Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy
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Hi, I am new to riding and have a question about what is the correct thing to do. I live in the country and some of the roads here are single lane with wide soft edges so that when a vehicle comes in the opposite direction both need to go wide onto the soft edges to pass one another. My question is this: When I am riding my bike, (keeping as far to the left of the made section as possible) and a car comes up behind me, should I move onto the soft edges to allow the car to pass or should I stay put and have the car go around me?
Not sure if this falls into road rules or consideration of other road users. I look forward to some replies. Thankyou
There is no road rule that specifically covers this situation, to my knowledge. Only Rule 129 "drive as near as practicable to the far left side of the road". This applies to all drivers but not to motorcyclists. "Practicable" depends on the road situation.
Mostly, riding country backroads I move over to ride on the far left of the pavement as the car approaches and if there is not enough room the car will drop onto the gravel. A car is rarely going to be too bothered by driving on lose gravel (as long as they have their speed moderated), but on a bike, suddenly hitting the gravel may trigger a fall, so I would regard that as impracticable. Only in situations where I could clearly see that the shoulder was good to ride on (eg. it was hardpack clay) would I consider riding there, even then it would still depend a bit on traffic conditions, volume and speed. Mostly these sorts of roads are low traffic volume and drivers are pretty reasonable.
Hope this is some help.
Mandatory helmet law?
"An unjustified and unethical imposition on a healthy activity."
Sounds like you are describing my street!
Padrone is spot on. Basically stay where you are on the blacktop, don't move around too much because it'll only confuse/irritate the driver coming up from behind which could result in them making a last second decision that could have poor outcomes for you. There's no harm getting off the tar and onto the shoulder on these roads if you are comfortable doing so (I often do when on the MTB or cross bike) but you need to make that decision early...well before interacting with a passing vehicle going in either direction...so that all involved understand how the interaction will play out well in advance.
Ours is not to reason why...merely to point and giggle
Many thanks to you all for replying. I think I shall make the decision now to stay on the made surface. Some of the edges are a few inches lower than the made road so , as you say it could have unfavourable outcomes for me. Thanks again.
I think expoitable (BNA member) has a post about his first major prang, basically broke bones and all sorts of misery after dropping a couple inches off the made road as you describe...
Never get off the sealed surface, way too dangerous unless you are cycling very slowly......
I regularly ride on this type of road and find the local car drivers are very good and put 2 wheels on the dirt when passing and give plenty of room.....I always wave a "thank you" or a thumbs up to show my appreciation.....
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