Let’s talk about side-by-side riding.
As a recreational club with social rides, we understand engaging in verbal intercourse on rides makes them more enjoyable.
While we do want you to have fun on rides, safety must always come first! Therefore, only ride side-by-side when there is enough room on the shoulder or bike path for both of you to safely fit, never more than two abreast, and pay close attention to when those conditions change and get back in a single-file line.
When riding side-by-side, the person on the right is in line with the group. The person on the left has come out of the line, and hence it is her responsibility to get back in line when necessary — when the bike lane or path becomes too narrow to ride two abreast, a bike or pedestrian approaches from the front, or a vehicle or a kangaroo is coming from behind, for instance.
If you are the in-line rider, you should hold your pace and hold your line — in other words: Be predictable in order to not impede the outside rider safely moving back into the line. Let her decide whether to go ahead of or behind you.
If something is approaching from the front, it will almost always be safer for the outside person to drop back and come in behind you (rather than trying to rush to get ahead of you). This becomes difficult if the inside rider slows down too. And it is always best if the outside rider calls out her intentions: “Coming in behind” reduces astonishment for those around you.
If you are following riders who are two abreast, always leave a gap so that when the outside rider moves in, it won’t cause a problem (a.k.a. “crash”) if she has to do so quickly.
In summary: It’s ok to chat but not at the expense of safety. Make safe riding your first priority; don’t let titillating conversation distract you. You can get the gossip afterwards over lunch.
* And yes, that was a really cheap trick to get your attention. See? It worked. 😉