Monday, June 04, 2007

Cycling is so complex!

Firstly I am a person who when he cycles does so to get somewhere, and feels the need for speed.

I do not like getting overtaken in a 30MPH zone, because I am already at or over the speed limit (on the flat) or at least I used to be when I was 25.

The problem now is this: When I was at University the "thoughtful" folks at the council put in cycle lanes.

I ride racers. Nothing else. If I can't get a good clean shave off the tyres, I am not interested. If the tyres can be pumped up at a petrol station, it is not thin enough.

Racers are very fast and very efficient at moving people about, more importantly very quickly compared to other sorts of bike. The reason is simple, less tyre on the road is less rolling resistance and hence the capability of more speed and what is more, whilst expending less energy. (The same argument applies with cars, my car has not changed in length or weight in the 20 years I have driven them, but it started off as the one of the longest in the car park and a heavy middle weight to being both short and light, and at 17" and a tonne and a quarter, that is barking).

The problem is that cycle lanes do not cater for racing bikes. They are rough than the road and just slow you down. I have no idea why, as they must also force touring and town bikers as well as mountain bikers to use much more energy to travel the same miles.

However cycling is so complex because of all the things you have to consider. I have sped along at 35 MPH on a slight rise at a full sprint, and have got up to 45MPH on a hill. All this on our rough roads. I could never achieve that on a cycle lane. What has really irritated me though is doing 31 on my bike in a 30 zone and being overtaken by someone who I would normally be stuck behind at 29 if I were in a car.

1 comment:

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