Rocket Speed.

Dan77

Senior Member
Location
Worcester
Fastest I have gone is 61kph/38mph last weekend down a fairly steep and fairly winding descent. It was terrifying. How you guys can do 60mph is beyond me. Even a bit of loose gravel/dirt in the wrong place and I could have been off. Perhaps if I find a straight downhill which doesn't immediately end on a corner I can try a little faster.

I need to get some prescription cycling glasses because despite having my glasses on my eyes were watering. They're really expensive for something I'd probably wear once a week through the warmer months though, so I might just descend slower. I had cars behind me this time though as it was an A road and slowing down would have meant staying to the side which would have been more dangerous. By keeping a decent speed I felt able to use the full lane and if I was slowing anyone down then it wasn't by much.
 

neil_merseyside

Veteran
Location
Wirral
I once did 55mph down from the Col towards Grand Bornand (so the flatter side of Col d C) overtaking cars was great fun, but that was back when I was young(er) and foolish(er), the heat from the rims when I stopped in Chinaillon reset my self preservation almost immediately, the fastest I've been since is only in the low 40's (and disc brakes).
I think it took us an hour to ride up, and fifteen minutes coming down, though the up included three stops for breath, but down was only the one for lunch [1].

[1] we both HAD to stop to cool our bikes, as when my (much slower/lighter) wife arrived I felt radiant heat (in full sun!) but she said she was pretty much on the brakes the whole way, so I'm still on the fence with regard to either :- brake hard occasionally, or drag the brakes to keep speed off.
I prefer to pulse the brakes more now, but have no idea if that is actually better.
 

classic33

Legendary Member
Set the speed cameras, 50mph limit, coming down from Ainley Top* on four wheels.

Got to a point where there was nothing coming past in the outside lane. I looked to see two lanes of cars about 50 yards behind me, and a police car in the outside lane keeping pace with me.

*It's the piece in the centre.
M-A.jpg
 
OP
Lovacott

Lovacott

Über Member
My last downhill drop on the way home is my enemy hill on the way in. It has three big bends with the second but last one being pretty tight and needing a dab or two on the brakes.

When I've been brave enough to glance down at my bottom of the market cycle computer, I've seen numbers like 35 flash before my eyes.
 

byegad

Legendary Member
Location
NE England
Recumbents rule on fast descents. I've got over 40mph once or twice on uprights but......
I've topped 50mph on all my recumbents. The AZUB 4 was 'fun' but with a 20" front wheel and rim brakes I'd not do that again! The trikes, QNT, Trail and Kettwiesel, are much safer with drums on the QNT and discs on the others. All you need is a long hill, clear lines of sight, no junctions and Robert is your parent's brother.
 
Depends what you mean by.'rocket speed'.

Done 63mph downhill into Otley, no chance I'd do it now.
East Chevin, no doubt?

I'm with you
I still remember 61.3MPH, measured with Avocet 30 (or 40), so very accurate
It was back in the mid-90s, on my Dyna-Tech 755Ti, on '20' section tyres

Scary as hell, with streaming eyes (even with Oakleys on) & trying to slow enough before the junction with Gay Lane
 

Randomnerd

Formerly known as Woodenspoons
Location
North Yorkshire
“On the plane”, is how my head expresses this holy grail of every ride. Now only ever venture out if I know this will be part of the journey. Being on the plane is the only reason to pedal.

The needle tread lifts out of the asphalt, ungluing the rubber from the road. The frame tubes swell and sigh. What was scenery smudges to yellow-green fog. What were tired old eyes focus like a young hawk might when spotting voles; every pixel of the tarmac horizon in clear, sharp detail. What were aged limbs grip and spin like Merckx‘s in ‘68. Air becomes nectar. Birds flock behind and push as one with their fine beaks at my back. The world unreels and I scythe through it, not rocket speed, not terminal velocity, but effortless, with hardly a cassette tick or a pedal click or a spoke ping.

Who knows what speeds we reach? I’ve run a Cliff Shrubb tandem round the Yorkshire Wolds a bit with twenty-five stones of muscle on board and no doubt clocked fifty here and there. I’ve come the bad way down from Kilburn White Horse on a sunny day with a violent hangover, impulsively deciding to leave braking to the wimps. That could have ended differently but woke me up. Who knows what knots I chalked up on the final straight, but the villagers were a blur.

And then some bas*tard in an Audi close passes and I’m back to thinking “should I turn for home now?“ and “why are all German car owners panzerw*nkers?”. While it lasted though, oh boy!
 

Edwardoka

Serene Doge
I had a wheel-sensor based computer once tell me I hit 62mph on the String road in Arran, I was too feart to look at it at the time, it was only afterwards when looking at the "max speed" screen. Given that I've apparently not hit 50mph on Arran since, the original number now seems of questionable authenticity. Highest confirmed speed is 51mph on the descent of the Col d'Osquitch, but 47mph is a fairly common number to hit on hilly rides.
 

Daninplymouth

Well-Known Member
I hit 40mph on most of my rides, suppose that’s one of the perks of climbing hills you get to fly down the other side. Have a few places were you get long mild declines in a 30mph and always have a chuckle when you pull alongside cars then start to pull away 🚴💨
 
OP
Lovacott

Lovacott

Über Member
I had a wheel-sensor based computer once tell me I hit 62mph on the String road in Arran, I was too feart to look at it at the time, it was only afterwards when looking at the "max speed" screen. Given that I've apparently not hit 50mph on Arran since, the original number now seems of questionable authenticity. Highest confirmed speed is 51mph on the descent of the Col d'Osquitch, but 47mph is a fairly common number to hit on hilly rides.
My cheap one is pretty good (Cateye Velo7).

It gives me exactly the same mileage every commute. The cycle track near me has a measured mile so I checked it against that when I first set it up.

On the flat at full pelt, my Apollo MTB struggles to get over 18mph and downhill, once I hit 20mph, my legs can't keep up with the drivetrain. I rely entirely upon gravity for my top speeds.

The road bike is a different kettle of fish. Going up the gears, I've never maxed them out no matter how fast I have been going. Until I fit a speedo to the road bike, I can only guess at how fast I've been going.

Like someone said earlier, nobody surfs for the pleasure of punching out into a freezing Atlantic swell in the pissing down rain. They surf for the ride back in on a wall of liquid glass. By extension, a guy walking down the beach carrying a surfboard is also cool, as is his girlfriend and her brother.

But cycling is not cool at all. It's a sport for nerds. Bombing it down a hill is the only circumstance where a cyclist might be viewed as cool but unlike cheating skiers, we have to make our own way up the hill under our own steam before we can let rip.

Sadly for me, there are not that many people who get to see my downhill exploits.

That's were the surfer has the advantage. Everyone who goes to the beach, faces the sea and a bloke standing up on a bit of fibreglass tends to stick out.

Meanwhile, another bloke doing 35mph down a hill on a bike, is just a woke extinction rebellion activist who can't afford a car.
 

figbat

Slippery scientist
I’ve seen 53mph on a downhill road. I recall thinking that if was on my motorbike I’d be wearing armoured clothing, boots, gloves, full-face helmet and would have two enormous disc brakes up front. Rather than a layer of Lycra and a teeny single caliper.
 
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