Right of way?

Something I often wonder about when commuting.

There is a normal, two-way, single-carriageway road which has queues in both directions at peak times (Commercial Street, between Aldgate and Spitalfields in the mornings is a good example). Bikes filter up the outside in each direction, i.e. along the centre-line.

Bikes travelling in opposite directions are therefore on a collision course if things get tight so who has the right of way? Or is it simply a game of chicken to see who dives into a gap between cars first?

Whe ever has the balls to go for it 1st

It will be a game of chicken really. Whoever is on their side of the road actually has the right of way I believe.


Usually, if I see another rider filtering on the opposite side, I duck in somewhere when it’s safe.

If you want to be a law abiding rider you should only filter if the traffic is travelling at less than 10 mph and never over take the lead vehicle …

That’s what I was taught … but hey, you’d never get anywhere right ?

well if ists a scoot they normally pull in first otherwise its a game of chicken for me.

I stick strickly* to keeping to my side of the white line Unless I get some obvious acknowlegement from the other guy.

Sometimes I’ll let the other guy use my side of the road depending on the situation.

*Well I try to most of the time.

I’ve heard that quite a conservative interpretation of legal filtering would be up to 20 mph faster than vehicles travelling up to 20 mph (so that’s you doing up to 40 max).*

Overtaking the lead vehicle is just overtaking - do it where allowed.

  • Of course that’s all I do, ever, Officer

Exactly - got enough to worry about fighting with the cars, trucks and busses Don’t need to add other bikes into the mix as well. Easier to just duck in and let them pass … most will give you a nod for your troubles

As a general rule of thumb, if it’s just me filtering I tend to indicate and duck in. Only takes a few seconds. If on the other hand I’ve got a line of bikes behind me and there is only that one person oncoming, then I play chicken and hope they pull in and show the same courtesy and pull in. If there are equal amounts of bikes on either side, then play it by ear and see which line of bikes has more space to pull in. This can be found in the following equation … if b=z(x4), then let a>Z2/ab+3(X)

I put my hazards on and they all move out of the way…

But more seriously it all depends on individual circumstances. If I’ve got just small cars in front of me (so I can overtake whenever I want) and an oncoming biker has a white van to contend with then give him his chance, etc etc.

It is the same as driving a car on a thight street, the one who can step aside more easily should do that first.
So if I can easily move aside, I’ll do it and the same expect from other bikers if I see they can do it more easily than me.
as usual just apply common sense

Depends how i feel, if im in a good mood ill let the other ride come through but if im in a bad mood theres no stopping me.

best thing is to do a rolling burnout or stand up wheelie towards em

Good thing I cant stunt, lol