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On a group ride safe overtaking skills protect you, your mates and other riders.

Across NSW warm weather has inspires loads of riding groups to get pedalling.  However not everyone has the same level of skills and experience.  

A rider made contact to ask Bicycle NSW to share tips to improve safe passing by bunches.  It’s never been a better time to learn new skills- especially with smoke haze, ash and more challenging conditions this year.

instructions of how to overtake a bike rider

Before Passing The Rider

Before passing a slower rider, be sure there is space to pass on the right hand side. Never under-take.  Passing on the inside endangers the rider in front. It’s unexpected, it may startle them, and it pushes them further into traffic. You may also hit the debris or pothole they were trying to avoid. 

When there is enough room and the road is clear, overtake on the right.  Ensure there is enough room is available to move back across in front of the rider, without causing them to have to brake suddenly. 

Let the rider you are passing know what’s happening by calling “Riders back”. As more riders pass, keep calling “Rider/s right” so all riders within the bunch are aware your bunch is passing. 

Communication To The Rider

Communicating helps the rider you’re overtaking keep riding steadily, instead of getting spooked and swerving or having to look around. It helps if you can tell the rider you’re overtaking how many more to go, and telling them when you’re done.  Calling “five more” or “all clear”.

Don’t forget to listen to the rider you’re overtaking and look at the road ahead of them.  During the process of overtaking, your group is ‘boxing’ the rider in. If there is debris, a pothole, or a car suddenly moves into the road from a driveway or side-street, the rider cannot swerve to avoid it without crashing into your group.

Friendly greetings and polite communication help avoid ‘spooking’ a rider who may be concentrating on what they’re doing, or listening to navigation instructions.  It can also make them more likely to want to cooperate.


“At this time of year we see more people riding, but everyone’s levels of experience are different,” said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.

“These tips can help riders look after each-other on the road and avoid crashes and will be even more important if your group rides in areas with lots of road debris from storms or fires”, said Bastien.

If you have more tips that might help group riders, or people being overtaken, why not share them with us on social media?  If you have helpful diagrams and pictures why not share them on Instagram and tag us in?

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