Manage your speed

These signs light up when you go over 20mph. I sometimes light them up when riding my bike, when going downhill at least!

I live in London where many urban roads have had their speed limit dropped to 20mph from 30mph. London is also often clogged with traffic, with average journey speeds only ~10mph. As a cyclist, I ride around 18mph.

In my experience, when I am riding at 18mph in a 20mph speed limit, the vast majority of drivers will patiently wait behind me, knowing I am close to 20mph, plus also knowing that within a few hundred metres they will have to slow down for traffic lights or a junction anyway.

However, when I ride at 18mph in a 30mph speed limit, driver behaviour changes. Quite a number are aggressive in overtaking me. Again, I note that the average speed of a journey is only ~10mph, yet the same set of drivers are in such a rush when they are allowed to drive at 30mph, even if such a speed is only hypothetical, given how rarely it is achieved!

One more thing. As a driver myself, I find it difficult to drive at only 20mph on a clear road, I often see my speed creep to 25mph or beyond, yet I too ease off when in traffic or behind a cyclist.

As a coach for many years, coaching is all about two things. Awareness and Context (search my blog on those terms and you will see so many posts on both topics).

My point from the story above is to note how little attention we pay to our own awareness around our speed relative to both speed limits and other road users.

In our own self-leadership and leadership of others, our “speed limits” are shifting around what we can do and are allowed to do around the pandemic, from #WFA (Work From Anywhere) practices to what to do with the extra time we save from commuting.

Do we make sure we manage our pace and take some of that time for physical and mental health? Or do we (as I have often seen, including in myself) sometimes use that time to simply increase our speed, do more work, more meetings as we can now do them all on Zoom? In short…

Manage your Speed


Also published on Medium.