So the last couple of bikes I have owned have had cruise control fitted as standard and they function lik any other cruise control. Engage the system, hit the button to set the speed, blip up or down to modulate speed etc etc.
However whilst these systems are great at relieving some workload off the rider…or driver, especially when on long rides on motorways, they show up some infuriating habits of drivers too.
The problem with cruise control is that it’s only really beneficial when the roads are quiet. You can set the speed and don’t have to fiddle with it because you have the road to yourself. But as soon as you encounter some other vehicles around you, then you find yourself constantly engaging, disengaging the system, blipping up and down to counteract what other vehicles’ speed is to maintain safe separation.
However whilst this is annoying, it really does show that most drivers cannot maintain their speed when driving and can fluctuate speeds considerably for no reason other than just poor habits. you can be riding in the nearside lane at 70mph. A vehicle will come up behind you, start to overtake, then slow down to match you speed and just sit parallel, or overtake and pull in ahead of you then slow right down forcing you to slow.
This creates another situation where you then want to overtake a vehicle and as you’re passing them, the driver starts to accelerate as if annoyed that you dare overtake them, either forcing you to speed up even more to complete the overtake or slow down and duck out of it. If you do get past them, then the driver relents and slows down dramatically and you’re left wondering what the hell was all that about.
I’ve noticed this ore and more whether on my bike or in my car when using cruise control. It keep you at a steady speed where other vehicles are not and where driving standards are really poor. Middle lane hoggers just slowing down for no reason and not pulling in to the nearside lane, forcing erratic overtakes or undertakes these days.
The cruise control was invented to relieve the burden of trying to maintain speed but you find yourself constantly engaging or disengaging, blipping up or down, accelerating or slowing down to the point there’s really no point using the system at all.
The next time you’re out riding, start observing how other vehicle’s speed changes wildly when you’re at a constant legal speed. You’ll be surprised how much of this you spot, much more so than if you’re driving or riding without using the cruise control at all.