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Confusion as driver blames 20mph zone for preventing her overtaking cyclists... despite them riding at the speed limit; Huge Drum & Bass On The Bike crowd; Thibaut Pinot retirement party; Anyone for cycling limbo?; Weekend round-up + more on the live blog

Welcome to the start of a new week on the road.cc live blog, Dan Alexander getting things kicked off for you this Monday
09 October 2023, 10:41
Confusion as driver blames 20mph zone for preventing her overtaking cyclists... despite them riding at the speed limit

Here's a brainteaser for your Monday: if a road user is travelling at exactly 20mph in a 20mph zone, and there are other road users in front also travelling at 20mph, why would there be any need for the road user behind to overtake the other road user in front? 

That's the question the internet is trying to answer after one person's TikTok about a newly introduced 20mph speed limit in Wales caused some befuddlement...

The "reality" of the speed limits, the social media sharer claimed, is that when "going at 20mph" she has been behind "these cyclists for about four miles" without being "able to overtake them" because... "they're actually cycling faster than me going at 20mph".

"I'm going 20mph and I cannot overtake these bikes".

Sounds like, dare I say it, the rules of the road working perfectly as intended? Scary stuff...

Some questioned the point of the video, one reply asked then "why would she need to overtake the cyclists?" Another keen to know "if there were no bikes there what speed would she be doing?"

It's not the first eyebrow-raising reaction to Wales' introduction of default 20mph speed limits we've seen... there was that bloke on Twitter who reckoned the recent media coverage of Russell Brand was all a plot to distract from the introduction of lower limits. Then there was the person who claimed driving instructors were being forced to lengthen their lessons because they simply couldn't cover the necessary distance in an hour. The internet's a fun place, isn't it?

Anyway, here's our report into the initial analysis of Wales' 20mph speed limit implementation from transport and public health data analysts Agilysis...

> "Far more pleasant for walkers and cyclists": 20mph speed limit analysis hailed "astonishing", with drivers' journeys just 45 seconds longer

09 October 2023, 15:44
Meanwhile in the Netherlands...
09 October 2023, 14:39
Cycling's newest bucket list monster climb — 18km at 10%

The Tour of Turkey isn't the first race that comes to mind when we think of monster climbs. But maybe it should, given tomorrow's stage features possibly the most fear-inducing ascent we've seen for quite some time...

Tour of Turkey climb (Strava)

And the race organisers reckon it's three kilometres longer than that, all at an average gradient of 10.3 per cent, with nine of those kilometres above 12 per cent. Add in what looks like a 'challenging' surface, with potentially even a cobbled sector, and tomorrow's looking like a particularly grim day to be a sprinter.

09 October 2023, 14:33
Unreleased Merida Silex raced to victory at Gravel World Champs by Matej Mohorič
09 October 2023, 13:25
Cycling UK's Big Bike Revival receives £4 million funding boost from Active Travel England
Big Bike Revival (Jordan Gibbons/Cycling UK)

Cycling UK's Big Bike Revival will receive another £4 million of funding from Active Travel England. The programme, which provides funding for events designed to improve cycling skills, including 'learn to fix' or 'learn to ride' sessions, as well as led rides run through community groups and not-for-profit organisations.

Funding has now been confirmed until March 2025, with 2022 figures showing that over a third of people who took part in the programme switched to cycling for some or all of the short journeys they previously travelled by car.

"I'm delighted that we can now reach even more people than before through the Big Bike Revival," Cycling UK chief executive Sarah Mitchell said. "We know what an impact the programme has had from talking to some of the 700,000 people who have taken part over the past decade. Many of them have changed the way they travel after coming along to a Big Bike Revival event.

"We estimate that over 40 per cent of adults in England have access to a bike, but only one in six of them cycles more than once a week. So this significant new funding will enable us to spread the benefits of cycling to even more communities, improving health and wellbeing and saving people money in a cost of living crisis."

09 October 2023, 12:37
Speeding driver who screamed at cyclist after hitting and leaving him with life-changing injuries spared jail
09 October 2023, 10:06
Thibaut Pinot retirement party
Thibaut Pinot Lombardia 2023 (RCS)

[RCS]

In some people's eyes, more important than any of the boring old who won this who won that was the retirement party of Thibaut Pinot, just as it did on the penultimate stage of the Tour de France, taking over Il Lombardia... 

Bowing out at the race he won in 2018, Pinot brought the curtain down on a career filled with promise, challenges, victories, disappointments and heartache, all followed closely by the support of a cult following that most athletes could only dream of.

Thibaut Pinot Lombardia 2023 (RCS)

 [RCS]

Completing 14 seasons with the team currently known as Groupama FDJ, Pinot broke through with a 2012 stage victory at the Tour de France, willed on by directeur sportif Marc Madiot's famous shouted 'encouragements'.

As with any promising French climbing talent, a fate also suffered by his contemporary Romain Bardet, Pinot's career unfolded to the backdrop of never-ending speculation about if he could end the French drought and win the Tour de France? A podium finish in 2014 was as close as he came.

Four DNFs at his home Grand Tour, most recently in 2019 having been third on GC after the first week, only to lose time on the sprint stage to Albi, drop further back in the TT, win atop the Tourmalet, move up to fourth the day after, and abandon the race on stage 19 having been 1:50 off the yellow jersey the night before.

Ultimately, the touted Grand Tour-winning heights were never reached, but many a more successful pro cyclist has retired without a tenth of the fanfare and acclaim that Thibaut Pinot took on Saturday afternoon...

09 October 2023, 08:52
Weekend round-up: Aero vs lightweight; Brompton Bike Hire managing director blasts Rishi Sunak's "cyclists versus drivers" rhetoric; Reviews; Racing + more

So, what happened in the cycling world while you were busy riding your bike this weekend and not sat at work procrastinating the Monday morning away?

Cycling signs (copyright Simon MacMichael) (17)

The managing director of Brompton Bike Hire became the latest voice within the cycling industry to criticise Rishi Sunak's recently announced batch of "proudly pro-car" policies, describing the prime minister's attempt to halt the so-called 'war on motorists' as "wedge politics" and an "artificial construct" which will "hopefully blow over given time".

Elsewhere, in the racing world, Tadej Pogačar completed his Il Lombardia hat-trick on Saturday, while Kasia Niewiadoma won the UCI Gravel World Championships...

Tadej Pogacar wins 2023 Il Lombardia (picture credit LaPresse/RCS Sport)

> Tadej Pogačar wins Il Lombardia for the third time in a row with solo attack

Then, yesterday, Matej Mohorič added a men's UCI Gravel World Championship victory to his impressive palmares ahead of a stacked field that included Wout van Aert and a not-so-retired Alejandro Valverde. Our favourite story to come out of that, however, was Nathan Haas being forced to ride the event on a museum Colnago after his bike was lost in transit.

9 tips to keep your bike running smoothly Oct 2023

> How to keep your bike running smoothly — spend less on servicing by doing these simple maintenance tasks regularly

And our video team have been busy looking into the pros and cons of aero vs lightweight with the help of Ribble.

> Aero vs lightweight road bikes with Ribble: How much faster could an aero bike make you?

2023 Techalogic DC-2 Pro Dual Lens Helmet Camera - 1.jpg

> REVIEW: Techalogic DC-2 Pro Dual Lens Helmet Camera

Surly cross check Pat's

> Farewell to the Surly Cross-Check, one of the first 'gravel' bikes that is now officially discontinued

09 October 2023, 08:47
Cycling limbo
09 October 2023, 08:44
"Should ​the DJ Dom Whiting ever visit a city near you for one of his Drum & Bass On The Bike rides, my advice is that you shouldn’t pass up the chance to pop along"
09 October 2023, 08:29
Drum & Bass On The Bike: The story so far
Drum and Bass on the Bike Bristol (Dom Whiting)

Here's your 90-second rundown of Drum & Bass On The Bike, in case this is your first time hearing about the city-hopping cycling celebration...

It's the creation of High Wycombe-based DJ Dom Whiting who had the genius lockdown idea of retrofitting a trike with decks and speakers, live streaming himself riding around a town or city blasting tunes. Better than another 5km run or banana bread loaf.

"It started during the lockdown, through pure boredom really," Whiting told road.cc in June. "We couldn't have music at the time, we couldn't do this, we couldn't do that. It was just one of those crazy lockdown creations, that now takes up a hundred percent my life! The whole thing was a complete accident in that I didn't expect it to evolve the way it has." 

The format was born and has grown in popularity since, Whiting's early days seeing just himself or a handful of people showing up. Now, hundreds or thousands turn up every time.

Dom Whiting bike - via Instagram

From Brighton to Berlin via just about every major UK city, Barcelona, Dublin and more, Drum & Bass On The Bike fever has spread, his full ride videos getting hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube where he has 232,000 subscribers.

"I don't want to put a limit on where I think this will go, because there is no end goal," he told us recently. "There's no way you can say we'll stop at 4,000, 5,000 people, because you could have 10,000 and facilitate that with more sound.

"The variety of people that turn up, it just kind of makes it all worth it. Even if it does cost me fucking three or four, five grand a time, you can't really put a price tag on the feeling."

For more, check out editor Jack's sit-down interview with the DJ behind it all...

09 October 2023, 08:03
"Phenomenal experience": Huge Drum & Bass On The Bike crowds light up latest city

The challenge for Dom Whiting was working out how to best last year?

From the footage we've seen doing the rounds on social media since yesterday, that would be a yes...

Not bad for a series that started with Dom's one-man rides live streamed online, now attended by hundreds, perhaps thousands of people enjoying riding bikes through their city in a safe, party atmosphere. While we're going to keep this a positive post it might be amusing to point out how the plan to return to Sheffield caught the attention of one Facebook group dedicated to opposing active travel plans in part of the city.

"The velociraptor cycle gangs are planning terrorist action to bring Sheffield to a standstill this weekend. We must stand up to this vile behaviour, we cannot allow the terrorists to win."

Sorry, pal. Think everyone's too busy enjoying a bike ride to join the resistance...

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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35 comments

Avatar
chrisonabike | 6 months ago
3 likes

RE: Meanwhile in the Netherlands...

That just goes to show that the much touted cycle infra over there is clearly not fit for purpose.  Far too narrow, and dangerous to boot.

And just look at what their cyclists wear!

Here's more of their "crazy golf" infra...

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dubwise | 6 months ago
1 like

Watching those Pinot videos brought a lump to the throat.

Merci Thibaut.

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Patrick9-32 | 6 months ago
1 like

I think the tikker is saying "look at the reality of this lower speed limit, I am going as slowly as cyclists, 20mph is way too slow because I should be faster than cyclists and if I obey the speed limit I am not." rather than "I am happy to go 20 mph but I need to do so in front of cyclists rather than behind them" as a lot of people are interpereting it. 

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Oldfatgit | 6 months ago
3 likes

Low Bridge ...
You can bet your ass some prat in a Transit has tried to get under there.

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stonojnr | 6 months ago
0 likes

Presumably it was their passenger using their phone to capture that video?

it moves on its axis a few times so its not a fixed dashcam.

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Oldfatgit replied to stonojnr | 6 months ago
2 likes

I wonder if they were wearing a chest rig as the camera is way too steady for hand-held and driving.

Always possible the car is a left hooker.

They are a twat no matter what

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eburtthebike | 6 months ago
10 likes

The driver complaining that she wasn't able to overtake cyclists who were doing 20mph in the 20mph zone, is reported to be a Health and Wellness coach at a school.

"Sara Dew

Health and Wellness Coach at Complementary Health Care, Compementary (sic) Health Care, Mount St Josephs School"

And she uses the strapline "What controls your mind, controls your life"

You literally couldn't make it up.

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Jimmy Ray Will | 6 months ago
3 likes

Watching that video, I can't see the 20mph rule lasting for long. For the opening part of that ladies rant, I could see no real reason why that road would need a 20mph limit at all. Taking her at face value, I can't believe there are 4+mile stretches of unbroken 20mph limit road.

Is she deliberately driving on the most urban / suburban roads possible or something?

Either she's full of bullpoo, or those speed limits have been applied in an overal draconian way.

As an aside, I love her freudian slip when she mentions 25mph. Looking at the video, she was clearly driving above 20mph for much of it, lol. 

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Surreyrider replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 6 months ago
3 likes

Of course she was. There is a 20mph zone going into Kingston - it's about a mile or so along the Portsmouth Road. The majority of drivers go 30-40mph along it until they are 'held up' by someone like me driving at or below 20mph. Once the 20mpher turns off, they're back up to 30-40mph (apart from past the one speed camera, of course, where the brake lights are on for a fair while).

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IanMK replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 6 months ago
3 likes

I'm just back from Wales. There was some issues with signage in some locations but otherwise I didn't have any issues and it all seemed very sensible.
I would need some local help but that's the B5106 through Castell I would be surprised if it was 20mph all along there. In fact she drives past a temporary 20mph sign that seems to cover just the stretch past the pub.

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quiff replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 6 months ago
5 likes

Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

I could see no real reason why that road would need a 20mph limit at all.

It depends on the reason for the limit. Plenty of people say "I don't mind 20mph outside schools etc" (of which it seems there are a few along that road). But Welsh government rationale for making it wider than that is because they want people to be safe everywhere, not just outside schools.

  

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brooksby replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 6 months ago
0 likes

Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

Watching that video, I can't see the 20mph rule lasting for long. For the opening part of that ladies rant, I could see no real reason why that road would need a 20mph limit at all. Taking her at face value, I can't believe there are 4+mile stretches of unbroken 20mph limit road.

Is she deliberately driving on the most urban / suburban roads possible or something?

Either she's full of bullpoo, or those speed limits have been applied in an overal draconian way.

As an aside, I love her freudian slip when she mentions 25mph. Looking at the video, she was clearly driving above 20mph for much of it, lol. 

I thought that the principle was that, in Wales, all the roads which were previously 30mph limit are now 20mph limit (except where an exception/exemption has been applied for).

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quiff replied to brooksby | 6 months ago
1 like

Strictly speaking, the default speed limit for "restricted roads" (typically those with regular streetlights) has been reduced. In theory I think there could previously have been 30mph roads which are not restricted roads (the 30mph limit may have been imposed by some other order) and the limit on those won't automatically have changed to 20.   

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chrisonabike replied to quiff | 6 months ago
1 like

Don't forget they could (and still can) apply to vary the limit also.  The fact of this flexibility has unfortunately been misrepresented.  Almost like "x minute neighbourhoods / cities", which may have sounded like a sensible principle until the government recently confessed it was after all just a sinister plot to trap us all in our homes!  (Who by ... er, well not them or Conservative councils, obviously.)

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IanMK replied to quiff | 6 months ago
0 likes

One of the issues I had was that they don't seem to use the smaller signs along the way. On one road I passed a 40mph sign coming out of a village, all good, and crossed a main road using a roundabout. No obvious sign, houses and lamp posts so slowed to 20mph. It was still 40mph! Basically, the last large speed limit sign you saw is the one that applies. That did seem a bit crazy!

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quiff replied to IanMK | 6 months ago
1 like

Yes, around me there are a couple of places where I'm unsure. Apparently they are no longer allowed to use the smaller 20mph 'repeater' signs on restricted roads anymore, as it's simply the default limit (though there is a grace period to remove them).

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bikeman01 replied to IanMK | 6 months ago
0 likes

Do you not drive?

The default limit in England is 30mph. That means, it's 30mph on all roads except where designated otherwise. These 30mph roads have entry signage and street lighting. Repeaters are used where there is no streetlighting.

On all other speed limit roads repeaters are required.

So.. in Wales the default limit is now 20mph. This applies to all existing 30mph roads, and is as above clear by the presence of entry signage and streetlighting.

30 mph roads are no longer the default so streetlighting is irrelevant and repeaters are now required.

In your case above, the signage was clear, it remains 40mph (with regular repeaters) until signage to say otherwise. Streetlighting doesnt indicate a change of speed.

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IanMK replied to bikeman01 | 6 months ago
1 like
bikeman01 wrote:

Do you not drive?

The default limit in England is 30mph. That means, it's 30mph on all roads except where designated otherwise. These 30mph roads have entry signage and street lighting. Repeaters are used where there is no streetlighting.

On all other speed limit roads repeaters are required.

So.. in Wales the default limit is now 20mph. This applies to all existing 30mph roads, and is as above clear by the presence of entry signage and streetlighting.

30 mph roads are no longer the default so streetlighting is irrelevant and repeaters are now required.

In your case above, the signage was clear, it remains 40mph (with regular repeaters) until signage to say otherwise. Streetlighting doesnt indicate a change of speed.

That's my point it was 40mph but didn't have repeaters. Is it not possible that, given the infancy of the project, in areas where the 30mph remains they have not yet put in the repeaters.

Abergele Rd
https://maps.app.goo.gl/ymHVF7B7dA45e38N6

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HoldingOn replied to bikeman01 | 6 months ago
3 likes

bikeman01 wrote:

The default limit in England is 30mph. That means, it's 30mph on all roads except where designated otherwise. These 30mph roads have entry signage and street lighting. Repeaters are used where there is no streetlighting.

On all other speed limit roads repeaters are required.

So.. in Wales the default limit is now 20mph. This applies to all existing 30mph roads, and is as above clear by the presence of entry signage and streetlighting.

30 mph roads are no longer the default so streetlighting is irrelevant and repeaters are now required.

In your case above, the signage was clear, it remains 40mph (with regular repeaters) until signage to say otherwise. Streetlighting doesnt indicate a change of speed.

Not strictly true. In England, Scotland & Northern Ireland - it is 30mph in built up areas and they seem to use street lighting as defining "built up"
In Wales, this is 20mph in built up areas (defined by street lighting)

It there is no street lighting, then (for cars) the "default speed limit" i.e. the speed limit when not otherwise indicated, is 60mph for single carriageway and 70mph for dual/motorway.

Highway Code wrote:

National speed limits

The following speed limits apply to all single and dual carriageways with street lights, unless there are signs showing otherwise:

30 miles per hour (48km/h) in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland
20 miles per hour (32km/h) in Wales

gov.uk Speed Limits

Avatar
quiff replied to bikeman01 | 6 months ago
4 likes

bikeman01 wrote:

So.. in Wales the default limit is now 20mph. This applies to all existing 30mph roads, and is as above clear by the presence of entry signage and streetlighting.

30 mph roads are no longer the default so streetlighting is irrelevant and repeaters are now required.

Streetlighting is not irrelevant, as "restricted roads" (to which the new default applies, absent an exemption) are defined by the presence of streetlights. In practice, yes, a change of speed limit should also have a sign, but the Welsh Gov acknowledges they weren't necessarily all in place from day one.    

Avatar
brooksby | 6 months ago
4 likes

That 'cycling limbo' tweet seems like a good argument for learning to ride a recumbent... 

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chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 6 months ago
3 likes

Think that location was covered by Ogmios in his recent e-Bike adventures.

Why do you need an argument for learning to ride a recumbent though?

Or what's wrong with "you get more odd looks from people, and there are more custom parts, costing more money - AND you get to go at whoohoo speeds more often downhill, on the flat or even on a slight uphill grade"?

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kil0ran replied to chrisonabike | 6 months ago
4 likes

I'm currently heading towards the recumbent rabbit hole due to injury/illness, it's like a whole new world I didn't know existed. So much choice. So many weird looks. So many new tools needed. So much clever engineering. Why would anyone not want to ride a recumbent?

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chrisonabike replied to kil0ran | 6 months ago
1 like

Wish you lots of fun discovering things!  I really recommend reaching out to folks and trying as many as you can.  I hope you're near a friendly dealer (not many - I mean, they're all friendly but few dealers) OR some friendly recumbent owners.  Forget "bike fit" - there's a whole slew of variables to explore.

Although there's always some "niche" stuff many of the modern crop (especially high-racers) are designed with "takes all your standard / favourite high-end components" in terms of wheels / drivetrain.  Obviously you'll not find seats or steerers in Halfords though!

The good thing is that - though expensive in the first place - they tend to hold their value.  So taking the plunge (especially 2nd hand) and finding after a while that e.g. you want more comfort (or alternatively less suspension / flex / a more laid back or lighter machine) you can get back a reasonable chunk of your investment.

Currently although I've also got a diamond framed tourer I'm mostly gravitating towards either lying down or being bolt-upright (roadster-style sit-up-and-beg posture for shopping and short trips).  Either way my back /neck is happier and I avoid pressure on my hands / wrists.

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kil0ran replied to chrisonabike | 6 months ago
1 like

Nearest dealers are about 30 miles away so easy enough to cycle over for a test ride whilst I still can. Taking pressure off hands, neck, and feet main priority, as is engaging different muscle groups.

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chrisonabike replied to kil0ran | 6 months ago
1 like

Having a relationship with a dealer is a good idea - I've sorted most of the standard issues with mine but for getting odd more obscure bits (normally from abroad) it can be much easier to go through a dealer.

OTOH if it's trikes then there are ICE actually building 'em in the UK.

Muscle groups is different again as it seems to depend on the frame and design to a greater extent than uprights.  The ones I've ridden there's the ability to adjust to make the posture more comfy than on a standard road bike BUT there's less scope for the small positional adjustments you might make on an upright and you can't get up on the pedals / stretch your back right out.

Trikes are a lot of fun.  Yes, a bit of extra drag from the 3rd wheel and a fair bit heavier - but going up hills you can't fall off!

On mid-height 2 wheel recumbents I've never had problems being seen during the day.  Rather the opposite - there's definitely a "WTF!" factor at play.  However though I've not yet had any issues there are two situations I'd consider exceptions.  I tend to avoid busy urban traffic on the 'bent and if I am in it I'm much more conservative e.g. tend not to filter, stay in primary and sod people beeping, am extra cautious at junctions.  On a trike I think I'd be even less likely to mix it with congestion.

I've also not yet done much solo night riding.  If I start doing more I'd consider getting a literal Christmas tree for the back (or other super-stimulus, preferably with moving lights / reflectives).  For one you don't have the benefit of moving pedal reflectors visible from the rear.

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lesterama replied to kil0ran | 6 months ago
0 likes

One word: hills

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kil0ran replied to lesterama | 6 months ago
1 like

Not many near me. Not bigguns anyway. And I'm not a stand and mash the pedals sort of rider so hopefully I'll be fine. Due to age will likely go trike so hopefully few stability issues. My only real concern with it all is drivers.

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NickSprink | 6 months ago
1 like

I thought Velociraptors were supposed to be quick, and if I saw one I don't think I'd be at a standstill

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HoldingOn replied to NickSprink | 6 months ago
2 likes

NickSprink wrote:

I thought Velociraptors were supposed to be quick, and if I saw one I don't think I'd be at a standstill

You would run right into their trap then....

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