By John Donoughe, LCI # 472
As cyclists, we should give a lot of consideration to where and how we make stops during rides. How many times have you been with a group of riders who pull up to an intersection and wait in a pack on the road? This could occur when faster riders get ahead of the leader and have to wait or when the pack needs to regroup itself. More often than not, the cry of, ‘Car Back!’ rings out as a motor vehicle driver approaches the group. Often the cyclists scramble out of the way. Sometimes, one of the riders up front might even resort to acting like a traffic officer to help the motorist get by. No matter how the situation gets resolved, the motor vehicle driver must be thinking how inconsiderate and unsafe it is for cyclists to stop and jam the road. It’s a situation that should not be a part of vehicular operation. It’s a common courtesy to pull your car off the road in a safe location if you need to
a stop. It should be no different for the vehicular cyclist. With that in thought in mind, here are a few suggestions for conducting stops while cycling.
Pick a spot to stop that provides enough space with room to spare for every cyclist to get completely off the road. Driveways, wide pull-offs, and parking areas are great for this.
Visibility should be maximized if possible. Stop where any trailing cyclists can spot you and where you can maintain your visibility to other users of the roadways.
Stopping 100 yards or so before or after an intersection keeps you away from the area where most yucky situations develop. This gets you out of range of people making wide turns or those not stopping in a controlled manner.
The leader of the ride can often have a set of pre-determined, safe stopping spots that can be used during the ride.