By user12625760 on Apr 20, 2007
This morning as I left Ottershaw there was a cyclist that was a few hundred yards up the road from me. I thought I was gaining on him and indeed just as I was doing the very short Climb I passed him, slightly worried that this would lead to a more competitive ride to work. He got on my wheel and stayed there all the way to Chobham and then up towards the roundabout on the A322 where we became less focused and had a quick chat.
He was riding from Richmond to Fleet and it turns out must work only a short distance from me. Now I never tried to drop him and with the exception of the climb of hill on the Red Road never did. However it did make me ride faster and in a more consistent way, you don't want to slow down and have the person who is sucking your wheel run up the back of you. I enjoyed the ride more, I got to work quicker and I felt better for it. Whether I will still feel this way on the way home is another thing.
It has left me wondering two things:
How many other riders do the same journey as me but at approximately the same speed so we never meet?
Given a 1mph speed difference over 20 miles within how many minutes after the slower rider does the faster rider need to leave to be sure of meeting somewhere on route? (First rider does Xmph second will be doing (X+1)mph. 20 miles will take 20/X hours for the first rider and 20/(X+1) for the second. The longest gap would be when they both reach the end together so the time difference would be (20/X – 20/(X+1)) which cancels down to be 20(1/X – 1/(X+1)). If X is 20 that becomes 20(1/20 – 1/21) which when you work out and then multiply by 60 to get minutes gives 2.86 minutes.) So my chances of meeting a rider of a similar performance on the way to work is pretty small as I have to join the route in a window that is less than 3 minutes long and if I am to get any real benefit the window is more like 1 minute.
I do however wish I could find a “commuting buddy” as it would certainly make the commute more interesting, unlike this post.