When riding in a group there is a lot of debate about how to form the group in the best way to stay together, be visible to other road users, and cause minimum of hassle to other road users (read motorists).
It’s a common mis-conception amongst newer riders and motorists that if you’re in a group then the best formation to use is to all ride single file to allow the traffic to overtake easier. However after a little thought it is actually quite easy to come to the conclusion that riding in a bunch rather than single file is better for overtaking.
Rather than trying to put this concept in to words it’s easier explained by the graphic below.
As with all ‘rules’ there are times when it doesn’t really apply – the most common occurrence is when riding on a narrow country lane where there isn’t enough room for a motor vehicle to pass if you’re riding two or three abreast. You may need to ride single file to allow cars to pass. If the group is small enough then you could ride two abreast on a narrow lane so long as you’re quick with dropping to single file when a car approaches from either the front or rear.
If you’re new to riding with a particular group then it’s always worth checking with the ride leader on how they ride in formation on certain roads so as to not cause too much confusion with the rest of the group.
If you are having a ‘discussion’ with road users or other cyclists about riding two or three abreast then feel free to point them to this page and for more tips on riding in a group, visit our webpage at Top Tips For Group Riding