Having retired at the tender age of 55 on 22 December I have begun riding my Medone in earnest. I did a Century over the Christmas week and have logged an additional 700 miles since 1 January in and around Orange County California. I have even begun hill climbing on the roads in from eastern Orange County to Corona and Temecula. I have no idea how many verticle feet but one mile long climb has a warning "8% grade" so I guess that one is about 800 feet. My hill ride has 2 of these and and a few other shorter steeper sections. I have gotten so that I can motor up in my 39x27 at about 6 mph. I probably need a compact to get my cadence higher but I dont blow up and my knees are just fine. The problem is coming down !!!. In a flash I am going 35 mph and if I dont do some serious braking I am above 40. The cross streets are lightly travelled but I doubt if I could stop should someone pull out in front of me. Not only that but the pervasive cross winds have me doubting my stability. I had her up to 45 last year on a descent during the Tour de Cure but now I am scared to go that fast. I might add that I had a recent near miss on my ultra safe Multi use trail when in the one short right turn sweeping descent I was horrified to find a motorized wheel chair coming up the hill in my lane just as I reached max speed. I had to swerve left during a right turn and only avoided being floatsam in the Santa Ana river by virtue of my "lightning fast" reflexes and the responsiveness of the Medone. I briefly considered plowing directly into a guard rail to avoid death but the fear of pain somehow kept me on the road. I ask this august and experienced forum to answer the following questions:
1. How fast is "too fast" in your opinion
2. How do you slow your descents ( sitting straight up ? tapping the brakes? a steady squeeze, dragging your feet and screaming uncontrollably? )
3. How do cross winds efect you? My wheels have "flat" spokes, does that make descending more difficult ?
4. What do you do to survive should something unexpected happen ? I have only crashed once at 17 mph but since the golf ball knocked me out momentarily I really didnt have anything to do except wake up with a broke clavicle.
5. How come 35 on the hill feels about 10 times faster than 30 on the flat?..Yes I can get it up there with a nice santa Ana wind pushing me through the canyon...
Sorry about the long winded post...