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descending - mmm, my favourite!!

natureboynatureboy Posts: 155
edited May 2008 in The bottom bracket
Does anyone else find descending to be the best part of riding?

I love the speed and risk - just taking it that little bit further .........

I particularly love overtaking cars, especially going down the snake pass, winnats pass, holme moss, or when dropping down into hebden bridge from keigthly.
Its crazy, I know, but I can't help it

Am I alone?
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Posts

  • sicrowsicrow Posts: 791
    No are you 'eck alone, 'cause its the best bit, not only are you resting in comparison but the wind through your hair - (chr*st i'm sounding like Rita Heyworth) gives a great buzz - just be careful that you don't get a fool who doesnt realise you are there on her !!!!! driving miss daisy sunday outing

    Its also the best recovery part after the climb :)
  • natureboynatureboy Posts: 155
    Its the risk in particular that does it for me - knowing that I might not make it out the other side - it makes me feel free and high
  • vermootenvermooten Posts: 2,697
    I actually prefer the climbing to the descending, but the descent is a lovely reward after the hard work. I am in fact the world's worst descender.

    Yeah that one into Hebden Bridge from Keighley really is awesome, did it for the first time last month.
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • vbcvbc Posts: 1,104
    Down is the only way to go.
  • natureboynatureboy Posts: 155
    I have my favourite climbs and enjoy the challenge!
    I get a high from the physical exhaustion that comes towards the end of a hard ride through beautiful countryside I've not been to before -around hawes and settle in particular.
    I feel at one with nature and this is what I call spiritual. Awesome! If I died whilst riding I'd be happy. Its better than dying in a sh*t nursing home. Like simpson said "put me back on my bike"
  • Jez monJez mon Posts: 3,809
    I came seriously close to touching cloth the other day, flying down a smallish narrow bendy descent in training, about 30 miles an hour.

    For some reason i decided to go to the extreme left of the road. (I usually take the decent in the middle of the road at full speed :twisted: ). I then checked my speed, rounded a bend, and guess what...there was a car there which i would have hit if i was any further out in the middle of the road.

    Lesson of the day kids...don't be stupid 8)
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live
  • stjohnswellstjohnswell Posts: 482
    Struggled up the Col de la Colmbiere yesterday. The 20km descent was epic.
    P1040395.jpg
  • natureboynatureboy Posts: 155
    Did you feel very much alive though?

    You can take risks, and I mean big risks, but you have to do it progressively over the space of a few years.
    When you get to this stage you can take risks consistently and use your judgement to pick your opportunities wisely.

    Overtaking cars on blind corners on quiet roads can be done because there is a very slim chance of meeting oncoming traffic - its something like 90% chance of success

    I am stupid, but I'm exceptionally good at it
  • tubby531tubby531 Posts: 18
    Probably the biggest buzz from downhilling at speeds over 40mph is knowing that a front wheel blow-out is certain death.
  • natureboynatureboy Posts: 155
    True. Over 40mph-ish its all over if you get a front puncture, so you may as well go as fast as you can.

    There's a descent into Hawes that's pretty much straight and very steep at the top - just like a rollercoaster. Get a front flat going down that n you're in trouble!

    P.S. Your boxer dog looks amazing!
    They're fantastic. Like mini bears and very lovable. I still miss my boxer after he died 2 years ago
  • Jez monJez mon Posts: 3,809
    It's not all over if you ride Tubs :D
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    I like descending, but I can't really find any really long straight steep descents in N. East Wales. My Favourite one is pretty steep, good few miles long, but there are tight turns every few hundreds metres so I get to 33 or 34mph max but it does help with cornering technique.

    Although today all my descents seemed to be into the wind (along with the climbs and flat bits - I just couldn't win)
    I like bikes...

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  • natureboynatureboy Posts: 155
    I'd love a trip to the dolomites to beat my uk best of 57mph!
  • nasahapleynasahapley Posts: 717
    natureboy wrote:
    There's a descent into Hawes that's pretty much straight and very steep at the top - just like a rollercoaster. Get a front flat going down that n you're in trouble!

    Aah, that will be Fleet Moss then, I've recently hit 60 going down that beauty! Can't be many better roads in the country for reaching silly speeds on a bike. Btw, have you been up it? Park Rash seems to be generally regarded as the hardest climb in the Dales, but having been back up Fleet Moss the same day I went down it, I'm not so sure...
  • natureboynatureboy Posts: 155
    I think the descent drops down to hawes from the south-east. Its been a while since I was there but at the top of that hill there's a flat plateu, then it drops instantly, straight to hawes.
    I have been up it once, and from there is another amazing, more twisty descent down t'other side. The whole area is truly amazing.
    Climbing north from hawes there's a pass with the road running parralel to a deep valley on the right after you reach the top. When I was there it was raining heavily and the stream running down the other side of the valley dissappeared into the hill, then re-appeared further down!!!!!!
    To those who say "its grim up north" I say f**k off n stay down south!
  • nasahapleynasahapley Posts: 717
    natureboy wrote:
    I think the descent drops down to hawes from the south-east. Its been a while since I was there but at the top of that hill there's a flat plateu, then it drops instantly, straight to hawes.
    I have been up it once, and from there is another amazing, more twisty descent down t'other side. The whole area is truly amazing.
    Climbing north from hawes there's a pass with the road running parralel to a deep valley on the right after you reach the top. When I was there it was raining heavily and the stream running down the other side of the valley dissappeared into the hill, then re-appeared further down!!!!!!
    To those who say "its grim up north" I say f**k off n stay down south!

    I thought it was grim down south, so I f**ked off up north! And now every time I go out on the bike/running I feel so fortunate to have such awesome countryside on my doorstep. Sounds like we have the same stomping ground; the road to the north of Hawes you describe must be the Buttertubs pass, and it is indeed a belter (wouldn't fancy negotiating the 90 degree bends straight after 1-in-5 descents in the wet though - that must've been interesting!). I'm not too familiar with the roads north of Hawes and the Swaledale/Arkengarthdale area, so it's my task for the summer to become so :D
  • natureboynatureboy Posts: 155
    Have a great summer !
    Around hawes area must be the best in england - I think the lake district has less circular routes, so isn't as good in that respect.
    I lived in plymouth for a year, and while beautiful around dartmoor, hawes and the peak district etc up north is far bigger.
  • nick hansonnick hanson Posts: 1,655
    natureboy wrote:
    I think the descent drops down to hawes from the south-east. Its been a while since I was there but at the top of that hill there's a flat plateu, then it drops instantly, straight to hawes.
    I have been up it once, and from there is another amazing, more twisty descent down t'other side. The whole area is truly amazing.
    Climbing north from hawes there's a pass with the road running parralel to a deep valley on the right after you reach the top. When I was there it was raining heavily and the stream running down the other side of the valley dissappeared into the hill, then re-appeared further down!!!!!!
    To those who say "its grim up north" I say f**k off n stay down south!
    From the south,ish that'll be fleet moss,it's like a roller ride,that first dip!
    so many cols,so little time!
  • nick hansonnick hanson Posts: 1,655
    natureboy wrote:
    I'd love a trip to the dolomites to beat my uk best of 57mph!
    First thoughts for a mega fats blast is the drop off the Tourmalet towards Luz.Particularly above & below Barages.
    Then again the ex pro Fondriest rates the descent of the Sustenpass in Switzerland as the fastest.
    You could get a hell of a pace going down Winnats into Castleton,but my mind bottles it,due to it being SO steep :oops:
    so many cols,so little time!
  • natureboynatureboy Posts: 155
    The alps has to be the best, with its looonnng descents!
    I got overtaken by 2 harley davidson riders near the top of winnats, but managed to retake them near the bottom! They didn't catch me until I reached the Spar shop a mile down the road.
  • vermootenvermooten Posts: 2,697
    Fleet Moss from Hawes is easy peasy lemon squeezy, but I've tried Park Rash 3 or 4 times now and it's beat me every time
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • natureboynatureboy Posts: 155
    Where exactly is park rash? Is it an "A" road or a B ? Does it have a number?
  • nasahapleynasahapley Posts: 717
    Park Rash is on an unclassified road that goes east from Kettlewell (Wharfedale) over into Coverdale. Finding the start of the road can be a bit tricky, it's opposite the village shop signposted (I think) Leyburn. There's a very short 1-in-4 stretch out of the village, at the top of this you bear right and descend gently for half a mile or so. By his point you'll be able to see Park Rash - no mistaking it, it looks like a vertical wall of tarmac! First bit to the hairpin must be almost 1-in-3 and it doesn't get much better for the next half-mile or so. Once past a farm it relents a bit, but it kicks up again towards the end. Definitely a must-do climb, and if you like descents you'll love the road down into Coverdale!

    Vermooten, you are bonkers. Fleet Moss from Hawes is awful, give me PR anyday!
  • windyphilwindyphil Posts: 106
    natureboy wrote:
    I'd love a trip to the dolomites to beat my uk best of 57mph!
    Then again the ex pro Fondriest rates the descent of the Sustenpass in Switzerland as the fastest.

    I had the pleasure of driving up and down the Sustenpass a couple of years ago and was amazed at the speed some riders were getting on the way down when we stopped to take pictures. Now I've emiograted to Australia, I'll have to find some challenging hills here - they do have an Alps here after all........
    If only the legs were as good as the bike....
  • tubby531tubby531 Posts: 18
    natureboy wrote:

    P.S. Your boxer dog looks amazing!
    They're fantastic. Like mini bears and very lovable. I still miss my boxer after he died 2 years ago

    Thanks,his name is Max.
    He belonged to my parents but I used to take him for long walks and he stayed with me when they went on their hols.He died about 10 years ago.
    Great dogs.
  • robbarkerrobbarker Posts: 1,367
    The descent of Cader Idris, in the shadow of Bwlch Yr Oerddrws, beween Dolgellau and Mallwyd on the A470 is a good one. i defy anyone to ride down it without touching the brakes. It's good for 50 mph if you are brave.
  • El GordoEl Gordo Posts: 394
    windyphil wrote:
    Then again the ex pro Fondriest rates the descent of the Sustenpass in Switzerland as the fastest.

    That figures since the ascent of Sustenpass was certainly the slowest I've ever done (at least in terms of time spent going up a hill). Down the other side wasn't particularly quick though as it was sleating.

    My land speed record was 53mph going down Ilkley Moor from the Cow and Calf about 8 years ago. I've been searching for a faster hill ever since.
  • natureboynatureboy Posts: 155
    My (wind assisted) 57mph was on rochdale road - going from littleborough to halifax (I think its called blackstone edge around there)
    I frequently get 55 going down holme moss to the woodhead pass, but its dangerous because its very windy and the fastest bit is on a BIG cambered bend. On the cambered bend you know you're going fast enough because you can feel the force of gravity more than usual - you and your bike feel heavier!
  • nasahapleynasahapley Posts: 717
    El Gordo wrote:
    My land speed record was 53mph going down Ilkley Moor from the Cow and Calf about 8 years ago. I've been searching for a faster hill ever since.

    That's my local hill! I doff my cap to you for getting 53 down there, I've done exactly 51 loads of times but never any faster. Going round the slight kink at the bottom of the really steep bit never gets less scary either.

    Seriously, if you want a faster hill get to Fleet Moss - very steep, fairly smooth, straight and you can see the road for over a mile ahead from the top - unless there's a strong northerly wind 50 is a piece of cake; a southerly wind means the national speed limit's in danger!
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    I love taking blind corners on the wrong side of the road with my eyes shut. It's just that feeling of danger you can't get from anything else. Love it!
    Le Blaireau (1)
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