreast (regardless of whether the seat next to them is occupied, or not) I have a little smile to myself about the irony and hypocrisy involved in getting so angry about riders taking up so much of the road every time I hear drivers complain about it.

As for everyone's safety being at risk, given motorists have 2000kg of metal and glass cocoon around them I'd like to know how you figure that. Unless you mean stupid overtaking manoeuvres prompted by impatience, in which case I'd ask you whose foot was on the accelerator pedal?

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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby redsonic » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:18 pm

stick50jr wrote:Thanks for your comments. It was a 'toot' (the shortest possible duration to actually close the horn contacts) not a normal 'honk' and certainly not a 'held blast'. I know the difference and that's why I used the term 'toot' :)

Hi stick50jr,
Welcome to the forum and thanks for your good intentions posting about this issue (and your bravery :wink: ).
I have recently had a conversation with my (non cyclist) partner about the "polite" toot, which he was using with all good intentions to "let them know I was there".
As has been said above, cyclists are tooted at all the time and often we are doing no wrong, nor can we do any differently in the situation. It therefore may not surprise you that we get a bit rankled by being tooted at and this may explain (but not excuse) the cyclist's response in your case.

This vehicle below gave me a "polite" little toot before hitting me with his wing mirror. You can see the mirror folded in from striking me, and the driver admitted to the police later that he disliked cyclists (photo is a still shot from a video camera mounted on my handlebars).

Image

My point is that we may not know if the next toot behind us is going to be the last thing we hear, and it really serves no purpose other than to intimidate us. This is my guess why the cyclist was angry. A result of the massive imbalance in the likely distribution of injury when car and bicycle collide.

I have strong reservations about the safety and behaviour of some group rides, but have similar thoughts about some car drivers! Please save the horn for when you are unable to avoid a collision by taking evasive action yourself.

Thanks for showing some interest in cycling safety and joining the debate on our forum.

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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby stick50jr » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:40 am

redsonic wrote:Hi stick50jr,
Welcome to the forum and thanks for your good intentions posting about this issue (and your bravery :wink: ).
I have recently had a conversation with my (non cyclist) partner about the "polite" toot, which he was using with all good intentions to "let them know I was there".
As has been said above, cyclists are tooted at all the time and often we are doing no wrong, nor can we do any differently in the situation. It therefore may not surprise you that we get a bit rankled by being tooted at and this may explain (but not excuse) the cyclist's response in your case.


Thanks for that, yes I was asking for it coming on here!

redsonic wrote:This vehicle below gave me a "polite" little toot before hitting me with his wing mirror. You can see the mirror folded in from striking me, and the driver admitted to the police later that he disliked cyclists (photo is a still shot from a video camera mounted on my handlebars).


Glad, you survived the incident... I reckon you're brave to be out there.

redsonic wrote:My point is that we may not know if the next toot behind us is going to be the last thing we hear, and it really serves no purpose other than to intimidate us. This is my guess why the cyclist was angry. A result of the massive imbalance in the likely distribution of injury when car and bicycle collide.


Yep, that's why he was mad... but hopefully when he cools down ( or even reads this thread) he'll realise that what he said to me was factually incorrect. Safety is enhanced when we know and observe the rules. I was initially dismayed (from his comment) that my knowledge of the rules was incorrect. The subject is an emotive one, but worth airing I believe.

redsonic wrote:I have strong reservations about the safety and behaviour of some group rides, but have similar thoughts about some car drivers! Please save the horn for when you are unable to avoid a collision by taking evasive action yourself.

Thanks for showing some interest in cycling safety and joining the debate on our forum.


Yes, there are plenty of idiot car drivers around. Hopefully my post has caused some to consider and my posts are a more effective form of communication than a 'toot' so readily misinterpretted. However, in the unhappy situation that I am unable to avoid a collision, I doubt whether I will have time to 'toot', my priorities will be elsewhere.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby Tornado » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:53 am

Thanks for dropping in and not dropping a bomb. Other motorists have done so in the past, started a war and run away. The worst thing where I live is that young fellas and some older clowns blast it and normally really close to you. The amount of times it has startled me and caused me to weave/ wobble while I try to recover from that shock I can't count. I swear one day I will end up on my bottom in pain.

I'm less concerned about whether you are right or wrong in this instant, or other people in other cases. It all comes down to attitudes. I probably make a mistake or two on my bike, but when I realise I look to change it for next time.

Overall if we are all to get along out there we need to give a bit.
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stick50jr
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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby stick50jr » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:28 pm

Thanks, the dust seems to be settling so I will run away now :)

Most here were more concerned about attitude (like yourself). I am saddened by it but resigned to it. There is some polarising comment above, but not as vicious as I had expected.

We all make mistakes and so are sometimes wrong... I was interested to know whether the cycling community knew the quite expicitly expressed rule for SA. Maybe I should assume you all know the rules, but my faith in that was undermined by the erroneous spray from a club rider. So attitude has become the focus and despite all the posts above, I am left wondering on that point.

So I accept the antipathy where it exists and appreciate your and others courtesy.

Cheers

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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby WhingingPom » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:55 pm

It's not an attitude that motorists alone are subjected to - I've had similar reactions from runners/walkers/other cyclists on shared paths.

If it's safe to pass, I tend to ring my bell twice when I'm a few metres behind someone to let them know that there's somebody coming up behind them before moving as far across as I safely can. Some will take my bell ringing in the manner in which it's intended (common courtesy), others will act in a similar way to your cyclist friend on South Road :(

TBH, sometimes I wonder why I bother as more than a few people will have headphones in and turned up with 0 situational awareness then jump like a startled rabbit when I pass them.

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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby stick50jr » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:28 pm

Yep, I noticed a few terms on this board like 'ride big' and 'claim the lane' etc. I guess I tend to 'walk big' and I dont like bikes brushing past me (either walking or when in the car). But skate boarders are much worse than most bikes.
I want bikes/skate boards etc to give me a metre, and I tend to give them at least 2 metres (usually more).

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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby you cannot be sirrus » Sat Apr 18, 2015 5:50 pm

As a club rider who has ridden on that stretch of road many times I would be riding single file within the bike lane in that location at that time of day.
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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby MisuVir » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:58 pm

I avoid South Rd like the plague. Nothing quite compares to riding along in a tiny bicycle lane with trucks roaring past. Definitely would not ride more than single file. I wouldn't ride two abreast in most bicycle lanes around here - they're tiny and the person on the right is going to be either (a) way too close to me for comfort or (b) hanging over into another lane.

As for "tooting"... it all sounds the same when you're outside the car. When a driver hits their horn, they may think "I'm just being friendly and letting the cyclist know I'm here", yet the cyclist gets a blast that sounds 5 times louder than than the driver thinks it is, has a momentary panic as they suddenly imagine themselves being run down, and must immediately re-assess their surroundings to identify the source of the danger.

Your horn is a device for warning of danger. Use it only to warn of danger. No toots of thanks. No tooting like an idiot when leaving your friends' house at 2am. No tooting when you're safely overtaking a cyclist.

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Re: Two Abreast in dedicated bike lanes?

Postby simlin » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:19 pm

I expect cars/buses/trucks to respect bicycle lanes and not stop or drive in them...same way I expect cyclists to respect bicycle lanes and ride within them unless unsafe to do so...and then look, indicate/hand signal and move out of the bicycle lane.
I fully agree with the earlier poster that left group riding behind because of the attitudes to not sharing the roads in a responsible manner...sure ride in your bunch along the esplanade on Sunday morning (when most "bike lanes" aren't bike lanes anyway)...but on South Rd at 4:30pm on a weekday when all time dependent bike lanes generally become active?

I have always wondered whether professional teams riding here for the TDU get a briefing on local road rules eg, riding no more than 2 abreast, fully within a bicycle lane if active. As a commuter and occasional weekend warrior it dismays me to see the massive team bunches annoying drivers and undoing all of the work that advocates are trying to do about education and sharing the roads...perhaps they have special dispensation from the Government? But I don't think it is anything formal...more like...lets not rock the boat...can you imagine if some "rogue" police officer pulled over and fined the whole of Team Sky for riding more than two abreast during a training ride?...imaging the bad publicity all over the world.

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