Alarming ride in downpour today – braking advice

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.

Re: Alarming ride in downpour today – braking advice

Postby Pete Owens » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:21 pm

Slow Loris wrote:it is necessary to keep up with the traffic


No it isn't. You have no obligation to keep up with traffic (and it wouldn't even be an option were it not on a downhill stretch). Go at the speed you judge to be safe - and if this is slower than the driver behind would choose then so be it.
Pete Owens
 
Posts: 846
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:52 am

Re: Alarming ride in downpour today – braking advice

Postby Vantage » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:53 pm

Generally speaking, it is safer to keep up with the flow of traffic as usually, (among other reasons that I can't think of right now coz it's midnight and I'm falling asleep but which are covered in Richard Ballantines bike book) following drivers won't feel the need to overtake and a faster moving bike is usually more stable than a slower one.
Depending on the town, size of road and time of day, it's perfectly easy to keep up with and even exceed the traffic.
I'd agree that speed and the ability to stop in a safe manner are to be judged carefully, but it's difficult to know the limits of a new-ish bike until those limits have been exceeded.
Do not accustom yourself to use big words for little matters.
A man who uses a great many words to express his meaning is like a bad marksman who instead of aiming a single stone at an object takes up a handful and throws at it in hopes he may hit.
User avatar
Vantage
 
Posts: 1098
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:44 pm
Location: sometimes Bolton, sometimes Urmston, usually lost

Re: Alarming ride in downpour today – braking advice

Postby Pete Owens » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:26 am

Vantage wrote:Generally speaking, it is safer to keep up with the flow of traffic as usually, (among other reasons that I can't think of right now coz it's midnight and I'm falling asleep but which are covered in Richard Ballantines bike book) following drivers won't feel the need to overtake and a faster moving bike is usually more stable than a slower one.

For stability any speed above 6 mph will be stable.
Depending on the town, size of road and time of day, it's perfectly easy to keep up with and even exceed the traffic.

In typical urban traffic conditions a bike will make progress faster than cars - however at any particular part of the journey you are likely to be moving either faster or slower than traffic at that time which will tend to have spurts of speed and time spent in queues. If you happen to be keeping up with traffic at some point that will be entirely coincidental - either the traffic at that point may happen to be matching your desired speed (whatever that is) or you need to slow down due to congestion and there isn't space to overtake.

If a driver has a choice of speed (ie thery are not in a traffic jam) then they will pretty much always want to be going faster than any cyclist they encounter. You can control inappropriate overtaking by riding assertively, but you are not going to outrun motor vehicles (even if your name is Tony Martin) unless you are going down a steepish hill with gravity on your side.
Pete Owens
 
Posts: 846
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:52 am

Re: Alarming ride in downpour today – braking advice

Postby Slow Loris » Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:29 am

Pete Owens wrote:Go at the speed you judge to be safe - and if this is slower than the driver behind would choose then so be it.


Vantage wrote:Generally speaking, it is safer to keep up with the flow of traffic as usually, (among other reasons that I can't think of right now coz it's midnight and I'm falling asleep but which are covered in Richard Ballantines bike book) following drivers won't feel the need to overtake and a faster moving bike is usually more stable than a slower one.


I agree with both. I have no wish to outrun motor vehicles – my priority is to be safe on the road. There are occasions, however, when I do feel it necessary to keep pace with traffic on the described road. At busy times, cars can still be travelling in excess of 10mph in both directions, with little space between. In choosing not to keep up, I would be inviting regular close passes and cutting in front, compromising my safety. Parked cars line the sides so primary is a must. I don't do more than 20mph max, and only then if the road is completely clear. I'd normally be flattered to be equated with a race snake, but it's simply not the case – hence my username :wink:

Slightly off topic but, having read the recent thread on shared paths, there's a different take on cycling speed here:
I just wish drivers would appreciate that a cyclist wanting to do 20mph is perfectly reasonable, but does also mean they need to be on the road, as that sort of speed isn't suitable for shared use paths.
Slow Loris
Energy sparingly used
User avatar
Slow Loris
 
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 1:27 pm

Re: Alarming ride in downpour today – braking advice

Postby drossall » Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:38 am

20mph is reasonable (if challenging for many of us, except downhill). However, 20mph in the wet on a crowded shopping street when going downhill may not be.
drossall
 
Posts: 2823
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:01 pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Alarming ride in downpour today – braking advice

Postby Tonyf33 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:30 pm

From your description not only of the conditions weather wise but also there being several zebra crossings and your concern (enough to warrant a discussion on a forum) about not being able to stop in time should someone/thing cross your path then you WERE going too quick for the conditions.
You have asked about how to brake better which in itself is fine but it is your mindset (& of others) about keeping up with traffic, this is a pitfall that some cyclists seem to be falling into.

SAFETY has to come above everything else and your braking in the wet is diminished and much less of that of a car, so if that car in front has to do an emergency stop in the high street because some kid has pulled away from his parents a cyclist massively increases the chance of smashing right into the back of it or having to take avoiding action (thus potentially causing another incident) all because they felt the need to 'keep up with traffic'.

cyclists that insist on keeping up with 'traffic' or indeed exceed their speed (invariably motorvehicles) absolutely have know how much stopping distance they need from the speed you are doing in any given conditions, that includes not only the weather but surroundings/hazards.
At 20mph in the wet on a downhill you might be able to stop in 3-4 seconds..IF you have decent working brakes, IF your reactions are good and you're not distracted, IF the road surface isn't broken up/has iron works in your path. 20mph is 9 metres per second, thinking time alone is around 6 metres, you're looking at close to 30metres total stopping distance (incl thinking time) from the first peerception of having to stop for a hazard, maybe even more than 30m.

Stay safe
Tonyf33
 
Posts: 2906
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 3:31 pm
Location: Letchworth N.Herts

Re: Alarming ride in downpour today – braking advice

Postby drossall » Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:00 pm

Let's not be too harsh. Slow Loris has already commented on the actual speed involved. Any of us can be concerned about braking, at any speed.
drossall
 
Posts: 2823
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:01 pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Alarming ride in downpour today – braking advice

Postby Vantage » Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:49 pm

+1
I saw no mention of excessive speed for the conditions. Only that the rear wheel locked up unexpectedly and any one of a number of possible reasons given for it may be at fault and hopefully remedied.
Do not accustom yourself to use big words for little matters.
A man who uses a great many words to express his meaning is like a bad marksman who instead of aiming a single stone at an object takes up a handful and throws at it in hopes he may hit.
User avatar
Vantage
 
Posts: 1098
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:44 pm
Location: sometimes Bolton, sometimes Urmston, usually lost

Re: Alarming ride in downpour today – braking advice

Postby Tonyf33 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:33 pm

I don't think I'm being harsh at all, it's meant not just for the OP but others whom seem to think that following a set criterian for cycling works for all conditions and don't understand or think enough about hazards/conditions & their own + their bikes limitations. That's why a lot of cyclist have incidents, this happens a lot in pro cycling too.

For the OP they said "I didn't have much confidence I'd be able to stop safely at any of the crossings if needed", that to me says everything, basically going too fast for the conditions.
So long as cyclists are able to modify the way they think about these type of scenarios and make sure they are in a position where they feel confident enough to stop in time for a given situation (though obviously sometimes those are out of our control) then that's all one can ask..that makes them safer but also those around them too.
Tonyf33
 
Posts: 2906
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 3:31 pm
Location: Letchworth N.Herts

Previous

Return to On the road

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests