I crashed once coming down a hill that I knew well. I was following a friend off Sherrifmuir and overcooked a 90° right hander to drop down into Dunblane. My back wheel lost grip and along the road I slid, ripping skin off arm and leg, bashing the bike and bruising my pride.
Ever since then I have been a bit wary about pushing it downhill.
On the other hand, however, when I am on roads I know well enough I always try to beat my quickest ever top speed (64kmph down ‘The String Road’ on Arran). And on a recent spin up the Crow Road, near Glasgow I was third slowest going up and third fastest coming down. So perhaps my wariness is less about speed than uncertainty. What’s this corner like? What’s around the corner?
Why am I wittering on about this in my first post for months? I was lucky enough to witness two examples of brilliant descending recently.
The first saw Peter Sagan use guts, raw power and descending skills to win the Road Cycling World Championships.
And at the weekend Vincenzo Nibali did something similar to win Il Lombardia, the final monument of 2015.
Both rides were equally impressive, as Sagan and Nibali put everything on the line to win.
Enjoy the top-class descending in the links, and be careful if you intend to take a leaf out of these guys’ book when going downhill!
As for me, I will let you know if I ever top my fastest speed.