Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Sportives/audaxes/training rides

London Dynamo in Richmond Park - please be more considerate

I'm 46, my steel bike weighs 27 lbs without luggage, and a I cycle round Richmond Park at an average speed of 13-14 mph, about 2-3 feet from verge.

I've been doing this for about 20 years. I've had very little hassle with cars - they normally give me lots of space and they slow down and wait to overtake if they have to.

The people who don't slow down are unfortunately other cyclists - in particular London Dyanmo - a group of pro-racing wannabes who whizz around the park in carbon-fibre pelotons pretending they're on the open road in a race. They expect me and everyone else to pull over when they decide to come whizzing up announced. I've been yelled at, sworn at and had grim-faced people scrape by inches away from me.

:?

Guys - you're not in a race. You're sharing a narrow and often busy road with cars, cyclists of all ages and abilities and sometimes people practising wheelchair racing. You've got no right to ride at 25-30 mph in a 20 mph area. Nor do you have a right to insist on riding in a peloton on a narrow and busy road. Nor do have the right to insist that every other person on a bike defers to you.

I'll be sticking to my natural speed (to be honest I can't go much faster). I will also not be pushed into the verge so that you can live out your pro-biking fantasy in the park I've using for 20 years.

Please slow down and ride in singley file if the road conditions demand it. If you really can't bear to do that then head off to that new cycle track in East London and leave Richmond Park to more chilled out and considerate folk.

Thanks. :wink:

Andy
«134

Posts

  • toontratoontra Posts: 1,160
    I wonder why the authorities don't fine them. It wouldn't be hard to do - they're there every Saturday at the same time and always break the speed limit.

    If they did, maybe they'd feel like they'd done their duty and leave other riders (like me) alone, :wink:


    a serious case of small cogs
  • snakehipssnakehips Posts: 2,272
    Andy,

    I am surprised and saddened by your observations.
    My average speed is typically a couple of mph greater than yours but I also get easily overtaken by the majority of road riders , including obviously the London Dynamo brigade.
    This has never caused me any problem.
    I hope you will not be deterred by what must surely be a small minority of riders

    Snake

    my bikes ............

    http://beta.yudu.com/library/item_details/17432/Snakehips--Bikes
    'Follow Me' the wise man said, but he walked behind!
  • More fuel for the argument that the Dynamo will get us all barred from group riding in the park before too long.
  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    More fuel for the argument that the Dynamo will get us all barred from group riding in the park before too long.

    How could that possibly be enforced?

    I cannot see that it could be.

    Of course if the parks police were out in force then maybe they would start enforcing the speed limit in the park for motorists as well....which will never happen.
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • owenlarsowenlars Posts: 719
    I had a similar experience with them on Saturday morning. It's not worth going into detail but RPA has just about got it covered. What I saw was a most arrogant and inconsiderate exhibition.

    I wasn't going to post but given RPA's comments I thought I would back him up. If we, as the cycling community, don't act considerately to others in Richmond Park (and elsewhere of course), we will all have to face the consequences.
  • Richmond Park Andy's post makes me sad for many reasons:

    1) As a Dynamo rider (albeit an infrequent Saturday park rider) I'm sorry that you've been yelled at and sworn at when riding in the park. I assume you haven't done anything to cause this response and have been the recipient of unwanted testosterone-based rudeness.
    2) You appear to have an issue with riders of modern (or at least carbon fibre) bikes who ride in a group, which seems to have skewed your opinion somewhat.
    3) You state that you have more problems with cyclists (esp. Dynamo) than cars in the park. As a frequent and long-time user of the park I simply don't believe you. I've lost count of the number of near-scrapes I've had from cars whilst cycling alone in the park. Had very few incidents with cyclists, not even when cycling round very slowly with many others overtaking me.
    4) I have, however, seen some unbelievably bad behaviour in the park from cyclists. Believe it or not, the majority have not been wearing London Dynamo kit.
    5) I find it really sad that another cyclist in a park (remember what a park is?) feel the need to suggest that a group training at speed (not excessive, but at 20mph) should find somewhere else (interestingly you suggest non-road circuits) for training. That's a view I've got used to from drivers, but to hear it from a cyclist is disappointing.

    I frequently cycle in the park alone now, but I tend not to cycle in the park in a group any more. I find traffic levels at weekends have got so bad in the past couple of years that it isn't really a viable option when combined with increasing police attention and lowered speed limits. Now that's the saddest point.
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    pinkbikini wrote:
    a group training at speed (not excessive, but at 20mph)

    Respectfully I've got to disagree with you here. On the flat and slightly downhill sections of the park - at least half of the circuit - I cruise at 20-25mph, and the Dynamo echelons are invariably faster than me by a good 2-3mph.
  • London Dynamos... what a laugh... you should have seen how fast they were up the mild ramps of the Bwlch in Wales...
    I think I've passed a hundred of them ... :lol::lol::lol:
  • biondino wrote:
    pinkbikini wrote:
    a group training at speed (not excessive, but at 20mph)

    Respectfully I've got to disagree with you here. On the flat and slightly downhill sections of the park - at least half of the circuit - I cruise at 20-25mph, and the Dynamo echelons are invariably faster than me by a good 2-3mph.

    A group passing a rider (going 13mph, a la RPAndy) at 20mph or 25mph - not too much difference really. Don't think the speed is really the issue, and anyway, not going to publicly state breaking a speed restriction!

    Shall we start the debate as to why the limit has been reduced to 20mph? And how many cars actually stick to it?
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    Let's! I honestly don't know. Deer accidents?
  • Lifted directly from The Royal Parks website, applied 10th May 2004:

    Richmond Park's speed limit has been reduced from 30mph to 20mph for three reasons:
    - The Park has many visitors, including the elderly and people with mobility problems or young children, and they often need to cross the Park's busy roads (4,000 cars an hour during rush hour). A lower speed limit reduces the risk of accidents and, combined with additional road crossing points which we will be installing, will make the Park more accessible for pedestrians.
    - Lower traffic speed will also reduce the frequency of vehicles hitting and killing the Parks' wildlife. This is not limited to major and very noticeable collisions with deer (currently an average of two deer are hit every month) as it also reduces the number of 'unseen' casualties, such as small mammals, birds, amphibians and insects, all of which play a role in the Park's internationally significant ecology.
    - Reducing the speed of vehicles passing through the Park will reduce the noise of traffic, making the Park a quieter, calmer and more pleasant place for visitors. It is also good for the Parks' many birds (some of which are at risk or declining in numbers), whose breeding success has been shown to be adversely affected because traffic noise impinges on their songs.

    So only point (1) really applies to cyclists, unless we count grey squirrel fatalities under (2). Don't think the RP would mind that too much, actually.

    Not sure where the 'crossing points' are for pedestrians as stated in (1).
  • biondino wrote:
    Let's! I honestly don't know. Deer accidents?

    So the police only enforcing the 20mph limit on cyclists a few weeks after a Dynamo group had a switching incident which forced a rider into the path of an incoming car is a pure co-incidence?
    5) I find it really sad that another cyclist in a park (remember what a park is?) feel the need to suggest that a group training at speed (not excessive, but at 20mph) should find somewhere else (interestingly you suggest non-road circuits) for training. That's a view I've got used to from drivers, but to hear it from a cyclist is disappointing.

    All of which it totally irrelevant of course. A car passing too close or too fast is a car driven by an inconsiderate censored . And by and large, the behavior of many of the Dynamo groups I have seen in the park is also indicative of you being inconsiderate arseholes.

    What great ambassadors for club cyclists you are, steaming past on your private racetrack pushing anyone who gets in your way into the verge. Be they on measured training rides, Saturday morning wobblies still getting used to the roads, wheelchair athletes, it doesn’t seem to matter. And trust me – I have seen one of your group leaders swearing at a wheelchair athlete who had the nerve to slow down his grupetto for at least 40 yards.

    What gives you the right to behave like this I wonder? I mean, you’re not even an elite club are you? 200+ members and only 1 good rider? I don’t mind making room on a circuit if I have the Quest Boys or Plowman Craven up my bum, but why should I do it for a bunch of lifestylists with the bike handing skills of Coco the Clown? Other than self preservation of course.

    I’m not inferring that you’re the only idiots of course….in my time I’ve seen other cyclists willfully dropping litter, abusing motorists who are obeying the speed limits, and overtaking on blind bends. But in terms of consistency you take the Grand Prix.

    So I’m going to join the chorus asking you to find a non road circuit to train on. After all, you’re a big enough club to afford a booking at Hillingdon. Why not do an 8am to 10am Saturday morning slot? And then hang around and let the 11 year olds in the Slipstreamers teach you how to ride in a bunch safely?

    Gavin Gilbert
    Time Trial Secretary
    Club Run Captain
    Archer RC
  • I'm just returning to cycling after a major cycling accident some years ago and have been using Richmond Park to get back some fitness and confidence. I've had mainly friendliness and consideration from cyclists.

    However, on a few occasions faster cyclists have overtaken as close as possible and then cut in abruptly. This is fine if you're riding a chain gang with team mates, but unacceptably rude with anyone else - if it is designed to imppress it doesn't work with me.

    If you read this and indulge in the habit I suggest you stop or you'll get sprayed with a sticky sports drink next time. :twisted:
    psychlist
  • guineaguinea Posts: 1,177
    All of the London Dynamo folk I've spoken to have been thoroughly nice chaps. I spend a lot of time riding in the park and have thought of joining them on a ride or two.

    However, when slowing down to turn into the cafe after a few hard laps I did get shouted by the fast group who clearly didn't understand the rules of the road.

    It wouldn't stop me trying the group out on a later date, but it did leave me with a bad taste.

    I average over 20mph and can be around 40mph in some parts of the park. The last thing I want is the police being tough on speeders. I go there for a hard work out not a little jaunt. So please, all cyclists, be considerate and look out for each other. The last thing we need is a clamp down on cyclists.
  • Wow, Gavin Gilbert. You really have serious issues. Such a bitter response, so much vitriol. Incredible.
    Not going to respond any futher to such unpleasantness...
  • pinkbikini wrote:
    Wow, Gavin Gilbert. You really have serious issues. Such a bitter response, so much vitriol. Incredible.
    Not going to respond any futher to such unpleasantness...

    That's a shame. Maybe you could throw a link up on your clubs forum and send another member over here to defend yourselves?
  • mark_dmark_d Posts: 61
    I'm 46, my steel bike weighs 27 lbs without luggage, and a I cycle round Richmond Park at an average speed of 13-14 mph, about 2-3 feet from verge.

    [..]

    The people who don't slow down are unfortunately other cyclists - in particular London Dyanmo - a group of pro-racing wannabes who whizz around the park in carbon-fibre pelotons pretending they're on the open road in a race. They expect me and everyone else to pull over when they decide to come whizzing up announced. I've been yelled at, sworn at and had grim-faced people scrape by inches away from me.

    [..]

    Please slow down and ride in singley file if the road conditions demand it. If you really can't bear to do that then head off to that new cycle track in East London and leave Richmond Park to more chilled out and considerate folk.

    Hi Andy

    I'm a Dynamo member and occasional Saturday morning park rider. I'm really sorry that you've found riding by some Dynamo members to be unacceptable. Whenever I ride on Saturdays I'm careful to give all riders a wide berth, to make sure we don't tailgate other users and to ensure overtaking is done safely. However, from time to time there is some bad riding -- we're all human and make mistakes -- but we should make an effort to reduce this as far as possible. If members are consistently riding badly we should address this. Sometimes poor riding is down to new members learning the ropes or other people tagging on (and if those who tag on behave badly in the group I'm I'll let them know about it).

    If you have any more problems and want to talk about it you can contact me offline, or you can talk to the riders outside the Roehampton Gate cafe from 9.30 onwards. I would certainly be receptive to any comments on our discipline, complimentary or otherwise, and would like to think any other member would keen to listen. If you don't get the response you want, keep asking people until you do -- we should all be keen to protect our access to the park. London Dynamo engages with the park's authorities and police regularly to promote cycling and discuss the use of the park by cyclists.

    Cheers,

    Mark
  • mark_dmark_d Posts: 61
    London Dynamos... what a laugh... you should have seen how fast they were up the mild ramps of the Bwlch in Wales...
    I think I've passed a hundred of them ... :lol::lol::lol:

    There were a lot of Dynamo riders in the Dragon Ride, for sure. I came 34th on the long ride and two other members came 6th and 7th. Can't have been going *that* slowly up the Bwlch, eh? :~)
  • Ken NightKen Night Posts: 2,005
    mark_d wrote:
    London Dynamos... what a laugh... you should have seen how fast they were up the mild ramps of the Bwlch in Wales...
    I think I've passed a hundred of them ... :lol::lol::lol:

    There were a lot of Dynamo riders in the Dragon Ride, for sure. I came 34th on the long ride and two other members came 6th and 7th. Can't have been going *that* slowly up the Bwlch, eh? :~)

    c'mon ugo, how big is yours?
    “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best..." Ernest Hemingway
  • mark_dmark_d Posts: 61
    Ken Night wrote:
    c'mon ugo, how big is yours?

    Heh. Good call :D
  • I would like to add my apologies to Andy to those of Mark and Pinkbikini. There is no excuse for people swearing at you, nor for them consistently giving you insufficient room.

    With such a large club (400 or more), and dozens joining for the odd Sat am, it would be remarkable if there weren't some incidents (and we are the easiest target for complaints). However, I have raised your concerns with the organisers, and they will redouble their efforts in pre-ride instructions etc. My personal view is that the average cyclist's behaviour in RP has improved in the last few years, but the sheer density in the park means incidents are bound to be more common and tempers more likely to be frayed.

    On one of your specific points, all groups in the park are having to learn to single out more frequently, and I'm sure that's something that we can improve upon.

    A couple of possible misconceptions:
    the club includes riders of varied abilities, from 14 to 70yo, and from those who can crest dark hill at 20mph to those who consider walking it (Ugo's comment probably makes this point quite well);
    we make a big thing of communicating within the group, which is all part of the process of education about safe close riding which is useful for sportives and leisure rides, involving cries of "rider left", "chair ahead", "slowing" etc. Some of these shouts can be misconstrued as unpleasant yells and make people jump, and getting the volume right so as not to shock other cyclists is not easy, but we'll keep trying. I have my own recent 'bad taste in the mouth' experience, when a driver with an open window thought my shout of "slowing, car turning" (I had rightly assumed the driver was about to pull out unsafely) was aimed at her and screamed expletives back at me.

    Safe riding!

    Nick
  • Since it's Dynamo bashing day I'll have a go too.

    My only experience of LD was at the Fred Whitton this year. A group were standing outside a pub in Coniston on the Saturday, talking VERY LOUDLY, riding their uber-bikes around the car park and generally acting like grizzling great ponces. It would be easy for me to make a lazy generalisation and assume that this is representative of the whole club, so that's what I've done.
  • So the thing to note here from Dynamos on this thread is that there is a concerted effort to maintain and, where applicable, improve upon the levels of riding in the park, based on what we ourselves know and the feedback from others.
    I guess we can't all be inconsiderate arseholes then :wink:
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,711
    edited October 2008
    mark_d wrote:
    London Dynamos... what a laugh... you should have seen how fast they were up the mild ramps of the Bwlch in Wales...
    I think I've passed a hundred of them ... :lol::lol::lol:

    There were a lot of Dynamo riders in the Dragon Ride, for sure. I came 34th on the long ride and two other members came 6th and 7th. Can't have been going *that* slowly up the Bwlch, eh? :~)

    Damn, I knew there were three left.... :lol:
  • Ken Night wrote:
    mark_d wrote:
    London Dynamos... what a laugh... you should have seen how fast they were up the mild ramps of the Bwlch in Wales...
    I think I've passed a hundred of them ... :lol::lol::lol:

    There were a lot of Dynamo riders in the Dragon Ride, for sure. I came 34th on the long ride and two other members came 6th and 7th. Can't have been going *that* slowly up the Bwlch, eh? :~)

    c'mon ugo, how big is yours?

    Quite big, you are right! :lol::lol:
  • I'm enjoying this debate...

    As clubs, we'll end up like gangs, fighting for territory, like in that vintage marvellous movie... "the warriors"... I can't wait to paint mt face in club colours on a sunday ride and go around rattling beer bottles between my fingers... "Dynamos... come out and play... !"

    Dynamos... Stay away from the Chilterns, or it'll be troubles!
  • Ken NightKen Night Posts: 2,005
    [
    Quite big, you are right! :lol::lol:

    Come on then....?
    “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best..." Ernest Hemingway
  • Hi Mark D and other Dynamo Riders,

    Thanks for your positive and constructive replies.

    It looks like it's touched a bit of a nerve and it would be a huge pity if cyclists in Richmond Park got restricted in some way because of the behaviour of a small minority. I guess the problem you guys have is that you are in large numbers and very visible - and you do seem to ride in a pretty organised peloton, which makes you a lot quicker than most.

    I do take the point about hangers-on in your peloton - I've been tempted myself!

    But I do think you need to think about the impact that you have in those numbers and at that speed (and it is well over 20 - on Saturday I was doing 22-23 mph downhill towards Ham Gate and got overtaken by Dynamo at speed).

    If you were prepared to ease off a bit and to ride single file where approrpiate then that should ease things. :)

    Andy
  • Hi Mark D and other Dynamo Riders,

    Thanks for your positive and constructive replies.

    It looks like it's touched a bit of a nerve and it would be a huge pity if cyclists in Richmond Park got restricted in some way because of the behaviour of a small minority. I guess the problem you guys have is that you are in large numbers and very visible - and you do seem to ride in a pretty organised peloton, which makes you a lot quicker than most.

    I do take the point about hangers-on in your peloton - I've been tempted myself!

    But I do think you need to think about the impact that you have in those numbers and at that speed (and it is well over 20 - on Saturday I was doing 22-23 mph downhill towards Ham Gate and got overtaken by Dynamo at speed).

    If you were prepared to ease off a bit and to ride single file where approrpiate then that should ease things. :)

    Andy
  • Andy, as mentioned before, you definitely make some good points.

    Just to clarify, when you hear a group approaching from behind and hear someone shouting "rider left" he (or she) is not expecting you to move over at all, but is indicating to the group that they should move out further into the road to overtake you safely. I'm sure you already knew this, and I'm really just stating it for any other cyclists who think we are arrogantly bombing up behind them and expecting them to move.

    Obviously we need to make sure the overtaking happens properly and safely, but just wanted to clear up any potential for misunderstanding.

    Of course, people who are shouting at other cyclists to get out of the way is another matter entirely, and would obviously p$ss you off.

    Same as MarkD, if you have any issues please stop for a chat on Saturdays - we're a pretty friendly and receptive bunch (at least I've always thought so).
Sign In or Register to comment.