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I see that a lad on in-line skates was clocked at 50mph in Sussex in an area where the limit is, I believe, 30mph. Sussex Safety Partnerships has said it is aware of the incident but will not be taking action as the speed limits are for motor vehicles. So where does this leave cyclists? Does it mean that unless a speed limit is specifically set for cyclists as well as motor vehicles, cyclists can ride as fast as they like? If that's the case, then I reckon some cyclists who have already been stopped might like to challenge any charges.

Years ago a friend and myself were stopped for speeding in a 40mph limit in Scotland on our bicycles, different laws there though. We were told not to do it again, rather than being fined.

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dave atkinson [6214 posts] 5 years ago
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There's no legal requirement for a bike to carry a speedometer, so you can't be prosecuted for speeding on a bike in England.

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yarrump [15 posts] 5 years ago
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I don't think I could make 50mph going downhill with a tail wind although without a speedometer how would I know? I have passed one of those speed measuring devices registering me at 23mph but I think it measured the car behind me as I think it can't detect bicycles in the same way as most automatically changing traffic lights ignore me. There are plenty of 20mph zones now on my daily route so it is easy to fit a speedometer to a Brompton?

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step-hent [720 posts] 5 years ago
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As Dave says, speed limits are for motor vehicles and bikes aren't caught by them. So you can 'break' them to your hearts content without fear of successful prosecution!

That said, I've found the police are generally not inclined to ticket cyclists for speeding (just to tell you to be more careful), and once you've been stopped it's not usually worth arguing the toss - I've been stopped by the police on several occasions (when I was much younger!) and they've never given anything but some friendly and sensible words of warning.

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dave atkinson [6214 posts] 5 years ago
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If the rozzers stop you and ask you 'How fast do you think you were going?', just say 'I think I was going [enter speed limit here], officer'  4

So what is everyone's fastest clocked speed then? A bit off-topic but might be interesting  1

Mine's 57mph, coming off the Ventoux. Best I've managed in this country is 54mph somewhere outside Dumfries...

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Martin Thomas [380 posts] 5 years ago
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I take childish - but real - pleasure in triggering a (30mph limit) speed camera every time I use Ditchling Road, one of the hiller routes into Brighton.

57mph sounds well hairy Dave. I don't think I've broken the 50mph mark. I'm always too terrified to look down when I get past 45 or so. I reckon 47-48 is as fast as I've gone.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 5 years ago
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yarrump wrote:

I don't think I could make 50mph going downhill with a tail wind although without a speedometer how would I know? I have passed one of those speed measuring devices registering me at 23mph but I think it measured the car behind me as I think it can't detect bicycles in the same way as most automatically changing traffic lights ignore me. There are plenty of 20mph zones now on my daily route so it is easy to fit a speedometer to a Brompton?

Those speed things do catch bikes, i've been past them alot on my own, no other cars around and it picks me up

Always says "slow down" and never "thank you" the speed limit for that one is 30 and i've been as fast as 52 past it, thats my current record speed

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dave atkinson [6214 posts] 5 years ago
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i think my 50mph days might be behind me now, i was young and foolish then (i feel old and foolish now)

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abudhabiChris [692 posts] 5 years ago
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My fastest - 89 km/h (55.3 mph) down the descent to Kalba in the UAE.

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nellybuck@msn.com [168 posts] 5 years ago
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I've hit 91km/h on a closed bypass; it's one of the few times that the gravitational effect of being 'large' has been appreciated!

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OldRidgeback [2616 posts] 5 years ago
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Gravitational effect of being large? Err, gravity affects all bodies the same way and heavier ones don't fall faster.

Like I said, me and a mate were stopped for topping 40mph. We had gone faster earlier in the day on the downhill into Dalmeny just close to the Forth Road bridge. On a very long downhill in Spain's Picos me and a mate were cruising at around 50mph, I know that was the speed because I could see the speedos on several cars as they came past, they weren't going a good deal quicker. Being Spanish drivers of course, they treated cyclists with respect and gave us enough room!

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dave atkinson [6214 posts] 5 years ago
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Is being heavier an advantage when it comes to descending? I don't know, I'm asking. In terms of all-out speed I'd guess that the increase in momentum would outweigh the increased air resistance from being slightly bigger. But air resistance is tricky stuff, and I don't know if the sums would back me up.

In terms of cornering, does the increased tyre contact and friction outweigh the extra momentum?

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Napalmhaze [83 posts] 5 years ago
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I hit 52.4mph descending Dundry once. Hell of a rush.

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abudhabiChris [692 posts] 5 years ago
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OldRidgeback wrote:

Gravitational effect of being large? Err, gravity affects all bodies the same way and heavier ones don't fall faster.

Then why do tandems go so fast downhill ? Why does brick dust fall more slowly than a brick ?

Objects of different weight fall at the same speed in a vacuum but mass has an effect in overcoming air resistance, which is the major impediment to cycle speed.

The heavier rider (or a tandem) has a much higher proportion of mass in the same or slightly larger area exposed to the wind. That's why a feather falls slower than a cannonball, in air.

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hairyairey [298 posts] 5 years ago
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Exactly abudhadiChris, which is why this fact could only have been tested on the moon (that video alone shows that we must have been there).

60mph, Elm Grove Brighton is my record although that might have been a faulty cycle computer. I regularly took the left hander at the bottom above 40mph and was able to pull up at the next lights (by the corner of the level) in time.

1:25 is my record for descending Ditchling Beacon, an average over 40mph. If only I could climb as well!

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hairyairey [298 posts] 5 years ago
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JJ the Flying D... [64 posts] 5 years ago
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dave_atkinson wrote:

In terms of cornering, does the increased tyre contact and friction outweigh the extra momentum?

Heavier riders usually ride with higher tyre pressures, so the tyre contact area will be about the same.

My personal record: 90 kph behind a car with the boot open on a flat road, ran out of gears  4

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Dibbs [4 posts] 5 years ago
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I commute across the Quantock Hills in Somerset and my return journey usually takes me down Cothlestone Hill where my speed peaks between 45 and 50 mph. If I take the alternate route down Crowcombe Hill I've clocked 63 mph more than once (double checked by GPS and cycle computer).
You just need to have confidence in your brakes though, because I don't think the "Escape Road" at the bottom would be much use.  39

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dave atkinson [6214 posts] 5 years ago
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hairyairey wrote:

Here's the link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOvwwO-l4ps

I thought that was going to be a vid of you descending ditchling beacon, i was kind of disappointed  1

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TheOldCog [113 posts] 5 years ago
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49.8mph on the Dragon ride - the wind resistance difference between 40-45 then 45-50 is quite marked!  4

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OldRidgeback [2616 posts] 5 years ago
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You'd have to be very light indeed for the effects of wind resistance to make much of a difference, or at least be wearing some kind of parachute of rain protection. Topping 60mph or 100km/h on a bicycle is quick and scary.

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kej123 [2 posts] 5 years ago
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 4 Hi the fastest ive clocked is going down hill into Barton under needwood and i topped 46.2mph then i started to think im gonna be a heap of snot ifi come off.But hey ho the thrill was fantastic  4

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MichaelJones1 [2 posts] 5 years ago
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Clocked over 80kph on my mountain bike many times descending from Allport Heights towards Belper. I was getting close to that on my road bike here in Shropshire recently until the wind got under my Garmin etrex and whipped it off the handlebars and broke an internal connection. Garmin kindly replaced it with a new one for £68. I may be a demon descender, but I only wish I could get up the hills as well.

 19

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hairyairey [298 posts] 5 years ago
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Dave - I'll have to video a descent of Ditchling Beacon again then. I think this time I'll recruit help as I went into the 150 degree right hander on the wrong side of the road using the stupid logic of youth that it's early in the morning and one car has already come up the other side. I think the first road traffic accident was a bit like this.

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pward [88 posts] 5 years ago
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I regularly touch 80kph dropping into Wantage (ending up by the cemetary http://road.cc/sites/all/modules/smileys/packs/Yahoo!/sad.gif) on my commute home, still doesn't deter many drivers with their "must get past" attitude but it feels the right thing to do given the struggle I have to endure climbing up it earlier in the day ! http://road.cc/sites/all/modules/smileys/packs/Yahoo!/whew.gif

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Fran The Man [81 posts] 5 years ago
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The fastest I've gone is a touch over 50mph down, I think it's called, Clifton Drive just north of Brighton, at the end of the London to Brighton Bike Ride a couple of year ago. I was on an elderly Condor Cadet at the time, with a speedo on the handlebars, and the road had been closed to traffic. It was exhilarating, but I don't think I'll be doing it again in a hurry. After all, I'll be 70 in November!!!

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David cycling t... [64 posts] 5 years ago
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52.3mph is my known person best  4 and that was on a mountain bike! Ive never had a computer on a road bike yet, but, I never took a computer with me to Portugal on my new pinarello so I'm pretty sure I beat it! Especially defending in to Monchique.

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adriank999 [77 posts] 5 years ago
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My wife and I in our 64th year managed to trigger a 30mph sign at a measly 22 mph.

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rusty28a [1 post] 5 years ago
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 16 Clocked 69mph down a newly laid straight mountain road in Lanzarote. Paul lazenby who I was behind reckoned he reached 71mph. both of us agreed how stupid we had been when we safely reached the bottom.

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dave atkinson [6214 posts] 5 years ago
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69mph is insane. Sean Yates was once clocked at 70 once coming off the Galibier (I think), I reckon if that's as fats as Sean can go, that's about as fast as anyone can go  1

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madcarew [23 posts] 5 years ago
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Down here in NZ I regularly hit 80kph + on a short hill going to work. My max ever is 122kph (76 mph) on a long down hill into Wellington with a fierce tail wind. I've regularly topped 100kph on flat roads behind trucks, with my max on the flat 108kph. And as a side note, when descending or going fast aerodynamics is everything unless drafting vehicle, but heavier people tend to descend faster than lighter people because of a greater mass vs surface area ration.

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