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That Time a Bicycle Passed You While Doing 55 MPH (with video)

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No, this bicycle doesn’t have a motor, electric or otherwise. It is just a guy pedaling going downhill doing roughly 55 mph (the first motorcyclist he passes is doing 50 mph, or so, according to his speedometer). We recognize the bicycle as being an extremely expensive French, carbon fiber Time RXR Ulteam (the frame module alone originally retailed for $6,500 – that is,without wheels, shifters, etc.). Speeds like this on a bicycle are pretty hairy, even in the Tour de France … so this rider certainly knows what he is doing.  Cool video.


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51 Comments

  1. VForce says:

    Mike needs to get a helmet communication system. Not sure if he could hear it over his exhaust though. Maybe he should check his mirrors a bit more often also.

    It used to be the cars that were the problem, but recently most of the close encounters that I have had on Indiana’s back roads involved road bicycles that thought they were racing in the Tour de France and ignoring the rules of the road that the rest of us are expected by law to abide to. They don’t stop at stop signs (hell they barely even slow down), they don’t signal their turns, and the new trend is they take up the whole lane for 1/4 of a mile riding in a pack. It’s really annoying and narccistic. Apparently they have taken the “share the road” to a whole new level and now they “own the road” with their $9k plus bikes. Just because you spent more on your bicycle than most of us spend on cars or motorcycles doesn’t mean that you can ride any way you want.

    Personally I have nothing against cyclists. I mountain bike alot myself. It’s a great sport and workout. But there is no way that I would get on a road bike after 20+ years of experience riding motorcycles. It’s scary enough when you have more mass and more power… I would feel like a sitting duck on a road bike.

  2. Mr D says:

    99.99% of my beefs with bicyclists are always obstructing traffic, if there is no shoulder on the road, get the hell out of the insured and registered vehicles way. That being said, this guy was not holding anyone back, and if not the wisest manoeuvre, it does look like fun. He is apparently only a threat to himself, so I’ll give him credit for a pretty solid pair.

    • Mike D says:

      That’s a real ignorant comment to make. Bicyclists have every right to the road that “insured and registered vehicles” have.

      ” if there is no shoulder on the road, get the hell out” – pure ignorance.

      • Mr D says:

        I’m sorry if I offended the person on the road with no insurance, registration, or documents proving you know the traffic laws. I also apologise if it’s OK to pass vehicles on the right on windy roads with double lines. I don’t have a pure hate for bicycles, but expecting me to abide by all the rules, and because you have pedals your above them…isn’t that a little ignorant? But I don’t expect my opinion to sway anyone, but ask a cab driver, or trucker, or other pro driver, they can give you the facts.

        • Cal says:

          Outside of the major cities, I have not in my 25 years of bike racing known a cyclist that wasn’t also a licensed driver. So there goes that beef. Almost all of us are also licensed motor vehicle drivers, and many of us also ride motorcycles. Why does it have to be one or the other for some people? Instead why not focus on the biggest danger to all of us, distracted driving, texting, people looking down at their phones after every song, Pokemon Go while driving. Surely these are far more dangerous to the insured registered motorists that a cyclist. When was the last time you heard of a vehicular fatality due to a cyclist? When was the last time you heard of a vehicular fatality due to a licensed, registered motorist texting while driving?

  3. Buzz W says:

    This looks like San Diego county roads.

    Sunrise Highway or something like that perhaps?

  4. Andrew says:

    Fair enough: if his bike costs more than mine, he *should* be going faster!

  5. BenH says:

    It’s cool that the guy filming understood that the cyclist was there for likely the same reasons as he was: To have a good time!

  6. Glenn says:

    It’s interesting how terrifying this looks watching it on the video. A couple of years ago I was riding a similar long steep hill into Golden, BC, in the rain, and we were doing about 45MPH. At the time, it didn’t really seem irresponsible. I guess there’s a difference between doing it and watching it. This guy has his bike geared to apply force at that speed; most people can’t generate enough power to make that gearing worthwhile.

  7. David Fisher says:

    I ride motorcycles and bicycles. Hitting 50+ mph on a bicycle in the mountains is not difficult and you can do it on an aluminum frame bike that does not cost more than your motorcycle.

    • Grover says:

      I do it on my $600 Specialized Allez that I bought in 2003. 50 mph downhill is not difficult if you ride regularly. It will hurt if you go down. Don’t go down.

    • Geoffrey Hill says:

      Coming out of Tortilla Flats Az going up the canyon a bike stuck with us for over 5 miles. Some was downhill, but we were coming up the canyon. Was very impressed.

  8. Don says:

    Cool seeing the moto rider being so supportive of him. I frequently passed motorcycles and cars/trucks coming down Mt. Lemmon in Tucson. A nice ~7000′ twisty, turny descent. I prefer the climb up, it’s hard to maintain any sort of power output to get a good workout in when you’re spun out in your tallest gear on the way down. It’s really hard to maintain a smooth pedal cadence once you hit about 120rpm. At that point I’ve already done 3+ hours of hard climbing, usually doing some kind of intervals on the way up, and I just want to get back down to my car so I can eat!

    • Scott says:

      Seeing as there’s a 35 mph speed limit on that road, do you guys ever get speeding tickets?

      • Don says:

        I guess it’s a possibility, but I’ve been lucky enough not to have. I haven’t passed any cops where I’m hitting those speeds on the steep sections, so it’s not like they’re letting me go because I’m on a bike, but more likely because there aren’t any places for them to sit and watch in those sections. I’m faster in the corners than cars, but they can open it up and hit high speeds on the wide open sections. I’d imagine that’s where most of them get tickets.

        Realistically, you don’t usually get a ticket anywhere, unless your going more than 10mph over the speed limit, and although I can pass cars in the twisties, I’m rarely hitting 45mph, typically I’m around 41 or 42, which a car usually wouldn’t get a ticket for either. I just don’t need to slow down as much in corners on a 20lb bike as drivers need to in a 3500lb car, so I tend to be faster overall, except for drivers who are really blowing off the speed limit on the straights.

  9. caribooster says:

    Impressive on one hand, however not a lot of sense when you consider a piece of styrofoam for a skid lid and spandex for riding gear.

  10. Ricardo says:

    Wow, the most I’ve done on my bicycle going downhill is about 35-38 MPH which is scary at times, I know pros can go 50+ any day…

  11. Dave says:

    Google “Sa Calobra descent”. Speeds not as high but I guarantee you’ll want to go and ride it on something.

    And yes, for serious cycling enthusiasts who like riding in the mountains, 50+ mph on long descents is not that uncommon.

  12. Don E. says:

    That bicyclist should get a ticket for exceeding the speed limit and passing on the right. Bicycles are subject to the rules of the road just the same as everybody else. If that had been a motorcyclist there would have been howls of hooliganism and “organ donor”. That truck could have very easily bumped that bicycle into the weeds and never known it. That rider is a fool.

    • TimC says:

      So much this. Rather disappointed with how many are chiming in “no big deal I do this all the time”….

      • Scott says:

        Seriously. That’s why I asked Don, above, whether he gets ticketed on Mt. Lemmon for riding like that. Because god forbid you go 10-over on a sport bike on that mountain!

        I have a feeling they let the cyclists get away with that BS all the time. But if that pickup truck decides to do a little brake-check, who can stop and turn more quickly? A sport bike with 320mm rotors and a 120-17 front tire, or a road bike with brakes the size of a drink coaster and rubber bands for tires?

        • Tim C says:

          And Bingo was his name-o

          • Dave says:

            Did nobody notice that the motorcycles, truck and another vehicle were all being held up by a slow vehicle? The cyclist and the motorcycle riders were communicating.

            As for braking/maneuverability, watch some Tour de France footage. The racers often drop the chase/camera motos, which are often driven by retired pro motorcycle racers. Motos have a bigger tire and brakes, but they’re also a great deal heavier.

            If a truck driver decides to “brake check” a cyclist, he risks going to prison, as a Ca. Dr. did a few years back.

        • Don says:

          I didn’t say I was doing 50, I just said I went fast enough to catch and pass motorcycles and cars. I wouldn’t really get more than 10 over because you run out of gearing, but I’m a lot faster around the corners, 20lb bike vs. 3500lb car. Of course cars can be faster on the straights, all they have to do is get on the gas, but in any section with curves I’ll usually be faster overall.

          What sucks is getting stuck behind a slow car and having to ride your brakes as it shifts all your weight onto your arms, probably annoying for sport bike riders too, since they’re in a similar position on the bike.

    • azi says:

      Speeding cyclists can get booked in AU. I personally know someone who got a ticket whilst in lycra. Same deal, over 60 km/h on a descent. (It’s not hard)

  13. Norm G. says:

    omg, that’s HYSTERICAL…!!! that’s gotta be like a 7%-10% grade.

  14. Vrooom says:

    The guys got balls that’s for sure. It’s one thing to go that fast on a wide open downhill you’ve got all to yourself, and another to pass bikes with traffic going the other way. But of course the real horror, the absolute nightmare of this video, is going 50 on a bike on a good road.

  15. Chris says:

    Interesting that many think speeds like this on a bicycle are uncommon. My wife and I ride a road tandem and have a PR of 56 mph. We see just under 50 all the time. Granted, tandems have an aero advantage over singles but many, many cyclists have seen speeds in the mid 50’s. Getting near/over 60? Now you’re talking!

  16. Tom R says:

    He’s got guts…and a lot of exposed skin to lose in a mishap.

  17. Trevor says:

    Looks to me like a guy trying to win a Darwin award…

  18. Hot Dog says:

    It looked like the second biker didn’t have any rear mirrors. Is that why he didn’t move over to let this guy pass? Cool video.

  19. He’s selling life insurance

  20. scott says:

    he’s selling life insurance

  21. Auphliam says:

    Breezing by in such a comfortable riding position, I guess that’s a true testament to the $6500 price tag on that chassis.

  22. Larry K says:

    I give full credit to the ballsiness of that. Skinny little tires twitchy steering and no gear…

  23. Provologna says:

    Occasionally, during the Sunday Morning Ride in Marin County, CA, a mile or so south of the Bolinas turnoff, we’d turn east to traverse a slow uphill, barely paved road, no dividing line, barely wide enough for cars to pass. At the peak five to seven miles latter, it’s a coasting race on the hairpins down to Alpine Dam heading toward Fairfax.

    Never beat on my R1150GS. Sometimes mass helps!

    Considering the bicyclist was on a down hill grade, I presume he’d have higher speed potential on a heavier bike w/similar components.

    I exceeded 35mph on my 29er mountain bike on a smooth dirt/gravel path on Utah’s Bonneville Shoreline Trail. So I presume, as someone else posted, 55mph on bike built for speed w/100psi in the tires is not that big a deal. Curious what are maximum speeds of down hill MB racers.

    It’s funny thinking how the motorcycles burned fuel, though not much, to maintain speed with a guy on a bicycle.

  24. jim says:

    I fail to see the news worthiness. Most of us with dedicated road-bikes have seen this type of speed on a good downhill run.

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Don’t think so.

      • Paul says:

        I agree with Jim, have done it myself.

      • bmidd says:

        That’s funny, I see it every week when riders are riding down some of our local mountains.

      • ROXX says:

        I’ve done it too.
        I ride a road bike about five days a week and do some steep long climbs in my area.
        The downhill segments are VERY entertaining!
        regularly hit 50mph on some of them.

      • azi says:

        Agree with Jim, not hard with a good descent, moderately competent cycling skills, and well set-up road bicycle.

      • xmotomarkxMark says:

        Been riding bicycles and motorcycles since I was in my early teens. I’m 54. Quit track racing bicycles at 40. Still ride my road bike. In those many years I have seen 50 and 50+ on some very long descents. That said I do believe the clip is newsworthy just for the “it’s cool” factor. Bet he rides a motorcycle as well and pays taxes that help maintain that road.

    • stinkywheels says:

      I’ve been on some big hills (Tetons) and saw a friend top 65 (full tuck aero bars). While I had a truck mess up the wind and sent the bike into a death wobble at 50 that made me need new shorts.

      • Don says:

        Geez, I had that happen to me during the Usery Pass RR in Phoenix back in the 90’s. It started pouring, and I was doing 40mph coming down a big hill and all of a sudden a speed wobble started up. Tried braking, letting off the brakes, it just wouldn’t stop. Finally slowed way down, scared out of my gourd, and DNF’d when I came by the pits. Figured it wasn’t worth it to my mess up my whole mountain bike season by crashing in a road race, and I was way off the back by then anyway.

    • Paul says:

      I agree with Jim, have done it myself.

  25. Scott says:

    “It is just a guy peddling going downhill…”

    Maybe he could sell more of his goods if he slowed down. What’s he selling anyway?