I was just reading that highest speed discussion and it got me reminiscing . . .
When I was young and more stupid than I am now - 18 or thereabouts -I used to train with a fixed wheel (and for you weight weinies there is no better way of getting a lighter bike!). It was great for the cadence and the pedalling style but not so great for the handling (but that's another story).
Anyway I used to go and do ten mile tuesday night t/t's on the other side of town. This one night I was running late and decided to go through town to get where I was going. It was rush hour and I weaved and flicked my way through traffic down the main street keeping an anxious yet appreciative eye out for my reflection in shop windows as I hurtled past.
I was happy. My back was straight and horizontal; my feet, almost a blur as I pushed 46x15, were parallel to the ground through most of their revolution, and my chin was inches from the stem. I waved to pretty girls. I even had time to take in the fact that an ambulance was loading up a laden stretcher in front of the MacDonalds.
At the next lights I got the green and stamped on the Campy quills for all I was worth. My spokes started to whir as I saw ahead of me several blocks of clear road. Wow, what great luck.
Head down I charge on up, playing chasies with the next lights.
I land on my face, lose my two front teeth, gain twenty eight stitches and regain consciousness in the first vehicle that comes past - that ambulance!
An oncoming car driven by a hairdresser (and I'm not stereotyping here) had turned right (this is in NZ) in front of me on her (whoops) way into work.
I never saw the damage to her car but got a letter from her dad a few days later saying I owed her a new one. Apparently I hit her little Datsun just behind the passenger door and ripped the boot off. A few days after that I went to claim my bike, and went into the bank where the staff, who had heard the 'POW-swoosh- crunch' had kept it for whatever reason.
The wheels were still good, true and inflated but the frame now had a wheelbase significantly shorter than original. The Cinelli XA stem had snapped and the '44' bars were now about 30cm wide. The leather saddle was just leather. One staff-member who witnessed my accident had told police that I flew at least twenty metres before sliding along the ground and stopping in a heap. She fainted at about this time and was revived by her manager.