Cycling Etiquette on Adelaide Roads; my point of view

Robert Gaggini
Cycling in Adelaide

There are rules and regulations. Then there is etiquette.  On the road this is courtesy, good manners or accepted behavior. 

I have close to 20 years of commuting 40km across Adelaide, and several years cycle commuting into Central London.

From my point of view, what are some points of etiquette?

No 1: Do not "sit" behind a cyclist if you catch up with them for any extended time

Firstly this is dangerous, unless you introduce yourself. This does not apply to a group of cyclists, because you are not expected to ride faster than the whole bunch although do not interfere with the group dynamics.

No 2: It is ok to draft if you are overtaken by a faster rider

Unlike Point Number 1, it is ok to "sit" if you get overtaken. Make sure they they know you are there. Most definitely applies when overtaken by a group of cyclists.

No 3: Do not get in front of a wide vehicle at the traffic lights if they have just gone past you with generous width

There is now a twist with new road regulations. But it is the right thing that you don't make the vehicle go past you twice when they have done the right thing. If the vehicle has not done the right thing this does not apply.

No 4: Always give a friendly wave and make eye contact for any motorist that is generous in giving way when they are wanting to turn

Building relationships one wave at a time

No 5: Do not make a turn through traffic when it is only safe for one rider when there is a rider behind you

Cyclists will follow you like sheep. ( I can still visualize a cyclist bouncing off a windscreen with this scenario )

No 6: Feel free to come to a standstill if any vehicle is cribbing into your lane when wanting to turn

You can only read actions and not minds. This applies with vehicles from the right as well as the left.

No 7: If you are riding in a group do not shout "CLEAR" when turning, unless it applies to every member of the bunch and not just riders in your immediate vicinity

Keep communication clear.


No 8: Always offer assistance to an individual cyclist if they appear to have a puncture or mechanical problem on the side of the road

You should not bother if the cyclist is with someone else, unless they look like they need assistance.


No 9: Do stay on the inside of a motor vehicle turning left at a red traffic light

This is also dangerous and a lack of courtesy.


No 10: Always assist a tube change if a fellow rider in your group gets a puncture.

Unlike number 8, many hands make light work and you will be on your way again quicker.


No 11: Do not break the road rules

At least don't get caught or get seen breaking the road rules.


No 12: Do not ride on busy roads at peak that are very narrow,

Keep off the narrow and busy roads at peak hour.


No 13: Drafting Motor Vehicles

This is not OK, Unless you are caught behind a slower moving and slower accelerating vehicle, ( ie big truck) you may have no option, but keep a safe distance and make sure the driver can see you.

Robert Gaggini
Mt Gambier Winner 2005



Robert Gaggini is founder of Adelaide Cycling Academy and owner of Infuga Retreat. As a cycling coach Robert brings  years of experience to a wide range of Cycling Activities.


Winner of multiple cycle races including Mt Gambier 100mile classic 2005, and Alphutte 2003, (4th in 2011). Participant in multiple endurance events including Paris-Brest-Paris, and is a 40km per day commuter for over 20years.


If you require any assistance with training plans, coaching or if you just want to ride faster, Robert is happy to assist.


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Comments: 1
  • #1

    Iain (Tuesday, 06 November 2018 16:49)

    I would also suggest that when riding in the adelaide hills a 20 metre gap be applied between each rider so as to allow other vehicles to pass then safely return to their lane . Also the use of some system of rear view mirror has made my experience feel so much safer. Bright colours and always leave those lights on.