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Safety Tip: Ride in Single File

Though many cities and towns allow bicyclists to ride two abreast (two riders side-by-side) so long as they don’t impede traffic, it is often a good idea to remain riding single file on both roads and trails.


1. Riding single file ensures that bicyclists do not obstruct the flow of traffic on single lane or narrow roads.

2. By riding single file, multiple bicyclists use the same space on the road, enabling them to stay out of the door zone while remaining visible to drivers.

3. When riding single file, be sure to communicate with riders in front of and behind you. Signal your turns and stops, and use verbal warnings such as “stopping” or “car approaching”.

4. On trails, riding single file keeps pedestrians and other slow-moving trail users safe.

5. While most drivers are perfectly courteous, it’s always possible that drivers may take offense to bicyclists’ actions, such as blocking a lane of travel. Riding single file can help minimize these frustrations.

This is just one tip for safer cycling, but the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is a wellspring of more useful information. Make them your go-to resource for safety tips, bike classes, events and more at waba.org.