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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY View Post
    I once came close to the speed of light, but I had to slow down because I was beginning to weigh too much........
    When you went home, had everyone comparatively aged a lot?
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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Interestingly, it's mostly road hazards I obsess over, not bike integrity.
    And that makes all the sense in the world. I've never had a loose skewer or bolt on my road bike but for some reason that's what pops into my head on fast descents.

    I actually did have a loose skewer on my MTB years ago. Luckily I noticed it on a flat section of trail. Low 20s seems to be my max for single track around my home trails.

  3. #53
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    50 is my limit nowadays .. I'll sit up and take some wind to slow myself down . When I raced collegiately.. 60+ but that was back in the avocet computer era.. who know how accurate those where
    PO is a liberal echo chamber.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by spdntrxi View Post
    50 is my limit nowadays .. I'll sit up and take some wind to slow myself down . When I raced collegiately.. 60+ but that was back in the avocet computer era.. who know how accurate those where
    Is that miles per hour, or are you hobbled by the so-called "metric system" and reporting your speed in kilometers per hour?

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPlKE View Post
    Is that miles per hour, or are you hobbled by the so-called "metric system" and reporting your speed in kilometers per hour?
    idf those "metric system" folks were really committed they'd use metric hours.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
    idf those "metric system" folks were really committed they'd use metric hours.
    They tried that, back after the French revolution. Metric weeks and months, as well....
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  7. #57
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    According to my phone my max is 51.86 mph. That was with a decent tailwind on a nice downhill. I was glad I could check-mark going over 50 but that fast is too nervous for me. It's it's too much work. I'm in a more uncomfortable position and I'm more worried about all the things that could go wrong. In short, it's just not worth it.

    There are a couple of fun little hills on my usual rides that I put a bit of effort into and will hit around 43 mph for a brief moment. Enough to get the feeling of fun but not enough to get the feeling of fear.

  8. #58
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    103.5 km/h down Deux Alpes last month. Recorded on Strava which is lucky as I get vertigo so never look at the Garmin.


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  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by izza View Post
    103.5 km/h down Deux Alpes last month. Recorded on Strava which is lucky as I get vertigo so never look at the Garmin.


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    I've experienced vertigo. I wouldn't be going 103 km/hr when I was.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by izza View Post
    103.5 km/h down Deux Alpes last month. Recorded on Strava which is lucky as I get vertigo so never look at the Garmin.


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    You get vertigo without even looking anywhere but at the road ahead?

  11. #61
    .je
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    in HS the little computer thing said I was going 92 km/h once
    More recently I've seen 78 or 83 or something like that.

    Last summer, however, it paced me at a new PR:


    Only thing to prove now is to go down to city hall, ride hard at the building, and see if I can travel back in time.
    Last edited by .je; 10-06-2017 at 06:33 PM.

  12. #62
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    I once it 60 mph on my favorite descent riding my black road bike. I'm sure I would have hit 70 mph, if I was riding my red one.

    We all know that red is the fastest color you can buy.

  13. #63
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    If I start looking over the side of the road. To avoid panic I try to really focus on the road and nothing else. Blank out peripheral things.


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  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by izza View Post
    To avoid panic I try to really focus on the road and nothing else. Blank out peripheral things.
    To avoid dying, i focus on the road.

    At high speeds, reaction times and bike control are proportionally greater and proportionally less. In the however-many tenths of a second it takes you to spot, identify, plan for, and react to road hazards, you barely have time.

    At that speed you can't just fling the bars over to steer around ... and hitting the brakes won't stop you in time, but will give you even less steering control.

    if i ma trying to go fast downhill I am nodding my head like a broken robot, scanning far to near ... i don't want to die because of a pile of wet pine needles, and I don't want to run broadside into a car I could have seen getting ready to pull out if I had been looking more than ten yards ahead.

    If I am going so fast I cannot be aware of my surroundings without having issues ... well, it's your life and you are free to gamble. And every now and then it is probably healthy to take a little more risk than one usually accepts .... supposing of course, that one lives.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradkay View Post
    The one strange thing I have seen is that on my fully loaded touring bike I appear to have a terminal velocity - a speed which, due to the aerodynamics of all the packs?, cannot be exceeded. Eleven times on my cross country trip back in 1985 I hit 47mph as the max speed on various descents. At no time did I ever record a faster speed on that trip or any other long distance tour.
    Interesting point. The shape of you and the bike couldn't cut through the air any faster when the air resistance equalled your inertial mass at exactly 47 mph.

    I was disappointed coming down off Mt. Willson, CA, both times I did it. No matter what shape I assumed, the bike wouldn't go faster than 47 mph. I'd spun out around 35 mph. By 47 mph that wall of air blocked any increase of speed. Since then, I've never been able to go faster than 45-48 mph no matter how steep the grade.

    Surprised the ole SL DeRosa stopped feeling skittish around 30 mph, then tracked really well all the way up to top speed. The inertial mass of me and the bike, and the centrifugal force of the wheels spinning that fast, stabilized the trajectory. The bike held its integrity amazingly well. I had more confidence at 45 mph than I was used to at 25-30 mph. At stop lights the bike often gets nervous, like a thoroughbred race horse stomping at the gate. At speed, It handles as gracefully as a bird in flight.

    Great bikes are like that. Most riders never go fast enough to find out.

    OP, as far as top speed under leg power? At my best while in my Fifties, my TT times over a 10 mile out and back course were averaging 21-22 mph. The best riders were getting 25 mph averages, probably about the same as now.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
    To avoid dying, i focus on the road.

    At high speeds, reaction times and bike control are proportionally greater and proportionally less. In the however-many tenths of a second it takes you to spot, identify, plan for, and react to road hazards, you barely have time.

    At that speed you can't just fling the bars over to steer around ... and hitting the brakes won't stop you in time, but will give you even less steering control.

    if i ma trying to go fast downhill I am nodding my head like a broken robot, scanning far to near ... i don't want to die because of a pile of wet pine needles, and I don't want to run broadside into a car I could have seen getting ready to pull out if I had been looking more than ten yards ahead.

    If I am going so fast I cannot be aware of my surroundings without having issues ... well, it's your life and you are free to gamble. And every now and then it is probably healthy to take a little more risk than one usually accepts .... supposing of course, that one lives.
    I always use vanishing point of road as regulator of speed. As this varies with corners I try to keep speed proportional to distance between me and that point. If that distance is greater than braking distance to come to a halt then frankly do a ‘Froomie’ and sit on top tube. Usually though, the more you focus on furthest point ahead, the better.

    Sometimes if lucky on switchbacks you can look around the corner to see if anything is coming.

    This year my most dangerous event was a French driver going for the racing line coming up a switchback. I think I saw him at the earliest point possible because my eyes were searching for the growing vanishing point. Either way a big scream, a locked rear wheel and some opposite lock saved the day.


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  17. #67
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    "Pardon my bad humor" .... he begged before making it worse.

    "Wow, that looked close. How bad a near-miss was that?"

    "42 seconds."

    "?"

    "Unpucker time."

  18. #68
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    This thread got me curious. I took a quick glance at my Strava feed and found two rides with max speed in the 50-52mph range. I use a Trek speed/cadence sensor,,so,it should be reasonably accurate. It sure feels fast.

    i may have been able to go faster. My theory is that some sort of muscle spasm in the saddle area is causing my body to contort in a way that is not aerodynamic.

  19. #69
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    51.9 mph on my carbon road bike. That was fast. My gravel bike with 37mm tires is slow. Spun out on a descent last week, I was in the super tuck on the top tube going 38 mph when another rider flew by me, also coasting, but sitting up, hands on the hoods of his road bike.

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  20. #70
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    I find long, straight downhills... meh. They're a good way to recover from the last climb and for the next one. It's not something I do a lot of, so my tolerance to really eke out as much as I can is likely lower. I'm not sitting on my top tube. Mid-50s on my Garmin with the old speed/cadence sensor was probably the best I ever did.

    At a certain point, I air brake and err on the side of caution, because I'm the sole provider for a family of six. I take my chances (I love crits and technical descents), but there is a certain point where the risk/reward just doesn't add up for me. YMMV.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDFbound View Post
    What's the fastest you've ever been on your bike?
    Since this topic was started, I asked a few cycling friends what was their top speed. They are guys who have done the big mountains in Italy, France, Spain. Some of them participate in (and win) cyclosportives. And with one exception they all looked away, mumbled "I don't remember" and seemed to feel uncomfortable. It's almost as if it's a taboo to talk about it.

    The exception was a colleague who claimed he did 112 km/h (70 mph) on Ventoux, Malaucène side. He was very proud of it. I think he's nuts. He has three kids.

    I did 50 mph once, also on Ventoux, Bédoin side. That was in 1999. I don't think I mentioned it three times to someone in all those years, and I feel uncomfortable mentioning it here. If you start to think about it, it's insane.

  22. #72
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    The hardest part about going fast down hill is bringing it up in all your conversations.

  23. #73
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    I love high speed descents. My fastest was 56.50 MPH descending Kinsman Notch on route 112 in NH heading towards Lincoln.What's Your Max Speed?-max.jpg
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  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by factory feel View Post
    The hardest part about going fast down hill is bringing it up in all your conversations.
    I'm pretty good at doing that. What's hard is not bringing it up in all my conversations.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPlKE View Post
    I'm pretty good at doing that. What's hard is not bringing it up in all my conversations.
    OMG ME TOO!!!

    Lol, lots of interesting responses. On flat land in a pack sprint, I don't think I've ever gone any faster than 42 mph or so, and my fastest 10 mile average speed was around 27 mph, way back when I was young and had a max HR of 212 and actually used it. For descending, I go as fast as I can safely manage. To minimize the risks of a balls-out descent, I ride up the hill first to spot any changes in the usual grave/sand spots, look for other debris, new oil spots, etc... I plan my lines around those and change turn-in points and whether to make it an early or late apex turn based on what I saw on the way up. I used to ride motorcycles a lot on these same roads, and got pretty good at reading road conditions, at least in my area.

    Any straight sections have my knees squeezing the top tube, hands choked up next to the stem, chest resting on my hands, and my head in between my shifters. If my cadence is less than 130 or so, I'll stay seated and keep pedaling with my hands on the hoods and forearms parallel to the deck. Unfortunately until recently I have spun out pretty early due to a 50-12 top gear, but now I've got a 52-11 to try out. I should have a better chance at faster descents now that I should be able to comfortably pedal up to 48 mph.

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