Mr. Roadshow on passing bicyclists safely
Original post made by Andrea Gemmet on Mar 7, 2007
See what you think of this take on the issue: Web Link
Here's the question posed by the reader:
"While driving on Canada Road in Woodside, I found myself behind a large pod of 75 to 100 bicyclists taking up the entire lane. I remained behind them until the passing lane came up and then made my cautious move. The cyclists did not seem happy that I was passing them, and expressed some expletives. What is the rule of the road in this situation? Should I have poked along at 25 mph for two miles until I reached Highway 92?"
on Mar 8, 2007 at 10:30 am
Since Canada Road is a public road shouldn't both bicyclists and drivers be able to use the road at the same time? So shouldn't courtesy be the guide - both bicyclists and drivers (and pedestrians for that matter) should be sure to allow enough room for each other.
on Mar 12, 2007 at 1:31 pm
You have a logical and inclusive view of the need to share the road. Obviously, you aren't from around here.
There is a fringe element among cyclists, local residents and motorists that have raised hostilities to a truly scary level.
on Mar 14, 2007 at 8:22 pm
If there are 75-100 of them and only 1 of you, then the speed of traffic on that road at that time is their speed, and the law does not require them to stay to the right. I am not aware of any passing lane on Canada Road, and I travel there regularly, so I'm not sure where or how the writer passed them. The answer to your question is: You should wait behind the bicyclists until you can pass them in safety for all. If that means 2 miles, then that is what the law requires. Safety is first and foremost, speed is secondary. If you find an earlier opportunity that allows you to move completely into the other lane without crossing a double-yellow line to pass, then that is legally allowed and safe. It is not legal to cross a double yellow line or straddle lanes or pass bicyclists closely. Of course one should consider courtesy and what would be polite to do, not just what is legal to do, but the original question was about the rules of the road.