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How fast have you ridden?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

How fast have you ridden?

Old 11-27-23, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Jack Tone
62, indicated, on my mtn bike. Probably slower because of smaller street tires. 172 on my motorcycle.
Now that speed really would kill you if anything went wrong. Unless you had a track to slide along the perimeter of.
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Old 11-27-23, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz
kind of? You can take all the precautions you want, wear a helmet, etc, and still have a decent chance at death when crashing above 50 mph.
Controlling the bike well and understanding what increases the risk, all of which comes with experience, is way more important than a helmet at those kinds of speeds. Arguably not wearing a helmet is possibly safer because it makes most people more cautious.
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Old 11-27-23, 12:49 PM
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53 mph on a sustained 7% descent at 7,000 ft. Thinner air allows you to go faster. And we had a serious swirly tailwind. My buddy, who had/has a significant weight advantage passed me by at least 3 mph.

There were some white spots far in the distance on the side of the road, and before my brain could process what they were, I had passed the family of mountain goats licking road salt. In retrospect, if I had more time I should have been very worried, as my pal might have spooked them and driven them right in front of me. Not that I would have had the time or skills to dodge them.
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Old 11-27-23, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by choddo
Arguably not wearing a helmet is possibly safer because it makes most people more cautious.
Bad logic.
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Old 11-27-23, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by choddo
Controlling the bike well and understanding what increases the risk, all of which comes with experience, is way more important than a helmet at those kinds of speeds.
This is not an either/or. You can be good at controlling a bike and still have a deer jump out in front of you at 50mph. The helmet is there for the things you cannot control.

Originally Posted by choddo
Arguably not wearing a helmet is possibly safer because it makes most people more cautious.
I have a traffic engineer friend who has said something similar. But we're talking about speed in this thread.
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Old 11-27-23, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by john m flores
This is not an either/or. You can be good at controlling a bike and still have a deer jump out in front of you at 50mph. The helmet is there for the things you cannot control.
The point was that Larry’s “safety is about things like helmets” is a very small part of the picture and arguably a misleading one. If someone only does 30 because they are more risk averse with no helmet a deer jumping out might be far less dangerous.

and having had a front wheel slide out at about that speed and my helmet hit the deck, I am not about to suggest anyone stops wearing one for safety improvement.

Last edited by choddo; 11-27-23 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 11-27-23, 01:29 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
Bad logic.
OK

https:/amp.theguardian.com/science/2016/jan/24/bike-helmet-appetite-danger
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Old 11-27-23, 01:44 PM
  #58  
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Will never know because my wild-and-crazy days are in the rearview, but can attest to pacing highway traffic on a long downhill coming into Victoria, B.C., where the posted speed limit was 60 mph. Whee! Descending certain Sierra Nevada highways I've passed motorcycles, but no idea what that translates into speedwise.

Today's electronics would capture and document, but did not have them back when I did most of my advanced riding. Or helmets, but a different topic.
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Old 11-27-23, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by choddo
OK

https:/amp.theguardian.com/science/2016/jan/24/bike-helmet-appetite-danger
For those that don't want to click on the link: A couple of psychologists had people inflate animated balloons on a computer screen -- some wearing helmets and some wearing hats -- and concluded that the ones wearings helmets were willing to take more risks. Seriously. Real science.
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Old 11-27-23, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by choddo
OK

https:/amp.theguardian.com/science/2016/jan/24/bike-helmet-appetite-danger
Originally Posted by tomato coupe
For those that don't want to click on the link: A couple of psychologists had people inflate animated balloons on a computer screen -- some wearing helmets and some wearing hats -- and concluded that the ones wearings helmets were willing to take more risks. Seriously. Real science.
Your tl;dr only made me want to click on the link. Wowza. The article refers to the study as "extraordinary." Since it's the Guardian, I'm hoping that was an example of British sarcasm. If I were teaching research methods, I'd use that study as an example of poor research design.

The idea that safety equipment leads people to engage in riskier behavior is called risk compensation; this review of the literature (as of 2018) concludes that there is no such demonstrated effect for helmets and cyclists.
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Old 11-27-23, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
Your tl;dr only made me want to click on the link. Wowza. The article refers to the study as "extraordinary." Since it's the Guardian, I'm hoping that was an example of British sarcasm. If I were teaching research methods, I'd use that study as an example of poor research design.

The idea that safety equipment leads people to engage in riskier behavior is called risk compensation; this review of the literature (as of 2018) concludes that there is no such demonstrated effect for helmets and cyclists.
And, for people that don't want to click on that link:

Conclusions

Supporters of risk compensation argue against bicycle helmet wearing as they hypothesise the protective benefit is offset by risky behaviour. This systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature found little to no supportive evidence of the risk compensation hypothesis and bicycle helmet wearing. Although two out of the 23 studies were supportive of risk compensation, ten other studies found helmet wearing was associated with safer cycling behaviour.
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Old 11-27-23, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
For those that don't want to click on the link: A couple of psychologists had people inflate animated balloons on a computer screen -- some wearing helmets and some wearing hats -- and concluded that the ones wearings helmets were willing to take more risks. Seriously. Real science.
The interesting point was that it, in spite of having nothing to do with taking real risks, had an effect that replicated other studies demonstrating safety equipment like helmets worn in the type of activity they would normally be used also showed results of increased appetite for risk.

But I’m sure you have citations of real psychology studies showing that this is flawed logic.
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Old 11-27-23, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
Your tl;dr only made me want to click on the link. Wowza. The article refers to the study as "extraordinary." Since it's the Guardian, I'm hoping that was an example of British sarcasm. If I were teaching research methods, I'd use that study as an example of poor research design.

The idea that safety equipment leads people to engage in riskier behavior is called risk compensation; this review of the literature (as of 2018) concludes that there is no such demonstrated effect for helmets and cyclists.
Thanks for an actual link. I’ll read it in a bit.
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Old 11-27-23, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by choddo
The interesting point was that it, in spite of having nothing to do with taking real risks, had an effect that replicated other studies demonstrating safety equipment like helmets worn in the type of activity they would normally be used also showed results of increased appetite for risk.

But I’m sure you have citations of real psychology studies showing that this is flawed logic.
The link in post #60 is a good place to start. As quoted from that link, far more studies show the effect does not exist.
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Old 11-27-23, 07:57 PM
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54.8 mph according to Strava, recorded on a Garmin 230 running watch. I'm at least 30 lbs lighter now, which has a significant negative impact on my max speed. I've gotten over 50 mph at least 2-3 times this summer and fall, most rides I'll go over 40. I think with the right hill and tailwind, and probably a more aerodynamic helmet, 60 mph is very doable.
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Old 11-27-23, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
For those that don't want to click on the link: A couple of psychologists had people inflate animated balloons on a computer screen -- some wearing helmets and some wearing hats -- and concluded that the ones wearings helmets were willing to take more risks. Seriously. Real science.
But back in the real world, if riders without helmets are more cautious, it follows logically that the safest riders of all are helmetless brakeless fixie ninjas.
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Old 11-27-23, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
But back in the real world, if riders without helmets are more cautious, it follows logically that the safest riders of all are helmetless brakeless fixie ninjas.
... that carry knives in their teeth.
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Old 11-28-23, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
... that carry knives in their teeth.
More likely, throwing stars: i.e., sharpened jockey and pulley wheels from the derailleurs that they Drewed off.
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Old 11-28-23, 07:03 AM
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56mph (90kph) once and I'd never do it again. I went downhill a 20-25% gradient hill, freshly paved road, no cars.
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Old 11-28-23, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
56mph (90kph) once and I'd never do it again. I went downhill a 20-25% gradient hill, freshly paved road, no cars.
It must have been short to only hit 56. I've never found any road nearly that steep.
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Old 11-28-23, 09:28 AM
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Yes, short and dangerous. It's between 2 mountains. The acceleration was insane. A good rush of adrenaline.
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Old 11-28-23, 09:56 AM
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There are a couple short descents on my usual routes where I routinely push 40 mph - I am somewhat 'gravity enhanced' - but one day gravity and a tailwind got together to get me up to 45 on one of them. For folks who know San Mateo, it was on Alameda de las Pulgas by Aragon HS.

Then the city in its infinite wisdom reset the timing on the traffic light at the point of maximum velocity so that I can't depend on it being green when I get there, so I've had to moderate my enthusiasm there.
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Old 11-28-23, 09:57 AM
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Good thread going. But let’s stop with helmet discussions. Long term experience here with that subject shows threads quickly get off on a sensitive subject. Tharts why we have this dedicated thread on helmets. Helmet sticky
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Old 11-28-23, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
There are a couple short descents on my usual routes where I routinely push 40 mph - I am somewhat 'gravity enhanced' - but one day gravity and a tailwind got together to get me up to 45 on one of them. For folks who know San Mateo, it was on Alameda de las Pulgas by Aragon HS.

Then the city in its infinite wisdom reset the timing on the traffic light at the point of maximum velocity so that I can't depend on it being green when I get there, so I've had to moderate my enthusiasm there.
That might be the hill I specifically tried to avoid yesterday. I instead routed myself around to Polehmas and Ralston to get onto Alameda de Puglas. Polehmas's climb isn't so bad, but I forgot how terrifying Ralston's descent is (I probably last did it four years ago on a trip, before moving out here). Feathering the brakes on slightly broken pavement with traffic coming up from behind... kept it under 40mph, though I think I would've been more comfortable closer to 35.

Big Basin going into Saratoga can be a blast though - freshly paved, and there's a fairly straight, -7% section for well over a mile...
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Old 11-28-23, 10:48 AM
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60mph - sitting on my top tube, with every part of me tucked in as close as I could get it. This was on a long, wide-open, 4-lane road in Death Valley (Hwy 190, descending to Panamint Springs from Towne Pass), during a race where I was trying to catch the lead group who had dropped me on the climb. I caught them after the descent, only to be dropped again on the next climb. That was 20+ years ago. These days, I don't go over 40mph very often.
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