Are you a speed junkie?  I wouldn’t say that I generally am, but when I’m on a bike it’s a totally different story.  It’s like the faster I’m going, the better I feel.  I really think my mind was made to go the speed of a pro rider….now my body just has to catch up to actually deliver those speeds.

When I’m riding solo and pedaling along at speeds of between 28 and 32kph I’m okay with it, but when I’m rocking my upper speeds of 34 to 36kph I feel alive.  When there is a tailwind or a decline and I’m flying along at 45, 55, and more kphs….even better.

But my need for speed only goes so far.  On those rare rides when I’m at the top of a very big decent, I do find myself getting a little nervous as that speed starts creeping into the high 60’s.  As far as I can remember, the fastest I’ve ever gone was while coming down the hills of the St. Kitts Peninsula….somewhere in the neighbourhood of 70+kph.  Maybe not that fast for a pro rider, but definitely fast for a punk like me.

I once heard Lance Armstrong say that the fastest he ever clocked himself at was close to 70mph….that’s 112kph.  Insane….even he said that it was.  But going 50 to 60mph (80 to 95kph) on a decent is pretty much commonplace for a pro rider.  Still very insane.  Just a little too far off the register for this so called cycling speed junkie.

How about you?  What’s the fastest you’ve ever gone on a bike? What did it feel like?  Would you do it again?

Enjoy Your Ride

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18 Responses to “ Speed ”

  1. Donnelly on July 6, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Fastest I’ve hit while cycling in Pensacola is 48.3mph down the Bob Sykes Bridge coming from Pensacola beach, clocked using my gps watch. I consistantly hit between 43-45mph coming down the bridges in the Pensacola area

  2. Eric on July 1, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I regularly hit 40-45 mph on descents, though I have to travel some distance to find a hill around where I can build up that kind of speed. I’ve exceeded 50 mph on a few occasions: Oakville Grade near the Napa Valley and the backside of Monitor Pass in the Sierra Nevada. Fortunately, I didn’t know how fast I was going at the time, otherwise I would have totally freaked out!

  3. Weiland on July 1, 2010 at 7:56 am

    I regularly hit 45 to 50 on the 3 Sisters on Limecreek Road (Austin, TX), even had a blow out at 46 mph going down it. The fastest I’ve gotten to is 69.7mph coming down Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park (Port Angeles, WA) http://www.weiland.net/post.cfm/hurricane-ridge-washington-trip-part-4

  4. Clive Chapman on July 1, 2010 at 1:00 am

    I hit 42mph on my MTB and 49mph on my road bike pretty regularly on the routes I pedal, but I guess it’s my large mass giving gravity a helping hand that gets me up there.

    ‘Tis fun though innit? 🙂

  5. Paul Higley on July 1, 2010 at 12:59 am

    Fastest was 48 mph on the backside of Monitor Pass near Tahoe, CA…. but seems like I’m into the low 40s a lot on descents. Funny… I choose not to ride a motorcycle because of the kids, but somehow cycling seems ok, even at speeds like that. Maybe cause I’m not right in traffic? I descend pretty conservatively because to spill it would be like getting tossed out of a car at speed in your underwear!

  6. Rob Grissom on June 30, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Fastest I have ever been was about 56 MPH and today on a lunch ride I hit 50.1 MPH for the first time on a particular descent. I regularly hit 40+ MPH but anything over 45 MP my senses get very keen!

  7. Donald on June 30, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    I believe I hit close to 50mph on descents in Pyrenees just recently. I know I hit 51mph on the Blue Ridge Parkway… awesome ride. But it can be a bit startling if you think about it too much after. Ride Strong… Ride Smart!

  8. Pedalman on June 30, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    I think that my fastest speed is somewhere in the 70km/h range, but it’s not super fast that does it for me. I love the feeling of turning over a big gear with medium effort and you find your just sailing past others while they’re huffing and puffing. It’s that speed+momentum+steady cadence=Love of the Bike for me.

  9. asmathews on June 30, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Fastest for me so far has been 40mph through the NYC Lincoln Tunnel as part of the MS Traffic Free NYC tour.

  10. Michael A on June 30, 2010 at 9:27 am

    I have a regular hill where I’ve hit 42mph (67kph). I keep trying to repeat, but only seem to reach 40-41. For a flat ride, I once averaged 20.8mph (33.5kph) over 64 minutes… I was late!

  11. Andrew on June 30, 2010 at 8:59 am

    I hit 45.5mph on a regular weekly descent. It felt great. I have done the route enough to know where the manhole covers and bumps are so I can relax a little. I’d love to do it again, but I keep topping out at 42-43.

  12. Andrew on June 30, 2010 at 8:35 am

    I hit 45mph a couple months back doing a pre-ride out in Blanco for the Real Ale Ride. It was insane. Until the other guys passed me…

  13. Steven on June 30, 2010 at 8:34 am

    This weekend at a triathlon 43.3 mph, speed limit on that section of the road was 40 mph, I was just along for the ride at that point. Loved it!

  14. Darryl on June 30, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Man, we’ve got some fast junkies out there. Austin has definitely got some great decents….can’t wait to do them again soon.


  15. CycleLou on June 30, 2010 at 8:06 am

    I hit 45mph last year coming off the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was one of the highlights of Cycle North Carolina, the annual tour across the state. Oddly, I cam with 1 mph of hitting that speed once on Saturday on a hill in the middle of the state quite a distance from the mountains. To make it even better the ascent to the top was quite gradual. Going down it was like riding down an vertical wall.

  16. Jonathan Pait on June 30, 2010 at 7:56 am

    52 mph down the State Park Road side of Altamont Road on Paris Mountain, Greenville, SC (part of the USA Cycling Professional Road Race Championships). Wanted to go faster but I was spinning out. Was cool to have a guy on a motorcycle pull up beside me at the bottom and tell me I left him. Don’t know if I’ll ever do it again. Afraid my speed demon has been exorcised!

    By the way, thanks for the blog and Cranklisted.

  17. Tim on June 30, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Most of my descents here in Austin hit 40 mph (about 64 kph). The fastest Austin descent I’ve done was on 2222 east of the four corners area (Tumbleweed Hill). Hit 51 mph/81 kph(according to Garmin).

    My fastest descent ever was on the windward side of the Pali Highway on Oahu. Something over 60 mph (clocked by a guy in a car). That was back when I was young and stupid – no helmet, no sunglasses or goggles, wearing flip flops, cut-off jeans and a tank top shirt. Just me hanging on for dear life screaming “woo hoo!”

    • CycleLou on June 30, 2010 at 8:11 am

      I hit 40 in my only ride in Austin earlier this month (on 360 heading back towards Whole Foods/RTI). Wow.

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