BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

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BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby ItonezI » Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:14 pm

Howdy peeps!

Just wanted to share with you an odd experience I had whilst commuting to work this morning.

I had just finished a bunch ride (NRR)/morning cuppa, and was commuting to work (roadie/lycra clad), riding along St Kilda marina at about 7.45am (minimal peds) this morning, and overtook another commuter (hybrid/hi-vis jacket) who muttered something rather irately.

I quizzed what he said, and was met with "YOU SHOULD BE RIDING ON THE ROAD IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE RIDING THAT FAST!!!"

Further words were exchanged along the lines of:
ME: Rather perplexed, "What?!”
HIM: YOU’RE RIDING TOO FAST. YOU SHOULD BE ON THE ROAD IF YOU’RE RIDING THAT FAST!!
ME: Umm, mate, it's a bike path!?
HIM: Yes it is. But you shouldn't be riding on it if you're going that fast.
ME: Again, it's a BIKE path, usually ridden on with BIKES. And I didn't know there were speed limits?
HIM: Well there should be!
ME: Umm. This conversation is ridiculous! You need to chill out mate, it's Friday..
HIM: Incomprehensible muttering (Sounded like "You should just get off the path and !! BAN ME NOW FOR SWEARING !!”)
ME: Mate, seriously. You're a fkn idiot
HIM: HAVE A NICE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And with that, we parted ways and our short-lived romance was over. And almost immediately, saw a rider in need of assistance with a flat, and helped her (self HI-5 for good deed of the day).

For the record:

1) I was riding at a brisk pace (high 30's), and he in the mid 30's (no big diff)
2) He shot about 3 glances back my way as I was approaching (before I called out), so I assume he knew I was approaching
3) Called out "on your right" as I was approaching him, and passed with at least 1 metre between us.

The stretch of shared path is quite common with cyclists/runners/dog walkers etc, and I'm very conscientious of other users. I wasn't racing anyone, just enjoying a nice tailwind in, and just having a nice Friday commute until I approached this stooge.

There are generally no 'speed limits on paths I am aware of, and common sense always prevails (at least in my case) if you're smashing it. I've seen people fly by on e-bikes, and that's cool with me.

QUESTION/S TO ALL: Am I in the wrong, or did this stooge just get out of the wrong side of bed? Seriously, how fast, is too fast for a path?
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by BNA » Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:51 pm

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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby lobstermash » Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:51 pm

Too fast is the speed at which you can't safely get around other users or objects on the path, and at which you wouldn't be able to avoid unexpected hazards. It comes down to personal judgement.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby ItonezI » Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:56 pm

Thanks lob. I share the same view.

In this instance - complete control.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby westab » Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:28 pm

My take is the same - not a speed limit but based on conditions and both the type of other users and how many(I use mainly shared paths). my "goldern rule" (more like guide line) is being able to stop in the distance I can see.

Usually I am the one getting passed anyway - roadies that slow for a chat often say it must be good training to have the panniers. But what am I training for? Ah yes the next ride to work or home :!: must be time to get on the bike now the rain is slowing down. :roll: :lol: :wink:
Not fast, no style, but still get there.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby FiveDaysAWeek » Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:10 pm

If he had time to look over his shoulder a couple of times then your closing speed couldn't have been that fast. I'd put it down to jealousy.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby phineas » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:35 am

If you are making other path users feel frightened/anxious then I'd say it's too fast.... but some people jump out of their skin when you mosey around them at 10km/hr, so perhaps if *multiple* path users are freaking out.


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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby wombatK » Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:58 am

phineas wrote:If you are making other path users feel frightened/anxious then I'd say it's too fast....

+1. As an objective measure, electric bike power limits have been set to give a maximum speed of 25 kph so that
their riders aren't travelling significantly faster than other pedal-powered cyclists. And hence cause no surprises.
It was based on surveying the speeds of pedal cyclists on cycleways and shared paths around Melbourne (IIRC).

So don't be surprised if you are surprising people when you flash past them at over 25 kph. By all means travel
faster if the conditions are appropriate, but remember that if they freak out and do something erratic, you
could end up badly injured too.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby ItonezI » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:43 am

Thanks for your replies people.

I'm a firm believer in common sense always prevailing.

I'll put this experience down to the bloke having a bad day, and being not happy jan on account of jealousy! :lol:

Commuter Cup pts +1!! :D
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby bychosis » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:54 am

no points, sorry. You in lycra on a roadie, him on hybrid in hi-vis - You're further up the ladder, only get points if you are below.

I'll agree tht different situations mean different speeds are too fast. My morning commute 30 to pass is fine. Same route Sunday monring and 20 is probably too fast to pass a lot of people.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby find_bruce » Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:24 pm

I can't believe how much trouble people have in grasping this simple concept - faster than me is too fast, just like slower than me is too slow. It has universal application whether you are walking, riding or driving :wink:
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby BriP » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:13 pm

i heard something about a 40kph speed limit on sidewalks, but dont think that applies to bike paths... im sure a lot of us break that on at least some of our rides...


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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby casual_cyclist » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:44 pm

ItonezI wrote:QUESTION/S TO ALL: Am I in the wrong, or did this stooge just get out of the wrong side of bed? Seriously, how fast, is too fast for a path?

Sounds to me like the guy is a jerk or at least was being a jerk on this occasion. It doesn't sound to me like you were doing the wrong thing. Seriously, I ride on a shared path every day to work and get overtaken when I am riding mid 30's. I don't yell at anyone who overtakes me. Good for them... as long as they don't put other path users at risk.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby ItonezI » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:47 am

casual_cyclist wrote:
ItonezI wrote:QUESTION/S TO ALL: Am I in the wrong, or did this stooge just get out of the wrong side of bed? Seriously, how fast, is too fast for a path?

Sounds to me like the guy is a jerk or at least was being a jerk on this occasion. It doesn't sound to me like you were doing the wrong thing. Seriously, I ride on a shared path every day to work and get overtaken when I am riding mid 30's. I don't yell at anyone who overtakes me. Good for them... as long as they don't put other path users at risk.


Thanks CC, I'd be lying if I said that the incident didn't slightly bug me, but it's reassuring to hear you, and others share the same sentiments :D
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby worzel » Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:43 pm

When I learnt to drive I was told to assume the road was blocked immediately beyond my field of view and adjust my speed to that. I ride my bike to the same principles meaning I slow down significantly approaching blind bends, crests, pedestrians etc. But that makes me part of a small minority in Perth as far as I can tell.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby Mububban » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:48 pm

If he's doing in the 30s himself, I'd just say he had his ego deflated and didn't like it. If I'm doing my version of "flying along" on my e-boosted MTB, I'll average 32kph on the bike paths. Feels fast to me, until some lycra warrior with massive thighs overtakes me like I'm standing still and brings me back to reality :D
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby trailgumby » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:14 pm

Like this? :mrgreen:

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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby casual_cyclist » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:25 pm

trailgumby wrote:Like this? :mrgreen:

lol. So next time a cyclist asks: "how do I go faster?" the answer is: "you can go faster, you just need the right motivation"
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby duncan16v » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:49 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:
ItonezI wrote:QUESTION/S TO ALL: Am I in the wrong, or did this stooge just get out of the wrong side of bed? Seriously, how fast, is too fast for a path?

Sounds to me like the guy is a jerk or at least was being a jerk on this occasion. It doesn't sound to me like you were doing the wrong thing. Seriously, I ride on a shared path every day to work and get overtaken when I am riding mid 30's. I don't yell at anyone who overtakes me. Good for them... as long as they don't put other path users at risk.


Likewise - although I get sooooo fed up with the heroes who can't extend basic good manners - like calling 'passing' or ringing a bell when you're about to overtake at speed. My pet peeve though are the guys that close-shave you when passing. Seriously - you're not in a peloton so there's no need for that. How do you know you're not going to frighten the bejesus out of a newbie and tip them off their bike?

My favourites, though, are the geezers that overtake on blind corners on the Main Yarra Trail (awesome) and the numty on the heavily modified e-bike that must be pushing 40 - 50 km/h on the bike path and close-shaves other pass users. Must be exhausting. He always stops for a fag at Dight's Falls.

Grumble grumble grumble
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby ItonezI » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:05 pm

duncan16v wrote:
casual_cyclist wrote:
ItonezI wrote:QUESTION/S TO ALL: Am I in the wrong, or did this stooge just get out of the wrong side of bed? Seriously, how fast, is too fast for a path?

Sounds to me like the guy is a jerk or at least was being a jerk on this occasion. It doesn't sound to me like you were doing the wrong thing. Seriously, I ride on a shared path every day to work and get overtaken when I am riding mid 30's. I don't yell at anyone who overtakes me. Good for them... as long as they don't put other path users at risk.


Likewise - although I get sooooo fed up with the heroes who can't extend basic good manners - like calling 'passing' or ringing a bell when you're about to overtake at speed. My pet peeve though are the guys that close-shave you when passing. Seriously - you're not in a peloton so there's no need for that. How do you know you're not going to frighten the bejesus out of a newbie and tip them off their bike?

My favourites, though, are the geezers that overtake on blind corners on the Main Yarra Trail (awesome) and the numty on the heavily modified e-bike that must be pushing 40 - 50 km/h on the bike path and close-shaves other pass users. Must be exhausting. He always stops for a fag at Dight's Falls.

Grumble grumble grumble


Concur with all points Duncan. As always, common sense, and decency should always play a role in ensuring we all come home in one piece. There are always going to be heroes out there, but I'm a firm believer in Karma :D

It also sounds like you've some good sources of commuter cup inspiration, at least in terms of motivation :P
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby Lukeyboy » Fri May 09, 2014 10:45 am

I'd be considered a f****** a****** given some of the strava times I have set and the segments now flagged as hazardous along bike paths :P
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby Mububban » Fri May 09, 2014 1:02 pm

Lukeyboy wrote:I'd be considered a f****** a****** given some of the strava times I have set and the segments now flagged as hazardous along bike paths :P


If there's nobody else around and/or you're passing safely, then go hard :)
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby duncan16v » Fri May 09, 2014 1:10 pm

Lukeyboy wrote:I'd be considered a f****** a****** given some of the strava times I have set and the segments now flagged as hazardous along bike paths :P


Don't get me wrong - go as fast as you can (I do...) but FFS let people know you're coming up behind them at speed and for heaven's sake, don't overtake on blind corners, especially with oncoming traffic, just to get the segment. That one's totez a Lycra-Loonie special tactic on the Main Yarra Trail in Melbs.

Did you know it's been *Scientifically Proven* that good bike trail manners shaves the weight of your soul by more than 250 grams? That's more than a Thomson Masterpiece seat post!
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby Lukeyboy » Fri May 09, 2014 1:20 pm

duncan16v wrote:
Lukeyboy wrote:I'd be considered a f****** a****** given some of the strava times I have set and the segments now flagged as hazardous along bike paths :P


Don't get me wrong - go as fast as you can (I do...) but FFS let people know you're coming up behind them at speed and for heaven's sake, don't overtake on blind corners, especially with oncoming traffic, just to get the segment. That one's totez a Lycra-Loonie special tactic on the Main Yarra Trail in Melbs.

Did you know it's been *Scientifically Proven* that good bike trail manners shaves the weight of your soul by more than 250 grams? That's more than a Thomson Masterpiece seat post!


Isn't that just common sense really? TBH I prefer not to ring my bell when passing however that depends on the situation. Most times I don't as I can see headphones/the path is wide enough but because most do the step right and look behind routine or the i'll move right so you can pass on the left routine. It's amazing how many people still do this. Happened on the way to work yesterday actually :|
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby duncan16v » Fri May 09, 2014 1:36 pm

Lukeyboy wrote:
duncan16v wrote:
Lukeyboy wrote:I'd be considered a f****** a****** given some of the strava times I have set and the segments now flagged as hazardous along bike paths :P


Don't get me wrong - go as fast as you can (I do...) but FFS let people know you're coming up behind them at speed and for heaven's sake, don't overtake on blind corners, especially with oncoming traffic, just to get the segment. That one's totez a Lycra-Loonie special tactic on the Main Yarra Trail in Melbs.

Did you know it's been *Scientifically Proven* that good bike trail manners shaves the weight of your soul by more than 250 grams? That's more than a Thomson Masterpiece seat post!


Isn't that just common sense really? TBH I prefer not to ring my bell when passing however that depends on the situation. Most times I don't as I can see headphones/the path is wide enough but because most do the step right and look behind routine or the i'll move right so you can pass on the left routine. It's amazing how many people still do this. Happened on the way to work yesterday actually :|


You'd think, wouldn't you? Some days I'm thankful the dangerous fools are on bikes rather than in cars, but then one of them almost takes me out...
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri May 09, 2014 2:53 pm

ItonezI wrote:Thanks lob. I share the same view.

In this instance - complete control.

High 30's on a shared path? And in complete control?

"Complete control" is not just about being able to maintain a straight line in on normal track that holds no surprises.

I dunno where you ride but I can't rely on other users not to step or veer left or right at short notice or to NOT pass others where they should not. Nor that I will not hit a honky nut or a used CO2 cartridge that will affect my movement possibly into the path of following riders. Both of those hazards, and many other, I have experienced. And the lower the speed of other riders the greater the cahnce they can react out of it. ANd worst case do less damage to all concerned.

I'd suggest that high 30's on a path and believing to be in "complete control" is somewhat akin to people that drink and drive believing that it's ok bacause, just as long as no-one does anything to impinge on thier line of motion they will not crash into them.

Control maybe, COMPLETE control? Not by a long shot.

Yes, I agree that the bloke that challenged you was probably a rather dark kettle.
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