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Why is my turning radius so freakin wide?(6 posts)

Why is my turning radius so freakin wide?youcancallmejoe
Oct 13, 2003 5:42 PM
I especially notice this at the toll side of the Golden Gate Bridge. The cycling side has a hairpin turn off the bridge. I have to unclip and use both lanes. If a cyclist is coming on the other side, I have to wait for him to pass.

The rub is: No one else seems to have trouble turning that corner. Also, I ride seventy miles or more a week year round and carve switchbacks faster than any non pro I now (my Looks have enough gouges to prove that). My bike geometry is spot on for me as well. I have done 500k rides with no problem.

Is it me or my bike?
can't be...C-40
Oct 14, 2003 5:08 AM
There's not enough difference in wheelbase between the smallest and largest frame to have a significant effect in the absolute minimum turning radius.

Do you have to unclip due to toe overlap with the front wheel?

If the turn is this tight, I assume that it is also ridden at a very slow speed, maybe under 5-10mph? If so, then a bike with a lot of trail might be a bit unstable at very low speed, which makes it difficult to negotiate.

It would help to post the frame size and brand, or all of the specific geometry.
I have the same's embarrassingCory
Oct 14, 2003 8:23 AM
What kills me is U-turns. I've done a lot of mountain biking, and I can slip through narrow pedestrian gates and technical stuff like that with the best of 'em. But I read one time that a sort of low-grade benchmark for cyclists was being able to U-turn on an 8-foot wide trail. It sounded easy, but I either wobble off the edge or have to put a foot down at least half the time.
Got no answer for you, though. Get 'em on the uphill from Sausalito...
It needn't be...The Walrus
Oct 14, 2003 11:56 AM
...embarrassing, that is. Just lean your body slightly into the turn, but push the bike away from you to keep it upright (you don't want the bike leaning into the turn at all) and keep pedaling slowly while you drag the rear brake lightly. I lost count of the number of people I amused with the low-speed, u-turning crashes I had before I got the hang of this.
Its all Uphillchar
Oct 14, 2003 7:11 PM
C'mon Cory, break out the cones and practice those decreasing radiia turns.

Factoid on the uphill Sausalito southbound cyclist traffic. Did'ja notice on your last visit that the uphill lane is wider than the downhill lane?

All of youchar
Oct 14, 2003 6:45 PM
Just feather the brakes on that turn. Try practicing going as slow as possible; think doing a track stand downhill, then work up to "speed."

Or, just follow that person ahead of you that has "no problem" on that turn. Just be sure that rider's problems don't become your problems.

I am familiar with that turn, but I usually ride it the opposite direction. For the other readers across the web world, here's the approach and set up.

Travelling southbound on the west sidewalk of the Golden Gate Bridge you are going "downhill" usually with a cross-tailwind, the speed can be quite significant. On the San Francisco side there is a 90-degree right turn followed by 10 meter stretch slightly downhill, then a steep 180-degree turn, maybe 8-10 percent. The pavement MUT is less than 2 meters, there is sand and tree debris reducing the width and a chainlink fence hugs both sides so you wouldn't really want to lean the bike over like on a road. And I forgot, there is fog, lots of it (just not now in October) so visibility can be very poor. Add in lots of tourists (hey!, there's Doug "Milano" Sloan) walking and cycling (or pushing their rental bikes) plus unleashed children, skate rats, motorized and electrified personal transportation devices, folks that have to take that "important call" plus all the commuters, fenders, pseusies, Hg-nomes, spankankles, freds and fabios. Let's just say there is a lot of interaction in that area and you have to pay attention to what is ahead with very bad sight lines.

:commutin' charlie