Bike commuters … a dangerous breed

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  • Bike commuters … a dangerous breed
  • ormondroyd
    Member

    People who say they never see cars jumping reds are simply not looking. On busy fast roads it happens pretty much every time a light turns red. How many times have you driven through just as a light goes yellow, and looked in your mirror to see at least one or two cars coming through behind you?

    mickolas
    Member

    njee – yes, I am generalising but I reckon I can spot someone who is interested in getting training/exercise by their cadence and/or lack of luggage; irrespective of whether this coincides with them commuting.

    As you say “commute often enough and you learn the usual faces”. And I go the same route 5 days a week.

    So there! πŸ˜›

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I have to say riding my fixie is the perfect cure for the competitive commuter instinct, I have 14 miles to cover each way, my bike has 1 gear and I need function when I get to work, therefore of course the more serious “Contenders” can shoot on past on their composite ego waggons…

    My real respect is reserved for one fella who has about the same distance to commute as me I think, but he does it on a steel tourer with double panniers fitted, at a pretty respectable pace. He let me draft him once for about 10 miles and I managed to keep up but he was far fitter than me, and I think my stint on the front was a bit too slow for his liking, he finally dropped me a couple of miles from home.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    Is this the normal behaviour people observe on their ride to work every day ?

    No.

    Though in my experience, motorists jumping red lights on pedestrian crossings are a daily occurrence. My 85 year old neighbour was waiting to cross last Friday, as a 4×4 shot straight through the red. It was just me waiting as the transit went through red this morning.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    What’d be really great is if a site full of cyclists decided it was a good idea to build disparaging and negative stereotypes of other cyclists. We struggle to find enough motorists to do it, so let’s make sure we help them to make our lives a misery.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I’m on my way to/from work. They are out for the training/exercise
    So if they’re quicker they’re not merely commuting? Interesting logic there!

    I don’t mind drafters, but prefer them to say hello or something, and preferably do a turn. I generally know who most of them are anyway, commute often enough and you learn the usual faces.

    IME most people who want to race, and insist on sprinting off from every set of lights, are usually riding all of 5 miles.

    Njee makes a good point…

    I’d still consider commuting a component in a training / excercise regime. You’re out riding a bike, you might not be going at race pace but you are still clocking up some miles and using your legs rather than say on your arse in a car, I’d rather clock up a ride to and from work plus an evening ride than just an evening spin…

    More miles = more smiles, plus cycling 6 miles Vs Drivinf 6 miles, how much time do you really save?

    tonyd
    Member

    I’d still consider commuting a component in a training / exercise regime

    With a young family the only chance I get at the moment for decent and regular exercise is a 35 mile round trip commute. I try to ride 4 times a week and on the 5th rotate my clothes draw and restock my food draw. This is so I don’t have to ride with a rucksack/panniers as I’d rather avoid these where possible.

    I commute on a decent road bike (the only other option would be a rigid steel MTB) and carry no luggage so I might not look like a commuter but I wouldn’t be riding into a headwind in the pouring rain otherwise!

    paul78
    Member

    of all the posts so far this one confuses me the most….

    I don’t usually ride to work .. much prefer to come home fresh and go riding but in the last week the sun has been out and I wasn’t having to train for any big event so thought I would potter in to work the 6 miles or so
    6 miles…. really?

    so say you did have a big event coming up (wedding, concert, house move?) do you think that an added 12 miles would ruin your training?

    hang your head in shame, you imposter….

    Ha .. I suppose I could count the extra 12 miles as training but I would rather use the energy on something more structured when I got home … by big event I mean a cycling event .. usually quite long too.

    I never started the thread to prompt debate on motorist and cyclist interaction I just wanted to see if people encountered commuters taking unnecessary risk trying to beat you in an imaginary race in their heads.

    tonyd
    Member

    cycling 6 miles Vs driving 6 miles

    Before we moved offices my commute was 5 miles each way. It was pretty frustrating really as it wasn’t really far enough to be much fun. I did it on an old MTB and loaded panniers up with laptop, lunch, change of clothes every day to make it harder but it’s still only a 20 minute or so blast.

    mickolas
    Member

    OP – I think the answer depends on your definition of commuter. Those who do it week in, week out – good weather and bad – will generally be quite level-headed. When the sun comes out you get those who know how to behave themselves and those who don’t both joining in. Some people get carried away; probably those who don’t get out often enough!

    paul78
    Member

    OP – I think the answer depends on your definition of commuter. Those who do it week in, week out – good weather and bad – will generally be quite level-headed. When the sun comes out you get those who know how to behave themselves and those who don’t both joining in. Some people get carried away; probably those who don’t get out often enough!

    Agreed … I think I am getting probably a skewed cross section of commuters due to good weather increasing number of people digging the bikes out the shed.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    IME most people who… insist on sprinting off from every set of lights, are usually riding all of 5 miles.

    It’s 6 miles actually, njee!

    I don’t insist on racing, but if I’m starting in front of cars, I’d rather stomp and get out of the way, rather than dither around trying to work out whether someone’s quicker than me, but slow off the line because they’re SS, not clipped in, didn’t change gear before the lights, or just slower. I’ll stomp, get round and in, if you want to overtake down the road, go for it.

    acidchunks
    Member

    i ride in daily from chorlton.
    whalley range, hulme and deansgate are all full of delights every day…

    (plenty of RLJers on bikes too, mind)

    We probably ride a very similar route then… given your comment above I’ll assume you’re one of the few that actually stop at the lights, in which case I salute you, we are a rare breed round here….

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    but I reckon I can spot someone who is interested in getting training/exercise by their cadence

    That’s even more interesting…? Is there a linear corellation between cadence and commuting:training ratio?! πŸ˜‰

    I ride without a bag, because I hate riding with luggage, still commuting!

    I don’t insist on racing, but if I’m starting in front of cars, I’d rather stomp and get out of the way, rather than dither around trying to work out whether someone’s quicker than me, but slow off the line because they’re SS, not clipped in, didn’t change gear before the lights, or just slower. I’ll stomp, get round and in, if you want to overtake down the road, go for it.

    Makes sense, but you get people (in London at least) who are out of the saddle screaming away from every set of lights like their life depends on it. They stand at the lights panting and pouring sweat, looking at you out of the corner of their eye to see if you’re ‘taking the bait’ as it were. Doesn’t annoy me, I save racing for when I’ve got a number board on, it’s just amusing.

    What does annoy me is people who wobble to the far right hand side of a queue of riders at lights (which can often be 20+ bikes in London), then set off really slowly, and wobble back over to the kerb. If you can’t get away at a decent pace stay to the left FFS!

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    you get people (in London at least) who are out of the saddle screaming away from every set of lights like their life depends on it

    maybe they think it does…how many times on here and elsewhere do people talk of worrying about holding up cars and possibly facing punishment passes?

    just an idea, I’m sure there are wannabe racers too, thing is you do enough commuting and you normally get a feel for light timing so try to conserve momentum not stop/start.

    mickolas
    Member

    njee – missed the point. You may well be a commuter without luggage – I never said you couldn’t be; you may well ride fast on your commute – and why not?; but if you are pedalling 80+ rpm then you are taking the exercise aspect of your journey quite seriously, and not simply getting from A to B.

    And….yes. If you are going quicker than I am capable of keeping up with (and hence I am unable to share ‘front’ duties) then you are taking your riding quite seriously!

    Premier Icon portlyone
    Subscriber

    I ride in from Chorlton too but never see anything. Usually complete carnage behind me though so someone must be causing problems… πŸ˜‰

    trail_rat
    Member

    “but if you are pedalling 80+ rpm then you are taking the exercise aspect of your journey quite seriously, and not simply getting from A to B.”

    didnt realise cadence indicated how seriously your taking your riding.

    i must be MR serious …. i rarely do below 90RPM on any bike anywhere unless im riding my unicycle

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    i rarely do below 90RPM on any bike anywhere

    How do you know this?

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    didnt realise cadence indicated how seriously your taking your riding.

    That was my point, I was only joking though mickolas, don’t worry!

    maybe they think it does…how many times on here and elsewhere do people talk of worrying about holding up cars and possibly facing punishment passes?

    just an idea, I’m sure there are wannabe racers too, thing is you do enough commuting and you normally get a feel for light timing so try to conserve momentum not stop/start.

    That’s not what I’m talking about, I mean people who are sprinting from light to light, taking risks, desperate to get going as quickly as possible. If you ride up CS7 there are enough starts that they make themselves quite apparent!

    tonyd
    Member

    How do you know this?

    I can usually tell roughly what cadence I’m riding at, it’s just something you get used to when you’ve trained with a cadence meter.

    I’ll generally spin at about 90rpm unless I’m out with the family, and on my commute it’s more like 95. It’s not a racy, want to get fit/go fast thing it’s just the cadence I’m accustomed to riding at. It’s also better (IMO) for longer rides as it means my legs tire less.

    Premier Icon soundninjauk
    Subscriber

    IME most people who… insist on sprinting off from every set of lights, are usually riding all of 5 miles.

    6 miles here as well! Not far enough to really count, so I have to put in some effort at the lights to get the heart rate up.

    I’m on a hub geared bike with 3 gears, so I tend to have a pretty fixed comfortable speed. If you’re going faster than that, you’ll overtake me, and if you’re going slower then I’ll overtake you, simple as. Every so often I come across someone who travels at exactly the same speed as me, at which point some drafting (by either party) may take place.

    I wouldn’t give it up for the world, so much better than taking the tube. And I ride every day, all year round, regardless of weather πŸ™‚

    brakes
    Member

    I only really race people up the long hills, or on longer stretches.
    I don’t draft anyone as it’s pointless (I generally regard commuting as training) but don’t mind too much if people sit on my wheel, unless they do it up a hill and then sprint over the crest as if they’ve won. if they do that I’ll either ask them to pass me, speed up if I’m feeling good or slow down and then just ride level with them.
    I’ve learned not to take commuting too seriously, or care what anyone else does as long as it doesn’t endanger me.

    IanW
    Member

    Would love to see some serious study on the psychology of sharing the road(or not).

    I used to react on commutes, don’t now probably partly due to age(after a while theres no surprises) , partly due to more road riding at a proper pace when not commuting.

    trail_rat
    Member

    DezB – cadence meter and garmin.

    Though in my experience, motorists jumping red lights on pedestrian crossings are a daily occurrence.

    Both at the start and end of the sequence. It now seems to be standard practice to treat flashing amber as green, even if there are still people crossing. I regularly see motorists rev their engines and start moving to stop people crossing the second part of a crossing with a central island.

    Premier Icon xherbivorex
    Subscriber

    We probably ride a very similar route then… given your comment above I’ll assume you’re one of the few that actually stop at the lights, in which case I salute you, we are a rare breed round here….

    oh yes, every single one. i’ve given up saying anything to those that do jump them though- half of the time, i catch up to them easily once the light changes without really trying (i’m not capable of it- fat bloke on a singlespeed roadrat!) but a couple of weeks ago i pointed out (politely) to a woman on a pashley that the pedestrian light changing to green at the whalley pub crossroads means we still can’t set off, and got “**** off and mind your own business you fat ****” in return…

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Subscriber

    they are not insured

    You don’t know this. I’m not a club member but my house insurance will cover your consequential loss when you claim/sue (I’m not certain you’re litigious but you might be!) πŸ˜‰

    trail_rat
    Member

    do you wave your home insurance certificate at riders you draft ?

    effectively i see the club top as someone saying A.fair chance i can ride a bike and B im insured.

    Im happy enough with my method – is it someone from the club – nope …. stick on a bit more speed till they are far enough away that they cant damage me or bike.

    tonyd
    Member

    Not that I do it much anyway, but I wouldn’t consider drafting someone I didn’t know. If you’re properly drafting, ie inches off the back wheel, and you don’t know how the guy in front rides you must be bonkers.

    mickolas
    Member

    “trail_rat – Member

    DezB – cadence meter and garmin”

    thank you. I think this makes my point nicely. πŸ˜‰

    trail_rat
    Member

    i run with a garmin too …. hardly makes me serious…. i still run slow πŸ˜‰ im just a stat geek πŸ˜€

    mickolas
    Member
    justatheory
    Member

    I have to say riding my fixie is the perfect cure for the competitive commuter instinct, I have 14 miles to cover each way, my bike has 1 gear and I need function when I get to work, therefore of course the more serious “Contenders” can shoot on past on their composite ego waggons…
    My real respect is reserved for one fella who has about the same distance to commute as me I think, but he does it on a steel tourer with double panniers fitted, at a pretty respectable pace. He let me draft him once for about 10 miles and I managed to keep up but he was far fitter than me, and I think my stint on the front was a bit too slow for his liking, he finally dropped me a couple of miles from home.

    I sometimes commute on my ego wagon but mainly I’ve been using an old heavy ladies hybrid.

Viewing 34 posts - 41 through 74 (of 74 total)

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