Cycling in Sydney Australia
Do you need bunch riding experience for these rides?
I'll stay away from the "experience required" rides for a start.
Ahem. Neil is being sarcastic.
He is referring to an incident in which he was cycling through Bicentennial Park when approaching a group on a BN ride. Someone in the group shouted at him that there was a 20kph speed limit in BiC. Park (which there is) as he was probably exceeding the limit.
Given the likelihood of his more extensive riding experience than that of the shouter, he naturally took offense and has since labelled BN as B20kph. However, the average speed of each BN ride is stated on the web page for each particular ride. Bear in mind, though, that is the average speed on the computer after the ride is completed and not necessarily the pace of the whole ride in general. So, if there are ascents and descents, you will need to look at the overall profile of the ride (also should be a link to that on the web page) to estimate whether it is the ride for you.
well thanks a bunch Neil. har har.
Thanks MB. I can judge whether I can do the ride or not based on fitness or speed info given, but it's the whole riding in the group eitquette business which would throw me off. May have missed the info but they weren't specific about this bit.
Best way to learn bunch etiquette is to... go on a bunch ride. Sit at the back with someone who can teach you. It's not that complicated; every bunch will differ slightly but the basic rules can be found with a quick Google search:
- Be predictable - no sudden swerves or overuse of the brakes
- Call (& point out) any hazards - potholes, debris etc e.g. "pothole left" meaning there is a pothole on the left that needs to be avoided.
- Pass all calls down the line - just because you hear the guy in front of you call "pothole left" doesn't mean the bloke behind you has - repeat the courtesy from the front to the back of the bunch.
- Learn the bunch signals for stopping (usually a raised hand), slowing (a lowered hand), move to single file or to avoid a parked car etch (usually your left arm folded across your back, hand pointing to the right) and what they do to signal a change of lane is required, and how this is completed.
- Remain in file - 2 riders wide, unless you need to go single file
- No half-wheeling (where you overlap the back wheel of the bike in front - a gap of about half a wheel or 50cm is usually about ideal - however if you need more, leave more)
- No blasting off the front and dropping everyone else
- Keep your hands within striking distance of your brake levers
- Obey the ride master
- Don't talk tech unless invited to talk tech
@Paul, It is a speed limit specific to Bicenntial (or Olympic) Park. It is on their web site and it is in the small pocket-sized maps that are available free of charge around the park. However, I absolutely agree with you that it is not sign-posted where any cyclist might easily see it.
@Dois.F.D., BN rides are never "bunch" rides in the strict sense of the word except for the Hard grade rides - with average speeds of 25kph or more. I assume if you are not familiar with riding in a bunch then you probably don't average 25kph over a distance of 80km or more over hilly terrain (which is what the Hard grade rides tend to be).
However, riding in any group, even a slow one, does require the use of some of the tips given by SUS above. But the slow rides DO NOT involve riding on someone's wheel and it would be strongly advised that you keep a safe stopping distance behind the bike in front at all times. Use of "calling", such as "bollard", "pothole", "car up" and "car back", etc is used and recommended.
Probably best not to yell speed limits at other cyclists not in your group though. :-)
Another obnoxious thing that I have heard cyclists yell at others is "wear a helmet". Generally I think it is best to mind one's own business if the cyclist is not in your group and not try to be the World Police.
I think there is a link on the BN web site with tips for cyclists that will explain everything to you However, although I used to be a member of BN and a ride leader with them, I am no longer involved, so somewhat out of touch.
30km/h while in Parramatta Park :-)