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Are Bicyclists Allowed to Ride Side-by-Side?

Are Bicyclists Allowed to Ride Side-by-Side?

As a Los Angeles accident attorney, my clients know that I handle bicycle accidents in addition to car accidents.

A question I received this week involves bicyclists riding side-by-side, or in “tandem”.

Is it legal?

As with many legal issues, the answer to this question is unclear.

The California Vehicle Code requires cyclists to ride to the right of traffic when riding at speeds slower than vehicle traffic.  But, through reading this blog, you probably know that bicyclists are allowed to take up a full lane if necessary.

According to one popular bicycle blog, riding side-by-side has been found in the past to violate the Vehicle Code.  However, there is no clear rule in the Vehicle Code that forbids cyclists from riding side-by-side.

Driving around the streets of Los Angeles, I’ve seen cyclists riding side-by-side pretty frequently.  Why might they do this?

Besides for the obvious social benefits of chatting with each other, it might boil down to defensive riding.  By taking up a full lane, side-by-side, it might prevent a driver from clipping one of the cyclists as that driver tries to pass the slower-moving cyclists.  Instead, the driver will be forced to switch lanes to accomplish this maneuver.

As with many other legal issues, the information contained in this post is not legal advice for your particular situation.  Contact an attorney for questions about your specific case.

Stay safe as you drive or ride, and remember that we all have to share the road!

For questions about your case, the Rabbi Lawyer is ready to assist, 24/6!