TIPS FOR AUTOMOBILISTS ABOUT GROUPS OF RACING CYCLISTS
A group of racing cyclists functions very differently for safety reasons than a number of individual cyclists
Braking and changing direction
A group of racing cyclists cannot easily brake or change direction. That has to be very gradual in order not to run into each other’s wheels. If cyclists switch from two to two cycles to one behind the other, for example to make more room for passing motorists, it takes a while.
Not tight on the side
Sometimes cyclists do not drive tightly along the roadside, for example because the road there is bad or dirty, or because the speed is high. Then they drive a little further for safety.
Yet on the road, where there is a (non-mandatory) cycle path
Sometimes a group of racing cyclists rides on the road instead of on the cycle path if the latter is not mandatory. For example if there are many pedestrians, city cyclists or children on the cycle path. Or if the cycle path is full of potholes and holes for the narrow road bike tires.
Calling is for own use
A lot is called in groups of cyclists. Cries like “Before”, “Against”, “Behind” are meant for the group members, so that they know what to do.
Gestures for trailing traffic
If a motorist cannot yet see whether he can pass a group of cyclists, but the cyclists can already see that, they sometimes gesticulate to the motorist driving behind them whether he can overtake or not.
Estimating the speed of cyclists is not always easy
Passing a group of racing cyclists who ride 40 km / h or more with the wind in their backs takes more time than a city cyclist who runs 20 km / h or less. If the road is also narrow and unclear, a wrong estimate as a motorist is easily made.
How a motorist can make it easier for cyclists
Show that you have seen the cyclists and take them into account
If you meet a group of cyclists on a narrow road, drive a little slower and a little more to the side of the road.
If you arrive at an intersection where you must give cyclists priority, brake a little earlier and more clearly so that they are certain that you will stop.
Honking in windless weather is usually unnecessary, with a lot of wind it is sometimes useful. If you are honking, do it well in advance and not when you’re close by.
If a group of cyclists does not use a (non-mandatory) cycle path, but drives on the road, it is usually for a reason. Pointing out with honking that there is a cycle path does not produce anything. Just drive past the group and remember that that is the best way to keep it safe and enjoyable for everyone.
Passing shorter than 1.5 meters sometimes scares cyclists and can be dangerous due to a gust of wind.
A group of racing cyclists overtaking and shortly afterwards strong braking, for example for a road narrowing, means that cyclists have to brake far too hard with the chance that they will run on each other.