Richmond Park in wet conditions

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jpiers
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Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby jpiers » Tue Jan 14, 2014 23:17 pm

Hi, just wondered how people are finding riding anti-clockwise in Richmond Park when it's wet, I saw someone slide out on the Richmond Gate roundabout recently. Specifically though I was wondering about doing the Bloomfeld Hill descent in the wet?

I saw the London Dynamo Park riders going down that descent in the wet, at quite some speed last Saturday morning. I had an 'off' recently on the Horton roundabouts, near Epsom, if anybody knows them, and it was only slightly damp so am now pretty nervous about cornering in the wet. I have been told by my LBS that those roundabouts regularly are pretty slippery due to diesel being dropped by buses, so it could've been due to that.

Does anyone have any views on Richmond Park in the wet and specifically Bloomfeld Hill descent in the wet and how safe it is? Do people generally brake when descending in the wet to force the tire onto the road or is it better to slow beforehand and not use the brakes at all as I find on a descent like Bloomfeld it's pretty fast if you don't use the brakes whilst going down it?

Cheers

HouseMunkey
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby HouseMunkey » Wed Jan 15, 2014 00:02 am

I've seen a whole pack of Dynamos go down on that decent in the wet, a few needed ambulance treatment. IMO it is pretty sketchy and you should treat it with a big dollop of caution and respect. Just keep your speed in check and stay away from the front brake. Apart from that not much to report except the ascent of dark hill can be pretty slippy under the trees so it sometimes help to stay seated to avoid wheelspin.

Safe ridin'

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diy
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby diy » Wed Jan 15, 2014 07:55 am

Braking increases your demand on grip. If you are at the point where you need to slow down due to grip, its probably already too late for you to brake. Acceleration, braking and cornering all place demands on the tyres for grip, if you are close to the limit and need more of one then you better be ready to give up another to compensate. There is a phrase in motorcycle training - slow in fast out and it transfers pretty well. Do all your braking early before the bend and you'll be able to get on the power earlier on the exit as you are not fighting for braking and cornering force at the same time. Obviously we don't have the ability to power out of bends in quite the same way, but the physics still work.

You can only increase grip through heavy braking as the weight transfers to the front giving you an increased braking area. However, the difference on bicycle is tiny compared to say a motorbike where the tyre is around 5 times wider and the contact point can be increased from say around 30-40% on a cycle under heavy braking to 2-400% on a motorcycle.

As a general comment on the London Dynamos, while they are a very large club and no doubt have some extremely safe, courteous riders, they have more than their fair share of idiots. My advice is to give them as much space as you can even if they don't return the courtesy.

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marcusjb
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby marcusjb » Wed Jan 15, 2014 08:15 am

Richmond park in the wet is fairly similar to pretty much anywhere else in the wet.

Broomfield descent catches many people out, wet or dry. It has a tricky camber that will drag you into the verge if you don't know what you're doing. Stay central and don't go faster than your bike handling skills.

If the weather is mucky, then I tend to use my fixed wheel in the park.

Riding in the wet, wherever, is a skill that has to be learnt through experience.

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bernithebiker
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby bernithebiker » Wed Jan 15, 2014 08:27 am

Several years ago now, I dropped my Ducati on the last roundabout at Richmond gate. It was wet, but there must have been diesel or something, as I didn't even get a chance to kick it back up.

As DIY said, get the braking done first*, enter the bend at a safe speed, then accelerate out.

*you can brake really quite hard in the wet with the front if you're straight - just be progressive and keep your weight forward-ish.
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cougie
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby cougie » Wed Jan 15, 2014 09:50 am

Sounds like the park is a safer place for people who cant cope with bends and hills and rain ?

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roger merriman
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby roger merriman » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:20 am

I like the RP in the wet, it can be fairly quiet and on the whole the few other riders tend be on the ball etc.

Richmond Gate Roundabout can be a bit greasy and Broomfield is anti cambered but you do have to approach with too much speed to get in to trouble with both.

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homercles
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby homercles » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:29 am

I think the park's OK when it's properly wet, or has been raining a decent amount in the few days before a ride. It's at its most dangerous when there hasn't been much/ any rain but the surface still has a dewy/ greasy covering (generally happens on cold/ misty mornings) - the combination of road dirt that hasn't been washed away and a greasy slick covering can catch folk out. But as a few have said already, take it easy, know your limits, try to pick clean lines and it's fine.

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ugo.santalucia
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby ugo.santalucia » Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:10 pm

marcusjb wrote:Richmond park in the wet is fairly similar to pretty much anywhere else in the wet.


This pretty much sums up the thread... NEXT!

rpherts
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby rpherts » Wed Jan 15, 2014 13:09 pm

I'm surprised more people don't crash into the huge piles of Strava segments strewn over the Park.

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aroyalnit
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby aroyalnit » Wed Jan 15, 2014 13:28 pm

Ice is more of a worry in the park this time of year...yesterday I saw an unlucky guy take a tumble on the flat between Robin Hood gate and Roehampton gate. Just a patch of black ice I luckily missed as I overtook him just before the patch.

I took it a bit careful through the park afterwards!

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marcusjb
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby marcusjb » Wed Jan 15, 2014 13:29 pm

rpherts wrote:I'm surprised more people don't crash into the huge piles of Strava segments strewn over the Park.


:D

They do rather clutter the place up for sure!

hopak
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby hopak » Wed Jan 15, 2014 15:48 pm

Didn't the novice rider Cancellara fall off at the Star and Garter corner?
And it wasn't even wet!!
It must be a death trap that Richmond Park, and not only for old deer !

Moonbiker
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby Moonbiker » Wed Jan 15, 2014 16:39 pm

You might need theese?

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TakeTurns
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby TakeTurns » Wed Jan 15, 2014 16:46 pm

It's fine in the wet. I've taken that bend at 40mph several times no issues.

Moonbiker
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby Moonbiker » Wed Jan 15, 2014 16:48 pm

Didn't somone get a fine before for breaking the 20mph speed limit?

Dyrlac
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby Dyrlac » Wed Jan 15, 2014 17:40 pm

2 issues this time of year: ice tends to stick around (or unexpectedly appear on subsequent laps even if it doesn't feel like its gotten colder) on the false flat up Sawyer's Hill on the left side of the road. Seen way too many offs there. I've always been skittish down Broomfield. First time I went down it a couple of dudes went down hard 100m in front of me. So I don't put down the hammer until I'm at the apex of the turn.

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ugo.santalucia
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby ugo.santalucia » Wed Jan 15, 2014 18:06 pm

Dyrlac wrote: (or unexpectedly appear on subsequent laps even if it doesn't feel like its gotten colder) on the false flat up Sawyer's Hill on the left side of the road. Seen way too many offs there.


RIchmond Park is notorious for being one of the few spots on earth where the phase diagram of water is somehow distorted... it has to do with the alignment of the constellations... Stonehenge kind of stuff.
At the summer solstice there are plenty of hippies going there with their willy out to observe the formation of summer crystals of ice of a pale shade of green
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upperoilcan
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby upperoilcan » Wed Jan 15, 2014 18:26 pm

Richmond park appeals to me,I will come see what all the fuss is about in the warmer months.

I'm sure there is a Duathlon held there too.
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Mattsaw
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Re: Richmond Park in wet conditions

Postby Mattsaw » Wed Jan 15, 2014 18:31 pm

upperoilcan wrote:
I'm sure there is a Duathlon held there too.


I have no idea why someone would want to ruin a good bike ride..


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