.. :50: if I get there and back, safely, I feel good about that .
Yesterday, I rode to my mother in law's place in White Plains, about 32 miles away. All but about 7 miles of my route were on bike trails, so there were lots of cyclists. Time was short, so I really hauled butt. Only two people passed me the entire time.
I'm in no shape to be passing roadies, and I ride my MTB with knobby tires and pull two kids in a trailer, but the other day I was going faster than normal, maintaining 15-16mph or so and saw two recumbent trikes on the trail ahead of me, tracked them down and passed when I could. Payed for it later though when I hit the hilly portion of the ride a 70 year old guy passed me no sweat. Kudos to him, I think he's passed me before too.
I don't see any problem with someone using passing someone as some motivation to kick it up a gear as long as they're staying safe. Some of the unsafe stuff people here have seen is just stupid. I like the other stories here though.
I personally do not harbor any ill-will towards roadies. I'll never be a roadie myself, but many of them are pretty impressive athletes, and I respect that. In addition, the more cyclists there are, the safer all of us are. I don't care if you're Tyler Farrar or my coworker who commutes on a Breezer Uptown. I won't give you any kind of sh*t if you're on a bicycle, no matter what kind; I will welcome your presence as I tool along at 15-17 mph on my touring bike with well-worn panniers.
My route is generally a lot of odd driveways, parks, and ally shortcuts, so I don't usually run into people until I get to the base of campus. Since I'm in a college town, I pass most people though, especially in the hills :)
bragi, I agree! NYC start its giant bike share program this year, and ridership has increased over the already-high rate. Now there are so many people on bikes who are not bike nuts, and this is so good for everyone. I'm seeing lots of very fat people riding bikes. My heart melts. I can't tell you how thrilling this is. I imagine many people are figuring their time has come to get on a bike and start moving on their own power.
Tom, I just saw a video about some of the biking improvements in NYC with the bike lane put in between the parked cars and the sidewalk by taking out a driving lane. That and the bikeshare program are awesome. I agree, the more bikers the safer we all are and the better for everyone.
A guy passing me today shouted Kudos to me as he passed. (It was a steep hill for this Clyde)
He was jogging. :lol:
#cough # Pitbull #cough # mix. I ski on old time 3 pin wood skiis, so we'd get passed all the time by the racer/ski skaters, and my dog did NOT like that. He'd turn himself inside out trying to catch these folks. I loved it, since I had him attached at my waist for a DIY version of skijorring! If I had his motivation, I might have been a champion racer myself.
This week, it was an older guy on a Lemond road bike. And by "older guy", I mean somebody about my age, or maybe a couple years older. So, he was up ahead, pulled away a little, then I reeled him in again. Decided to pass him, and "put the hammer down". And he was right on my wheel. I gave it my best for about four miles, and he was on me like flypaper. Finally, I had to slow down because of MUP traffic(not to mention the fact that I was toasted!). When it cleared, I waved him by, and he thanked me for the pull. I told him I should have known better than to try to pass a roadie on my (slick tired) mountain bike! All in good fun. The silly commuter racing rules rock.
I always commute by stopwatch checkpoints(both to know if I'm going to be late or off-paced), so its kinda strava-ish low tech style ;) Around here there don't seem to be many commuters at the times/routes I go but in my post college years in a different locale there were.
One hot summer day after work which was a solid 20 miles away, I took my newly rebuilt and overhauled Sedona out for the ride home in typical style. Felt solid, kept on driving. In the flatter straightaway I saw a pair of well dressed well paced roadies which took a while to catch(as they should). Eventually I caught them and drafted before they looked back a little closer to see me in a sleeveless and cut-offs on a very knobby mtb. Not sure if that was what killed it or me just wearing them down :) They didn't catch up for another 5 miles. Either way it was a good maiden run for a bike rebuild that took almost a full winter. Oddly, that tubeless mtb setup was faster on the total time than the Trek roadie that I had been riding. Go fig.
In my experience, racers are far less likely to turn every commute into a race.
I commute on a BMX 24", so I realize I'm never going to be the fastest guy around and don't normally even try, except for one section of the commute that is over a bridge and represents the biggest/only hill on the trip. At the start of this hill I try and give it a good run and usually pass at least a few people during this stretch. Really I'm not doing it to be competitive, it's just if I don't get a good head of steam going I'm going to have trouble making it up and over at all. After the initial burst I'll just try and pick someone out in front of me and try to pace that person to the top, gives me the motivation to not give up and walk the rest of the way. Invariably one or two people that I passed at the beginning of the hill will repass me again before we reach the crest, and I always hope that they don't hold my burst of speed and subsequent slowing against me. I'm happy just to make it to the top.
All that being said, there's one exception to not being competitive on the commute. At the beginning of the summer I was on my bike just tooling along and got passed on a gentle downhill by a guy on a skateboard. I figured I'd catch up to him pretty quickly, but he ran a couple of red lights and stayed just out of reach. But then I had mostly caught up to him at the bottom of the bridge. This is my spot, 1 and a half miles of no lights, half of it up a pretty good hill. I hit it all out, and this guy pulls away from me like it was nothing. I swear he was doing 15mph going uphill on a skateboard! Might as well had been Christian Slater in Gleaming the Cube.
As caloso alluded to, 99% of cyclists accused of "racing" are just getting from point A to B (a bit faster). Also, when I give a cyclist an "on your left" and 3 feet of space it's a safe pass even if it felt dangerous.
It was rather fun to drop a guy who was being a total arse on the MUP. He passed, with inches to spare, an old guy using a motorized wheelchair (a WWII vet, I've seen him before) with his stupid road bike at a far too high rate of speed. My friend and I chased him down on our laden city bikes and bounced him when he turned on the next surface street. It was rather amusing to watch him flail trying to hunt for the correct gear as we blew by at well over 40 km/h. The only reason we did it was because he was a total jerk to the old guy in a wheelchair.
At least among the racers I know.