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Poll- The need for speed- Who's hit the highest MAX speed?(54 posts)

Poll- The need for speed- Who's hit the highest MAX speed?js5280
Sep 14, 2001 9:44 AM
I've hit 42mph on a number of occasions (nice downhills going into work) but I know that there has to be some 50+ mph people out there.

Who's walks away with the RBR Need for Speed Trophy and awe of the RBR community?
re: Poll- The need for speed- Who's hit the highest MAX speed?jschrotz
Sep 14, 2001 9:47 AM
I'm sure it won't be the fastest, but I've hit 54mph.
re: Poll- The need for speed- Who's hit the highest MAX speed?Dave Woof
Sep 14, 2001 9:52 AM
I think I have hit 53 or 54 - down Mingus mountain in Az.
It seems like I hit 56 a long time ago in Makanda, IL.
re: Poll- The need for speed- Who's hit the highest MAX speed?cioccman
Sep 14, 2001 9:58 AM
I've hit 43 and was scared to death. Angeles Crest Hwy., with cars, motorcycles, etc.
46.7 mph on Yawgoo Valley Road abt 3 wks ago (nm)RhodyRider
Sep 14, 2001 10:36 AM
Just cracked 50 mphCRM
Sep 14, 2001 10:40 AM
Just topped 50 mph (50.3) for the first time about a month ago. I've crept up on it for a while now and it's been a goal for me. I guess I'll always be shooting to set a new record, but I'm not sure how much faster I really want to go!
almost hit 60mph on a tandem (58mph)tdfox
Sep 14, 2001 10:42 AM
re: Poll- The need for speed- Who's hit the highest MAX speed?MCCl
Sep 14, 2001 10:53 AM
I took a walk in the Bike Parking Lot for the Ride the Rockies Tour. I know I hit 54 but was taken back by how fast the Tandems go try, 65. Maybe now you will understand why they are called divorce machines. MCCL
56mphScott H.
Sep 14, 2001 10:53 AM
Down the 2222 hill in Auustin, TX several times this year on our Tues night ride. We get some interesting looks from the cars.
Sep 14, 2001 10:53 AM
64 mph down the east side of Townes Pass into Death Valley. It was amazing. This is a 17 mile descent that drops 5,000 feet. I really wasn't even trying to top out, either, as I didn't know the road. What was really amazing was sustaining over 55 mph for over 10 minutes. Almost got boring.

Next month I do it at night.

Sep 14, 2001 11:55 AM
what is your top speed with one of your famous no handed descents?
64Ted the Horseman
Sep 14, 2001 12:12 PM
64 with a badly calibrated speedometer I bet...Why doesn't it surprise me that "Dog" claims he's the fasterst.
C'mon. Dog's credibility is...MikeC
Sep 14, 2001 12:22 PM
...pretty well backed up by the record. His cycling activities are generally supported by photos and details, and other Board members have been on some of his rides.
64 is certainly off my scale, but so are many of the epic events he's participated in.
Unless you have evidence that someone is lying, or unless someone has a track record of lies, I don't understand why anyone would want to trash someone in front of his community.
you toady (nm)Ted the Horseman
Sep 14, 2001 12:35 PM
you misanthrope (nm)MikeC
Sep 15, 2001 5:56 AM
bet you could do it, tooDog
Sep 14, 2001 1:23 PM
Nothing magical about this. Just ask anyone who has ridden this hill in Death Valley. I'd bet they have at least gone 58-60. Several went as fast the day I did it.

If you have not ridden out West, you just can't imagine the size of the hills. Descending continuously for 17 miles is fairly extraordinary even here, but unthinkable elsewhere.

Personal attacks, particularly discussing something as innocuous as riding down a hill, are unnecessary. You don't believe it, just ask anyone who has ridden the hill.

Doug Sloan
Fresno, CA
a related question: anyone afraid of dying?ET
Sep 14, 2001 11:02 AM
I've hit only a measly 40.0 (exactly). People here can complain about shimmy at 55 mph, but I'll probably never have to worry about that. I am more afraid now, while still healing and in pain from my fall a month ago.

I am willing to go faster, but I demand ideal conditions: smoothly paved road, wide lanes, gradual downhill having no turns, complete visibility incl. no shading from trees which may hide road debris incl. twigs and rocks, no motor vehicles in sight, no blind entrances, etc. I haven't come close to such conditions yet, but maybe that is no surprise, given I often repeat the same routes and/or am limited by locale unless I drive somewhere with bike in/on car first.

I was wondering if any of you looking for max speed are afraid of dying. Does anyone else here wonder whether a regular who stops posting here for a week or two met his demise on a 55 mph descent? I mean, all it takes is a tire blowout, a screw coming loose, a squirrel, hand slipping off handlebar when hitting a bump, or whatever, some beyond the control of even an experienced rider. Just makes you wonder if it's worth it for the few seconds of exhilaration you get and time you shave. And do you ever think of the family you'll leave behind? Just for that?
Sep 14, 2001 11:08 AM
If I thought about dying much I'd probably never even get on the bike, or at least not ride around cars. I think going fast is nothing compared to riding inches from cars going by at 70 mph, plus that is totally out of my hands.

I've flatted at over 45 mph and controlled it fine. During a turn would be bad, though.

I go fast enough that it becomes routine. It's very rare I don't go over 50. Doing intervals this week I hit 53 mph coming back down after every interval. Doesn't seem like that big a deal if you do it often.

Afraid of dying? Nope. I'm at ease with what will happen then, anyway.

if death doesn't scare you...ET
Sep 14, 2001 12:08 PM
there's other possibilities, such as being a lifetime paraplegic. Not that I'm a wimpout on speed--I'm just waiting for those ideal conditions--but when I come home and my little girl comes to the door and hugs me, that's when I think about how stupid it would be crashing and dying trying to max out on my speed.

Your words sound a bit bold to me and possibly not distinguishing between different levels of risk. Sure, one accepts increased risk getting on a bike, but that's not the same as getting into a situation where, if you do lose control or get knocked off your bike at that speed, you'd have little chance. It'd take just once, and I certainly hope that never happens. And it's not like you're in the TdF and so willing to take such risks for career.

As an aside, I have broken the law, just like another cyclist (a lawyer :-)). I have gone 25 in a 20 on a twisting descent. Not that fast, of course, but you know, it felt good knowing I was breaking the law. :-)
if death doesn't scare you...ColnagoFE
Sep 14, 2001 12:15 PM
I have 2 kids and a wife and still ride fast on occasion. It's all about "calculated" risk. Would I go 65MPH on a potholed road no-handed? But I would go fast on a wide, clear road with little curves. Hell...I think driving on a freeway is probably just as dangerous and we still do that. No way you can totally eliminate risk.
No. You sort of touched on it anyway...RhodyRider
Sep 14, 2001 12:35 PM
...when you stated your demands for ideal conditions. Plainly put, it is risk management. I don't think any posters here are insane macho types with a "damn the topedos" approach to speed. I think all of us like to strafe the downhills at full-pucker speeds, but I don't think you'll find many who do it in a rainstorm or if the surface or conditions are less than satisfactory. Heck, I descend on my bike, ski, drive, even eat "too fast" compared to some people, but so far I have been safe and in control every step of the way. No, I'm not afraid of dying and that does not govern my decision-making process. If it did, I'd never leave the house.
Sep 14, 2001 12:51 PM
I prefer not to live my life under what I call the "what if?" philosophy. What if blow out a tire @ 52 mph...what if someone shoots you during a robbery @ the local 7-11 while you're getting a slurpie....etc. If you keep thinking about the possibile bad things that can happen to you during your normal daily life, you'd never get out of bed. I live to enjoy life, and when I die, I'll be satisfied that I did so.(FYI-I have 2 beautiful daughters and a wife that I love. Still doesn't stop me.How would they like me to be? Paralyzed with fear or content?)
No, but...Cliff Oates
Sep 14, 2001 1:56 PM
I crashed hard in June, so I've got plenty of fear to work through. Not to mention the rehab that is still ahead of me. My maximum speed so far is 46 or so on a couple of fairly unremarkable hills here where I live. I think 46 is pretty exciting on a bike. FWIW, I was only going 15 or so when I biffed.
Similar experience...DINOSAUR
Sep 14, 2001 2:55 PM
Similar experience, I was only going about 20MPH when I went down. It was bad enough that I ended up in the hospital for seven days with 5 busted up ribs and a concussion. I think there is a fine line between common sense and fear. My fear turned from apprehension, to being careful to being aware of what can happen. My main concern now is equipment failure and having a deer dart in front of me from nowhere. IMHO make sure you have good medical coverage and don't think that you are invincible. Some of these speeds give me chills, why not just play Russian roulette?
My main concern continues to be...Cliff Oates
Sep 14, 2001 3:25 PM
pilot error. I crashed because I made a slight error of judgement. I should have been going 10 mph. Now I'm a little afraid to get back on the bike on which I crashed. Tomorrow will probably be the virgin post crash ride on the Waterford (the Gunnar frame is out of alignment and on its way back to Wisconsin). The mind is a funny thing.
My crash was caused by...DINOSAUR
Sep 14, 2001 3:51 PM
Not watching where I was going. I was about .2 miles from home, was tired, and my riding glasses were smeared with perspiration. I ran over a rock with my front tire while descending, unknown to me I punctured the tube. As I was taking a left turn at an intersection I lost all my air and the tire rolled off of it's rim. Anyway, I think that's what happened. I've let my guard down, I ran over rock yesterday, however I was ascending. I kept a nervous eye on my tire to make sure it wasn'nt going to flatten on me. The problem is a lot of folks up here in the hills have gravel driveways and the gravel can be anywhere.

You will do fine on your ride. To tell you the truth I was so out of shape from not riding it hurt everywhere else and I didn't have time to think about fear. You will be a very happy man. I'm always very happy when I return home after a ride and unclip at the bottom of my driveway...

Let me know how your ride goes...
Thanks EdCliff Oates
Sep 14, 2001 4:13 PM
Sounds like pilot error was a factor in your crash too. I've been out for a few rides in the last couple of weeks, but no hills yet. Also, no rides on the Waterford, which is a bit more sensitive to steering inputs than my cross bikes. I hear you on the out of shape part. It's past time...
Yep 37's my fastestChris Zeller
Sep 14, 2001 2:40 PM
Usually start feathering the brakes around 35 usually descending the hill on Colorado 93--only inches from the semis with no shoulder. Too chicken to go faster than that, though there is nothing to physically stop me.

I'm with ET. All the things you mention run through my mind. Although I climb rock ice and snow and kayak witewater (through my skill level as well as inherient risks) I can't seem to manage the risks.
Hit 50 mph this summer riding through the Berkshire MountainsSteve Davis
Sep 14, 2001 6:24 PM
in Massachusetts. The whole time I was thinking, "man, it would suck if I fell now". Still, it was exhilerating.

Later this summer I crashed at 37.6 mph and that did suck.
A little but. . .Vlad the Impaler
Sep 14, 2001 6:23 PM
The thought of what would happen if I crashed is always in my head while desending at speed but I enjoy it too much to let that deter me. I avoid high speeds on crappy pavement or around curves I can't see around. You really do get used to going fast as you break your own high speed records. I regularly hit 50mph on desents around here now, though I'm having a hard time finding a place to break my fastest speed of 56mph.
62 mphpeloton
Sep 14, 2001 11:13 AM
Not as fast as you can go on skis.
56MPH (nm)ColnagoFE
Sep 14, 2001 11:22 AM
50 mph. Sprinting my a** off inbill
Sep 14, 2001 11:28 AM
53-11. I thought my rollers were going to do a China syndrome, right through the floor.
Oh, you mean on the ROAD.
There, I guess I'm a bit of a piker -- 45. We need some hills in the East.
ozarks, 43 mph nmSpiritual Haiku
Sep 14, 2001 11:29 AM
56 MPH (nm)bikedodger
Sep 14, 2001 11:29 AM
43mph, Full Suspension MTB with slicks.....KMan1
Sep 14, 2001 11:32 AM
unfortunately ran out of gears to push. Looking to get a road bike now for training.......would like to hit 50+ then

re: Poll- The need for speed- Who's hit the highest MAX speed?wally
Sep 14, 2001 11:44 AM
Last summer I was riding with some friends outside of Buena Vista Colorado on (I think it was called) Cottonwood Pass. We were trying to make it to the top of the pass, but eventually it got too dark. I put the sleeves on and turned the bike down the hill. I topped out at 50.7 on the way down. By the time we got back into town it was dark. And to think, we only got run off the road once by a car.

Later in the week I went over 40 mph on my mountain bike on a fire road near Winter Park, that was a first too.
47mphMel Erickson
Sep 14, 2001 12:04 PM
A few years ago on a short, steep downhill. Most recently, without any extra effort, I hit 43 on the same downhill. I also recently hit 40 coasting with my 19 year old daughter on our tandem. It was in the middle of a hill, on an unfamiliar road with a curve at the bottom. I lightly applied the brakes only to here a protest from my stoker. She wanted to crank it up! I told her it would be different if it was only me but with my baby on board I wanted to play it safe. My wife thanked me. My daughter thought I was a wuss.
52.4 mph, Moor's mtn road.look271
Sep 14, 2001 12:26 PM
Not the fastest, but I'd be interested in how QUICKLY people have gotten to this speed. Moor's mtn road has a steep section that is 0.6 miles. Then there's a stop sign! Trick is to see how fast how far you can go until you have to nail the brakes. Fear? Nope. But then I'm stupid.:-)
bustedDarrin in DC
Sep 14, 2001 12:43 PM
In college I was trying to hit the 50 mark heading down a long hill on Franklin Street heading out of Chapel Hill. Seems like it spent forever on 49 before notching, ever so briefly, up to 50. I looked up from my computer to see a cop sitting in his speed trap shaking his head at me (it was a 35 mph zone - which was also a joke - very wide road with two lanes each way and a center turn lane).
That's it?Atombomber
Sep 14, 2001 12:41 PM
280 kph, uphill. Hitting the rev limiter at 13,500 rpm.

On a pedal powered bike, over 100 kph, on a long 8% downhill where a group of us would slingshot to the front of the line. Fun at the time, but near the top of the 'What Stupid Stuff Have You Done While Riding?' list.

I guess redlining the 750cc GSXR-RR in sixth gear would be on that list too.
Photo here (nt)Atombomber
Sep 14, 2001 12:44 PM
Tops mine!look271
Sep 14, 2001 6:02 PM
Used to have a Kawasaki GPZ 750 (about 1981?). Topped that sucker out @ 135mph (218kph). THAT was scarey!
re: Poll- The need for speed- Who's hit the highest MAX speed?wes
Sep 14, 2001 12:56 PM
fastest ever - 63 on a fairly straight mountain descent - full tuck.

For all those in the 40's, I don't get it. I hit 43 yesterday on a descent without trying and not in a tuck.

Having said that - I don't get into the 50's much myself. Conditions have to be exactly right.

Maybe I'll check the calibration on my computer...
55 on backside of a Tenn. mtn and..........Len J
Sep 14, 2001 1:51 PM
scared the S##t out of me. We do need some real hills in ythe east. Hit 50mph in Alaska, descending on unknown roads while sitting up and feathering the brakes. Have no idea how fast was possible on these hills.

54mph, in Florida.Ian
Sep 14, 2001 2:07 PM
Hard to believe huh? It is the third highest spot in the state. The hill is a half mile long and hits a 13-14% grade at its steepest point. Was doing about 20 mph when I hit the downslope and went into a full tuck. But, I usually climb this hill and then it is 6 mph on the way up.
Poll II: Who's been pulled over by cops for speeding?Elefantino
Sep 14, 2001 2:52 PM
I went 51 in a 40 (downhill, on the way to Bodega Bay, Calif.). Cop was cyclist. Congratulated me. Let me go.
56mphVlad the Impaler
Sep 14, 2001 6:18 PM
That was here in Colorado a few months ago on the Peak to Peak highway near Allenspark.
re: 52mph in blanford, massbsenez
Sep 14, 2001 6:39 PM
the descent is a fairly straight shot with a few kinks and a nasty decreasing radius corner near the end. it comes out by the state police station on route 20. that seems to be the fastest i can get around here, there aren't any steeper roads locally.
re: Poll- The need for speed- Who's hit the highest MAX speed?4bykn
Sep 14, 2001 10:59 PM
My max was about 44 mph a few years back. It seems that comfort at speed requires some experience at speed. When I break 40 mph it seems awful damned fast, can't imagine going much faster. Not many places to hit high speeds in central Illinois! I may have to haul the bike to Colorado some year to experience true speed. I envy some of your riding locales. If I gain 10 feet I call it a hill.
not me, but:alex the engineer
Sep 15, 2001 8:11 AM
In the early days of this century, there was a cyclist who actually broke 60 mph on a flat run. The way they accomplished it was like this:
The LIRR put 5 miles or so of planking between the tracks on a long, level straightaway. They also modified a car, making the back of it a lage fairing, with a short catwalk sitting a few inches above the track, and some sort of a sling to lower a bike onto the planking. A bike was made, fixed gear, toe clips, geared at something close to 200 gear inches, I believe. The train got up to the desired speed, came to the planking, the cyclist (hanging from the sling) started pedalling furiously, was lowered onto the planking, and was released. He kept even with the train for a couple of miles, riding in the protected air pocket, with several witnesses to attest to the record.
I believe that after several runs, his best speed was nearly 70 mph.
Sep 15, 2001 10:26 PM
I don't usually pay much attention, but got curious after reading this. About 43.3 today.
high speed fun and screwupsfuzzybunnies
Sep 16, 2001 3:34 PM
I never seem to get above 55 though I touch it a lot. First time was on a short steep hill less than 2/10ths of a mile long, going up it sucks. Also done it a couple times on one hill coming out of thatcher park, worst time was when I was leaving thatcher one time and hit a pot hole as I was accelerating past 50mph (based on location of hit and previous runs) just as the hill enters into a large curve. Bike wouldn't stop shaking as I clutched the top tube between my knees and held on for all it was worth. Speedometer actually read 55 max speed at the bottom, could have beaten it if it wasn't for the pot hole. It's still a fun hill. TTFN
Recently? And my past record....Blue 'Goose
Sep 16, 2001 4:56 PM
Yesterday I hit 40 mph in a full tuck going downhill on Bush Lake Road in
Bloomington, MN (near the Bush Lake Ski jumps). The trick is to hit a
manageable speed by the time you hit the bottom because of the Canadian
Pacific railroad tracks there.

The all-time record is in 1987 when I was in prime shape because I was
riding 20-40 miles a day, commuting to work among others. A 25 mph
tailwind was hitting me and I was in the best shape I've been in, well,
probably ever. Anyway, my Cateye Solar said 62.5 mph max and I've
never been so scared on a bike in my life. It was a heavy bike too,
compared to what I'm riding these days. At 40 what I ride now had a
little bit of shimmy.