Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    south TX
    Posts
    59

    riding the brakes...

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    Hi girls,

    I have this dilemma, anyone have any suggestions? I'm still a newbie biker, so any advice no matter how simple is appreciated! I usually do pretty well on road rides; I don't ride the brakes down hills unless something spooks me (like big texas pickup trucks that honk as they drive past!) or I know that I'm gonna have to make a complete stop at the bottom of a steep hill. My problem comes when I go on this social ride through downtown on thursdays. There are a few fun hills, but there is also a lot of traffic and 50+ riders, all of whom ride at different speeds. I tend to ride the brakes on these rides because there are lots of people in the way, and there's really just nowhere to go. Most of the people out there are fairly inexperienced at road riding, and will take up all of the lanes of traffic in our direction (which I totally do not agree with by the way). I know this is bad for the brakes/bike, but what else can I do? I don't want to give up the ride because of the friends I've made. I try feathering, I try to pass when able, and I try to alternate between front and rear brakes. How can I minimize potential damage? Help!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,324
    Since it's a social ride, how about just slowing your pace. That doesn't help much on the hills though. If there are slower people or sometimes cars that I can't get around, I'll pull over for a little bit and let them get ahead of me, so I have more room to ride the way I want.

    V.
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    North Andover, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    1,643
    Quote Originally Posted by archibella
    ...Most of the people out there are fairly inexperienced at road riding, and will take up all of the lanes of traffic in our direction (which I totally do not agree with by the way).
    It's good that you don't agree with this; if it were me I'd stop riding with this group or try to change their habits.

    Taking up the full driving lane is both illegal and unsafe. The vehicle code in all 50 states says that a bicycle is a legal vehicle, but riding more than 2 abreast is not allowed. I just checked the MassBike site, and (for Massachusetts at least) they state that "You must ride single file unless passing". I've seen other references that riding 2 abreast is allowed. But certainly taking up the whole driving lane with multiple bikers across is not. The MassBike references to the Massachusetts biking laws can be found at www.massbike.org/bikelaw. Links to laws relating to bicycles in all 50 states can be found at http://www.massbike.org/bikelaw/statelaws.htm, and links to laws to Canada provinces + a couple of other countries are at http://www.massbike.org/bikelaw/intl_laws.htm.

    I've ridden with groups like you're describing in the past, but only for one ride. I'm not comfortable riding in a mass like you describe (as opposed to one or two across).

    I would recommend either not riding with this group, or riding ahead of or behind them so that you are not in this dangerous situation.

    --- Denise
    Last edited by DeniseGoldberg; 06-03-2005 at 08:21 AM.
    www.denisegoldberg.com

    • Click here for links to journals and photo galleries from my travels on two wheels and two feet.
    • Random thoughts and experiences in my blog at denisegoldberg.blogspot.com


    "To truly find yourself you should play hide and seek alone."
    (quote courtesy of an unknown fortune cookie writer)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    724
    Maybe you could have the group leader broach the subject before the ride and discuss the rules of the road. I'm sure lots of new riders do not know the rules. We all have to start somewhere. Hey, you may save a life and you get to keep your new found friends.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Middle Earth
    Posts
    3,997
    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica
    Since it's a social ride, how about just slowing your pace. That doesn't help much on the hills though. If there are slower people or sometimes cars that I can't get around, I'll pull over for a little bit and let them get ahead of me, so I have more room to ride the way I want.

    V.

    Excellent advice, V

    It only adds a few minutes to your ride time, gives you a chance to stretch your back or grab a mouthful to eat if you eat on rides.

    I wish more car drivers would ride this way too, instead of overtaking in 'hop' between other cars and endangering everyone on the road for a sake of a minute or two.

    Ride defensively, avoid car drivers road rage (and your own frustration) - pull over and let the turkeys disappear so you can get on and enjoy your ride.

    And like surley says, if you are riding with a bunch, discuss it as a bunch tactic.


    Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,
    "I will try again tomorrow".


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    37
    I mostly agree that taking the whole lane is not wise, but in a large group it is sometimes safer and how much are you slowing down traffic in town? Not much if they're obeying the speed limit to begin with.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,150
    She didn't say "the whole lane," she said "all the lanes."

    The clotting is also part of the whole braking thing - if they were riding in a more orderly fashion people would have to be more consistent in their speed. Unless they're going pretty slowly (tho' it sounds like they might be), it's an accident waiting to happen - somebody brakes too fast and they'll be like a pile of dominoes. If they're going that slowly - say, 11 mph - then they're well under the speed limit and are a pretty major impediment to traffic. I realize that some people think that just doesn't matter, but I'm in the "let's try to get along" camp. I confess I'm spoiled - drivers around here also try to get along and are nicer than they're legally required to be most of the time.

    It takes some discipline but you *can* socialize in a reasonably orderly group. It's just more like dancing - you have to take turns.

    I think I would talk to a person or two, perhaps the ride leader about how they feel about the group being such an untidy clump. If they're aware of it and don't care, personally my choice (but everybody's entitled to theirs) would be to ride with a different group except for those times when I really *want* to go out and do the Critical Mass thing. Could be that they just need a nudge to get 'em to pay more attention and call others' attention to it; it's easy to forget the group dynamics, especially if you're not an experienced rider.
    Last edited by Geonz; 08-22-2005 at 05:03 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    37
    Sorry, my bad

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •