Advocacy & Safety - Setting the pace
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04-29-02, 10:06 PM
As a commuting cyclist, I find the pace set by cars is not reasonable for me. It's really no contest, their right foot + 100 or more horses, vs. my powerful (yet fleshly) legs.
If cyclists dominated the roads, cars would have to slow down to our reasonable speed.
Perhaps then fewer pedestrians would be pushing up daisies.
A reasonable speed is 50kph/30mph. At this speed a car can cover a lot of ground in good time and it reduces the braking distance in accidents. I would love to see this speed set for ALL roads except highways/freeways could be 90kph/56mph.
It amazes me how fast people need to drive, they are allowed to do 60kph/37mph yet insist on driving at 75kph/47mph. Some people will never learn: Speed kills.
At the moment we have 40kph/25mph zones in some residential areas, but I found it to be too slow for driving as the car is always in 2nd gear. There is debate about making all residentials streets 50kph zones, which I think is more sensible. The majority are still 60kph zones.
From what I know, could be wrong. South Australia is the only state with 40 zones, most other states have 50 zones.
Motorists will never learn the concept of "running to stand still" in the city.
04-30-02, 06:52 AM
On one of my most frequent rides, I go along a "scenic route" where the speed limit is 30 km/h. I usually keep to 30 or 35 there [yes, I know I'm being bad], but it never seems to amaze me how every car I see there zips by at least 20 km/h faster. What's more, they get impatient and start honking furiously if they can't pass.
04-30-02, 07:37 AM
Yes, car drivers constantly push beyond the speed limit around here, too. I've seen folks who must be going at least 45mph/72kph on the stretch of main road near my neighborhood where the speed limit is 35mph/56kph. It's 2 lanes in either direction with a turning lane in the middle and always busy. I live in the suburbs with many crazy drivers. This is what scares me a bit from cycling on the roads. :eek:
For now, I stick with bike paths (please, no laughing :)). Lately I have been experimenting a little with riding on the parkway (1 lane in each direction with a speed limit of 30mph/48kph) near the bike path when traffic is light. The thing is, I still don't feel like I'm going fast enough. I can comfortably maintain 15-17mph/24-27kph on my mountain bike. Is this respectable? On a downhill, my speed is closer to 20mph/32kph. Car drivers expect bikes to be slower, but how slow is too slow? Can I blame the bike? :)
04-30-02, 10:24 AM
Originally posted by OctoberBlue
The thing is, I still don't feel like I'm going fast enough.
Yes, I feel this pressure also, especially when driving.
It's as if the majority who break the law (I'm not legalistic, just stating a fact) are forcing everyone else to break it too, whether they want to or not.
I can comfortably maintain 15-17mph/24-27kph on my mountain bike. Is this respectable?
Yes it is. That's a good speed for an MTB. I have found that the faster I ride the better cars seem to respond. I ride between 30-36kph/18-22mph on my road bike and I hardly ever get anyone trying to pull in front and turn left. What usually happens: A car will pull up next to me wanting to turn and I keep my speed up, take a glance at the driver, and they will turn behind me. No problems for a few years now. The speed has definitely made a difference how cars react from when I first started riding.
There is an young lady that I see riding around the city, on the busiest roads, and I fear for her safety, her top speed would be 10kph/6mph on the flat. She rides so slow and timid that every time I see her I am amazed she can stay upright, her cadence is about 30. I could understand why drivers would get frustrated with people like her on the road.
05-01-02, 07:36 PM
There's a road I usually take that is completely covered with huge potholes. Hardly nobody uses it because it doesn't really go anywhere. If I encounter a car on that road I always make sure to sprint down the edge of the road and pass the car as they slowly try and manuever around these craters. Haahaahaha. Two wheels are better than four. Take that.
05-02-02, 04:39 AM
I often ride that "scenic" road Velocipedio describes, and what bugs me about cars rushing past, is that there is a 100 kph highway running close by. If they are in a hurry, why dont they use it.
On the other hand part of my commute is on a road like October Blue's - 2 lanes each way and turn lane in the middle. I find it a great ride - the curb lane is wide enough for me and the cars without having to ride over the storm drains, it is well paved, and there are few cross streets.
05-02-02, 01:05 PM
Around this part of the country 90% of the raods in the city are 25 mph. Going downhill I easily hit this, and I'm sure frequently surpass it. All I know is that even after pedaling as fast as I can down a five block long hill the drivers still try to pass me. They're probably going at least 40 when they do so--often attempting this around the sharp curve at the bottom and into oncoming traffic. They seem so proud as they floor their car past me. Yes! What a strong big toe you have!
I know a lady who was pulled over recently for going 55 mph in a 25 mph zone in the middle of a residential neighborhood on a hilly road frequently used by cyclists. She was annoyed that she didn't get off with a warning. She said "I didn't feel like I was going that fast". I thought she should have had her license revoked then and there. She was only a few blocks from an elementary school and it was 5:00 PM. The ironic thing is that her daughter was speeding along a country road 10 years ago, lost control, and ran head on into a tree. Instant death. She was in my class and I remember it. This lady is supposedly still devastated by it. I guess her concern doesn't apply to others.
Sometimes I want to be a traffic cop so I can be the meanest SOB out there. No one would escape my wrath! The cops in my town are just obsessed with public intox. But I'd rather run into a drunk pedestrain than a maniac driver. Where are these same omnipresent cops during the day? There is a lot of money to be made off of drunk students, but no one wants to mess with the driving populus. They're the majority, and they vote. There would be revolution if anyone tried to step in their way. Or at least another grave stone.
Another factor is the potential rise of the neighborhood electric vehicle. Under California law, these are permitted on roads with posted limits of up to 35mph/55kph. If cities were laid out to enable anyone to get from Point A to Point B using only relatively slow roads, we might be able to encourage greater, and safer, use of bicycles, electric scooters, and NEVs. As long as 25mph/40kph neighborhoods are connected only by 50mph/80kph prime arterials, NEVs will never be practical.
05-02-02, 07:46 PM
When driving to work :eek: I had an impatient driver pass me.
Afterwards, I noticed he was driving an, "EV" (electric vehicle.)
I thought these things were slow!
(Hehe...) Hey, the bike is the future, we all know it. Even if car companies are still trying to hold on to the past...
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