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Thread: Fun?rides

  1. #1
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Fun?rides

    Today I took part in a Police ride that will in 6 days be visiting all the Police stations in East Sussex. Wide variety of riders, skills and bikes, but as My co-rider on the Tandem is a policeman, we went on it for todays ride only. Only 6 stations visited with about 50 miles on the actual route, between 7 and 12 miles on each section of the ride.
    For some reason, we always seemed to start last, but before long we were up the front of the riders. One rule was you do not overtake the chief constable, but he is quite fit so the pace was not too slow. If we wanted to work, we just dropped back to the back and went for it to get to the front.
    A lot of interest was shown in our Tandem, especially when it was realised that we were averaging 27mph on the flats, downhills we disappeared into the distance, but our courtesy did allow a few riders to take us on the uphills. We are slow uphill. I am no spring chicken at 58, and was probably the oldest rider there. Most were in their 30's but I cannot deride any of them. They were not all avid cyclists, they were not all in A.1 fitness, and some of them were riding 20 year old bikes. We only had 1 hill, and this is Ditchling Beacon from the London to Brighton Fame, so some of the UK riders may know of it. It is steep and it is long but every rider made it. Not one walked. It is an achievement for even some fit riders to make this hill.

    Highlights from the ride. With travel to and from the start on the Tandem,75 miles covered, average speed of 14.9mph, Top speed was a bit of a disappointment though as we had to brake for a car at our highest speed of 52.4mph.Although that is our fastest EVER recorded road speed, we thought we would have broken out offroad speed of 53.4mph. On a personal note Heart rate when not slowing down was kept between 140 and 150, ditchling beacon only saw 152, but at sometime on the ride I reached 158 and I did not notice it. No adjustments necessary on the Bike, and only adjustments to the riders was the stripping off of layers as the day warmed up.

    Altogether a most enjoyable day, The ride was good, and it is surprising how car drivers behave when every other rider was a policeman on Police bikes wearing a yellow vest with POLICE all over the back of it. As an aside, I can assure you that British policemen are human aswell.

  2. #2
    Badger Biker ctyler's Avatar
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    Altogether a most enjoyable day, The ride was good, and it is surprising how car drivers behave when every other rider was a policeman on Police bikes wearing a yellow vest with POLICE all over the back of it. As an aside, I can assure you that British policemen are human aswell.
    I was on the Trek Tri-Island ride in Washington State in 1996 and we had two police officers from Kirkland, Washington, along wearing their t-shirts with POLICE on the back. It certainly helped calm down so drivres who were not happy with all the cyclists on the roads.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    ... we were averaging 27mph on the flats, downhills we disappeared into the distance, but our courtesy did allow a few riders to take us on the uphills. We are slow uphill. I am no spring chicken at 58....
    In your case Doug, 58 is a meaningless incidental number. Your level of fitness is a little intimidating...


    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    ...Top speed was a bit of a disappointment though as we had to brake for a car at our highest speed of 52.4mph.
    See what I mean. I hit 32 mph on a steep decline and thought that was past the design limits of my bike, if not me. At that speed a crash caused by hitting a stone, a crack or a curb would have been disasterous. And you and the policeman hit 52 mph? Did you mean 52.4 Km/h or are you both mad?
    Last edited by TrailRider; 05-26-05 at 08:03 AM.

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailRider
    In your case Doug, 58 is a meaningless incidental number. Your level of fitness is a little intimidating...


    See what I mean. I hit 32 mph on a steep decline and thought that was past the design limits of my bike, if not me. At that speed a crash caused by hitting a stone, a crack or a curb would have been disasterous. And you and the policeman hit 52 mph? Did you mean 52.4 Km/h or are you both mad?
    Fitness is only relevant to what you want to do. I am still fit enough to do the offroading that I want to do but this takes a lot of hard work to achieve and a lot of training. 2 1/2 years ago I almost gave up riding as I could not get back into riding after a couple of illnesses hit me mentally and the brain told me that it was time to slow down. The body then slowed down and I decided on a fitness programme to get me back to how I wanted to be. 6 months of gym work, extra rides and I was there. I am nowhere near as fit as I used to be, and never will be, but I am as fit as my level of the hobby requires me to be. Just wish it was at the level of a few 60+ ridersI know.

    One thing about Tandems is that they are hard work until the team get together. You have to have complete trust in each other and know the capabilities of the other rider and the machine. We do know each other and the Tandem. It is heavy and slow uphill, but that may be due to the 58 year old on the back. Mind you, on the flat it shifts, and downhill it is so stable, speed is not a problem. The 52 mph we hit on the road came with ease. Steep hill, 400lbs weight pushing a very solid frame onwards, and the stability does come from the set up. Plus the fact that the pilot is a "Secret" downhiller at heart and I am certain he leaves his brain at the top of the hills.
    As a pionter the wheels are extra strong top quality downhill spec so we would have to do something completely stupid to damage them. We do have suspension forks (no good for the road) that once again are downhill spec so there is no way they will get damaged. The brakes? you've guessed probably the best downhill spec brakes you can get with the largest discs possible. For our type of riding this bike is ideal. It is a full offroad machine that will take all the abuse we can give it, and there is no holding back on a ride. If a solo can do it then so will we. The only problem we have is with bunny hops but we are working on that.

    Ok. That 52.4mph on wednesday is fast for us on the road. Previous to this we have not met a steep enough hill to get anywhere that speed on the road. Now off road is a different matter. In 3 weeks time we will be going a hill on our 100mile randonnee that last year saw us get 53.4. Now that was stupid as we actually took off after one of the dips in the trail launched us. High speed but airborne is not the best way to ride when you still have another 80 miles to go. Come to think about it, we had to brake for a gate halfway down that hill last year. It was open but we slowed just in case it was closed. Now if we can follow a solo rider to give us the line through the gate, I wonder if we can get 55 this year?

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