Friday 18 July 2008

Cycling like an ABC journo on crack

I have a bit more to say regarding cyclists hitting pedestrians and killing them.

I went for a spin today, taking a westward-ho direction; mainly since it was heading in the opposite direction to the office. Part of my ride was on wide, open roads like this, and part was on enclosed bike/foot paths around the old Olympic site at Homebush.

Give me a bit of open road like this, with no pedestrians or kids around and no potential for idiot drivers to back out of their driveways without looking and I'll open it up. As the speed shows, I was doing 38 km/h along this stretch, and you can knock 4-5km/h off my normal speed due to me having to take one hand off the handlebars to hold the camera, and then jockey around to get a photo of the bike computer. If the road and lungs allow, I'll sometimes find myself overtaking buses and other slower moving vehicles. It doesn't happen that often, but I can move quickly at times.

Then there is the other end of the spectrum - narrow, winding paths with lots of overhanging shrubbery. This is typical of a lot of Homebush.

And look at that - a few seconds after taking the above photo, this kid comes around a corner from nowhere. Max speed through here - 20km/h.

This particular path leads to a playground, which was covered in sprogletts on bikes, scooters and foot today.

See the kid in the foreground in the brown jumper? Just as I took this photo, his mate came running out from behind that shrub and ran across the path in front of me. Good thing I was down below 15 km/h at that point.

Then there are the really narrow paths with the really young kids.

My speed through here? A max of 9km/h. That's a fast walk, or slow jog.

A bit further out, the path opens up enough so that you could easily drive a car down it at a reasonable clip. However, the path still winds through the shrubbery, so sight lines are limited, and pedestrians with dogs or prams can pop out of a side track at any second. And idiots walk down the middle of the path, instead of keeping to the left.

As this photo shows, the path kinks and merges and does all sorts of wierd things - you just don't want to be fanging it through here.

Although I could have floored it through here and cruised at over 35km/h, I kept a lid on it and went no faster than 25km/h. I was itching to go faster, but I kept my sensible head on.

That's all you have to do.

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