The Four Second Rule

This is the basic guideline for staggered riding formation. The lead bike should normally ride on the left side of the lane for best visibility. The second bike rides on the right side of the lane, two seconds behind the lead bike.

To figure two seconds, pick a marker on the roadside. When the lead bike passes it, count "one Mississippi, two Mississippi," and you should be at the marker.

The third bike rides on the left side, two seconds behind the second bike and four seconds behind the lead bike. This formation should be followed in normal riding conditions for the safety of all.

If there is an obstruction in one lane the leader may call for single file formation. In this instance there should be four seconds between each bike.

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