Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

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Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:17 am

It is commonly stated here that cyclists are not allowed to ride two-abreast on bike paths and shared use paths. (While disagreeing with such a blanket restriction, I have repeated this myself on occasion.)

However, on checking the model "Australian Road Rules" 2012 I am not so sure.

Essentially the rules state that cyclists can ride abreast on roads including "bicycle path, shared path and any shoulder of the road". (Yes, I appreciate that states can vary from time to time but I would not imagine that all states have chosen to ignore this one rule.)

So, are cyclists indeed allowed to ride two abreast on cycle paths etc?

(If responding, it will be useful to quote what state you are talking of.)

http://www.ntc.gov.au/filemedia/Reports/ARRFeb12.pdf pp 136-137
151 Riding a motor bike or bicycle alongside more than 1 other rider

(1) The rider of a motor bike or bicycle must not ride on a road that is not a multi-lane road alongside more than 1 other rider, unless subrule (3) applies to the rider.

Offence provision.

Note Bicycle, motor bike and multi-lane road are defined in the dictionary, and rider is defined in rule 17.

(2) The rider of a motor bike or bicycle must not ride in a marked lane alongside more than 1 other rider in the marked lane, unless subrule (3) applies to the rider.

Offence provision.

Note Marked lane is defined in the dictionary.

(3) The rider of a motor bike or bicycle may ride alongside more than 1 other rider if the rider is:
(a) overtaking the other riders; or
(b) permitted to do so under another law of this jurisdiction.

Note Overtake is defined in the dictionary.

(4) If the rider of a motor bike or bicycle is riding on a road that is not a multi-lane road alongside another rider, or in a marked lane alongside another rider in the marked lane, the rider must ride not over 1.5 metres from the other rider.

Offence provision.

(5) In this rule:
road does not include a road-related area, but includes a bicycle path, shared path and any shoulder of the road.

Note Bicycle path is defined in rule 239, road-related area is defined in rule 13, shared path is defined in rule 242, and shoulder is defined in
rule 12.


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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby human909 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:01 am

Yes, according to the road rules. There isn't any rule stating otherwise.
No, apparently according to some local management "rules". (But most likely those "rules" are not law, so they are not enforceable.)

In practical terms on your typical width busy bike paths it is difficult, RUDE and antisocial to ride two abreast. On wide or sparsely trafficked paths is natural fine as long as you form singe file when necessary.


Like most things on the bike the law is irrelevant if you simple be polite and considerate. :D
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby Xplora » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:26 am

-15- states you cannot ride next to MORE than 1 rider... so 2 abreast is fine in a single lane road or path according to (5).

You can ride three or 4 or 10 abreast if overtaking or permitted under some other rule, according to (3). This applies to roads or paths as per (5)

Colin, I've been reading through the road rules a bit over the past 12 months after various things popping up on BNA and quite frankly, it IS quite challenging to figure out what is, and is not, acceptable.
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:29 pm

human909 wrote:Yes, according to the road rules. There isn't any rule stating otherwise.
No, apparently according to some local management "rules". (But most likely those "rules" are not law, so they are not enforceable.)

In practical terms on your typical width busy bike paths it is difficult, RUDE and antisocial to ride two abreast. On wide or sparsely trafficked paths is natural fine as long as you form singe file when necessary.


Like most things on the bike the law is irrelevant if you simple be polite and considerate. :D

Agreed wholeheartedly - even if it was law to stay in single file I would not have a problem with cyclists riding two abreast where conditions clearly support it - such as much of the Kwinana Freeway path well south of Cockburn.
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:34 pm

Xplora wrote:-15- states you cannot ride next to MORE than 1 rider... so 2 abreast is fine in a single lane road or path according to (5).

You can ride three or 4 or 10 abreast if overtaking or permitted under some other rule, according to (3). This applies to roads or paths as per (5)

Colin, I've been reading through the road rules a bit over the past 12 months after various things popping up on BNA and quite frankly, it IS quite challenging to figure out what is, and is not, acceptable.

Not to mention the differences between states and regular changes.

I got caught out in Adelaide 12 months ago as they require me to wear a helmet whereas mostly others don't. I took my helmet over last week but, when I started out in the darker hours in Adelaide a few days ago I chose to comply with my safety first and ignore the rules on that occasion - My head-strapped lights chosen specifically for high visibility can't be accommodated on my helmet.
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby outnabike » Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:43 pm

Interesting,
I see many paths which are in turn divided down the centre, and would no way fit two riders, yet some ignore this and ride two abreast any way.In my mind a shared path would always have the left and right portions in play, even if not marked.
When I see a riders 2 abreast coming at me to force me off the path, they have a problem.
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby il padrone » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:21 pm

Despite the lack of any prohibition on riding two-abreast, you are always required to ride/drive safely, so two-wide on a narrow path with oncoming trsaffic is plainly illegal, not to mention downright rude. They should avoid it if the path is narrow or obscured, and move in single-file at the first sign of oncoming riders.


Some poeople are just downright rude - no accounting for it.
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby mitchy_ » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:33 pm

human909 wrote:Like most things on the bike the law is irrelevant if you simple be polite and considerate. :D


that is the most ridiculous thing i have ever read.

no wonder cyclists get a bad rap.
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby redned » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:53 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:It is commonly stated here that cyclists are not allowed to ride two-abreast on bike paths and shared use paths. (While disagreeing with such a blanket restriction, I have repeated this myself on occasion.)

However, on checking the model "Australian Road Rules" 2012 I am not so sure.



It is explicit in WA:

216 (4) A person shall not ride a bicycle on a separated footpath or a
shared path so that the bicycle is travelling abreast of any other
bicycle on the path.
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:59 pm

redned wrote:
ColinOldnCranky wrote:It is commonly stated here that cyclists are not allowed to ride two-abreast on bike paths and shared use paths. (While disagreeing with such a blanket restriction, I have repeated this myself on occasion.)

However, on checking the model "Australian Road Rules" 2012 I am not so sure.



It is explicit in WA:

216 (4) A person shall not ride a bicycle on a separated footpath or a
shared path so that the bicycle is travelling abreast of any other
bicycle on the path.


Also , I have since found this - also from the traffic code
From the Road Traffic Code 2000:
130. Riding 2-wheeled vehicle alongside more than one other rider

(3) The rider of a power-assisted pedal cycle or bicycle shall not ride on a path alongside another rider, unless the rider is overtaking the other rider.
Modified penalty: 1 PU
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby gorilla monsoon » Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:24 pm

mitchy_ wrote:
human909 wrote:Like most things on the bike the law is irrelevant if you simple be polite and considerate. :D


that is the most ridiculous thing i have ever read.

no wonder cyclists get a bad rap.


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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby outnabike » Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:26 pm

mitchy_ wrote:
human909 wrote:Like most things on the bike the law is irrelevant if you simpley be polite and considerate. :D


that is the most ridiculous thing i have ever read.

no wonder cyclists get a bad rap.


Bou you a being tough just foe one little typo...... :)
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby casual_cyclist » Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:49 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:It is commonly stated here that cyclists are not allowed to ride two-abreast on bike paths and shared use paths. (While disagreeing with such a blanket restriction, I have repeated this myself on occasion.)

However, on checking the model "Australian Road Rules" 2012 I am not so sure.

A rule does not become a law or Subsidiary legislation (such as a regulation) unless it is gazetted.

So, in Western Australia, you would need to look to the Road Traffic Code 2000, which is Subsidiary to the Road Traffic Act 1974, to find out what the actual law is in Western Australia. In the Road Traffic Code 2000, r 216 - Shared paths and separated footpaths states:

(4) A person shall not ride a bicycle on a separated footpath or a shared path so that the bicycle is travelling abreast of any other bicycle on the path.
Modified penalty: 1 PU
(5) Subregulation (4) does not prevent a cyclist from overtaking or passing other persons riding bicycles on the path.
(6) For the purposes of this regulation, a bicycle is abreast of another bicycle if any part of it is by the side of any part of the other.

http://www.slp.wa.gov.au/legislation/statutes.nsf/main_mrtitle_2007_homepage.html

It is pretty clear that cyclists are not permitted to ride two-abreast on bike paths and shared use paths unless overtaking or passing other persons riding bicycles on the path.

The clue as to the status of the model "Australian Road Rules" is on the home page:

As 'model laws', however, they have no legislative force of their own.

...

As mentioned above, the Rules have no legislative force of their own. Although each state and territory has by and large copied the Rules into their own laws, not every provision of the Rules has been copied exactly in each state and territory. Also, there are a number of provisions in the Rules that specifically leave certain matters to state and territory governments to determine.

This means that the Rules can only be used as a guide as to what road rules apply in any particular state or territory. The only way to be sure what the road rules are in a particular state or territory is to look at the road rules of that state or territory.


http://www.ntc.gov.au/viewpage.aspx?documentid=00794
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby casual_cyclist » Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:51 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:
redned wrote:
ColinOldnCranky wrote:It is commonly stated here that cyclists are not allowed to ride two-abreast on bike paths and shared use paths. (While disagreeing with such a blanket restriction, I have repeated this myself on occasion.)

However, on checking the model "Australian Road Rules" 2012 I am not so sure.



It is explicit in WA:

216 (4) A person shall not ride a bicycle on a separated footpath or a
shared path so that the bicycle is travelling abreast of any other
bicycle on the path.


Also , I have since found this - also from the traffic code
From the Road Traffic Code 2000:
130. Riding 2-wheeled vehicle alongside more than one other rider

(3) The rider of a power-assisted pedal cycle or bicycle shall not ride on a path alongside another rider, unless the rider is overtaking the other rider.
Modified penalty: 1 PU

You two beat me to it! I was too slow :(
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby human909 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:32 pm

mitchy_ wrote:that is the most ridiculous thing i have ever read.

no wonder cyclists get a bad rap.


It is sad that you find it ridiculous. Its even more sad that following the rules seems to have become the priority rather than as the means to a polite and considerate (ie; safe) public interactions.
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:27 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:

You two beat me to it! I was too slow :([/quote]
Yeah, always too slow. Pick up your cadence CC. You're an embarrassment to all us super athletes. :wink:
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby mitchy_ » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:01 am

human909 wrote:
mitchy_ wrote:that is the most ridiculous thing i have ever read.

no wonder cyclists get a bad rap.


It is sad that you find it ridiculous. Its even more sad that following the rules seems to have become the priority rather than as the means to a polite and considerate (ie; safe) public interactions.


Being polite is beside the point, I fail to see how please and thank you makes you above the law.
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby il padrone » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:52 am

You are misunderstaning what h909 means by polite when talking about on-road behaviour. I think you know that too.
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby g-boaf » Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:55 am

They can go side by side, within reason and on a sensible width cycleway, and at sensible speeds.

If you are hammering along at 40km/h+ and wanting to take turns at the front, it's better to do it single file.
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby human909 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:59 am

mitchy_ wrote:Being polite is beside the point, I fail to see how please and thank you makes you above the law.


:roll: Nobody said anything about being above the law. Now you are being deliberately obtuse.

Road rules are about stipulating and enforcing consideration, care, order and safety on our roads. Yet throw a bunch of people together and these largely already exist. In some countries road rules are effectively non existent and to a large extent this work fine. In Australia pedestrians don't need road rules when interacting, yet 80,000 can exist the MCG safely and harmoniously without traffic lights or give way signs.

If there is not any traffic around then surely you recognise that most laws are irrelevant and not needed. At 3am in the morning with not a car for 500m does it really matter if I go through that red light?
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby casual_cyclist » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:55 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:
casual_cyclist wrote:You two beat me to it! I was too slow :(

Yeah, always too slow. Pick up your cadence CC. You're an embarrassment to all us super athletes. :wink:

Oh yeah? How many times have you completed the oppy? :wink:

** But's funny really because my cadence is too low. :mrgreen:
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby casual_cyclist » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:56 pm

human909 wrote:If there is not any traffic around then surely you recognise that most laws are irrelevant and not needed. At 3am in the morning with not a car for 500m does it really matter if I go through that red light?

It's only an offense if you get caught. :wink:
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby human909 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:56 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:It's only an offense if you get caught. :wink:


:? I personally wouldn't take my stance that far.

I much prefer to take the attitude that it is only an offense if there is somebody you are offending against. If the roads are empty then there is nobody to be offended. If I run a red light an injure a pedestrian or cause a car to take action to avoid me then the offence is clear.

Additionally, all this then begs the question if I am riding without a helmet who am I offending? :wink:
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:05 pm

human909 wrote:... if I am riding without a helmet who am I offending? :wink:

Only the delicate sensitivities of thousands of people worldwide who really need to get a strenuous recreational activity.
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Re: Can cyclists ride two abreast on paths?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:54 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:
ColinOldnCranky wrote:
casual_cyclist wrote:You two beat me to it! I was too slow :(

Yeah, always too slow. Pick up your cadence CC. You're an embarrassment to all us super athletes. :wink:

Oh yeah? How many times have you completed the oppy? :wink:

** But's funny really because my cadence is too low. :mrgreen:

Cadence is all that I can beat you guys at. I can't ride the oppy. But I venture that I would blitz pretty well anyone on crank turns in a year due to the cadence. :mrgreen:
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