Whenever cycling in groups – whether joining a local bicycle club or sharing with family and friends the experience of biking on open roads and trails – group riding can be an enjoyable activity. Keep it that way by following cycling safety rules as well as the rules of the road. In the event of an accident, a bike accident attorney in Aurora can talk with injured cyclists to review possible legal options to recovery damages.
Safe Practices for Cycling in Groups
Riding side-by-side is preferable for many bicyclists, so they can engage in conversation. However, it may not be legal in some states. In Colorado, no more than two bikes can ride alongside each other when cycling in the road. If the flow of traffic would be hindered, then the bicyclists must ride single file.
Riding two abreast also depends on the type of road and traffic. For instance, if there is just one lane, it would be more difficult for a vehicle to pass. It’s much easier when there are at least two lanes.
It’s also not safe to ride side-by-side when going over a hilltop or taking a curve. And if the traffic is heavy, it can be unsafe to ride side-by-side.
Another safe practice when cycling in groups is keeping enough distance between the bikes, at least three feet. Since another bicyclist could suddenly swerve to avoid debris in the road, this puts those riding too close at risk of being hit or losing control.
Passing is another safety issue when group cycling. Never assume other bicyclists will know someone’s intentions. Signal with a bell and/or call out something such as “Passing” or “On your left.” When passing, avoid doing so on the right side. Otherwise this could force the bicyclist to go into the path of another bike or vehicle.
It’s also important that maneuvers made on a bike aren’t based on the judgments of other cyclists. If another rider changes lanes or makes a turn, don’t follow suit without first making sure it’s safe. It might have been safe for that rider but a vehicle that suddenly approaches could make making the same maneuver dangerous for others.
Communication is important to cycling safety. If one bicyclist notices a hazard – such as a pothole, road debris or slick surface – others should be made aware well ahead of time. Or if a car is approaching from behind, alert the others so that a single file line can be made if necessary.
Also, don’t make sudden stops or turns. Others might not be prepared, which could result in a collision.
Basic Bicycling Rules in Colorado for Cycling Safety
Whether cycling in groups or not, it’s important to always follow the rules of the road and obey all traffic signals and signs. Just as a motorist can be ticketed for violations, so too can a bicyclist.
The following are examples of bicycle rules in Colorado:
- stay in right lane, unless turning left or passing;
- when riding at night use reflectors, taillights and headlights;
- don’t ride against traffic;
- use hand signals when slowing, stopping or turning; and
- never assume the right-of-way.
By following safe practices, bicyclists and others may be less at risk of injury. When an accident does happen and there are questions concerning liability, it can be helpful to contact a bike accident attorney in Aurora. Regardless of whether the victim was riding alone or cycling in groups, legal recourse may allow recovery of damages.