From Dave Brennan:
A picture paints a thousand words. Imagine how many words a video can paint.
I was cycling home earlier this week when, on an uphill 30mph dual carriageway the lights ahead turned red. So I slowed down and stop. This allowed another cyclist behind me to catch up and say hello. As I am in the middle of helping to organise POP I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to recruit another cyclist.
We were cycling along 2 abreast.
If I had a penny for every time I have heard someone suggest that cycling 2 abreast isn’t allowed, I’d be a rich man. It is. In fact there is no legal reason why you cannot cycle 3 or 4 abreast, however the Highway code advises that you should not ride more than two abreast.
Of course, just because something is allowed, doesn’t mean it doesn’t inconvenience others, so I don’t cycle that way if I feel it is holding anyone up. However, if you watch the video, pay particular attention to my road position before I meet the other cyclist and after. It’s exactly the same. So, I was the same ‘inconvenience’ as any cyclist who rides in a safe position on a road such as this.
That does not mean that everyone understands that though, and the need for POP was very vividly highlighted by the aggressive driver who felt that being held up for 5 seconds was outrageous. I wonder if he/she has ever cycled on the roads.
This is exactly why in our manifesto we have a point focusing on education. If more people have been trained to ride a bike on the road then people will understand why cyclists do what they do. If more professional drivers set a good example of how to drive around cyclists, then perhaps others will follow the good example.
With understanding, and a little empathy, the roads could be safer and a happier place for all.