BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

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

Postby casual_cyclist » Fri May 09, 2014 4:06 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote: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.

Depends on the path. I ride to the conditions and cruise at mid to high 30's on the Graham Farmer Freeway shared path (if I have a tailwind :wink:).

This is because generally - the path is straight and flat with good visibility, there are no pedestrians and very few other cyclists. Of course, when I get to the populated sections I slow down, but for the rest of it, mid to high 30's is entirely appropriate.

The shared path down the freeway south is a different story. It is narrower, windier, does not have good visibility and has a lot more traffic. High 30's is not appropriate for a lot of that.
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by BNA » Fri May 09, 2014 4:15 pm

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

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri May 09, 2014 4:15 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:
ColinOldnCranky wrote: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.

Depends on the path. I ride to the conditions and cruise at mid to high 30's on the Graham Farmer Freeway shared path (if I have a tailwind :wink:).

This is because generally - the path is straight and flat with good visibility, there are no pedestrians and very few other cyclists. Of course, when I get to the populated sections I slow down, but for the rest of it, mid to high 30's is entirely appropriate.

The shared path down the freeway south is a different story. It is narrower, windier, does not have good visibility and has a lot more traffic. High 30's is not appropriate for a lot of that.

He was passing a rider. it only takes one rider to have a reason (or not even that) to veer...

However, I will concede the possibility. The PSP towards mandurah is akin to a road in width.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby Lukeyboy » Fri May 09, 2014 4:31 pm

I've done 70 on a bikeway. Watch the hate comments flow in :P
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby casual_cyclist » Fri May 09, 2014 5:36 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:However, I will concede the possibility. The PSP towards mandurah is akin to a road in width.

If you go far enough south, the PSP is a highway and faster speeds are acceptable. If you head north, the PSP is goat track where you need to watch your speed. There are sections of the Tonkin Highway PSP that are suitable for faster speeds too.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby casual_cyclist » Fri May 09, 2014 5:37 pm

Lukeyboy wrote:I've done 70 on a bikeway. Watch the hate comments flow in :P

Lucky! I'm lucky to get to that speed going down a steep hill on a road.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby nickobec » Fri May 09, 2014 7:17 pm

The speed limit unless sign posted otherwise in WA is 50kph including the PSP

And yes I have sat on close to that for some sections of the PSP on a commute (TT bike, tailwind, interval training). But only when I consider it safe to do so, so good clear vision, plenty of time to stop for fallen trees, two abreast pushchairs and dogs on long leads one side of the PSP and their human on the other side, you know typical PSP hazards.

Does not include inline skaters who launch themselves from footbridges at speed with out looking, people who walk out from behind brick walls without looking and bike riders who cut blind corners and continue to ride on the wrong side of the PSP. (A few near misses I have had).

Each rider needs to minimize the risk to themselves and other users of the path and ride safely.

Does that mean slowing down from 40kph to 30kph when passing another rider who is doing 20kph? As long as you can passed cleanly and with at least 1m, if not more I would say no. Because at 30kph you spend twice as long in the danger area where the other rider can veer into you, than you do at 40kph.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby lobstermash » Sun May 11, 2014 8:30 am

I'm pretty sure there's no speed limit for off-road paths. And even when there's a limit marked (eg 10km/h) most states don't have the legislative framework to enforce this if it was challenged.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby thecaptn » Sun May 11, 2014 8:43 am

I was under the impression that here in Victoria the speed limit on shared paths was 20kmh, I'm not sure where I heard it or even if it's true but I always slow to about 20kmh when passing other users. The rest of the time I ride to the conditions.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby queequeg » Sun May 11, 2014 10:21 am

In NSW, unless a road or road-related area is signposted with speed limit signs, the default speed limit applies, which is 50km/h in a built up area, and 100km/h elsewhere. From memory, the qualification for being a built up area is the presence of street lights at various intervals.
Anyway, here in Sydney we have Bike paths all over Olympic park. There is a suggested 20km/h limit mentioned on their website, but no signs anywhere. The actual limit on these paths would technically be 100km/h as they are unlit.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sun May 11, 2014 8:35 pm

lobstermash wrote:I'm pretty sure there's no speed limit for off-road paths. And even when there's a limit marked (eg 10km/h) most states don't have the legislative framework to enforce this if it was challenged.

I'm not sure what you are meaning by off-road, but if yo mean those paths separated from the road as most PSPs are, then in those cases I'd go with Nicobec's statement - 50kph. I expect that cycle paths are gazetted in most places as part of the roadway and so the metro-town wide default 50kph limit would logically apply. (The bit we call the road is the carriageway). This is in WA context but I expect the same elsewhere.

Off-road as in off-road biking down mountain gullies and so forth then I'd think that there is none and maybe that is what you are alluding to.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby nickobec » Tue May 13, 2014 12:33 am

nickobec wrote:Does that mean slowing down from 40kph to 30kph when passing another rider who is doing 20kph? As long as you can passed cleanly and with at least 1m, if not more I would say no. Because at 30kph you spend twice as long in the danger area where the other rider can veer into you, than you do at 40kph.


I meant at least 1m clearance
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby Mububban » Wed May 14, 2014 2:31 pm

Lucky I always slow down and ring my bell going under a particular bridge on my commute, because 2 schoolboys aged around 8 maybe raced around the blind corner and we would have had an ugly collision otherwise. As it was they got a mild fright so hopefully are a bit more careful next time.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby citywomble » Sat May 17, 2014 2:53 pm

Nickobec said:
The speed limit unless sign posted otherwise in WA is 50kph including the PSP


That is completely wrong.

In WA there is no specific speed limit on shared paths within the road reserve. If it is alongside a road then it is (almost certainly) the speed of the adjacent road unless signed otherwise which is unusual. Away from the road, particularly through parks and reserves, it is in many cases subject to the speed limit for vehicles specified in the local law. In the shire I work this is 10km/h unless signed otherwise.

There are a number of other factors, a limit is just that and, even where there is one, slower speeds may be appropriate or even essential. Section 229 b of the Road Traffic Code articulates the offence of reckless riding which becomes more likely as speeds exceed 20.

In Darwin, NT, all paths are subject to a blanket 20km/h limit - and you don't need to wear a helmet. Also the Austroads guidelines are very specific when selecting which path type, shared paths are contraindicated where speeds are predicted to exceed 20km/h and separated paths required.

From what has been said here these seems to be a reasonable consensus that speed limit signage may be appropriate to in part advise of what is socially acceptable and safe, but also enable reckless speeds to be appropriately penalised.

The way the public debate is going, and if numbers of PEDS and cyclists increase as governments intend, then speed limits are a likely outcome. On many shared paths, when applying duty of care and risk management, this would likely start at a general 20km/h (see Darwin and Austroads above) but there is a VERY strong case for higher speed limits to be signed where the intended purpose and function of a path is predicated on this.

On a positive note, application of speed signage/limits to particularly shared paths could have massive benefits for cyclists.

Given that paths being 'sold' to cyclists as suitable for fast commuting are often so poorly built and shared with slow and unpredictable pedestrians, the social backlash from posting slower limits could be such that only upgrading them to safely accommodate fast cycling, and in many cases relocating pedestrians so they are dedicated BIKE PATHS, would become an essential part of signing higher speeds.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby queequeg » Sat May 17, 2014 5:58 pm

In nsw, bike paths are considered road-related areas, and as the default speed limits apply to both road and road-related areas, the default limits do apply to paths even when said paths are nowhere near the road.
Parks where there are paths must have signposted limits, otherwise the default limit applies. For example, CP on Sydney has a posted 30Km/h limit. In contrast, Olympic Park has no posted limit. There is a suggestion of a 20km/h speed on their website, but nothing on the paths. no signs means the default limit for a road related area.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby Lurkin » Sun May 25, 2014 8:12 pm

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.


Hate this sentiment.

Could say the exactly the same about people travelling at lower speeds...

Ride to the conditions and your capability - goes both ways. Slow down for decrease in conditions and capability, increase for increase in conditions and capability.

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

Postby el mundo gira » Sat May 31, 2014 11:28 pm

Lurkin wrote: Hate this sentiment. Could say the exactly the same about people travelling at lower speeds...

Ty máš do dámy hodně daleko ty smradlavá čůzo, poblitá ... sorry, excuse my language, bad form. It's the frustration of not finding the putain de bordel de smiley for "both thumbs up". Sent me into a momentary rage of profanity. But I have recovered now. Lurkin, brother, say it like it is ! Hate. Ho ho ! Whoa. You do not mince words ! But wait. Save it for those that really deserve it. You know who I'm talking about. Those cyclists that travel SLOWLY, those cyclists that observe so called "safe" riding speeds, the ones that get in our way, stop us achieving PBs, slow us down, and generally pollute our cycle ways. They deserve to get this word in their faces more often. Lurkin: God speed.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby Zippy7 » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:01 pm

I've been commuting in Sydney across the harbour bridge daily.
People stick to the left, and you shouldn't overtake unless there is no one coming the other direction.
There is no room for people to ride left/right/centre of the path.

I get overtaken, and I overtake others on a regular basis.
That's a fact of life riding over the bridge and you have to deal with it.
The polite guys call out "on yer right" as the pass, but they are past before you could react to it anyway, that's why you stick to the left... :)
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby Sychen » Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:53 pm

Zippy7 wrote:I've been commuting in Sydney across the harbour bridge daily.
People stick to the left, and you shouldn't overtake unless there is no one coming the other direction.
There is no room for people to ride left/right/centre of the path.

I get overtaken, and I overtake others on a regular basis.
That's a fact of life riding over the bridge and you have to deal with it.
The polite guys call out "on yer right" as the pass, but they are past before you could react to it anyway, that's why you stick to the left... :)


I'm confused... How can you overtake pedestrians on the opposite side of the bridge. Bikes all on the west side... Pedestrians all on the east side. Security guards to turn back the ignorant.

Anzac bridge maybe?
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby herzog » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:44 am

I took it that he's talking about overtaking other riders.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby softy » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:12 pm

This whole "speed" thing is not simple, but complicated.

What speed?
This depends on many things;
Vision ahead
Blind corners
Places people stop
Pole that divides the path.
Corner tightness
Surface
Trees overhanging
Width of path
Intersections
Time of day
Daytime night time
And so one,

If it is a clear day and no one else is on a straight section of path, go as fast as your legs can pedal!
Of course if there was 10 others within 100m including the dreaded two prams and two mums! Then you would slow down to evalute their postion and actions.

I do believe there should be advisary sign on psps, as for example; when riding a new path, it can be very unfamilar, things could happen like,, the path stops without warning, or a corner tightens up, sand has been kicked on the path (seems to happen near path intersections)

I personally would hate to see set speed signs on psps, because knowing this government, 25km would probably be what they decide on.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby softy » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:21 pm

As for overtaking;

I believe this should be done by looking back or/and putting your hand behind your back pointing to pass and moving across to the other lane completely, prior to arriving at the slower rider, pass the rider and once clear of him slowly move back to the left lane.

Dashing in and out or trying to fit two bicycles in one lane is inconsiderate, if you can't overtake by using the other lane..... WAIT!
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:31 pm

softy wrote:As for overtaking;

I believe this should be done by looking back or/and putting your hand behind your back pointing to pass and moving across to the other lane completely, prior to arriving at the slower rider, pass the rider and once clear of him slowly move back to the left lane.

Dashing in and out or trying to fit two bicycles in one lane is inconsiderate, if you can't overtake by using the other lane..... WAIT!

Trouble with hand signals aroudn teh back (aside from many people now and, hopefuly, a heap of newbs to come on board in the future looking for what is they were bought up on and is in the various codes) is that for that significant number of riders with backpacks it can be a bit awkward. I just sneak my right arm out slowly (as I used to do on roads way back).

But is is still enbcumbent on all following riders to watch for those movements and for riders in front to not make sudden moves across. "Dashing" as you stated.

Both problematic I admit. But in a perfect world...

I am expecting that the works on teh Kwinana Freeway PSP will result in more speed and not such a great boost in safety. Sounding a bit half-full but i see enough dills in a hurry every day and I'd love to see otherwise.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby softy » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:13 pm

Agreed,
There is always dills!

Like;
Bikes three four abreast
Overtaken you in the same lane
Push chairs across the whole path
Riders that just stop all of a sudden because they don't like someone following them
Ninjas at night
Ninjas on bikes
Riding walking up the wrong side of the path.

At least if you do something to indicate that you are about to change lanes and overtake, riders behind you know your intent.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby Lukeyboy » Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:08 pm

Riders that just stop all of a sudden because they don't like someone following them


I hate people that wheelsuck/follow random riders. Especially the ones following that are going hard out just to maintain pace. Why do you ask? Well because I don't know their riding ability and I've seen plenty examples where they get focused on the wheel infront and exclude everything around them. If the rider has to slow or dodge anything this is usually the result.

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I don't slow down but I do launch 50kph+ sprints so they get the idea to fudge off.
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Re: BIKE PATHS: How fast, is too fast?

Postby harmonix1234 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:52 pm

My speed on the bike path is dictated by the immediate circumstances. Lots of slow riders, I'll chill out and just take my time, nobody around and I'll give it a good go, poor lighting or wet weather, again I'll take it slow. Just let the situation and your skill level dictate your speed. However, I have been buzzed by people doing 45 when I am chugging along at 25 without any notice and its really scared the poi out if me. Sounds like you're doing nothing wrong. As long as you aren't risking your own or anyone else's safety keep rolling in your comfort zone.


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