Santa Barbara CA, USA - June 24, 2015: Group of College girls on vacation riding bicycles single file down State St in downtown Santa Barbara CA

Single File Cycling

Cycling is good for both the body and the mind as well as an environmentally friendly way to travel. However, it is also better with a friend. If you travel the same scenery every day, having someone to talk to can help keep things fresh. Yet while cycling, can you ride next to them as you travel or do you need to keep things single file where you mind as well be cycling alone?

State to State Laws

The answer, like many things, will vary by the state. There are currently 39 states that explicitly allow the cyclist to ride two abreast, but many of those states have specific conditions. It is best to look up the particular rules for your state before heading out on a group ride, but the general best rule of thumb to consider is to only ride two abreast when there is room to do so.

For example, when room in the bike lane allows, traveling two abreast is fine. Yet, many states only allow two-deep travel on roads if you are riding along the shoulder and if there is room while others recommend filing out if a car needs to pass. So usually, the thing to be considerate of is “if there is room.” Unfortunately, in many cases, since roads were built for cars, there is the room to ride next to your friend.

The Takeaway

While you may not be sure if you can ride two-by-two with other cyclists, since some states do not have rules either way as well, it is always best to use your best judgment. If you are not impeding traffic, most law enforcement officers won’t even give you a glance for doing so even in states where not allowed. It is always recommended to ride safely regardless of the rules. For more safety tips on cycling and law regarding cyclists, contact us today.