Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Road Descent: Hairy with a Capital H

Pascal found this today and send it over. Its incredible.
Have any of you ever ridden a descent like this? Its so
long and SO exposed! The walls are more dangerous
than anything else. They'd just launch you if you hit
them. I'd love to take on a descent like this, but I think
'conservative' would be my approach. This is scarier
than a World Cup downhill course, and they are pretty
gnarly these days.


Pascii said...

What I noticed most of all is
a) thew number of snow run-off puddles they go through (I slipped on a frozen one last spring that just looked like water)
and b) the huge number of cyclists in general. They all climbed it and descended. Maybe not as fast, but still.
it makes me realize that we're pretty small potatoes when we compare ourselves to "enthusiasts" (i.e not PROs) in France, Spain and Italy.

mike said...

that's a sweet ride.

here's another good one:


haleakala. 60k from start to finish with a 3k vert. the video's a bit lame though. the guy's taking it way easy. it's not that steep and a ton of sharp switchbacks , but you can still do 70 to 80 on the straights.

the record ascend belongs to a canadian btw.

Matt Surch said...

Looks fun Mike, though, as you say, the rider is going painfully slow. I assume that's in Hawaii; Pascal and his wife rode some downhills there on cruisers.

Anonymous said...

That was wicked. Not sure if it would be more difficult that a world Cup DH but I think I'd rather fall in dirt than pavement. Id love to know how fast they were going. Loved when they passed the car.


Steve said...

all I could think about was the ride up. They definitely earned that decent!!!

Matt Surch said...

Yeah, I guess it'd be about an hour up, if it takes 15 minutes at about 80k/hr to descend. Must be about 20k. I think those roads are not steep, but I bet 20 would take a good bit of effort for an hour.

As Pascal says, there are certainly lots of really good 'enthusiasts' in Europe. Racers from North America routinely get thrashed in Europe in every discipline. The gap seems to be narrowing slowly, but there is still a gap. I think riders from around here stack up well in North America, but we certainly would get schooled in Europe. I can just see myself getting dropped on a descent in the Dolomites by an Italian guy in his 60s who has never raced in his life. Not something to feel bad about, but inspired by!

Pascii said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Re: enthusiasts, yeah, in the Alps, you see so many old dudes on their daily jaunt up the local 16 km TdF col, good way to get your 90 mins of exercise.

What's funny about Europe is how many people don't wear helmets, don't want to hide that lovely coiffed silver mane.


Andy said...

I want to go to there...

Anonymous said...

cool, literally!

Where is that?
What is the grade on them roads?

Other places to try: (I'm sure there are more on our side)
Vancouver - do Seymour (only about 13km though) and Cyprus. If you go...
Costa Rica has some good "hair raising" road riding.
Pueto Rico - do the rain forest climb (only about 14km).
Dominica island - some frigen fantastic steep hills.
St Lucia - up and down all day long.

Haven't been over seas yet. Looks too cold for a vacation...
When on vacation, I like heat.

Dan O said...

Awesome descent.

Reminds me a bit of Hurricane Ridge here in the Seattle area, that I've done a few times.

What goes up, must come down....

marky said...

I filmed that Iseran descent as part of the Annual Fireflies charity ride from Geneva to Cannes. Its a 38Km climb roughly i think, up to about 2700m we hit 55mph coming down although as you saw the vehicles slowed us slightly in parts.
Im going again this year and will film all of the descents!
epic feeling being up there, i highly recomend it. more info on twitter @therealmarky and @firefliesride