I travel about 3km of road to get from home to town. Traffic moves at 60 kph (38 mph). I have a bicycle helmet and don’t want to go faster than 40 kph (25 mph) because I used to ride a bicycle at that speed with a bike helmet and wasn’t worried. If I go 60 kph and ride in a traffic lane like some bikes then there is minimal conflicts with other vehicles and none with the bikes riding along the wide shoulder at, you guessed it, 40 kph. 60 feels safer.
Then I realized that there is no way it’s safer. What I need to do is get on the shoulder and when a conflict comes up with a car or bike pulling out or a bike coming the wrong way* then I need to slow the F down and resolve the situation on the shoulder instead of hitting the throttle and pulling out into the traffic lane.
Went helmet shopping today. There is one Thai brand that everyone says makes the superior helmet. But, like most of the other westerners, I found that it was too short from forehead to back of head and two wide side to side. Thais must have rounder heads than westerners do. Another brand fit, but it’s considered little better than a bicycle helmet. Hey, wait a minute …. if I’m riding at bicycle speeds ….
* The road has U-turn openings about every 2 km. People on bikes will ride in the shoulder against traffic for short distances rather than go maybe 3 – 4 km to stay legal. When I encounter them I always head for the curb. They’re facing traffic, let them go wide. NONE of them has wanted to. I’m learning to adapt.
About 30 bicycles are parked in their designated area at my apartment building. I see old people riding to and from town on their 1 and 3 speeds. Don’t think I want to try the combo of riding on a busy road, tropical heat and increasing my time in the sun. The latter doesn’t bother most of the seniors, judging by their tans. When the tide is out one can ride a bike with road tires easily on the beach with about two miles to go in either direction before progress is stopped by a rocky headland. I do want to try that.