Quorum or No, Astoria’s CB 1 Votes Against Three Livable Streets Projects

Astoria’s Community Board 1 rejected three livable streets projects Tuesday night, despite questions about whether the board even had enough members in attendance to take votes on the proposals.

Queens CB 1 would rather have one parking space for cars than eight spots for bikes. Image: DOT [PDF]
Queens CB 1 would rather have one parking space for cars than eight spots for bikes. Image: DOT [PDF]
The three projects — a short bus lane on Astoria Boulevard, concrete barriers to protect cyclists on Vernon Boulevard, and a bike corral in front of a restaurant — fell victim to what appears to be leadership biased against projects that improve conditions for bus riders and cyclists.

“It was just a big disappointment for us. I just don’t understand this mentality that cars and their owners are the only rightful users of street space,” said Jean Cawley, whose husband, Dominic Stiller, was seeking the board’s support for a bike corral to take the place of a car parking spot in front of his restaurant, Dutch Kills Centraal [PDF]. “They seem to me to vote down anything having to do with bicycle safety and infrastructure.”

“I was shocked at the negativity that many on the board displayed toward bikes,” said Macartney Morris, an Astoria resident who attended the meeting. “It seemed crazy that people would get upset about one parking spot.”

When Cawley spoke in favor of the bike corral on Tuesday night, CB 1 chair Vinicio Donato asked her questions about cyclists riding against traffic and running red lights. One board member compared Donato’s line of questioning to asking a liquor license applicant about alcoholism. “I don’t know why that had anything to do with me and the bike corral,” Cawley said. “They’re supposed to have some decorum but they don’t. I think it’s an abuse of process and an abuse of power.”

There were petitions both in support of the corral and against it, but Cawley and other meeting attendees said the board threw out supportive signatures from people who did not live within CB 1, including those from residents of nearby neighborhoods like Woodside or Jackson Heights.

The board then held a vote. Despite objections that there was no longer a quorum after some board members left earlier in the evening, Donato counted the number of board members remaining before saying that CB 1 only requires a quorum for land use issues, according to meeting attendees. (CB 1 district manager Lucille Hartmann did not immediately reply to a request for more information on board rules.)

The board voted against the corral proposal. Cawley is now urging DOT to move ahead with installing it anyway. “Queens CB 1 is decidedly ‘anti-bike,'” she wrote to Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, after the meeting. “I feel disenfranchised by their constant ‘no’ votes to anything that would increase or improve bicycling infrastructure and safety.” DOT has not responded to questions asking whether it would install the bike corral.

Too ugly for Astoria? CB 1 is okay with barriers on the Vernon Boulevard bike lane, but not concrete ones. Image: DOT [PDF]
CB 1 is okay with theoretical barriers on the Vernon Boulevard bike lane, but not actual concrete ones, like the barrier shown here. Image: DOT [PDF]
Cyclists weren’t the only CB 1 target. DOT had already received the board’s blessing to install a wider median and a plastic divider on westbound Astoria Boulevard to tame traffic as it approaches 31st Street [PDF]. DOT is looking to tweak the plan by adding a short bus lane for a few blocks of the same street. This would allow M60 Select Bus Service riders to skip ahead of traffic waiting for the stop light at 31st Street and save some time. But the board rejected that add-on.

CB 1 also voted against installing concrete barriers along sections of the two-way bike lane on Vernon Boulevard. DOT had proposed the barriers, which it has installed on other greenway segments throughout the city, to protect cyclists from drivers at intersections [PDF]. The board supported barriers of some kind but rejected the concrete barriers as unsightly, and tabled the issue for further discussion. This reportedly led Vikram Sinha, the DOT representative at the meeting, to ask the board to come up with a better solution.

“That’s the straw that broke the DOT rep’s back,” one meeting attendee said. “I could tell he was angered and not happy by the way he was treated by the board.”

  • After today’s curb jumper in the Bronx, should we get all community boards to eliminate car parking in the city too? That’s definitely NOT anecdotal evidence that drivers put innocent pedestrians at risk, unlike the tales that come up in these meandering discussions about better bicycle infrastructure.

    Queens electeds should ask the board to reconsider the motion of the corral immediately, without using anecdotal tales of traffic offenses as criteria for considering the proposal. The council members, state Assembly and Senate electeds, and the Queens borough president should be all over this.

  • Mark Walker

    Greenway safety measures transcend community boards because greenways run through multiple community board districts. DOT can safely disregard CB1 on this.

  • How can people fight against their own self interest, I do not get it.

  • X Astoria

    How long has Donato been chair? Seems like 100 years.

  • BBnet3000

    This is why it is dangerous to leave engineering decisions (such as the appropriate design of cycling infrastructure) up to these bodies whose decisions should be solely in the political realm.

    Not that Jersey barriers next to a bike path are desirable. They visually narrow the bikeway, hurt its permeability, and arent a forgiving design.

  • Mat50

    It’s not a rational process. There is no practical analysis in making these decisions anywhere in this city or others. The only leverage possible is to appeal to an increased bottom line for local businesses. Money talks, safety and health carry little or no weight.

  • Joe R.

    How about putting pressure on City Council members who support livable streets to finally propose and pass a long overdue “reds-as-yields” law for bikes and pedestrians? We need such a legal mechanism to diffuse these idiotic questions about bikes running red lights once and for all (and also to get the NYPD off our backs). Really, do we oppose car infrastructure on the flimsy basis that not all motorists are law abiding? If I were there, instead of the line about alcoholism I might have said “Most drivers speed. Many also break other traffic laws, including running red lights. Do we oppose car infrastructure because of this?”.

    I fully agree with others who say we shouldn’t leave infrastructure decisions in the hands of political hacks.

  • king of geeztown

    He’s 100 years old but only been CB 1 chair since Abe Beame was mayor.

  • Nathan Rosenquist

    And bike racks in front of restaurants bring business. You can use Putnam’s on Myrtle & Clinton in Brooklyn, who’s owner had to fight local NIMBYs to keep the bike dock next to his restaurant, as a study in this.

  • Mike Dunlap

    See also, Little Zelda and its corral on Franklin.

  • R

    Zero Vision!

  • Bluewndrpwrmlk96

    Thank you, Queens Community Board 1. For pointing out that you rule not in the best interest of your constituents, but on your own opinions, bias and groundless negativity. Show me, Community Board 1, that any one of your possess a degree in Civil Engineering, or know any better than professionals in the DOT, to reject a proposal yet offer no alternative. So continue to stand by your baseless views, because we now see that you are the problem, and not the solution. Because the day will come when the DOT ignores you, or you will be relieved of your positions, whichever comes first. Because the safety measures we so desire will come to fruition, it’s only a matter of when.

  • Eric McClure

    Yes. NO automobile parking spaces until drivers stop killing people.

  • Eric McClure

    I know it’s uncomfortable and not what they’d prefer to be doing, but it’s really time that progressive City Council members (and borough presidents) stop reappointing Community Board members whose mindsets are rooted firmly in 1950s suburbia. Enough already.

  • Eric McClure

    Exactly. Dominic Stiller should just put four bike racks and a couple concrete blocks out in front of his restaurant.

  • xraytwonine

    Some things are just not meant to be “voted” on.

  • stairbob

    How is this not a land use issue?

  • R

    Also, DOT needs to grow a spine.

  • chekpeds

    This is illegal. In fact without quorum, the community board is not allowed to even hold a meeting. MCB4 learned that the hard way a few years back.
    The applicants should call/ write to Borough President Gale brewer to request a rescind of the vote and a new vote.

  • chekpeds

    I mean Queens borough president and the counsel of the city.

  • CheshireKitty

    Astoria is not Ft. Greene, or Williamsburg. Not enough hipsters to warrant the bike racks. At least not yet. Western Queens is still a stronghold of “low-brow” dehs and dohs sort of people – thousands and thousands of project dwellers. Hate to inform you – the project dwellers ain’t goin’ no where (although they could benefit from owning bikes).

  • BBnet3000

    Nitpicking: a constituent is someone who elects someone. CBs are not elected bodies despite trying to appear to serve a representative function.

  • BBnet3000

    I’d rather we didnt open that political can of worms and stick to the current “only enforced during transparently stupid ticket blitzes” strategy.

    Rather, if we ever get protected intersections (im in my 20s so I may live to see it) they can legalize rights on red on the bike paths (like how PPW has a yellow caution light for bikes while the red lights serve the roadway).

  • BBnet3000

    Hipsters are not the only people who bike in this city. Outside of Williamsburg id be surprised if theyre even a plurality.

  • douglasawillinger

    Is that configuration more space efficient than bikes parallel rather than perpendicular to the curb, wither on the road or the sidewalk?

  • CheshireKitty

    Putnams http://putnamspub.com/home/brunch/ has $10 French toast: This is not the sort of spot project dwellers can afford – nor should they blow their scarce cash on such an over-priced place.

    Actually, to increase bike ridership in W. Queens, the City should expand bikeshare program to the projects in Astoria, and make it virtually free for low income folks. If you had bikeshare racks in Western Queens, then you would see more bike riders overall, then the bike racks in front of the sort of restaurants they can afford such as fast food places, or Kansas Fried Chicken, or non-yuppie “regular” pizzerias, would make sense.

  • CheshireKitty

    Ah, yes, those pesky locals, that always seem to get in the way of what City Hall wants to impose on their locality. Maybe the barrier would have had some traction if there had been a few meetings/presentations in W. Queens before floating the idea at the CB.

    People who live along Vernon have a long way to hike to get to the train. The project dwellers – who occupy the largest concentration of public housing in the country – may feel safer driving back and forth to the train rather than cycling. Or, they may not wish to wait for a bus. I think the City is putting the cart before the horse on this issue: First improve public transportation, first give the project a virtually free bikeshare program, and then take away their parking. The rich dwellers of the new luxury towers in W. Queens and Brooklyn have parking built into their buildings – but project dwellers don’t.

    Also – the City really has to embark on a huge campaign to get these people moving, including cycling – which would help the environment and their health. But that will only happen if they feel safe biking through their neighborhood – i.e. not subject to a mugging, or being knocked to the sidewalk by someone who wants to steal their bike. Also improve bus access to the train. Also, build a parking structure or two for the projects – there are plenty of lots around the City could buy to construct parking for the low-income folks. Once all this is done, I’m sure the restaurant and the local CB people will feel more positive about putting up the concrete barriers and installing bike parking in the street.

  • CheshireKitty

    The could also do a curb extension at the corner and install bike racks there – like they have on Driggs in W-burg. Bike racks/corrals are needed all over – or an inexpensive version of the bike share program for those who can’t afford to buy a bike. As long as there’s a reasonable amount of sidewalk space left, the City should install bike racks maybe on every street – not just in front of restaurants.

  • lop

    The last 15 feet (~one car length) at least of every block should not have car parking to improve visibility of and for pedestrians in the crosswalk, whether or not its painted. Perfect place for bike racks, they won’t block views the way cars and trucks do. If they are used by cyclists all the better.

  • lop

    https://www.citibikenyc.com/pricing/discounted

    Nycha residents can get an annual membership for $60.

  • CheshireKitty

    I agree – the cost is minimal and as you say, it will improve visibility on the corners. This is a a pro-active, easy-to-implement initiative the City could enact now (since it owns the streets) to encourage bicycling and activity. The trade-off – of lost parking fees – is more than made up in health improvements, less pollution dumped into the atmosphere if cars are used less; also residents outlooks’ may improve with more activity and breathing in less pollution. I don’t think this is a “Utopian” idea at all. There could be at least one stretch of street (1 car-length) set aside for bike parking at every intersection at first. If it doesn’t work out, or there’s no demand at that particular intersection, then move the rack to another intersection and let that spot revert to car parking – which is another excellent aspect of such a program: It’s flexible.

  • CheshireKitty

    That’s perfect – very affordable. The program should be deployed into more areas, not just the City or the “cool” parts of Brooklyn.

  • Tyson White

    Is it possible to get the names of these board members so we can publish them and shame them for their anti-social stance?

  • LuisD

    Keep the pressure. Don’t relent. Keep the issue alive. Make calls. Write letters. Fighting decades of car culture and automobile dependence is an uphill battle, but it’s a battle that must be won.

  • need new blood on CB1

    In the same board meeting they laughingly try to take away a person’s livelihood because , well, they can and it’s funny!( to them)
    Latest shenanigans of CB1:
    http://astoriapost.com/japanese-restaurant-fails-to-provide-cb1-chair-respect-gets-thumbs-down-on-its-outdoor-seating/
    Contact the officials that re-appoint them:
    costa@council.nyc.gov
    jvanbramer@council.nyc.gov

    info@queensbp.org

  • Joe R.

    Yes, at least the last 15 feet before the crosswalk, better yet the last 50 feet. If we improved visibility at intersections, we could get rid of stop signs and traffic signals in many places, basically converting those intersections into uncontrolled intersections. Obviously this isn’t feasible on high traffic streets, but a lot of streets in the outer boroughs have low enough traffic levels for uncontrolled intersections to work, provided there are good lines of sight.

  • Joe R.

    If only they really just enforced red light laws against bikes during ticket blitzes.

    I’m not a fan of protected intersections as they still don’t fix the red light problem for bikes proceeding straight ahead. Right on red is fine, but the fact is there are just too many traffic signals in this city for efficient, comfortable cycling. “Reds-as-yields” is needed for that reason, although it still doesn’t solve the problem when the traffic on cross streets is too heavy to safely pass the red. What we should really be doing in lieu of protected intersections is building a lot more non-stop bike infrastructure. If we built enough, then the “need” for a reds-as-yields law mostly vanishes. In many cases we can do this with only a minimal amount of grade separation (i.e. overpasses or underpasses at major roadways). In others we may need some lengths of viaducts or tunnels. Either way, the cost pales next to what we spend on motor vehicle infrastructure. If we’re really serious about bikes as transportation, it’s time we took things to the next level.

  • QueensWatcher

    In this case it would be Melinda Katz as this is a Queens CB. But, assuming attendance dropped below 50% of the members, then it definitely violates the Quorum Rules for Community Boards [http://www.nyc.gov/html/mancb2/downloads/pdf/guide_parliamentary_procedure.pdf – p.27]. Moreover, it violates New York State law – General Construction Law s.41

  • QueensWatcher

    Assuming attendance dropped below 50% of the members, then it definitely violates the Quorum Rules for Community Boards [http://www.nyc.gov/html/mancb2/downloads/pdf/guide_parliamentary_procedure.pdf – p.27]. Moreover, it violates New York State law – General Construction Law s.41. Thus the votes are not valid and will need to be held again when there is a quorum.

  • There may be “just too many traffic signals in this city for efficient, comfortable cycling” according to your individual style and to your speed demands (demands which are completely unrealistic in a dense city). But the explosion of cycling in our City during the past decade is evidence that biking in New York is very comfortable for plenty of people. Your categorical statement is therefore demonstrably untrue.

    Speaking as someone who bikes for commuting, for errands, and for pleasure, who averages 10 miles per hour for all trips, and who will hit 6000 miles this year, I can tell you that the quantity of lights does not hinder me in the least.

    Not that things couldn’t be better. Stopping at red lights is annoying; I do it because doing so is our responsibility under the current law, and is a means of presenting a good face of bicycling to the public. In a better legal environment, we’d be able to proceed through a red light, but only after a full stop. Red lights should be the equivalent of stop signs — not yield signs — for us; ideally, we would be able to treat red lights as stop signs and stop signs as yield signs.

  • qrt145

    As someone who commutes by bike, I can tell you that biking in New York is not very comfortable for me. It just sucks less than the alternatives.

  • BBnet3000

    Nobody has an “individual style” that likes being stopped at lights constantly. This is why bike friendly places try to avoid stopping bikes as much as possible, including in dense cities.

    As for your “explosion of cycling”, its from an extremely low base and will plateau at a remarkably low level of cycling. Theres also a ton of crashes due to the poor or nonexistent cycling infrastructure in most of the city.

  • BBnet3000

    Its deployed in the densest parts of the city with the most-developed bike network. Everyone talks about expanding it but no politicians want to put their money where their mouth is.

    It will be expanding next year but nobody knows how far.

  • Joe R.

    Well, at least you admit stopping at red lights is annoying even if it doesn’t hinder you. It does hinder me quite a bit. Nothing more annoying to finally get up to speed only to have to slam on the brakes yet again. It’s doubly annoying when you “almost” make the light, which sadly seems to be the case for me quite often. The only good thing to come out in recent years are the pedestrian countdown timers. While they don’t decrease the amount of stopping, at least you can now gauge whether it’s worth the effort to try and make a light.

    Red lights as stop signs still doesn’t solve the fundamental issue. You still would need to stop, even if you could go once it’s clear. In practice this would mean less stopping, but probably not much less. Second, there would still be plenty of times, particularly during the day, when traffic would be too heavy to go after stopping, so operationally things wouldn’t be any different than they are now.

    As others have said, it has nothing to do with individual style. I hated stopping just as much back when I first started riding as a teenager and rode a lot slower than I do now. I hate stopping and waiting for cars when I’m walking, too. I feel it’s an affront to both pedestrians and cyclists to have to wait at all for motor vehicles.

    I certainly agree with you that riding in a city is more interesting than riding out in the middle of nowhere, all other things being equal. However, frequent stopping detracts greatly from that experience. This isn’t even getting into the physical aspects of it. Exactly how many times can the average cyclist physically stop and start before it starts to cause problems? I’ll bet good money most cyclists start to experience issues after stopping ten times. Many probably can’t physically stop more than 20 or 25 times. In NYC you can reach that limit in under two miles, depending upon where you’re going.

    There may be “just too many traffic signals in this city for efficient, comfortable cycling” according to your individual style and to your speed demands (demands which are completely unrealistic in a dense city).

    And yet we have the means for motor vehicles to do parts of their trips nonstop in NYC, but we don’t have the same for bikes, even though it’s a lot easier for motor vehicles to repeatedly start and stop.

    It’s Stockholm syndrome to say rapid travel is unrealistic in cities. We’ve been so used to congestion due to motor vehicles that we’ve just accepted getting around by any means, be it car, bike, walking, bus, is supposed to be slow. And it’s costing our economy heavily. NYC needs to make a serious effort to speed up transportation. This can be done in part by taxing unnecessary modes of transportation (i.e. private cars), and finding ways to speed up more desirable modes of transportation like bicycles, walking, or buses. Speeding up things will also help delivery of goods and services.

    I certainly don’t expect to do 100% of any trip without stopping, but I don’t think it’s unrealistic to wish for a system where I can do everything except the first and last half mile non-stop.

    Red lights should be the equivalent of stop signs — not yield signs.

    Why? It’s possible to safely pass most red lights without completely stopping. If we increased lines of sight by prohibiting parking near intersections, it would be possible to pass nearly all of them without stopping, many of them without even slowing down. Laws should be only as restrictive as necessary for safety. If there are a few odd places with poor lines of sight, then put signs up requiring a complete stop. Don’t require it everywhere. Remember NYC uses traffic signals in many places where stop signs would do. If a yield would be safe at a hypothetical stop sign in such a location, then it’ll also be safe at the existing traffic signal.

  • Joe R.

    This is interesting:

    http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/they-are-building-bicycle-superhighways-in-copenhagen.html

    Copenhagen is a lot smaller physically than NYC, and yet even there they felt it made sense to provide faster journeys for cyclists.

    Yes, with the current approach in NYC, we’ll plateau in the low single digits at best. I feel NYC could garner >50% cycling mode share if you include both errand trips and commuting. This is especially true in the car dependent parts of the outer boroughs. However, we won’t get there unless we think in terms of safety, comfort, and travel time.

  • lop

    Green Wave for cyclists through sections with frequent stop lights. [The Green Wave is in place on three main routes into Copenhagen already. Cycle 20 km/h and you hit green lights all the way.]

    They aren’t building these path for a race of super cyclists that go 30 mph.

  • I have never denied that stopping at red lights is annoying. It’s so annoying that, before the Bloomberg era changed the reality about the social contact’s applicability to bicyclists and thus bicyclists’ responsibilities, I didn’t bother to do it.

    I do strenuously deny that this frequent stopping is physically difficult. It may be for you, due to a physical condition that you have mentioned, and due to your style. But, as a categorical statement, that assertion is ridiculous.

    Also, by “your style” I mean your stated practice of trying to get up to the top speed that you physically can attain after every stop.

    I’m sorry, but the assertion that “[m]any [bicyclists] probably can’t physically stop more than 20 or 25 times. In NYC you can reach that limit in under two miles” is absurd on its face. You are literally the only person whom I have ever heard complain about the physical toll (as opposed to the annoyance or the cost in terms of wasted time) of frequent stopping.

    This is a physical issue **for you** and you alone. Please stop pretending that it’s some kind of universal. If what you claim were true, then my 10-mile-each-way commute would be an arduous task, and my ride to and from Philadelphia (which had to have included hundreds of stops) would require a super-athlete. It just ain’t so.

    And when I said that expecting to ride as fast as you claim to ride is unrealistic in a dense city, I was assuming the continued existence of a car-dominated society.

    In Fantasy Land, where people were wise enough to bike en masse and where the built environment reflected that fact, then biking at an average of 20 miles per hour in a big city would be feasible.

    But, in the real world, where the streets have been designed primarily for cars, the attempt to ride in the streets at that kind of average speed is never going to be successful. So, again we see that it’s a question of your style.

    That said, I am entirely in favour of the concept of banning private autos in Manhattan; and I’d approve of a whole range of policies which would limit the use of cars everywhere within the City limits, and which would promote rail use as well as the density that makes rail efficient. But I cannot fail to see that, in a political climate where even the modest step of congestion pricing is considered out of the question, none of these other beneficial and civilising measures stand any chance whatsoever.

    So all of my comments about what is feasible or realistic apply to a setting in which the pigs have already won, not to a hypothetical setting in which a car-free New York is possible.

  • Joe R.

    I’m gathering by reading that most of the path is completely free of traffic signals. The green wave is for the small segments where it wasn’t deemed feasible to build non-stop infrastructure. As such, in practice you would only be going 20 km/hr for a short part of the journey. The rest of the time you could go whatever speed you wanted. Green waves are tools but even overseas you won’t have a cycle path which uses miles of green waves. They mostly aim to avoid traffic signals or stop signs altogether. When they can’t, the green wave is a solution of last resort.

  • lop
  • Joe R.

    Yes, the pigs have already won, which is why I repeatedly suggest the things I do. Perhaps if enough of the cycling community got behind these things, instead of deriding them, we might have luck. If faced with two alternatives-building a massive network of bicycle viaducts, or severely restricting motor vehicle use, the politicians might choose the latter. Often that’s the sole reason for proposing expensive, grandiose solutions. It gets people to rethink things, such as why should we devote so much resources to cars in a city where far less than half the people drive regularly?

    Also, by “your style” I mean your stated practice of trying to get up to the top speed that you physically can attain after every stop.

    If you don’t do that then you hit even more red lights. It’s a choice of trying to hit higher speeds or stopping more often. Either way is physically taxing, but stopping less seems less strenuous. It’s often necessary to accelerate smartly anyway just to get out of the path of packs of wild SUVs. That being the case, you might as well keep accelerating to top speed as your often most of the way there after half a block. When you’re sharing a road with cars, you do much better trying to match their speeds and acceleration rates as best you can.

    Stopping has huge drawbacks besides the wasted time and energy. A stopped cyclist is vulnerable to getting rear-ended by an out-of-control vehicle. A stopped cyclist is breathing fumes from idling vehicles. Finally, what happens when you stop, put you foot down, and there happens to be a huge hole? I’ve twisted ankles doing that.

    This is a physical issue **for you** and you alone. Please stop pretending that it’s some kind of universal.

    There’s a good body of research on that:

    http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~fajans/pub/pdffiles/StopSignsAccess.pdf

    http://www.cptips.com/knee2.htm

    http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sports-specific/cycling-injuries

    There are two issues here. One is purely a person’s cardiovascular limits, or in layman’s terms, their power output. It’s always more energy intensive to stop and start than to keep in motion when going a given distance, even if you don’t accelerate rapidly. As a result, repeatedly stopping either lowers your average speed for a given power level, or increases the amount of power you need to maintain a given average speed. For example, in some urban situations I’ll be lucky to average 10 mph, if that. This occurs when I’m accelerating and cruising at my power limits, but forced to stop every few blocks. In a situation where I didn’t need to stop, I could average that same 10 mph practically coasting.

    The second issue are injuries. Three types of injuries common in cycling. One is caused by an ill-fitting bike or poor riding posture. This is entirely correctable. The second occurs simply from riding longer or harder than your level of fitness allows. The end result here can be things like muscle tightness or muscular fatigue. This can be avoided by increasing your intensity or workout durations gradually. The third is caused by overstressing joints. The end result can be things like cartilaginous breakdown, chondromalacia, pulled ligaments. Typically these types of injuries are the result of repeatedly stressing your joints/muscles well beyond their continuous capability. This could be due to riding a very hilly route, or repeatedly stopping and starting (actually those two things are pretty much the same in terms of the muscle groups which are stressed). Once injured, often the recovery time is weeks or months. In many cases, right after the stress occurs, you can’t even continue. More often than not, there’s not much advance warning before that point occurs. I’ve been fine and then after one stop too many I’m practically unable to continue. That’s how sudden it comes on for me.

    If what you claim were true, then my 10-mile-each-way commute would be an arduous task, and my ride to and from Philadelphia (which had to have included hundreds of stops) would require a super-athlete.

    Have your power level and aerobic capacity tested by a professional. Anyone who can ride to Philadelphia is a super athlete. I’ve been riding for decades. The longest I ever rode in one single ride was 60 miles. The longest I rode in one day (two separate rides) was 70 miles. I can’t ride two days in a row unless the rides are each less than ~25 miles, maybe 30 miles if I’m feeling great. I can’t do much over 150 miles in a week, or perhaps 500 miles in a month. These are hard physical limits for me, as in I’m not able to exceed them. There’s an outside chance I might be able to do 100 miles in one day, but it would need to be a completely non-stop route with only a few mild hills.

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