Tuesday night during our Team ThinkCash ride, we had a nice tailwind on the 820 service road descent. So like most cyclists – we all tried to see how fast we could go. Comparing bike computer results as we soft-pedaled up to Chapin Rd., most of us fell between 40 and 45 mph. This started the conversation of, “what’s the fastest you’ve ever gone on your bike?”
I think I was the only one that had broken 50 mph on numerous occassions (no small feat since I only weigh 150 lbs). I know I’ve hit 50 mph while riding in the mountains of California a couple times. However, my most memorable 50+mph ride was in a Cat 4 race at Lago Vista (just outside Austin) last season. There was a steep downhill on the backside of the course and the peloton would hit 50 mph every lap. It’s definitely a little unnerving to ride in a pack when you’re doing 50 mph on tires the width of Scotch Tape.
As evidenced in the video above from the 2003 Tour de France (when Lance Armstrong does a little cyclocrossing), anything can happen (even to pros) when you’re going downhill that fast.
In fact, even the pros get a little skittish when speeds go north of 50 mph. In today’s Stage 6 of the Giro de Italia the pros hit ridiculous speeds on the descent off the Hochkrimml. The pros were even “comparing” their top speeds (just like the ThinkCashers on our Tuesday Nighter) after the descent. So who had the top speed? Saxo Bank’s JJ Haedo hit 117 kph – that’s 72.7 mph!