Monday 14 February 2011

Downhiller Commitment on Marlborough Hill

Marlborough Hill is 25% gradient zero visibility at the bottom. When the council was asking for places to put in contraflows for bicycles, this was one where even the tax dodgers consensus was "no, too dangerous" -though as they have ninetree hill as their secret cut-through, they have less need of it than us motorists. Usually.

This rider is brave, and descends at a speed where there would be no opportunity to steer out out the way or stop were something big to come out of a side road.

You can see it in the video -and hear it to; the sound of hign-end knobbly tyres on wet tarmac. tyres which offer less surface area on tarmac that slick tyres, and hence can sustain less braking force in the wet. Mud, they work, but on road, not so useful.

We've covered the rules for aggressive downhill work before: runout, align, commit! This MTBer is aligned, and 100% committed, but the runout looks dubious. All it takes is a vehicle to pull out from the upper of the two road, the one he turned into, and it's game over.

What's also interesting here is the sheer number of people walking up and down this hill. Walking and cycling activists could make the case for downgrading this from a road to a pedestrian/cycle path. We're against that, obviously, because it would eliminate a secret rat-run from Kingsdown to Dighton Street -one used by cars, cyclists and pedestrians alike

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