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Is it just me?

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Cab, 4 Jun 2008.

  1. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Picture it, you're cycling in to work, you've just gone through a set of traffic lights when they changed colour and theres a left turn approaching. You could accelerate hard from a standing start or gain enough speed to then turn safely and easily at a decent pace, but not in a hurry; why put in the effort to gain all that speed that you'll immediately lose when you brake? Theres another bike behind you, he's come alongside then slowed down again for the corner and tucked back in behind.

    Okay, you turn left, this street is maybe a ninety yards long with a tight right turn at the end, followed 15 yards later by a ninety degree left, which then has a good couple of hundred yards before the next corner. You could accelerate hard and brake hard, or you could accelerate in a controlled fashion to be at a speed such that you don't have to brake hard for the corner. You choose the latter, and the guy behind motors past and then brakes for the corner, and then the next corner, and you're right behind him again of course because there was no point in pushing hard to get to the corner first.

    Then theres a nice straight bit, and you fly on past him because you've not been faffing about accelerating and braking, which is just a waste of energy...

    It isn't just me who rides like this, is it? So many cyclists here seem to be racing into every corner, every junction... Whats the point of it?
  2. Nope I ride like that when Im in town
  3. PrettyboyTim

    PrettyboyTim New Member

    Maybe it's more fun?
  4. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member

    There's two possibilities i can think of straight away Cab....
    1. Said cyclist may just be someone who thinks to race away will get himself somewhere faster. He's possibly spent no time thinking or analysing the road and is stuck with one train of thought.


    2. He may be pushing himself at every opportunity to increase his fitness.
    I can ride steady to work, or i can push myself. There's not that much difference in time (short commute)...but if i go steady all the time, my overall fitness deteriorates.
  5. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Staff Member

    I probably do a bit of both ... I love accelerating away at traffic lights quickly (and privately race the cars to the other side of the junction - just they don't know they are in a race), but other times I will go much slower to either pootle or to try and time the lights correctly.

    I think its good to practice accelerating fast... you never know when you might need it.
  6. tdr1nka

    tdr1nka Taking the biscuit

    I tend to ride as if I were on a motorbike, accelerating & braking in order to hold the safer primary position and keep up with the speed of local traffic.

    If I were to ride at a slower and more constant pace I would become invisible to traffic, forced into the gutter or the back of parked cars and become a 'bleedin' nusience' to buses and taxis.
  7. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Heck, it ain't like I'm hanging about, I'm still doing a reasomable pace, and I'm doing it in primary position more often than not. I'm just often baffled by the way other cyclists seem to be racing me into every corner; I'm interested in going where I'm going at my pace, which is based largely on road conditions, and I tend to aim at being quite economical with energy when on roads with lots of corners and junctions.

    I'm quite taken with gbbs analysis of the situation, that all makes a great deal of sense to me.
  8. tdr1nka

    tdr1nka Taking the biscuit

    Would you say cyclists more competetive in Cambridge, Cab?
    Because I'm on an MTB I do find a few roadies want to dive past even when I'm up with the traffic, these are the guys who also tend to jump the lights.

    There are many cyclists in London who think, like motons, that the road is their race track and 'want' you out of their way, I on the other hand think life is too short to ride like that, however safely.
  9. hackbike 6

    hackbike 6 New Member

    The Mile End Road.
    Strange...I have been finding most of the Mile End Road cyclists a bit slow recently apart from when it comes to going through a red.
  10. tdr1nka

    tdr1nka Taking the biscuit

    Thats 'cos they're all Norf London Wooses!:smile::biggrin:

    BTW Some of my best frieds are North London Wooses:biggrin:
  11. Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    Depends how i feel. I will sometimes power up to the courner and brake hard to go round it. Other times i will slowly go up to it and not brake. But then when i dont brake i normally go round slightly faster when i do brake.
    We have a guy who shouts easy when a tight-ish courner comes up. He did the same thing, went really fast to the courner then slow round it.
    Everyone knows you have to get that noise from your tyres as you go round tight courners. :smile:
  12. Sh4rkyBloke

    Sh4rkyBloke Jaffa Cake monster

    Manchester, UK

    I think I know what you're trying to say... :biggrin:
  13. Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    Hopefully that makes sence now:biggrin:
  14. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    iTS natural to try and catch/race someone on the road...
  15. Cab

    Cab New Member

    I'd say that the bulk are less competetive than in other towns, because we've got a heck of a lot of very casual cyclists that you don't see everywhere else. In many towns it takes a certain amount of enthusiasm to even get out on the roads, here its almost the default form of transport for many people. But there is a subset of rather competetive sorts, the kind who are always weaving in and out of traffic, looking for an advantage, and because there are so many cyclists here I would guess that you encounter them more often.

    I quite agree. I'm more of a 'take it easy' in traffic kind of guy; why rush to get to the red light you're going to be stuck at anyway? Why overtake someone just to be stuck behind a bus? Take it easy, watch whats happening, and when theres a good, clear stretch of road, really leg it, its the best chance you've got for a bit of excercise.