When I overtake a fellow cyclist I often wonder what they are thinking. Are they thinking “What a jerk showing off?” or “I want to go that fast”.
After averaging some pretty ludicrous distances while researching the London Cycle Routes eBook I have definitely become a much faster cyclist. I typically cycle a couple of gears higher than I use to. It also takes a much tougher hill to slow me down. This, as you can imagine, is a great side benefit of the number of miles I’ve covered on pedal power. You might have noticed similar results after a few weeks of heavy cycling.
So, inevitably I find myself needing to do a lot of overtaking of fellow cyclists. But a small part of me thinks overtaking is a little rude. Perhaps I should hang back and just take it easy. After all I’m not trying to prove anything and I don’t want to make a fellow cyclist feel bad. However, this doesn’t help the situation as I like going fast. In fact I struggle to maintain a slow speed more than I do a normal speed.
This conundrum hit me hard last week when I was cycling back home from Camden. As it’s a short ride I was enjoying giving it some speed. At some point I came across a couple of fellow cyclists. The first was a must overtake as I can’t even cycle that slow. The second however was doing a decent enough speed. So I was stuck in limbo while the two voices in my head battled it out for what to do. (Does voices in my head make me sound crazy? Probably.)
On the other side, when it is me being overtaken I see it as a challenge. I find myself wanting to race up to that person and overtake them again.
What do you think? If you frequently overtake other cyclists do you ever wonder what they are thinking? Or if you enjoy going at a slow speed what do you think when someone overtakes you?
Overall I should probably start focusing more on life’s real problems rather than these silly thoughts!!
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.