|Coasting the hills with the legs over the bars serves a couple of purposes. It takes energy to pedal down the hill, even when not resisting the pedals. Trying to retard the bike with the pedals can really put the legs to work. On the other hand, hanging the legs over the bars allows the rider to completely relax the legs. They get a nice rest, and are ready to go vigorously again. I have twice coasted nine miles, and once six miles, on an ordinary. I find that coasting legs over is the most pleasurable thing I do on the ordinary.
On my ride across America in 1984 I did not walk down any hill. I did walk down the steepest couple of hundred feet of a steep hill in New York, until I could see that it was safe to descend on the bike. Then I weaved back and forth across the road, on the pedals, until I could control the bike with the brake, and eventually I coasted the rest of the hill, legs over. I did get a surprise at the bottom, because I came to a four-way stop when the road levelled out. You can brake very heavily, legs over, if you lean back. A true wheel with no " bounce" (being vertically out of round) is a necessity for heavy braking. The dangerous moment occurs when the wheel is nearly stopped. I have twice seen the brake lock a wheel, causing a header, when the bike was nearly stopped and the rider was in the act of dismounting. The road had recently had a chip seal resurfacing, and the tire brought a chip up to lodge under the brake spoon.
|On his ride across America in 1984 the legendary Jack Castor rode the 3,347 miles from SF to Boston in 44 days and 2 hours! Of which 12 of those days were centuries. He did not walk down any hills. Instead he threw his legs over the bars. It was until well over a decade later, in the late '90's in New Zealand, that he crashed while doing so as he was being filmed by a TV crew...|
HERE is a fun ride I did with Busycle in Palo Alto, CA
HERE is a ride that toured my collection, Half Moon Bay, near the ocean where I live, and saw Eddie Andreini in fighter plane action.