Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby Aushiker » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:22 pm

Liz Purcell, Success

MY husband and I took a leisurely bike ride along the bike/pedestrian pathway along the freeway. We encountered a group of eight or 10 speeding cyclists who came around a bend in the path.

I saw them and stopped as I could see they were coming at an extreme speed and I was concerned for my safety. I heard the pack leader yell to notify the others, who were two or three abreast.

What I saw next appeared to be in slow motion. My husband was in front of me and a rider clipped his saddlebag with such a force that it tore from the mounting and twisted the carrier and metal frame. The rider fell off and hit the ground with enough force to split his helmet.

As a health professional I was able to assess him and, although he said he was all right, I did recommend he seek medical assistance as concussion could be a result. He assured us he would.

My point is no one even inquired how my husband was as he too had fallen off his bike.

Why do these individuals have to treat this public access as a bike freeway by travelling at such a speed?

Is there an unlimited speed along this pathway or did I just miss the sign?

My understanding is that the pathway is used for both pedestrians and bike riding, although now I would reconsider walking along it due to the risks involved.


Published in the Fremantle Gazettee Tuesday September 25, 2012 and online at inmycommunity.com.au

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by BNA » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:44 pm

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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:44 pm

I lightly suspect that she may be gilding the lily with the "two or three abreast" as I al,ost never see it myself regardless of path conditions. I presume that cyclists themselves are uncomfortable riding thee wide.

But that is neither here nor there. She tells a story that is not a positive reflection on cyclists or some segment of it.

And while there is not an applicable speed limit afaik, my understanding in WA is that we are also not allowed to ride more than single file. And while IMO that is a silly restriction, if complainants get wind of that and riders are not more cognisant of the feelings of complainants (as it appears in this case), it will make it more likely to be applied by authorities.

I hope that all are ok.
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby CycleSnail » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:17 pm

Individuals (and groups) got to learn to SHARE public space - roads, paths, parks, whatever.

The more people use public space, the more conflict arises, and the more tolerance and rules are required. In some areas the usefulness of the PSP concept is reaching its limits, and segregation becomes more urgent. But in any case no fast cycling groups should use a path in a popular recreational area on a busy day as a training route, whatever it is called.

An interesting article on annoying and dangerous users of roads concludes that they are intolerant no matter how they travel (a link to the article can be found on the BTA Facebook page)
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby eldavo » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:28 pm

I saw something similar recently, and personally linked it to some aggressive behaviour I've noticed of male pairs or packs, in any form whether transport or generally anywhere in society.
Also reminded me of disorganised/reckless motorcycle group rides where people throw their individual brains out the window and "Keep up or be left behind" mentality goes in. Every man/woman/child for themselves.

Her witness account 2-3 abreast may have been of a tight staggered bunch that face on looked 2-3 wide, but not abreast in one bike length, but probably under 2 bike lengths. A responsible bike length staggered group ride allowing full side to side swerving of each bike with emergency braking 1 second alert response delay and 1 second safety distance minimum.
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby Mrfenejeans » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:08 pm

I can't help but think that the "group cyclists" would be saying something along the lines that a guy on his Mtb with big panniers was staying too far to his right and helped cause the accident.
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby eldavo » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:53 pm

Is that a veiled witness account in the style of talkback media 'some may say... (Insert unsourced opinions and heresay)? ;)
Debating thoughts of hypothetical scenarios with 3rd and 4th hand perspective probably won't be very constructive no matter how sensible the analysis, but it should be entertaining so long as no one crashes into a responsible group ride.
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby BandedRail » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:24 am

As someone who used to cycle "against the flow" south every day in the morning I noticed a HUGE number of groups cycling in 2 abreast formation, especially every Tuesday & Thursday morning. And yes, it was not uncommon to encounter them in a 3 abreast formation as well. Guess why I don't take that way to work anymore? Yesterday I cycled to UWA with my wife &, thanks to the slower speed, I couldn't help but notice the crud overtaking manouvers by loser drop-kicks despite the oncoming cyclists (i.e. my wife & I - in single file formation by the way). To all you wannabes on the shared paths - get a grip. It's illegal to ride in anything other than single file on the paths & there is no prize for getting to work first (it ain't the scary world posed by Richard Morgan in "Market Forces" - yet). And in case nobody has pointed this out to you yet - you look pathetic.

EDIT: And no, this was in no way a "staggered formation" and yes, this crud is still going on (happened to me on a blind corner last Sunday - group in 3 abreast formation).
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby Aphexchefpusher » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:23 am

Tolerance..........seems to be a great lack of it in this city.....Cars, bikes, peds.....no-one wants to wait for more than 5 secs to do anything, I personally hate riding on bike paths unless I have to because of the danger I present when riding anything upwards of 30kph. When you see a ped SLOW DOWN and pass with caution and plenty of warning, the Strava section is still going to be there the next time you ride it!
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby Supafly46 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:50 pm

Strava segments on shared paths should NOT exist!
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby Speedster » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:54 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:I lightly suspect that she may be gilding the lily with the "two or three abreast" as I al,ost never see it myself regardless of path conditions. I presume that cyclists themselves are uncomfortable riding thee wide.

Get out on the PSP on weekends and they (the groups) are out in force. I've been down to Mandurah two Sundays this month and without fail have passed two or more groups heading north, riding two abreast between Canning Bridge and the Narrows.
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby eldavo » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:17 pm

I had no idea what a Strava segment was until now. Holy sheeee!!!!
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby Karati » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:09 pm

Liz Purcell, Success
...who were two or three abreast.


This is the problem here. Not sure what it is about these idiots that makes them think just because they are out riding with a mate/mates/significant other etc etc makes it ok to ride two or three abreast on a narrow two lane path.

And I hasten to add that it's not only roadies and group rides. It's the tootling along on flatbars and mountain bikes brigade who are just as guilty.
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby MyNameIsNoone » Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:28 pm

Shared paths should be just that and we collectively need to be responsible for our own actions and our own usage.

Common courtesy should have allowed for someone to check this lady's husband's welfare. She doesn't mention why she herself didn't - which is a bit odd. She also seems a little vague about what constitutes 'speeding'. Her version of speeding may be very different to mine, and both might be different to an agreed view of the speed of safe travel at that location under those circumstances.

And I don't wish to engage in an argument about blame or fault - responsible cycling by all is the desired outcome - and every collision is unwelcome, but this story relays little detail of the husband's position on the path or his trajectory, or even how securely or tightly his saddlebags were.

A collision is a collision and that's a bad thing, but the story might be very different if it relayed whether the husband was well positioned on the left, whether his bike (and associated luggage) were compactly secured so as to take up no more space than necessary, and even if the husband deviated course whilst the passing manouveur occurred.

We, within this forum, are probably frequent cyclists, and probably need to lead the way in terms of responsible cycling, but we're no more accountable or even responsible than the casual or seldom cyclists, who, whilst perfectly entitled to utilise Perth's cycling infrastructure, has no more right to cycle irresponsibly than anyone else.
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby eldavo » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:21 pm

With only her letter to go by, I just re-read it and it seems to answer all your questions pretty well on the "I don't wish to engage, but..." points.

Group riders were relatively fast to her own leisurely ride, group riders appearing from a bend 2-3 abreast.
Group leader calling bikes ahead reinforces the 2-3 abreast, along with what we know from experience. We also know that group rides are faster than individuals.
Clipping pannier at a speed that tears pannier from frame twisting the metal carrier rack it was mounted to. Sounds secure.
Is this side of the story unlikely? Not by numerous anecdotes of similar near misses. Is another version possible? Certainly people suggesting it's the single file leisurely rider with 2-3 bikes width of pannier taking up the oncoming lane's fault.

It could be porky pies, but factoring the type of health professional, she may understand better than most duty of care to public health, and if a registered nurse, paramedic, doctor etc. may be legally obliged to render assistance at an accident, leading to her point.

She is shocked point that nobody in a group of 8-10 riders checked on her husband who had also been knocked off his bike ahead of her.
To assume she didn't give her husband the same care she gave the stranger rider with broken helmet who hit him is silly. The riders probably assumed she would so buggered off before finding themselves in greater poo by hanging around.
I'm sure someone could focus more technically on the hit and run aspects of a rider group not stopping for the other party involved.

We're not only responsible for our own actions on shared paths, we have a duty of care to others too. For instance I think the act/regs covering PSP explicitly state that cyclists have a duty of care to pedestrians as the relatively vulnerable road user.

My gut feeling says If you ride 2-3 abreast and need a ride leader to call out for traffic ahead, you're already being negligent to the oncoming traffic.
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby herzog » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:44 pm

Not being from WA, I cannot ever recall seeing a Peleton of roadbikes at speed on a shared path.

Is this a WA thing?
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby Speedster » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:06 pm

herzog wrote:Not being from WA, I cannot ever recall seeing a Peleton of roadbikes at speed on a shared path.

Is this a WA thing?


Over here we have a pretty good shared path that follows a freeway for over 60km, without nearby parallel roads to ride the same journey, particularly the 15km stretch between Mt Henry bridge and the city where there is the river on one side and freeway on the other.

In the absence of a suitable road alternative the shared path gets used by groups.
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby eldavo » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:42 pm

...and usage of the paths can be pretty low outside of peak times/days and ideal conditions, and on the road you have to deal with Perth drivers, whose sharing road space is like Gina Rinehart's sharing of family trusts ;)
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby Chef » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:50 pm

eldavo wrote:We're not only responsible for our own actions on shared paths, we have a duty of care to others too. For instance I think the act/regs covering PSP explicitly state that cyclists have a duty of care to pedestrians as the relatively vulnerable road user.

My gut feeling says If you ride 2-3 abreast and need a ride leader to call out for traffic ahead, you're already being negligent to the oncoming traffic.


+Many

Unfortunately the cycle paths are treated as just another "road" where hoon behaviour is normal, and beating the next person to the lights/junction is more important than the safety of others.

It is sad that so many of us are not respected or treated reasonably because a few of us cant behave reasonably.
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:57 pm

Speedster wrote:
ColinOldnCranky wrote:I lightly suspect that she may be gilding the lily with the "two or three abreast" as I al,ost never see it myself regardless of path conditions. I presume that cyclists themselves are uncomfortable riding thee wide.

Get out on the PSP on weekends and they (the groups) are out in force. I've been down to Mandurah two Sundays this month and without fail have passed two or more groups heading north, riding two abreast between Canning Bridge and the Narrows.

Two abreast I see all the time, seldom holding three abreast however. (Though unrelated passers will go three wide of course. As will a group ride if they think they can do it safely. I get passed a lot by paired groups riders.\

I don't see too much to be alarmed about group rides it is not an issue though it may be scarier than it is dangerous to many people.

Now lone riders that cut it fine passing me as someone coming in the other direction is rapidly closing the window. I experience that most days that I ride.

Not that I am defending the actions described in the article, assuming that the story is an honest account.
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby Speedster » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:26 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:I don't see too much to be alarmed about group rides it is not an issue though it may be scarier than it is dangerous to many people.

I see an issue. You are saying there is no problem with riding two abreast at speed on a bidirectional path that is narrower than a road lane and not much wider than a footpath? A path that has blind spots caused by bends, underpasses, bridges and vegetation? A path that is open to other users who may not move in a predictable fashion or be able to control animals even though they are supposed to?

It is dangerous and is rightly prohibited by the Road Traffic Code.
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby Troy C » Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:08 pm

I know the cyclist in the incident
FYI - Its was a triathlon training group on Triathlon bikes .
He says the rider was on his side of the path.
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:45 pm

Speedster wrote:
ColinOldnCranky wrote:I don't see too much to be alarmed about group rides it is not an issue though it may be scarier than it is dangerous to many people.

I see an issue. You are saying there is no problem with riding two abreast at speed on a bidirectional path that is narrower than a road lane and not much wider than a footpath? A path that has blind spots caused by bends, underpasses, bridges and vegetation? A path that is open to other users who may not move in a predictable fashion or be able to control animals even though they are supposed to?

It is dangerous and is rightly prohibited by the Road Traffic Code.

No Speedster, I never said that at all. I was opining only on what I see on my routes at my riding times, not what you see on yours. You have added elements that I did not introduce. Skinny path, lotsa speed, vegetation (where?, on the path?), loose animals?

I see little of those elements where and when I ride. There are a couple of bad spots of which most group riders appear to aware of as they do slow down accordingly or make other appropriate changes.

And, because I also know my regular routes, I don't get spooked where there is no great hazard. I may be more alarmed however where I am not familiar with the route so unable to appreciate if the riders are riding safely or not.

If you read my posts you will see that I am often disappointed by the cavalier attitude of many riders. And I am always worried about ANY fast riding past peds as peds can move a foot or so either way without warning. But group rides are not at the top of my list of hazardous and inappropriate riders. I do understand why some people find them intimidating however.
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby Speedster » Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:25 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:No Speedster, I never said that at all. I was opining only on what I see on my routes at my riding times, not what you see on yours. You have added elements that I did not introduce. Skinny path, lotsa speed, vegetation (where?, on the path?), loose animals?

Between Gentilli Way and Mt Henry bridge the vegetation surrounding the path is tall and close to the path, often obscuring view of the path ahead. South of Mt Henry bridge leading to Cranford Ave, further south near Farrington Rd...

Loose animals: not every dog is on a lead or under control of the owner. Most are, however. Head south past Cockburn Central and the natural wildlife become path hazards. Snakes, lizards etc. There's even a thread on this very forum about ducks running loose on the path!

Speed: there are sections of the PSP I do not believe should be buzzed through at 30km/h+. But groups do it.

These elements do not have to be introduced by you nor I. It is the environment of the Kwinana Freeway PSP. Because you never see these elements does not mean they don't exist. In fact being a variable environment you can't know if some elements will present a risk or not on every occasion. Hence the requirement to ride single file unless overtaking, to reduce the incidence of accidents where riding two abreast will increase the risk these elements pose to riders, and riders to other users of the path.

ColinOldnCranky wrote:There are a couple of bad spots of which most group riders appear to aware of as they do slow down accordingly or make other appropriate changes.

In Nirvana maybe. In reality, not so.

I personally don't find a two abreast group coming the opposite way intimidating, but I understand many non-cyclists do and that cyclists have a responsibility to ride in a safe manner on shared paths, including riding single file.

TroyC wrote:He says the rider was on his side of the path.

So negligence from both sides then. Does he also say if he was riding single file there would not have been a collision? Don't think you'll get that admission.
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby Troy C » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:49 pm

yes, its never easy to get the true story after a crash.
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Re: Cyclists speeding (Letter to the Fremantle Gazette)

Postby Baalzamon » Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:06 pm

slightly off topic but a public safety hazard.
I spotted in my mirror between Berrigan Drv and Beeliar drv. There was a cyclist I was staying ahead of by a good 20m. He just came around a bend and I spotted a offroad motorbike come flying around the bend almost cleaning him up! Now if there was someone else or a group coming ahead of him.... Could have been carnage.
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