In my nearest town centre there is a fearsome one-way system with three lanes of traffic. This cuts through the town and is unavoidable - you have to cross it to get anywhere. It is always busy but not at motorway speeds, even if it seems that way.
At one point, to get to the cycle lane I must get to the outside of the outer lane. I have a few options to do this. I could stop off at the near-side, wait an age for the traffic to stop for the pedestrians, walk my bike across the road with the pedestrians and get on it again at the other side. Since I am a cyclist I do not want to do this, it is a bit lame.
The alternative option is to get into the outermost lane and ride like I am a vehicle as wide as one of those tin boxes - 'vehicular cycling'. This I can do quite easily as I have enough in me to ride at a sensible, i.e. fast pace. I can then make it off onto the cycle lane without upsetting anyone, getting beeped at, hitting pedestrians or wasting time.
However, sometimes I ride with a friend that lacks the outright speed and acceleration needed for the outside lane. Shouting 'don't dawdle' isn't really going to work and I don't want to go-pedestrian just to cross the one-way system. We have tried going at the extreme outer edge so cars can pass - 'undertaking' - but this makes me feel uneasy. The car beeps are inevitable whatever we try on this section of the road, yet, when I ride the same section by myself with no company I never get any problems with any of the other road users.
I don't want to ride-like-a-timid-coward when with my friend, I don't want to upset motorists, I don't want to get involved in an accident. I don't want to complain about my friend lacking pace. I don't want my friend to always have a nightmare of a ride - when it should not be.
So how can I carry out this simple bit of cycling that suddenly seems intimidating when riding with someone?