Trying to increase descent speeds (in Richmond Park)

New to Cycling? Want some advice? Start here...
ChrisAOnABike
Posts: 1761
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:52 am

Trying to increase descent speeds (in Richmond Park)

Postby ChrisAOnABike » Thu Nov 01, 2012 15:31 pm

Ok, I'm trying to get my descent speeds up, and so far I'm losing the mental battle against being a complete chicken.

Could I pick the brains of a few folk that know Richmond Park reasonably well?

I find that when riding round ACW, I just can't seem to come down the hill towards Robin Hood Gate without pathetically scrubbing speed off almost all the way down that right hand bend.

So.. assuming a dry road and no traffic coming up... how fast is it basically Ok to freewheel down there? I keep telling myself that I probably won't skid, and that all I have to do is relax and look round the bend... but I keep finding I tense up and can't seem to let go of the brakes.

The other thing is, I've tried doing it in the drops rather than on the hoods, but I feel more precarious, not less (admittedly I haven't spent much time in the drops and I am trying to increase that just to get used to it).

So other than just practice, practice, is there anything else specific I can do to get more comfortable and relaxed riding in the drops?
Is the gorilla tired yet?

Mr Will
Posts: 206
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:35 am
Contact:

Re: Trying to increase descent speeds (in Richmond Park)

Postby Mr Will » Thu Nov 01, 2012 16:36 pm

The only dodgy bit on that corner is the gravel that collects in the centre of each lane. Stay off that (i.e. don't take a racing line) and you'll be fine however fast you go.
2010 Cannondale CAAD9 Tiagra

Buckie2k5
Posts: 595
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 21:38 pm

Re: Trying to increase descent speeds (in Richmond Park)

Postby Buckie2k5 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 16:41 pm

Go as fast as you feel comfortable with, speed will increase over time. Last thing you want to do is come off and your confidence will forever be dented.

marz
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 16:49 pm

Re: Trying to increase descent speeds (in Richmond Park)

Postby marz » Thu Nov 01, 2012 16:59 pm

As there's a 20mph speed limit in the park I'd ride elsewhere for speed training.

TakeTurns
Posts: 998
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:31 am

Re: Trying to increase descent speeds (in Richmond Park)

Postby TakeTurns » Thu Nov 01, 2012 20:03 pm

It's more about positioning, if you position yourself properly for the corner, you will feel confident when going round it. If I'm positioned well, tucked into aero position, I can reach 38-40 freewheeling.

There are some steep descents around Hertfordshire. I remember doing 47 a while ago, but don't exactly remember where (Club ride).
Last edited by TakeTurns on Thu Nov 01, 2012 20:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
lotus49
Posts: 737
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:52 am

Re: Trying to increase descent speeds (in Richmond Park)

Postby lotus49 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 20:06 pm

Buckie2k5 wrote:Go as fast as you feel comfortable with, speed will increase over time. Last thing you want to do is come off and your confidence will forever be dented.


See Rule #64 // Cornering confidence increases with time and experience.

This pattern continues until it falls sharply and suddenly.

:D

TakeTurns
Posts: 998
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:31 am

Re: Trying to increase descent speeds (in Richmond Park)

Postby TakeTurns » Thu Nov 01, 2012 20:13 pm

If you're cornering, another tip is to draw a line on the ground in your mind and follow it. It works very well, especially in races.

Rudd
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2006 20:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Trying to increase descent speeds (in Richmond Park)

Postby Rudd » Fri Nov 02, 2012 09:18 am

you can take that corner with a racing line with no need to brake if dry. Relax, steer from the hips and look down the road ahead and it should all come easily. IMO the most dangerous bit comes after the sweeping right when you turn left again and the trees ahead cause a blind spot for any traffic coming the other way, particularly if they are overtaking - guess thats why there is a speed limit!

User avatar
2Phat4Rapha
Posts: 240
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 08:51 am
Contact:

Re: Trying to increase descent speeds (in Richmond Park)

Postby 2Phat4Rapha » Fri Nov 02, 2012 09:46 am

If you’re freewheeling rather pedaling the corners, put your weight on the outside pedal keeping the centre of gravity low. Feels nice when you get a series of bends like Broomfield.

If there wasn’t a 20mph speed limit (ah hem) my guess is you could easily exceed 35mph but watch out for both the deer and the old dears stopping to look at them!

To poach from the thread for irritating things, muppets who indicate right at Robin Hood roundabout and then carry straight on up Broomfield instead of actually turning right up to Pen Pond car park. You scrub all your speed when you never needed to. :evil:
I may be a minority of one but that doesn't prevent me from being right.
http://www.dalynchi.com

User avatar
coriordan
Posts: 5339
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 21:11 pm

Re: Trying to increase descent speeds (in Richmond Park)

Postby coriordan » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:33 am

I ride in RP with 2 friends. One of whom hasn't been riding that long and weighs about 90kg and decends that thing without scrubbing off speed tucked RIGHT up like a bullet, with his chin on the bars.
My other friend weighs about 80kg, is very experienced, a really strong rider but he fails to take that corner without touching the brakes.

I am about 70kg and am just now able to take that corner without scrubbing off speed (been riding about 18m). There are a few tricks which help you build confidence and technique, which in turn makes you more confident.

a) Your line. I won't write what I think it is, because it's probably wrong, but there are a few threads (search decending/cornering on here for details and links to external sites). There is definitely a RIGHT way and a WRONG way. The right way is oddly, safer and faster.

b) Your bike handling. You want to be in the drops, holding on, but not for dear life with white knuckles. Just gently, to give stability. As you corner you want to push down gently on your inside handlebar, and you will lean and turn right. Likewise you want to have your LH pedal pointing downwards and pushing down with that leg.

c) Look where you WANT to go - this was what cracked it for me. My heart rate still skyrockets as I go down that hill, but I used to stare at the front wheel a while going down, whereas now I look at the tree up the road just before the road bends left. This encourages you to follow where you want to go more naturally. Kind of like driving a car - you look at the road way in front and you naturally stay between the lines - if you look at the road directly over the bonnet, you tend to veer side to side.

Also - for some unknown reason I WAY prefer turning left when descending, not right. I guess I'm not an ambiturner.

User avatar
Il Principe
Posts: 10401
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 10:37 am

Re: Trying to increase descent speeds (in Richmond Park)

Postby Il Principe » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:07 am

I'm a terrible descender these days, mainly because I don't fancy another broken collarbone! However, if you want to improve your descending then riding in RP isn't really gonna cut it. You need a good long descent to practice on - tough to find in the UK! But yeah, look where you want to go, not where you are going and the bike will take the right line.

BigLights
Posts: 411
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 08:32 am

Re: Trying to increase descent speeds (in Richmond Park)

Postby BigLights » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:40 am

Am I the only person who gets the heebeejeebies from those wooden posts in Richmond Park? Not just on the descent, but the whole way round, it's like they're whispering out to me to have a mild fall and smack myself on one of them....

User avatar
Il Principe
Posts: 10401
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 10:37 am

Re: Trying to increase descent speeds (in Richmond Park)

Postby Il Principe » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:48 am

BigLights wrote:Am I the only person who gets the heebeejeebies from those wooden posts in Richmond Park? Not just on the descent, but the whole way round, it's like they're whispering out to me to have a mild fall and smack myself on one of them....


Someone did impale themselves on one this year IIRC, they've been removed from Broomfield.

User avatar
ugo.santalucia
Posts: 18038
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:39 am

Re: Trying to increase descent speeds (in Richmond Park)

Postby ugo.santalucia » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:16 pm

ChrisAOnABike wrote:Ok, I'm trying to get my descent speeds up, and so far I'm losing the mental battle against being a complete chicken.

Could I pick the brains of a few folk that know Richmond Park reasonably well?

I find that when riding round ACW, I just can't seem to come down the hill towards Robin Hood Gate without pathetically scrubbing speed off almost all the way down that right hand bend.

So.. assuming a dry road and no traffic coming up... how fast is it basically Ok to freewheel down there? I keep telling myself that I probably won't skid, and that all I have to do is relax and look round the bend... but I keep finding I tense up and can't seem to let go of the brakes.

The other thing is, I've tried doing it in the drops rather than on the hoods, but I feel more precarious, not less (admittedly I haven't spent much time in the drops and I am trying to increase that just to get used to it).

So other than just practice, practice, is there anything else specific I can do to get more comfortable and relaxed riding in the drops?


I disapprove of speeding in the park of course, that said, descending is something one learns when young... a bit like skiing, skating, surfing and all those disciplines which require a certain degree of dexterity combined with madness.
Learning to descend fast at a later age (or skiing fast, for what that matters) often results in serious injuries... my advice is to go down at the speed you are comfortable to go and not to worry about it

User avatar
adam0bmx0
Posts: 244
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 22:01 pm

Re: Trying to increase descent speeds (in Richmond Park)

Postby adam0bmx0 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:20 pm

In RP like to get on the drops, tuck in and just pedal as hard as I can, easing off for the corners only brake at the end.

I'm new to road riding, well started over the summer but not bikes, raced DH mountain bikes, dirt jumps etc so to me I have no fear at all on road descents for some reason. Im sure i'll have an off one day which will make me think twice.

I did think back after a sportive I did, Ldn 2 Brighton, and there was one section of the route through country lanes which was very steep, I hit 49.5mph, my eyes had watered up from the wind and I couldn't see much at all, thought what I saw was a junciton coming up so thought I better brake, luckily I did, it was a give way junction.

so yea, I think back to that moment and realise maybe I should not go so fast sometimes, unless totally clear ahead, and I can see......


Return to “Road Beginners”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests