CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Events, rides etc.

National "ride like your gran" day

(61 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by Dave
  • Latest reply from Kenny
  • poll: Are you up for tasting the experience of the 99% ?
    Yep - count me in! : (13 votes)
    100 %
    Meh, education is overrated! : (0 votes)

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  1. Dave
    Member

    Leading on from the pavement cycling discussion-

    Some time last year I spent a week not pedalling any faster than 10mph (freewheeling downhill was OK). I think this is a pretty useful educational experience for the regular cyclist, to help empathise with "normal" cyclists about road conditions.

    It's easy not to be hit by a car when you're riding at the same speed as them, in position in the traffic lane. Cycling at the national average riding speed gives you quite a different appreciation!

    A week is probably a bit excessive, so (without particular prejudice against octogenarians*), I'd like to propose a coordinated day of cycling at granny speed. The rules are simple- if your speed is > 10mph, you must freewheel (so you don't have to brake if you're going downhill).

    I'd like to propose Thu, March 22nd, just so that there's a chance I won't be having to ride it on 75" single-speed, which wouldn't be good.

    Anyone interested in joining me?

    * before the inevitable haul up for ageism, I acknowledge that other ages of grandparenthood are available

    Posted 5 years ago #
  2. wingpig
    Member

    Ah. You fixed the date whilst I was typing.

    The occasional trip on the uprighter/fatter-tyred/lower-and-skippier-geared spare already provides insight into a slower world, especially with regard to accelerating out of junctions. Conversely it's also easier to look behind when not leaning so far forward and I found myself taking a much straighter line around parked obstacles due to the greater likelihood of being overtaken when going more slowly.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. Instography
    Member

    Sounds like a day for compression stockings and the mountain bike.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. Instography
    Member

    If we all leave home at our usual times, shall we meet up for coffee? Say, 11am?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  5. lionfish
    Member

    To be honest, I cycle pretty slowly all the time. Mainly because I never know what's about to happen next! Although I guess I must be over 10mph. I'm not really sure what 10mph is. Any idea how people without speedometers can get a feel for the target speed? :)

    (also: can we break the rule if we're trying to get through lights before they change?)

    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. wingpig
    Member

    @lionfish Look for someone who's realy striding along the pavement quite fast. Twice as fast as that should be about 10mph.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  7. cb
    Member

    Pah, nobody walks at 5mph.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  8. steveo
    Member

    Pick a gear and stick to it, should keep you below ~10mpg
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/

    I like this idea, though riding the mtb en-knobled has a similar effect.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. wingpig
    Member

    "Pah, nobody walks at 5mph."

    Just for that I'm going to film myself walking along pushing my bike so that we can all see what the speedometer says.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. cb
    Member

    Well, actually, what I really meant was that "hardly anyone walks at 5mph". I imagine you need to walk that fast to maintain a decent level of body heat :P

    Just for the record I walk faster than anyone. Seriously, I'm forever overtaking people and no one ever overtakes me.

    I remember reading a Buchan novel with some incredulity when Hannay was described as walking at a brisk 6*mph.

    Shortly afterwards I happened to be pushing a bike between main stations in Glasgow and tried walking at 6mph and concluded that it wasn't possible without looking ridiculous.

    (Ok, I was pushing a bike, but Hannay was going cross country on Skye or something)

    *I think

    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. chdot
    Admin

    "Racewalkers can walk 5-6 miles per hour or even faster"

    http://walking.about.com/od/measure/f/howfastwalking.htm

    Posted 5 years ago #
  12. chdot
    Admin

    "can we break the rule if we're trying to get through lights before they change?"

    Would your granny??

    Posted 5 years ago #
  13. Smudge
    Member

    Beryl Burton's grandson/grandaughter is in for a hard day! ;-o. Actually I was thinking this morning how different it was riding the knobbly tyred mtb. Speedo is knackered but I suspect I was in the target speed range! Was actually very pleasant along the canalside and wol walkway :-)

    Posted 5 years ago #
  14. wingpig
    Member

    My granny would have saved her brake pads and stopped gently.

    I did the Skegness to Horncastle walk a few times as a youthling. The first time I didn't try race-walking but still managed to somehow go at over 6mph for the first two miles. Race-walking made it easier to maintain a steady just-above-5mph for the entire course.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  15. Darkerside
    Member

    Would your granny??

    If the competitive streak she displays on the scrabble board translates into cycling, I'd say she'd go through a red at a hard sprint whilst pulling a wheelie.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  16. Instography
    Member

    My granny would have stopped at the lights and sparked up a snout while she waited.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  17. Tulyar
    Member

    I reckon to walk very briskly at 5.5 to 6 mph maintained with a bike (which actually helps you walk faster by smoothing out the strides) and probably hold to around 5mph when striding along, might take on CH next time we're walking around EDB

    Posted 5 years ago #
  18. Roibeard
    Member

    If anyone is uncertain about maintaining their allocated speed, I can lend them a 5 year old to assist...

    And I think that road position is probably more important at 10mph than at 20 - and indeed more difficult to maintain!

    Bus lanes are most definitely your friend at 10mph, as is your friend. I mean your friend is your friend... that is, two of you will get on better at 10mph with appropriate road positioning than one.

    Maintaining primary at 10mph on your own takes a fair bit of nerve - maintaining it doubled up is much easier, as you've got more commanding road presence.

    So, if you wish a small child to improve your safety on the day, give me a shout...

    <grin>

    Robert

    Posted 5 years ago #
  19. Dave
    Member

    For those without speedos, limiting your gear selection is the closest you'll get.

    Choose the middle or smaller (on a double) chainring, then either no more than 4th gear (wide-range MTB style cassette) or 2nd gear (narrow road-style cassette).

    We should perhaps consider alternative itineraries - I might avoid the WoL path in favour of Leith walk, although I think Picardy Place and the cut-up zone going up Leith St are going to be quite piquant regardless.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  20. ruggtomcat
    Member

    I try to force myself to ride like my gran a lot, Im a bit addicted to going hard but its no good for the knees on a short (3 mile) commute with heavy luggage. If I spot a cyclist ahead I have to force myself not to overtake them... but I still find my self getting closer nonetheless. ;-)

    Posted 5 years ago #
  21. Darkerside
    Member

    ...with the result that you end up nestled behind them with the Chainset Of Whirley Spikeyness leaping for the next hapless victim's rear tyres.

    It's really safer for everyone if I treat the commute as a race. Honest.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  22. Stepdoh
    Member

    @Roibeard in contrast my three year old is *useless* for purposes of speed limiting, she just shouts faster and gees me on with my backpack straps.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  23. Surrounded
    Member

    I'll bring my all mountain 6" travel beast, problem being the temptation to ride over the top of the traffic!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  24. steveo
    Member

    I think that is acceptable as long as you do it at 10mph.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  25. Surrounded
    Member

    Stationary traffic that is.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  26. Uberuce
    Member

    As luck would have it, I will most likely be unwrapping a new computer that day. Love the irony of its first job being to make sure I'm going slow as all get out.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  27. kaputnik
    Moderator

    I practiced this coming home. IT's bl**dy hard! Struggled to keep it below 11! And spent more time watching the speedo than where I was going. But it was interesting. And at best intimidating and worst mildly terrifying in fast moving traffic or at junctions where you get no priority. Have to admit to stepping on the gas a couple of times where I just didn't feel happy floating along with 2 streams of cars squeezing past to my right.

    Probably took my 25 minute (without traffic lights) ride home to 40 minutes. Will need to try it timed.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  28. Uberuce
    Member

    Maybe I should commit sacrilege and transfer the speedo I have onto the iron horse for the day.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  29. ExcitableBoy
    Member

    Dave,

    where does this figure for the 'Cycling ... national average riding speed' of 10 mph come from? and who/what type of cyclists/riding does it include? - it does sound slow.

    However, cycle up a hill at 7.5 mph and back down at 15 mph will give you an average of 10 mph. Downhill at 15 mph seems slow, but potholes and traffic may cause such a speed.

    10 mph on the flat is the sort of speed my children used to cycle at when they started cycling at 4 years old. However, along a cycle path, shared path or off road route many people will cycle at this approx speed. I don't think it implies large numbers of people cycling amongst traffic at walking pace to average out the speedy youngsters.

    As you say it generally feels safer to be cycling at a decent speed amongst traffic, but going by the smidsy type videos on youtube several of these may have been avoided if the person was cycling more slowly, with more time to react and stop [that is in NO WAY to apportion any blame on the cyclist in such circumstances] - do you have any evidence to suggest slow cycling leads to increased likelihood of being involved in a 'crash'? [just curious]

    Posted 5 years ago #
  30. chdot
    Admin

    "national average riding speed' of 10 mph"

    Suspect it includes all the stopping at traffic lights, junctions etc.

    I seem to remember traffic speeds in London being the same as in the days of horses and carts.

    Posted 5 years ago #

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