Melbourne - max downhill speed

Melbourne - max downhill speed

Postby M.Wagstaff » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:51 am

I've just started to get into road biking and have done a few loops I have found on Garmin Connect, etc.

What speed limit do you maintain on urban or suburban downhills? I guess the options are:
- none; always trying to beat personal bests!
- prevailing road speed limit.
- whatever, I just coast,
- a reduced speed limit in order to survive cars pulling out, gravel on the road, etc.

Also, are your limits time dependant? Can caning it downhill at 5am be justified but not at rush hour?

Your thoughts please!
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by BNA » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:32 pm

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Re: Melbourne - max downhill speed

Postby VRE » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:32 pm

What is your affiliation? Perhaps I'm not trusting enough, but your post sounds suspiciously like you're trying to get people to incriminate themselves. Are you seriously asking for our opinions on whether or not it's OK to break speed limits?
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Re: Melbourne - max downhill speed

Postby M.Wagstaff » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:17 pm

VRE - thanks for the response. Now that I reread my post I can understand your concern.

I have no affiliations at all. I'm new to road bikes. I have done a couple of the road loops up to Eltham and Warrandyte and have clocked some 50s and 60s, today I managed 67kmh. I compared my GPS records to rides on Strava, etc and I can't see speeds as fast as mine. I'm wondering if this is because the online records do not provide the resolution to show brief high speeds during downhills. So, I'm interested in the safety aspect; do riders limit their speed so that any stacks would be survivable? Are any accidents survivable at that kind of speed?

No underhand intentions at all!
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Re: Melbourne - max downhill speed

Postby il padrone » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:48 pm

Eltham-Warrandyte Rd - a big slab of it is 60kmh so that should give you a guideline :idea: . Same applies for the Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Rd.
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Re: Melbourne - max downhill speed

Postby VRE » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:04 am

Well in that case, there is a hill south of Marysville that I've enjoyed riding down. Only twice, because riding out there is a major expedition for me (250km round trip). It has an 80km/h speed limit, and the hill maintains an exact 10% grade for 1.6km, with a smooth road surface. The first time I rode down it, my Garmin showed me reaching 80.5km/h, and the second time I wasn't pushing it so hard, so only 75km/h. Both times, I wasn't trying particularly hard, but the hill is just ideal for speed.

Interestingly enough, the 2nd time, I got honked by a motorist coming up behind me, because apparently I was going too slow! :roll: I was doing what any reasonable cyclist would do when doing speeds like that, i.e. claiming the lane, and this really p!ssed him off, because I was preventing him from exercising his God-given right to drive exactly at the speed limit (like many, he doesn't understand that these limits are upper limits, not lower limits also).
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Re: Melbourne - max downhill speed

Postby il padrone » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:28 am

VRE wrote:Well in that case, there is a hill south of Marysville that I've enjoyed riding down. Only twice, because riding out there is a major expedition for me (250km round trip). It has an 80km/h speed limit, and the hill maintains an exact 10% grade for 1.6km, with a smooth road surface.

250km?? Bayswater to Marysville and back is 160km - the old Knox Hard Hundred route (100miles)

That hill is one of the two places where I achieved my highest ever speed on a bike - 83kmh. It's a great descent for the speed, but don't have dodgy tyres. One guy on the same ride I was on blew out a front tyre and was really messed up. Crappy-looking worn single on the front and he had a brand new one strapped under the saddle :roll: :cry: . But back in the day, there was no such 80kmh zone there, it was all 100 so I was 'legal' :wink:

The guideline for descending (within speed limits) should always be the prevailing road and weather conditions together with your bike & gear and your abilities. I like going quick and always take it out to what is comfortable for me. Safer to ride my own speed than to be on the brakes behind someone else. I find that on really fast descents to achieve higher speeds mostly I'll be coasting in a tight tuck. I've looked at the effects on the speedo - pedalling like a demon might get you an extra 2-3kmh; a good tuck will get you an extra 10kmh+ and you have better bike control.
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Re: Melbourne - max downhill speed

Postby wombatK » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:46 am

Join strava and you'll find what other riders are doing. As for stacking at 60kph plus -it's not going to end well. Speed kills, even on a bicycle.

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Re: Melbourne - max downhill speed

Postby VRE » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:21 am

il padrone wrote:
VRE wrote:Well in that case, there is a hill south of Marysville that I've enjoyed riding down. Only twice, because riding out there is a major expedition for me (250km round trip). It has an 80km/h speed limit, and the hill maintains an exact 10% grade for 1.6km, with a smooth road surface.

250km?? Bayswater to Marysville and back is 160km - the old Knox Hard Hundred route (100miles)

That hill is one of the two places where I achieved my highest ever speed on a bike - 83kmh. It's a great descent for the speed, but don't have dodgy tyres. One guy on the same ride I was on blew out a front tyre and was really messed up. Crappy-looking worn single on the front and he had a brand new one strapped under the saddle :roll: :cry: . But back in the day, there was no such 80kmh zone there, it was all 100 so I was 'legal' :wink:

The guideline for descending (within speed limits) should always be the prevailing road and weather conditions together with your bike & gear and your abilities. I like going quick and always take it out to what is comfortable for me. Safer to ride my own speed than to be on the brakes behind someone else. I find that on really fast descents to achieve higher speeds mostly I'll be coasting in a tight tuck. I've looked at the effects on the speedo - pedalling like a demon might get you an extra 2-3kmh; a good tuck will get you an extra 10kmh+ and you have better bike control.

I wasn't specific enough: I rode from where I live in Ringwood North to the top of Lake Mountain and back. Because the Black Spur is too dangerous for cycling (at least, that's what just about everyone told me), I rode to Warburton, then along the Acheron Way to Marysville and Lake Mountain, then back the same way: 250km all up. A very scenic and enjoyable bike ride :) .

I agree with what you said about pedalling vs tucking; I also find the latter more effective sometimes.
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Re: Melbourne - max downhill speed

Postby il padrone » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:29 am

The Black Spur is OK for cycling - not pleasant, but I would not describe it as "too dangerous", and even the unpleasantness is fairly time-dependent.
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Re: Melbourne - max downhill speed

Postby VRE » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:41 am

il padrone wrote:The Black Spur is OK for cycling - not pleasant, but I would not describe it as "too dangerous", and even the unpleasantness is fairly time-dependent.

Thanks for the feedback, Peter :) . What did you mean by the unpleasantness being time-dependent?

Hope you enjoy your upcoming trip overseas. I've got long-service leave coming up sometime soon, so may consider doing a cycle-tour of Europe :D .
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Re: Melbourne - max downhill speed

Postby clackers » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:16 am

Must admit, as stunning as that road and its scenery is I've never felt completely safe driving on it. No shoulder, lots of traffic at weekends, narrow with blind turns - motorcyclists love it for the twists and turns.
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Re: Melbourne - max downhill speed

Postby il padrone » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:56 am

clackers wrote:Must admit, as stunning as that road and its scenery is I've never felt completely safe driving on it. No shoulder, lots of traffic at weekends, narrow with blind turns - motorcyclists love it for the twists and turns.

Mostly these issues are not major on a bike. Space always appears less when in a car. Descending you mostly travel at the same speed as cars anyway. Choose the better times to ride it. Motorbikes are every bit as bad (or worse) on the Reefton Spur or going up to Kinglake.

VRE wrote:What did you mean by the unpleasantness being time-dependent?

There are better times of the day, or week to ride it. The start of a long weekend (going out) or Monday of a long weekend (coming home) are going to be bad. Middle of the week should be much less concern than 2-8pm on a Sunday afternoon. Ski season it's not so good but I do think skiers are much nicer drivers than the summer powerboat enthusiasts on the Melba Hwy (stereotyping I know)
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Re: Melbourne - max downhill speed

Postby Kwaichang » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:07 am

clackers wrote:Must admit, as stunning as that road and its scenery is I've never felt completely safe driving on it. No shoulder, lots of traffic at weekends, narrow with blind turns - motorcyclists love it for the twists and turns.


I agree very little room for error on the black spur and those blind corners can be brutal.
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Re: Melbourne - max downhill speed

Postby danny the boy » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:20 am

I got just over 80 on the weekend coming down the hill from Neerim Junction heading towards Noojee, I was braking a bit as I'd never ridden down there before and the road gently winds around a bit. The road signs said it was 11% decent, not sure how accurate they are. I'd do it again :D :D
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Re: Melbourne - max downhill speed

Postby jules21 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:03 pm

the reefton spur descent into Marysville is definitely fun. for pure speed, there's a short section off the top of mt hotham that drops like a stone.
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Re: Melbourne - max downhill speed

Postby VRE » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:49 pm

jules21 wrote:the reefton spur descent into Marysville is definitely fun. for pure speed, there's a short section off the top of mt hotham that drops like a stone.

CRB Hill or the Diamantina?
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Re: Melbourne - max downhill speed

Postby jules21 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:46 am

VRE wrote:CRB Hill or the Diamantina?

no idea, but it's one in a "saddle" section near the top, before the long, continuous descent begins. the Harrietville side.
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