Cycling etiquette question....


Active Member
North West
When cycling alone, what is the etiquette when approaching and closing down a fellow cyclist. Are you expected to:

a) Sit in behind and not got past until you/them turn off
b) Cycle alongside doff the helmet, then accelerate away
c) Get up to full speed and fly past without even an acknowledgement?

The reason I ask is, I was out last night and pretty sure someone loomed up behind me (saw their shadow), they didn't go past though. Obviously I sped up but they never came past (I didn't keep looking over my shoulder), they eventually turned off without overtaking.

Only ever been overtaken once all the time I have been out, although I do cycle when the roads are quiet, I'd like to keep that record intact :giggle:


Ride It Like You Stole It!
South Manchester
Generally let someone know you are there. If you are quicker, then you pass wide and then let on. It's safer to let someone know if you are going to sit in and get a ride.
If you can get past with a decent speed differential, do so. Nice and wide, on the right, no need to say anything. If you’re not that much quicker ( factoring in the draft ) don’t be a hero, you’ll likely blow up soon after passing, and this is bad form, so just use the draft, and make sure they know you’re there. If they want you past, they’ll normally flick the elbow, and back off a bit. Don’t do what the knobber / chopper I just encountered did, struggle past in a very bad position, then blow up 5 seconds later, and make themselves a rolling road block, due to location and traffic.

Ming the Merciless

There is no mercy
Inside my skull
If you do catch up and sit on someone's wheel then let them know you are there. Don't ride so close you can't brake or go round a pot hole if they suddenly do the same. Don't expect them to point out every obstruction or hazard ahead. If you rely on that you'll come a cropper. You are not riding together as a group.
If you can, pass wide and don't yell out, 'passing on your right', which normally makes me jump and a raised left hand is sufficient acknowledgment, some people are in their own world of pain and don't like people gurning at them as they go past. Make sure you can maintain the pace and don't fart once you're past.


Puzzle game procrastinator!
If you can get past with a decent speed differential, do so. Nice and wide, on the right, no need to say anything.
With a 20+ km/hr (12.5+ miles/hr) speed differential would you say that 10 cm (4 inches) counts as "nice and wide"...? :whistle:

No, I thought not... Well, I wish someone would tell the high speed 3-man chaingang that overtook me the other evening. I didn't hear them coming and suddenly, there they were, shooting past with the knuckles on their left hands almost rubbing the knuckles of my right hand! :cursing:

If I had made the slightest deviation from my line we'd have all gone down. About 10 seconds later I spotted a broken bottle in the road and pulled out by 40 cms! (I would always check over my shoulder when making big changes of direction but typically wouldn't for a movement as small as that.)


Norven Mankey
If I catch someone I never sit behind them. I'm faster than them so why would I do that? Just feels inconsiderate. Pass wide and keep pace up. If they want to sit behind me that's ok providing they ask

Equally if someone passes me I may sit on, but only after asking them if they mind giving me a bit of a tow.

I had one catch me as I battled into a headwind and he sat on my back wheel for ages. Until I told him to either fark off or take a farking turn
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There was a fella passed me the other day, wide and impressively fast but then he didn't seem to get that far ahead but I didn't think anything of it as he turned off. I just happened to look at Strava flyby's that day and realized he'd been hanging around behind me for a couple of miles and had obviously picked his moment to brew up a bit of speed before his turn off. Overall he was still faster then me so I'm not quite sure why he hadn't overtaken earlier but he blew past so fast any thoughts I might have had at tagging on were swiftly extinguished.
Surely it also depends on the type of cyclist?
If a more recreational cyclist, give a gentle, friendly warning before overtaking, giving them a nice wide berth. Not everybody is pounding the pedals as hard as they can. No point shouting instructions at them or using "cycle" signals - most non-roadies aren't aware of them..... or we might not be locals!

If you feel like it, you could always have a chat! I've met some wonderful characters as I tour around. I'll try to speed up a bit, they'll slow down and a bit of friendly chat passes the time.

I've been run off the road/path twice in the last couple of years while touring by guys passing too close. One guy actually clipped my front panniers he was so close.
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