Rules of road: Bicycles may ride abreast -- sometimes
Several readers have written in with the impression that any time they spot bicycle riders side-by-side in the same law, they're seeing a violation. Not so.
Here's what the Maryland Drivers Handbook says the subject:
Riding single file on roadways or trails is safer, but you may ride two abreast if not impeding traffic.
That's all it says, but the unwritten corrollary to that would be that once two bicyclists cruising down a little-used road sense a vehicle coming up behind then, they should quickly fall into single file to let the car or truck pass. It's a metter of simple courtesy.
Drivers, meanwhile, need to hold on to their patience long enough to let the bicyclists complete that maneuver. Most will do so in a reasonable amount of time.
If they don't, the horn is not the answer. (Actually, horns are almost never the answer to any driving problem.) If the bicyclists are daydreaming, a horn blast can startle them and cause them to lose control. If they seem to be willfully delaying a driver, a dirty look upon finally passing should suffice.