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  1. #1
    cycling fool rusty993's Avatar
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    What is the fastest descent in the Bay Area?

    I was watching a youtube link sent by my brother -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V2Fg...eature=related

    It got me wondering what it would be like going those speeds on an upright bike.

    I am never going to go anthing above 35 mph on the flat these days, so what's the fastest, safe descent in the Bay Area?

    Does anybody know the gearing and rpm for 50+ mph down hill?
    Russell

  2. #2
    Senior Member gpelpel's Avatar
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    I reached close to 50 mph (49.8) on the Pig Farm Hill in the Alhambra Valley of Contra Costa County. Another one where my max is around 48 mph is between Orinda and Moraga going east on Rheem Blvd, it is a straight descent, quite safe, and with good pavement.
    Once of top of the hill I try to build as much momentum as I can switching to 50x11 at the start of the descent and spinning as far as I can get, then I coast with body low and knees against the top tube.
    Last edited by gpelpel; 12-21-07 at 02:28 PM.

  3. #3
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    There was another thread on this subject recently. Many people recommended Los Trancos Road in Portola Valley.

  4. #4
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    I'm going to nominate South Park Drive in Tilden Park. Steep, good pavement, fairly straight. Last time I went down it was closed to autos for newt migration so you can really let it rip.
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Senior Member alainp's Avatar
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    On the October Norcal BF ride I achieved my highest speed on Morgan Territory Road of 41-42 mph and I'm sure the others in our group were going much faster than that. It was open and smooth on the descent but didn't last for too long.

  6. #6
    Ride the lightning zorrov999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny99 View Post
    There was another thread on this subject recently. Many people recommended Los Trancos Road in Portola Valley.
    +1

    That's where I reached 48mph
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.
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  7. #7
    Wheres my snuggie? taxi777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alainp View Post
    On the October Norcal BF ride I achieved my highest speed on Morgan Territory Road of 41-42 mph and I'm sure the others in our group were going much faster than that. It was open and smooth on the descent but didn't last for too long.
    Alain I remember that cause I hit 45.5 but, I backed off cause a couple of those curves were really perceptually deceptive and I don't have medical insurance! : ). There's a Hill along 101 next to Corte Madera where I hit just under 49 mph and looked back to see my wife right behind me! she did 45! OMG! It's really short but super steep with usually no headwind.
    Pete

  8. #8
    Come on, it'll be fun BenRidin's Avatar
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    My personal Bay Area speed record is 46.7 going down Morgan Territory in Livermore Valley.

    My all time personal best is 54.9 going down Hwy 88 on the DeathRide. That was scary fast. I probaby could have gone faster, but I didn't want to pass the pickup w/ the boat in tow.
    Looking for a chateau. Twenty-one rooms but one will do. I don't want to buy it. I just want to rent it for an hour or two.

  9. #9
    Climbing is fun!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
    I'm going to nominate South Park Drive in Tilden Park. Steep, good pavement, fairly straight. Last time I went down it was closed to autos for newt migration so you can really let it rip.
    +1. Hitting high '40's low 50's is pretty easy. They do ticket though. I've been lucky so far...

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Palomares (heading north from Niles Canyon towards Castro Valley) is another road that is steep enough and straight enough to get up to the mid 40's on pretty easily. Last time I rode it I hit 48, which is pretty much as fast as I've ever gone on a bicycle.

    JB

  11. #11
    crazy bike girl msincredible's Avatar
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    I got above 42 on my hybrid going down Pine Flat / Bonny Doon and was being easily passed by road bikes.

  12. #12
    Senior Member BigSean's Avatar
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    Its not too hard to hit in excess of 50 around the bay area, there are plenty of hills. Sierra Rd is a breeze, Calaveras, lots between Palo Alto and the coast, 84 for one is a fast decent. Ive hit 50 there pedaling with a compact, and its easy with a standard crank.

  13. #13
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigSean View Post
    Its not too hard to hit in excess of 50 around the bay area, there are plenty of hills. Sierra Rd is a breeze, Calaveras, lots between Palo Alto and the coast, 84 for one is a fast decent. Ive hit 50 there pedaling with a compact, and its easy with a standard crank.
    84 heading west (to the coast), right?

    84 heading east (to Woodside), 50 would be nuts!

  14. #14
    Senior Member mtnwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alainp View Post
    On the October Norcal BF ride I achieved my highest speed on Morgan Territory Road of 41-42 mph and I'm sure the others in our group were going much faster than that. It was open and smooth on the descent but didn't last for too long.
    I reached my highest speed on that descent on that day too. 43-44 mph right in front of you.
    I remember giggling and laughing that day on that descent. That was so much fun.

    The scariest downhill I've been on is back at Black Diamond Mines on my mountain bike. 36-37 mph going downhill. I tell you, those small bumps look very big when going down that fast down a fire trail with tons of loose gravel.
    "Of all the things I like bestos, I like asbestos." - A co-worker

  15. #15
    Senior Member BigSean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uspspro View Post
    84 heading west (to the coast), right?

    84 heading east (to Woodside), 50 would be nuts!
    Thats correct, heading into La Honda.

  16. #16
    Woof! venturi95's Avatar
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    Don't know if this counts as Bay area, but I had a very accurate computer on my bike and hit 59.5 on the Marshall wall. I never used the brakes on that descent, and at those speeds your bike tires are in the air more than they are in contact with the road. That was 15 years and 20 pounds ago.

  17. #17
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
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    Don't know about fastest, but an exhilirating downhill is Loch Lomond. Tough going up it, but weeeeee ... was it fun going down it. This was on the Davis Double.
    I'm in it to finish it.

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  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
    ... it was closed to autos for newt migration ...
    File this under "ONLY in Berkeley ...."


  19. #19
    Senior Member alainp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnwalker View Post
    I reached my highest speed on that descent on that day too. 43-44 mph right in front of you.
    I remember giggling and laughing that day on that descent. That was so much fun.
    I remember trying to keep up with you but my speed phobia kicked in and told me to tap the brakes. I didn't start giggling and laughing 'til we hit the flats .

  20. #20
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    Not the steepest, but Pleasant Hill Road coming into Pleasant Hill is where I hit my highest speed. I think it's because the road is so smooth. and steep for just a little bit.

    I rode Morgan Territory Road and found the relentless downhill with corners a bit intimidating. I thought I was doing over 40, but the computer reports a mere 36 high....
    I just felt like if I didn't brake I'd end up doing 90 billizion and flying off the road.
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
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  21. #21
    "Ride Lots!" PrincessZippy's Avatar
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    49.3 mph on Morgan Territory on my single.

    59 mph on Vasco on our tandem. We might have gone faster but we moved out the wind shadow and had some nasty crosswinds so the captain braked.

    My highest ever was on some road on the Eastern Sierra double. We had an awesome tailwind - 50.4 mph. Of course that little downhill was followed by climbing to the highest point of the ride.

    Veronica

  22. #22
    cycling fool rusty993's Avatar
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    PrincessZippy, 59 mph is amazing! I certainly have to get away from Page Mill for some speed.
    Russell

  23. #23
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
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    Fastest I ever reached was 51 mph, and without even trying
    I'm in it to finish it.

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  24. #24
    Senior Member minivandriveby's Avatar
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    Fastest ever was Glacier Point Road to Wawona Rd. when I was 17. Started getting speed wobbles at 56mph. Haven't even come close to going that fast since.
    When you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy pants in your room. It's for fun.

  25. #25
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessZippy View Post
    My highest ever was on some road on the Eastern Sierra double. We had an awesome tailwind - 50.4 mph.
    There's a lot of wide open road out there. I hit my highest speed ever of 56.2 mph riding the Sierra Fall Century (part of the Eastern Sierra double) 2 years ago on the descent into Adobe Flats on Hwy 120. Funny thing is the desert is so wide open and the panorama so amazing I had no idea how fast I was going until I stopped and flipped through the numbers

    Looks like this:


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