Friday, December 18, 2009

Need For Speed

I'm not sure what year Tour this is from - but I could watch it over and over......

62 miles per hour on a bicycle is fast in anyone's book. Anytime I've done 60+ mph, it was on a motorcycle - wearing full road race leathers and a real helmet. Impressive stuff. I wonder if they ponder the integrity of carbon forks while touching 60 mph. Carbon steerer tube - don't fail me now.

I never seem to break 45 mph on my road bike - and trust me, I've tried. I need to find a bigger hill or stop wearing Hefty garbage bags as a cheap jacket. The flapping may be slowing me down some. The flapping noise does help warn pedestrians of my impending closing distance and wet brakes however.

I have hit 51 mph on a mountain bike - my personal record. Long, steep dirt road with assorted loose rocks and bumps. Friend I was riding with left me in the proverbial and actual dust, so maybe 60 for him. During the descent, we passed this Subaru crawling down the road, like it was standing still. This was also the pre-suspension age, so I should score a few bonus points for that. Or stupidity points, depending on your scale.

Personal top speed in a car, about 100 mph. On a motorcycle, that be 136 mph on my Aprilia Falco - which it did effortlessly. Speed is all relative however. Hitting 60+ mph on a bicycle is much more impressive then twisting a throttle or pushing down a gas pedal.

Pro level racers cranking those long descents in the Tour and other races are showing some impressive skill - and risk. Amazing to watch though.


  1. 48MPH open course at Devil's Backbone Moutain Cross. Most of the time top speed is about 42 MPH. The thing I worry about is being pulled out of a turn or I guest difting out. I don't know what you call it.

    A tour is not a tour with out Phil in the back ground. I guest it was like Howard back in the Ali days.

  2. 47 MPH for me. Was on a Mountain Bike too. In town paved road, no suspension, long down hill. Crazy I was. I must be getting old, because now if I get near 40 MPH no my road bike I do not feel that I am in good control. Tomorrow, I'll peak out at around 12 MPH biking on the snow mobile trails.
    Peace and happy rides.

  3. Exactly - Paul and Phil announcing the Tour is like Howard Cosell during the Ali days. Classic stuff.

    Your top speeds are similar to mine. I must at least break 50 mph one day. The search for the proper hill continues.

    Thanks for the comments.

  4. Dan, you just need monster downhills. Come over to my side of the pond and descend an Alpine road... I believe I hit in excess of 90 kph (couldn't see... it was the time before cool sunglasses).

    All I remember clearly is the ultra sphincter tightening moment when I was starting to lean at almost full speed and realising that there was a LOT of water from a little mountain stream crossing the road...

    But hey, I'm still here...

  5. Pete - we do have some serious hills, probably not as impressive as Italy - but big enough to be officially called mountains.

    Maybe I should try the lead water bottle trick, like they did in the old Tours.