Are cyclists riding dangerously?

This time of year we are plagued by the usual infestation of MAMILs (middle aged men in lycra) on their bicycles. Each weekend we come up behind a group of them and usually one or more insist on riding close to the centre white line. This is particularly annoying when the roads are narrow and twisty and often marked with double white lines making it impossible to pass and generally there is a large queue of traffic behind them.
I submit the cyclists are riding without reasonable consideration and also even more so when a slow moving “race support vehicle” car is behind them, or possibly even obstruction or wilful obstruction of the highway. I would appreciate your opinion on this.
Rob Williams, by e-mail

Answer

The first thing to say is that cyclists have just as much right to use the highway as other road users. However, as with other road users, there are rules with which they should comply. The Highway Code states that cyclists:

- Should never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy road and when riding around bends;

- Should be aware of traffic coming up behind you;

- Must not ride in a dangerous, careless or inconsiderate manner.

The offences of inconsiderate, careless and dangerous riding are found within the Road Traffic Act 1988:

Inconsiderate cycling is cycling that is inconsiderate of other road users. Careless cycling is cycling conduct which falls below that of a reasonable road user. Dangerous cycling is when it falls far below that of a reasonable road user. Each case will depend in the precise facts.

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