Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
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?
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.
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.
Not fast, no style, but still get there.
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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+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.
Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us -Jerry Garcia
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!
Commuter Cup pts +1!!
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.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.
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
. . . . . . .
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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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
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.
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
When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!
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
It also sounds like you've some good sources of commuter cup inspiration, at least in terms of motivation
If there's nobody else around and/or you're passing safely, then go hard
When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!
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...
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.
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle
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