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Guest aytri

<t>Which is faster on a bike?</t>  

4 members have voted

  1. 1. Which is faster on a bike?

    • "Fastest"
    • "Shortest"
    • "It depends" - explain below!

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Maybe this is a numpty question... but I tend to use a combination of Waze and Google Maps to plan routes, and it's left me wondering whether the "fastest" route is actually slower than the "shortest" route if you're on a bike, since you can often filter through gaps that cars couldn't.

Ignoring the aesthetics of a ride and just focussing on the time taken, would you think that "fastest" or "shortest" route is actually fastest on a bike?

I suppose it depends on where/what you're riding, so let's give it some parameters:

1) You're going a longer distance (say London to Brighton) on a big bike, and you have a full licence, so you can use motorways

2) You're going a longer distance (say London to Brighton) on a 125, and you only have a CBT anyway, so you can't use motorways

3) You're in central London doing a quick run to work - where there are no motorways anyway, and the size of the bike doesn't make a difference


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It sounds to me like your either commuting to our through London and want to know how to get to where you're going the quickest way possible.. that is without being stuck in all the tailbacks (never been to London so can't comment on traffic, only going by youtube videos).

At London specificity I'd advise (in theory.. as I haven't been there) either get a satnav (if you're on a CBT/125cc) that has bluetooth and then a bluetooth headset.. and that way for the first few rides you can get to know your route.

On a bigger bike/motorways, well.. it's one long straight road of continuously merging traffic, now your junctions and surroundings and you'll eventually over time increase the time it takes you to get to where your going, although you can't U-Turn on the hard shoulder and go back to the last junction exit if traffic is at a standstill because there's been an accident and the motorway is closed so be warned you might end up stuck for a while.

As for filtering and lane splitting only do this once you've gained complete control of your machine, in London (again based on videos) unless you want to set off in 2015 and arrive in 2020 filtering is required, make sure you move out of the way for the regular bikers though.. you'll soon spot them (here one second gone the next).

Also be aware that I wouldn't advise filtering a whole bunch on a unknown route, the more you take it the more confidence you'll gain and learn the points where idiot drivers regularly occur, although never get to confident, only after a bit of time would I attempt to start cutting through traffic, of course the standard jumping the que at red lights can be done anywhere.

Any help?

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ive not been riding long, but i always find the "shortest" route (aka the least miles taken) to be the fastest unless ofc the roads its going on is all 30mph as opposed to motorway speeds.

but generally thanks to filtering traffic doesnt really apply to us half as much so pick the route on Gmaps with the least time without traffic.

Thats usally my way of commuting and its saved me around 20 mins per day so far.

as i said, it depends on your route, but 9/10 google maps will show you 3 routes, pick the one with the fast "Without Traffic" route.

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Ignoring the aesthetics of a ride and just focussing on the time taken, would you think that "fastest" or "shortest" route is actually fastest on a bike?

If you use google navigation/similar, it'll often factor in traffic which is something you'll not have to deal with as much on a bike so the "fastest" route may not necessarily be the quickest. Some satnavs are crap at route finding anyway - for instance, my car jobbie will often tell me the fastest route takes longer than the shortest route which is ridiculous (well done Volvo...)

I don't know about anyone else but I'd rather have a route that seems to pass in the least amount of time rather than the absolute quickest and that's often the more involved route because, lets face it, motorways are boring!

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Some of the 'shortest' routes take you down green lanes and if you don't ride an off-road suitable bike, then you tend to go slower.

If the 'fastest' route takes you on a Motorway and you are either unable to use it ('L-Plates') oir, your top speed is below 80 MPH, then this will be slower than specified.

Traffic density at different times of day will effect the time taken; as will the weather; etc.

At night, you tend to be slower on 'B' or 'C' roads.

Not so simple a choice!

NB. Some Sat Nags have a 'motorcycle' selection option as well as 'walk' and 'car'.

PS. I use Tyre to plan the route, and a Navigon GPS.


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With my sat nav (Garmin 660) .. so its not a fair comparison, maybe.

Shortest routes can sometimes be a pain. just as one for instance. if a town or village has a bypass. it will ignore that and take you right through the town (or village).

other times.. it can make for some very interesting routes. but, I've learnt not to follow it slavishly. it will just recalculate if i take a bypass, for instance.

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