Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - New Cyclist question
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05-02-09, 07:47 PM
In the past 3 weeks or so I have become a pretty avid cyclist. I an new to cycling but really enjoy it. I have a couple of 35 mile rides in so far. My goal is to do a century later this summer. That brings me to my question. How fast is average, mph... I live in what seems to be a quite hilly area but that just could be my tired legs and being inexperienced, I don't seem to travel up hills very fast. My average mph on my long trips has been just about 14mph. On the flats I travel between 16-22 depending but seem to go slow up some of the hills around me.
On a century ... speed doesn't matter. If you're doing a race, on the other hand, it matters.
Work on building up your distance.
05-02-09, 08:21 PM
I'm sure average speeds are all over the map among BF members. There are many here who are much faster than you, and many who are much slower. As Machka said, unless you're racing or after bragging rights, it doesn't matter. Yours is what it is. Focus more on completing the next distance milestone, and not speed. Don't let any false comparisons ruin your enjoyment of your rides.
I alwys remember what Bill Rogers, American record holder in the marathon in the 70s, once said, he a sub 2:10 racer: He had great respect for the over-4-hour runners as he couldn't imagine running that long.
05-02-09, 08:43 PM
Thanks for getting speed out of my mind. I really enjoy the ride and don't seem to tire but I don't go very fast. I will take your advise and not worry about how fast I am going but rather how far I can go. I just turned 40 and have NO desire to do anything timed events/races. I just enjoy seeing the sights and seeing how far I can go.
05-03-09, 02:07 AM
On the same 50 mile ride, I will do anywhere from 12 mph to 18 mph. Depends on wind conditions, if it is a recovery ride, traffic, etc... I keep track of it because I'm an anal, science geek that loves looking at data.
FWIW...Last year's winner of the TdF went 2200 miles in 21 days and averaged 25 mph:twitchy:
The rest of us are mere mortals.
There are articles in this months Bicycling and Cycling Plus on training for centuries.
Mostly you want to gradually increase the length of your Sat. ride. But if you can squeeze in a midweek ride, a 30 mile ride where you try to go a little faster is also a good idea; as are intervals.
Btw, you get better at going up hills by climbing a bunch of them. Find the worst one in your area, put extra weight on your bike,
and climb the thing a few times. If you don't have panniers, you can fill a water bottle with lead shot (you get that at a gun store).
Try and find some group rides as well. You want to learn about riding in groups, and there is plenty of motivation to be found riding with others.
05-03-09, 02:57 PM
It sounds like you have a pretty good attitude about it, as far as taking in the scenery and just enjoying being on a bike. If you are really interested in getting faster, intervals are the best way to pick up speed. You've got to train fast to get fast!
05-03-09, 03:45 PM
Find a hill and climb it MORE than twice??
You are a true coaching wizard.
Have you ever thought of coaching profesionally?
05-03-09, 03:52 PM
You're doing fine. If you start riding with groups, you may find groups going faster than that. You're going faster than I do.
I rode my Worksman Front-Loading Tricycle in a charity ride and took 2 hours to ride 16 miles, so 8 mph. And i PASSED people doing it.
On the Hotter-n-Hell 100, I think they have people that do it right at 4 hours (there's a race as well as the ride). It took me 9-1/2 hours, and there were still a lot of people on the road behind me when I finished.
If you can ride 35 miles and come back not feeling wiped out, you should be fine for 100. Your average speed may drop some.
05-03-09, 07:39 PM
I just turned 40 and have NO desire to do anything timed events/races. A couple of things you need to understand.
First of all, it could take years, (yes years) for you to build up all the aerobic potential you could have. And you can build this aerobic potential - simply by just "riding around" - without trying very hard.
Two - you simply "MUST" learn how to deliberately ride slowly - just so, you can learn to "race" your bike when you have built up some "pent up rest miles."
Hope these few lines makes sense. But it really is the whole story....
05-25-09, 06:42 PM
your speed is your speed and there probably isn't oo much you can do about it, just accept it and plan your rest periods for the long rides. I like resting every 1.5 hours for 30 minutes each time.
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