An answer from the commuters

After Byron’s Commuter Challenge post on Monday, it was funny to see an answer from the commuters Tuesday, on the BBC website, no less:

BBC NEWS | Magazine | Cycle warriors

It’s by a London commuter who has ditched the Tube in favor of cycling since the July 7 terrorist attacks in London.

He outlines the standard complaints (rude drivers, parked cars, “the thwack of a poorly-applied England flag as a car overtakes”) and cops to occasional misbehavior by riders, before blowing the lid off the “Great Race.”

The small number of cyclists who are in the know duel with great nonchalance and no acknowledgement of their opponent. The trick is to cycle at maximum speed until the point of overtaking, and then sit back in the saddle as you pass, looking straight ahead as if the mere breeze is carrying you forward. I even have a scoring system which gives double marks for passing anyone wearing Lycra. Overtaking a bike courier would theoretically score five, but I have never done it.

I’m pretty comfortable at the back of the pack, but even I would get demoralized if I was passed by a guy in a suit on a mountain bike.

Best reader reply is from “Simon:” “The first rule of The Great Race is that you never mention The Great Race.”


That cracks me up and fits my new zen approach to the commuter challenge, which is, “pull me home then!”

Yup, Im a 50 YO commuter, there’s seldom an opportunity to pick up a draft on a speed crazed roadster who wants to crank it, but if there is then I hang on to his wheel to show him we are not all just a bunch of weenies, I ride a heavy commuter bike, and can usually hang with them with my full rack and fenders, and BOMB proof Wheels, so go for the potholes on your Super light race wheels you speed demons, I’ll still get the last laugh! Don’t forget, we do this every DAY! We are TOUGH, and would be FAST if we swapped bikes We would probably blow your doors off! My personal favorite is drafting the semi’s and passing all those speedy roadies at 60K!

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