Proposed Five New Road Rules for Bunch Riders based on calculations -

i)          available in Bicycle Brake Stop Calculator;

ii)         set out for various speeds and gradients in 'SummaryStoppingDistances.xlsx';

iii)        which accord with calculations in Figure 19 on page 40 "Stopping Sight Distance" of  Guide for the development of bicycle facilities produced by the 'American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' explained in Chapter 22 Two mathematical formulae exist..........

 

 

i), ii) and iii) above calculate 'inter alia' the following Distance To Brake to Stop examples for a cyclist that weighs 68.1 kg (150 lb) on a dry road surface with dry brake pads and wheel rims, travelling on a -

*          level roadway with a velocity (speed) of 20km/p/h, the Distance To Brake to Stop is 20.2m.

*          level roadway with a velocity (speed) of 40km/p/h, the Distance To Brake to Stop is 53.0m.

*          5% descent with a velocity (speed) of 20km/p/h, the Distance To Brake to Stop is 21.8m.

The 4th last and 3rd last paragraphs in Chapter 14. "Bunch Riding On Australian Roads Is Illegal" explain that -

i)         road bicycles have relatively inefficient braking equipment, particularly under wet conditions, and

ii)        brake application is restricted because bicycles are top heavy, otherwise the rider will pitch-over the handlebars.

 

Proposed Five New Road Rules

 

1.        New rule re 'Safe distance behind' to enable reasonable time to steer around a fallen cyclist(s) ahead:

Unless overtaking, a cyclist must remain at least -

            *           one bicycle length (1.6m) behind the rear wheel of a bicycle immediately ahead when travelling up to 10km/p/h;

            *           one additional bicycle length (1.6m) behind the rear wheel of a bicycle immediately ahead for each additional 5km/p/h beyond 10km/p/h; and

            *           one additional bicycle length behind a bicycle immediately ahead when descending a slope for each additional 2% gradient. 

            Example are, when -

            (a)        descending a 4% slope at 40km/p/h, a cyclist must remain at least 9 bicycle lengths (7 for speed + 2 for descending a 4% slope) behind the rear wheel of the bicycle ahead, which is 14m (9 x 1.6m);

            (c)        descending a 10% slope (a steep descent) at 30 km/p/h, a cyclist must remain at least 9 bicycle lengths (5 for speed + 5 for descending 10% slope) behind the bicycle ahead, which is 16m (10 x 1.6m); and

            (d)        descending a 10% slope (a steep descent) at 60 km/p/h, each cyclist must remain at least 16 bicycle lengths, (11 for speed + 5 for descending a 10% slope) behind the bicycle ahead which is 25.6m (16 x 1.6m).

           Materially increasing the distance between the rear wheel of the bike ahead and the front wheel of the bike behind to a minimum of two bike lengths would (up to 10km/p/h)

            i)          increase the peripheral vision of Bunch Riders behind;

            ii)         provide more time to react to signals given by riders ahead of imminent Hazards To Bunch Riders ahead; and

            iii)        enable more time to avoid a fallen Bunch Rider(s) ahead.

 

2.        New rule re 'Cycling two abreast':

  • When descending on a slope that is greater than 5%, Bunch Riders must not ride two abreast which means that when approaching a descent greater than 5%, Bunch Riders must spread out as they approach that descent, meaning cyclists towards the rear of the bunch would decelerate to create requisite distance apart and aside.

  • When cycling at greater than 30 km/p/h on a single lane road, cyclists must not ride two abreast which means that when approaching 30 km/p/h, cyclists in a Bunch Ride must spread out, meaning cyclists towards the rear of the bunch would decelerate to create requisite space apart.

3.        New rule re 'Maximum cycling speed in a Bunch Ride':

No cyclist on Australian roads shall ride a bicycle in a Bunch Ride at greater than 50 km/p/h.

 

4.        New rule re 'Maximum number of cyclists in a Bunch Ride':

Not more than 14 cyclists [7 cyclists deep x (1.6m x 3 bicycle lengths) less 2 bicycle lengths not measured behind the final bicycle = 30.4 metres minimum possible Bunch Ride length] shall ride in a Bunch Ride.

The length of a 14 cyclists Bunch Ride could extend to 88 metres minimum when descending a 6% slope at 35km/p/h [7 cyclists deep x (1.6m x 9 bicycle lengths [6 bicycle lengths for speed + 3 bicycle lengths for descent slope] = 6 bicycle lengths x 14.4m + 1.6m = 88 metres

Has a vocal minority over ruled a silent majority..... points out that You Tube's of Bunch Riding on Beach Road evidence that a serious problem occurs when a set of traffic light turns amber/red and a large Bunch Ride is approaching the intersection, or partially through the intersection, particularly if travelling at above 20km p/h which is through most of the traffic lighted intersections on Beach Road.  Do the riders near the back of the Bunch Ride start to brake and run the risk of other riders behind them continuing to ride through the intersection?

5.        New rule re 'Distance between each Bunch Ride unless overtaking':

Unless overtaking another Bunch Ride that is ahead, no Bunch Ride shall ride within 60 metres of another Bunch Ride.  When a Bunch Ride is overtaking another Bunch Ride, riders in the overtaking Bunch Ride must not rider two abreast.

Reasons for limiting the maximum speed in 3. above are not limited to:

(a)        Bicycle tyres are often as narrow as 23mm, whereas a motor bike tyre can be up to five times that width and 30 times the mass.

(b)        Bicycle tubes are light and prone to puncture, particularly if jammed on hard whereupon the tube may explode due to overheating;

(c)        Calliper bicycle brakes provide a low Coefficient Of Friction.

(d)        Cyclists do not wear the heavy protective clothing and robust helmets warn by motor bike riders, nor do they enjoy the prospect of rubber barriers and sand pits to cushion impact, rather a fallen cyclist, often only clad in polyester, lycra and skin, will likely smash into a metal railing (see adjacent pic) which too many have done at considerable pain, injury and diminished QOL, as well as considerable burden on our health system costs. 

(e)        As explained in Chapter 6e. There is a material disparity....... , over 90% of Bunch Riders do not possess anywhere near the cycling skills to stop, or materially divert, a bicycle in emergency conditions that professional road cyclists display, as seen in Annual Popular Professional Bicycle Road Rides.