Single File Is Safer
Why have we chosen to emphasize "single file is safer" when state law allows for bicyclists riding "not more than two abreast?"
The issue is not being able to pass cyclists easily or quickly.
While it might take drivers longer to pass a long line of single-file cyclists, it is more difficult to pass cyclists riding two or more abreast. We want to make sure that on large events, like STP, we do everything we can to share the road with drivers; after all, the roads are not closed for our event, and drivers should be given the courtesy of allowing them to get where they are going and allowing them to get past us so they are not in our path.
The issue is safety.
Riding two abreast, when conditions permit, is fine. However, riding two abreast while going uphill means that other faster riders must ride as "third abreast" in order to pass slower riders. On narrower roads, passing as the "third abreast" means crossing the centerline, a clear danger to the rider. It also makes for hazardous conditions as car drivers go to pass bicyclists, pull out of driveways, or are oncoming. Single file is safer in many situations on group rides.
For these reasons, we are asking riders to be aware of our "Single File is Safer Campaign" and Ride SMART.