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New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby CarolineG » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:26 pm

Hi, I have recently started cycling after about 30 years off a bike (I'm 47) I have got to the stage where I'm cycling 25-30 kms ..I'm not fast - partly fitness and partly being a proud owner of a Hybrid. :)
What I have found is that I'm getting a little frustrated on those cycle paths which are either shared by pedestrians, or where walkers stroll along cycle paths (had some near misses and at other times find my rhythm is thwarted having to stop for people)
I live in Melbourne and love to ride along the coast....I could go on the Beach Road where the road cyclists go, but as my average speed is only around 18k/hr I'm likely to get in the way?
What do people reckon - suck it up on the bike path, or take that step onto the road?
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by BNA » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:51 pm

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New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby gabrielle260 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:51 pm

Get on the road - your average speed isn't an issue, you will only be annoying to other riders if you are not holding your line- ie wavering all over the road. If you can ride a narrow bike path, you will be fine on the road - just do it!
Good luck,
Andrew
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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby CarolineG » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:01 pm

gabrielle260 wrote:Get on the road - your average speed isn't an issue, you will only be annoying to other riders if you are not holding your line- ie wavering all over the road. If you can ride a narrow bike path, you will be fine on the road - just do it!
Good luck,
Andrew


That's fair enough. I'm loving cycling - feeling really motivated and want to keep improving. I got home today after a 30km ride and feel I am ready to push on, but felt frustrated with children, dogs and adults (who should know) better wandering all over the cycle path...after a near miss or two, I just wanted to see what people think. I'm fine on the 'normal' roads, but the Beach Road is a haven for serious road racers ...and that's where I'll be on my hybrid :D

Thanks
Caroline :)
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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby grasshopper » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:24 pm

Yep, that's exactly why people don't use the path. You'll get passed a lot on Beach Rd, but it's the job of the person overtaking to do so safely. It's not a problem if you just hold your line.
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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby PawPaw » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:32 pm

Caroline, if you are venturing onto the road for the first time in a while, I'd recommend you do it with a group.
Plus, some roads I wouldn't go on unless I was doing 30+kph and was very confident in my signalling and bike control.
Even though I live in Brisbane, I've ride Beach Rd a few times a year and I pick my times carefully on when I ride it.
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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby CarolineG » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:58 pm

PawPaw wrote:Caroline, if you are venturing onto the road for the first time in a while, I'd recommend you do it with a group.
Plus, some roads I wouldn't go on unless I was doing 30+kph and was very confident in my signalling and bike control.
Even though I live in Brisbane, I've ride Beach Rd a few times a year and I pick my times carefully on when I ride it.

Thanks PawPaw, I ride on main roads, just have always stuck to the path when riding along the coast....suppose I have felt a bit 'overawed' by people who ride along like the clappers.... I realize that nobody 'owns' the road, and I have as much right to be there as anyone else. What I will do though is ride it in the week, when there are less people around.

Can I ask why you wait until you were doing 30k/hr? That's around my top speed on slight declines !

As for riding in a group...all the groups I have seen are people on road bikes, not hybrids.... Does anyone know of more 'recreational' groups?
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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby jet-ski » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:05 pm

Hey, save the frustration for the car. Cycling is something to enjoy so chill out and enjoy it. Paths are usually shared and you actually have to give way to pedestrians. If you are averaging 18kph it's not like you should have many near misses. And 'interrupting your rhythm'? if you are upset by having to apply the brakes and losing momentum, maybe you need a lighter bike 8)
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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby CarolineG » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:19 pm

jet-ski wrote:Hey, save the frustration for the car. Cycling is something to enjoy so chill out and enjoy it. Paths are usually shared and you actually have to give way to pedestrians. If you are averaging 18kph it's not like you should have many near misses. And 'interrupting your rhythm'? if you are upset by having to apply the brakes and losing momentum, maybe you need a lighter bike 8)

I was talking about having near misses when people step out in front when going downhill rather quicker than 18k/hr, or the groups of walkers who take up the whole of a cycle path. (do you actually know the area I am talking about...?)
I like my bike and have full control, the brakes are good.

I'm trying to get better, go longer and faster and get fitter...as some of the other replies have caught on to. Next time you pass a slower cyclist..say 'hi'
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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby wombatK » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:38 pm

Hi Caroline, and welcome outside :)

Last time I looked, the road rules set no minimum speed and put all the obligation on other vehicles (including cyclists) to overtake with safety. So don't stress about people running over you - it's their legal obligation not to.

Cycling on the road is not as dangerous/risky as you might think. Try to find a way to ease into it slowly to build up your confidence. Like riding on roads near your home on early Sat/Sun when traffic is light. Or if you go somewhere that attracts faster cyclists, try the middle of the weekday when they'll be safely tucked away in their offices.

It won't take you long to overcome your shyness in traffic - be it motorists or cyclists. And you'll be very glad you did.

Cheers
WombatK

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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby Mulger bill » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:50 pm

G'Day Caroline, welcome outside.

I'd never ride the Beach road paths for the exact reasons you describe. The only place worse for crazy pedestrian behaviour is the CBD. Nobody needs those ulcers!

As others have suggested, just get out there and ride the road. Pick a quiet time to start with and ride like you belong there. Just remember that as you aren't going to be the fastest one there, people will want to go by. Give them the chance to do it easily andd safely by riding smoothly and predictably and you'll be fine. Finally, stay out of the door zone and all will be great fun.

Get to Mordi and enjoy the coffee before the return journey :wink:

Cheers
Shaun
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby CarolineG » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:59 pm

wombatK wrote:Hi Caroline, and welcome outside :)

Last time I looked, the road rules set no minimum speed and put all the obligation on other vehicles (including cyclists) to overtake with safety. So don't stress about people running over you - it's their legal obligation not to.

Cycling on the road is not as dangerous/risky as you might think. Try to find a way to ease into it slowly to build up your confidence. Like riding on roads near your home on early Sat/Sun when traffic is light. Or if you go somewhere that attracts faster cyclists, try the middle of the weekday when they'll be safely tucked away in their offices.

It won't take you long to overcome your shyness in traffic - be it motorists or cyclists. And you'll be very glad you did.

Cheers

Thanks Wombat - outside is good :D I have ridden on quite a few roads, though not big, fast ones. I'm lucky in that I work shifts, so will try those roads on week days.
To be honest, I suppose I'm not confident with the big groups of racers...whether justified or not.
I just want to be able to stretch myself a bit.
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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby hotfoot » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:09 pm

Not going to offer advise...but congrat you on getting back on the bike..we need everyone cycling.
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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby CarolineG » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:13 pm

Mulger bill wrote:G'Day Caroline, welcome outside.

I'd never ride the Beach road paths for the exact reasons you describe. The only place worse for crazy pedestrian behaviour is the CBD. Nobody needs those ulcers!

As others have suggested, just get out there and ride the road. Pick a quiet time to start with and ride like you belong there. Just remember that as you aren't going to be the fastest one there, people will want to go by. Give them the chance to do it easily andd safely by riding smoothly and predictably and you'll be fine. Finally, stay out of the door zone and all will be great fun.

Get to Mordi and enjoy the coffee before the return journey :wink:

Cheers
Shaun

Thanks Shaun, that's where I bought my bike (I'm in Elsternwick) I shall have that coffee there one day soon :)
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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby CarolineG » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:15 pm

hotfoot wrote:Not going to offer advise...but congrat you on getting back on the bike..we need everyone cycling.

Thanks hotfoot :) last week I hiked the Milford Track in New Zealand, and I'm sure my increased fitness helped me get over the Mackinnon Pass !
Happy to be here :)
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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby grasshopper » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:14 am

CarolineG wrote:To be honest, I suppose I'm not confident with the big groups of racers...whether justified or not.
I just want to be able to stretch myself a bit.

Warren Cay from bikenow still runs the CogsGirls skills sessions which have helped many women get confident in traffic (two wheeled and otherwise) and learn good bunch skills. Cheap (or free if you're a SKCC member), friendly and new friends to ride with. It's not for fitness, but for skills (which you can then practice at leisure). His webite also has a lot of good skills info but on-the-bike coaching is useful.
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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby jet-ski » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:09 pm

CarolineG wrote:
jet-ski wrote:Hey, save the frustration for the car. Cycling is something to enjoy so chill out and enjoy it. Paths are usually shared and you actually have to give way to pedestrians. If you are averaging 18kph it's not like you should have many near misses. And 'interrupting your rhythm'? if you are upset by having to apply the brakes and losing momentum, maybe you need a lighter bike 8)

I was talking about having near misses when people step out in front when going downhill rather quicker than 18k/hr, or the groups of walkers who take up the whole of a cycle path. (do you actually know the area I am talking about...?)
I like my bike and have full control, the brakes are good.

I'm trying to get better, go longer and faster and get fitter...as some of the other replies have caught on to. Next time you pass a slower cyclist..say 'hi'


CarolineG - I know the 'type' of paths you are talking about. My point was that peds/dogs/kids have just as much right to be there as you, which is why others have suggested you get on the road, and why I suggested you shouldn't be getting all bent out of shape by it.
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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby PawPaw » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:29 pm

CarolineG wrote:Can I ask why you wait until you were doing 30k/hr? That's around my top speed on slight declines !


Because if a driver has to make a choice about passing or waiting (by dropping speed slightly), they don't have to drop speed as much the faster I am going.
And that's what I note on the roads. Faster means they are more inclined to hesitate and pass at a safer point ahead.
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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby Lizzy » Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:42 pm

Hi & welcome CarolineG.

I'm another hybrid rider with pretty much all the reservations you've got re paths vs roads. I'm slowly working towards riding on roads more - my major fear as a slower rider was always being startled by fast passing bikes/cars and freezing up / wobbling etc. The single best thing I've done to help overcome that was putting a bar-end mirror on, to reduce the element of surprise! If you don't have a rear view mirror already I'd highly recommend one. Good luck!
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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby CarolineG » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:08 am

jet-ski wrote:
CarolineG wrote:
jet-ski wrote:Hey, save the frustration for the car. Cycling is something to enjoy so chill out and enjoy it. Paths are usually shared and you actually have to give way to pedestrians. If you are averaging 18kph it's not like you should have many near misses. And 'interrupting your rhythm'? if you are upset by having to apply the brakes and losing momentum, maybe you need a lighter bike 8)

I was talking about having near misses when people step out in front when going downhill rather quicker than 18k/hr, or the groups of walkers who take up the whole of a cycle path. (do you actually know the area I am talking about...?)
I like my bike and have full control, the brakes are good.

I'm trying to get better, go longer and faster and get fitter...as some of the other replies have caught on to. Next time you pass a slower cyclist..say 'hi'


CarolineG - I know the 'type' of paths you are talking about. My point was that peds/dogs/kids have just as much right to be there as you, which is why others have suggested you get on the road, and why I suggested you shouldn't be getting all bent out of shape by it.


Thanks jetski - I realise that peds etc have the right to go on shared paths - fine with that...just never realised that had the right to go on paths designated for bikes alone.
:)
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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby CarolineG » Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:31 pm

PawPaw wrote:
CarolineG wrote:Can I ask why you wait until you were doing 30k/hr? That's around my top speed on slight declines !


Because if a driver has to make a choice about passing or waiting (by dropping speed slightly), they don't have to drop speed as much the faster I am going.
And that's what I note on the roads. Faster means they are more inclined to hesitate and pass at a safer point ahead.


I've been spending more time on roads and have got comfortable with 25 - 30k/hr on the flat and haven't had any problems yet.
I do have to admit to being a little frustrated with groups of people on dedicated bike paths, and have enjoyed my workouts where I can go free and easy.

Thanks for your support and advice :)

Caroline
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Re: New to forum, and new to cycling

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:52 pm

CarolineG wrote:I've been spending more time on roads and have got comfortable with 25 - 30k/hr on the flat and haven't had any problems yet.

Thanks for your support and advice :)

Caroline


That's the way CG, we knew you had it in you :D
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