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  1. #1
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    So you think you're slow?

    Alright, I've been reading a lot of posts from people saying how "slow" they are. Some even commenting that they would ride with slower riders, if they could find any.

    Well I'm here to tell ya, I'm him!

    I've been riding since September, and my average speed is a whopping.....
    wait for it....
    wait for it....

    10.6mph!

    Top that! Or uhhh, beat that! I mean.... be lower, oh you know what I mean.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jtgyk's Avatar
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    My average speed for my commute today was 9.65mph.

    I've been riding for over a year now, and the highest average speed I've achieved (I believe I remember correctly) was 12.5 mph.
    Hey, I'm just this GUY...you know?
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  3. #3
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    I rode with my son yesterday. Our average was 9.6. How's that?

    I rode the day before. 52 miles, 3000 feet of climbing, avg 16.6. I've been riding only since the very end of last April.

    Are you having fun? If so, that's a good chunk of why you're cycling. Don't sweat it.
    Last edited by JoelS; 02-02-09 at 09:30 PM.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DelusionalDude View Post
    Alright, I've been reading a lot of posts from people saying how "slow" they are. Some even commenting that they would ride with slower riders, if they could find any.

    Well I'm here to tell ya, I'm him!

    I've been riding since September, and my average speed is a whopping.....
    wait for it....
    wait for it....

    10.6mph!

    Top that! Or uhhh, beat that! I mean.... be lower, oh you know what I mean.
    Who really cares? I mean I have been tracking my riding since 2007, that year I had 11.2MPH as the annual average, 2008 was 11,2 as well.... Being slow is only a problem if your racing, if your not racing, then it really doesn't make much difference, except that it makes it a real drag if you want to do very long distance rides.

    There are three ways to fix it, if you don't like it, if your on a MTB, then usually the issue is that the bike comes with snow tires, you want a nice smooth high pressure tire, the other issue with mountain bikes is that they are geared low, so if you find yourself running out of gears on the top end, then you need taller gears. MTBs usually have a fair amount of wind resistance. Although usually the biggest problem is the engine, sprint training can help, as can often hill training. More riding will also help.

    I have more to say, but I have to go catch a bus to work....

  5. #5
    Opus PATH's Avatar
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    It is not about speed it is about time spent on the bike having fun! Well, that is how I look at anyway!
    Go raibh an chóir ghaoithe i gcónaí liom!

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  6. #6
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    I don't really care either. I am having fun on each ride!
    I have been able to challenge myself and do more over time. It's just funny to me how many people were talking about riding 30, 40, or 50 miles and more, and still talking about being slow.

    As much as anything, I guess I'm poking fun at myself. As long as I still have to use my "granny gear" I don't think i'll worry about running out of gears on the top end.

    Oh, i'm not worried about wind drag on my bike. Even the widest part of my HKEK is still just a fraction of the width of the girth that is me.

  7. #7
    Senior Member munski1968's Avatar
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    Are you going over a lot of rolling hills?

  8. #8
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I've got a Worksman cargo trike that weighs maybe 75-100 lbs. I rode it in a charity ride a while back, and rode the 16 mile route. That took me two hours, so that's averaging 8 mph. But, I actually passed some people doing it.

    I rode in the Jackrabbit Stampede a while back. It's one of these charity rides that bills itself as a race, though 80% of the people there aren't racing anyone. Anyway, it's an out and back route, and the longer routes come back the same way. So as I was headed back in, the 2 lead riders on that longer route passed me. I think they were doing 30 mph, really hauling buns. It was another 5 minutes before the next guys back passed me. Anyway, the moral is, no matter how fast or how slow you ride, there's other people out there doing the same thing. Don't worry about it, have fun, keep riding.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  9. #9
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Too many variables and as others have said, "not important". I just want to be fast enough to ride centuries in a reasonable time (7 hours?) and keep up with other folks. So far most of my hard riding is solo, but when my wife and I ride I suppose we average 15 mph or so over relatively gentle terrain (15 miles or so).
    Rick T
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  10. #10
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    My best average was 14.08











    ...............100 miles with 10,000 ft of climbing!

  11. #11
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    My slowest average is around 6.8. mph That's just a combination of me having problems with wind/hills and the husky being slower on the stretches than usual. Generally, with the dog, I average around 7.6 and a few times we've done 8.4 mph average which I'm very proud of the furry one when he manages those.

    Solo, my general average is 9.8 or so. I've managed to wring out a 10.4 mph average a couple times.

    I can cruise along at 15 mph on my Trice QN-T for flat stretches and little or no head wind. The times I'm against the wind and hills are what just kill my averages. Evil knees.

    The only time I really worry about speed is during the short days here in Sweden. When it's warm enough and little enough ice to get out and I want to cycle 50 miles, but only have 4 hours of good light. Makes me wish for a 13 mph average. During our long summer days, I just have fun and add up the miles.

  12. #12
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I really don't think speed matters. I ride a road bike for my miles, so I can't really tell you what would compare to what you ride as I don't know. I have rolling hills and on my 40 mile loop, I usually average between 16 and 17 mph. With some of the winds we have in Iowa, that has dropped to 12 for the same loop. On our normal breezy (5 - 15 mph) days it is the 16 mph. I have ridden in some winds that wasn't safe for me to be on the road, so I turned back around and headed home after only 5 miles out. I ride on the highway and don't want to get pushed into a semi. I averaged 11.5 mph that day and was really frustrated with my day.
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  13. #13
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    I'd love to have a little more speed. Speed of course is most important when you are racing but when you have long commutes being slow is yet another barrier that you must get through every morning to get on that bike and ride.
    It is also a little depressing looking at people with alot less hours pass me in total miles.
    Last year my hours in motion was 577:51:49 and my averge speed was 13.64 mph
    Getting stomped in total miles by someone who was on their bike for only 544:31:06 is annoying but then their average speed was 18.15

  14. #14
    Neil_B
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    When I was in my peak physical condition in September 2007, I managed 12 MPH on a 'flat' century. On tour in June and August 2008 I averaged 10-11 MPH pulling 40-50 pounds in a trailer.

    My problem isn't speed, but having to stop as often as I do, combined with my lack of bike handling skills. That's what makes my 34 mile round trip commute take 200 minutes.

  15. #15
    invisible friend seenoweevil's Avatar
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    My average keeps coming up between 11-13 mph. I was getting frustrated at first, but after thinking about it I really only care because I'd like to get in more miles in a little less time for the fitness aspect, and I'd like to get stronger to finally try some group rides with a local club. I still haven't contacted them because of my insecurity with my fitness level.
    One more thing. After a bicycling fatality in a neighboring city during the $4/gal gas phase, a local lbs owner (don't know who it was, but I sure wish I did so I'd never go there) told the news person that people shouldn't be on the roads on their bikes with automobile traffic if they couldn't maintain at least 15 mph. I know that is bull, and I'm incensed that someone could say something that insensitive and (in my opinion) completely incorrect, but I still find myself trying to reach that average at the end of the ride.
    Faster than a sundial.

  16. #16
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    I started riding a bike last summer. Was I ever slow at first. This year I want to increase speed a little and increase stamina a lot. I also want to get faster climbing. I get passed by roadies when I am out on hilly rides. Last year the best I did on a flat 20 mile course was 16.8 MPH. Doing a double loop on that course brought my average down to 13.1 MPH. On a different hilly 34 mile route I did 14.8 MPH.

  17. #17
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seenoweevil View Post
    My average keeps coming up between 11-13 mph. I was getting frustrated at first, but after thinking about it I really only care because I'd like to get in more miles in a little less time for the fitness aspect, and I'd like to get stronger to finally try some group rides with a local club. I still haven't contacted them because of my insecurity with my fitness level.
    One more thing. After a bicycling fatality in a neighboring city during the $4/gal gas phase, a local lbs owner (don't know who it was, but I sure wish I did so I'd never go there) told the news person that people shouldn't be on the roads on their bikes with automobile traffic if they couldn't maintain at least 15 mph. I know that is bull, and I'm incensed that someone could say something that insensitive and (in my opinion) completely incorrect, but I still find myself trying to reach that average at the end of the ride.
    You might try and see if you local club has a social ride. Our Saturday ride have lots of regroups and people of all speeds to ride with. New riders usually get a few folks riding back with them no matter what the pace. There may be some limit though I'm not sure what would happen with a 6-7mph rider but 10mph+ has never been a problem. If you like you could setup someone to call you a little bit into the ride so you can bail on the ride because something came up. Just think of it like dating
    That 15mph thing wow. I am pretty sure the driver won't notice the difference between you going 10 or 15 when they are going 3x-5x your speed or more. I've probably ridden up a few hills at 4mph or less on roads where folks were going 60+mph talk I wonder what he'd say about me

  18. #18
    Senior Member VA_Esquire's Avatar
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    Time > Speed
    I would rather cycle for 5 hours at 9mph than 2 hours at 15mph.

  19. #19
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    All my riding has been on the roads in and around my neighborhood. But this area is known as the "Plains", so it's not really big hills. I guess I just want go faster and further!

    There are some social rides in this area, and I'm working on joining them. But my pride gets in the way, and I don't want the group to have to wait for me. And I am not too confident in my skills for a group ride yet either. More important than speed is that I am getting better at bike handling and traffic awareness. Safety first! Right now, I am working on setting a pace, whatever it might be, and being able to hold it there.

    And I got passed by a roadied last weekend too! Of course, he didn't speak, or stay around long, we were going uphill.

  20. #20
    I'm a Cyclist! Missbumble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DelusionalDude View Post
    Alright, I've been reading a lot of posts from people saying how "slow" they are. Some even commenting that they would ride with slower riders, if they could find any.

    Well I'm here to tell ya, I'm him!

    I've been riding since September, and my average speed is a whopping.....
    wait for it....
    wait for it....

    10.6mph!

    Top that! Or uhhh, beat that! I mean.... be lower, oh you know what I mean.

    Slow and steady my friend...Kep on riding. The trick is you are on a bike not on the couch..and think of all the great stuff you probably saw on the bike! Speed I think comes with time...and intention. For me- I am getting stronger and hope to do drills onthe Trainer - other friends who ride centuries and tour - just stay at the same speed forever.. No problems...go at your own pace - or increase with intention.

    Sue

  21. #21
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    What bike are you riding?
    If you have a 40 lb. MB with aggressive Knobby tires, your speed isn't bad at all!
    Other factors, like a seat that's way too low, can kill your efficiency.

  22. #22
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    speed is relative... its very different if you are on the road or on the trail... riding the flats or doing serious climbing... if you are on a real road bike or on a knobbied mtb...

    i picked up 2mph average on a 10 mile ride just by going from "smooth rolling" mtb tires to slick centered CX tires

    i'm slow... but i'm working on that...
    mtbr clyd moderator

  23. #23
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    I think it's a natural progression to at least think about avg MPH and distance. I think it's a definate step in the pregression we C&A members jouney onward to.

    We start cycling to lose weight. The honest fact is speed and distance don't matter and shouldn't be our focus so much as just getting out there and doing it. The sheer change in behavior is a momentus thing, and progress and triumphs have many metrics.

    I've greeted new members in the past and have stated that while we may have started cycling to lose weight, somewhere along the line we become cyclist who happen to be losing weight. I don't think it's unnatural to become at least aware of how we do on the bike and lend some thought to getting faster or being able to ride farther. In fact, I would say it's a sign you are starting to ride more for the enjoyment of riding rather than focusing on calories burned and weight lost.

    We all have differnt challenges and differnt abilities. The trick is to not get too caught up in anything other than maximizing your own potential and realizing your own level of enjoyment.

  24. #24
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    I know how to fix all those "I feel slow" problems. Get rid of your computer. I don't have any idea how far I ride, and since I'm not usually wearing a watch or paying attention, I don't know how long it took me.

    Mostly off road. I realize this is probably physically impossible for true roadies.

  25. #25
    Not safe for work cyclokitty's Avatar
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    I don't think I'm slow, I am slow

    Last year I averaged about 16 km per hour on a good day. Bad day? All hilly with crummy traffic? Oh, about 12 km, 7 on a steep hill (steep for me... I've watched people climb no problem. Makes the Cyclokitty jealous...)


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