peopleonbikes004In the last week, I’ve had multiple cyclists pass me on the right. The riders either zoom around on the right in an intersection or hop on the sidewalk and zoom past and then get back into the shoulder.

Is this new or have I just missed it?

I’ve been commuting regularly for the last five years and don’t remember it happening before the last week when I’ve had four different people do it.

Clearly I’m not speedy riding the bakfiets, but it’s been a shocking to have other cyclists zoom up on the sidewalk to get around me. Not surprisingly, there’s not been any warning or bell ringing letting me know they are going to pass.

Clearly they don’t want to have to get in the travel lane or wait for the cars to clear, but it seems like a dangerous precedent to start.

What do you think? Dangerous, inconsiderate or harmless?

8 thoughts on “Passing on the right”
  1. I’ve never liked being passed on the right by other cyclists.  Riding the newly configured  Fourth Avenue I’ve been struck by the trend to cyclists passing cars on the right.  It sure seems like an invitation to a right hook or a dooring to me.  Oddly I was close passed by a car on the left in the traffic lane headed south on Mountain near Grant.  The motorist was punishing me for having passed a pair of bicycles out of the bike lane.  He was over the speed limit by about 15 mph.  We had an interesting exchange at the Grant Rd stop light.  Can’t win for losing.

  2. Passing on the right is dangerous. It’s not excpet. Could and will cause accidents.

  3. Since traffic safety is based on everyone acting predictably, I’ve got to call that dangerous.

  4. Getting on the sidewalk is illegal.  Passing to your right while going thru an intersection is illegal because passing in an intersection is illegal.  If they are passing you on the right while both of you are in the bike lane is fine if there is room to do it safely.  If you are riding slow on the left side of a wide bike lane, I’m going to pass you on the right and I’ll probably be upset with you for not staying to the right.

  5. Riding on the sidewalk is not legal for a bicycle.  So those that do that are in the wrong just due to where they are.
    As far as the larger question of passing on the right at all, I think you’ll get the same situation with motorist who will pass other cars on the right (if the car is making a left turn, for example).  There are bad cyclists just as there are bad motorists.  Not everyone follows the rules.  The sad part is if a motorist sees a cyclist making a poor choice, he will lump all cyclists together.

  6. 3wheeler  Passing in an intersection may not be as illegal as you think. I saw somewhere – Arizona Daily Star Roadrunner feature? – this assertion was refuted by some kind of authority. It may be one of those folklore things, but it doesn’t hurt to drive as if it were true.

  7. Hurri47 3wheeler
    Interesting.  I’m not a lawyer, so I couldn’t say for sure.  I’d have to look that up.

  8. Hey, move it or milk it, grandpa! :p

    I think they’re just too scared to get further left into the lane. I’d call it dangerous except where there is room and if they call out their intent to pass to the right.

    I’ve had the dilemma where a full 5 foot bike lane and a high speed auto lane are being split at the paint by another cyclist going slower than me. I pass on the left, annoyed.

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