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  1. #1
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
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    Going for 17 mph...

    ...average speed for the week, that is. I was off the bike on vacation last week. When I got home on Monday, I noticed that my average speed was over 17 mph. I think that my average speed on the commute has been about 16.5 mph without paying much attention to it....so...I get the bright idea to go for an average speed of 17mph for this week.

    Might not sound like much, but for my 15 mile round-trip commute, I'm having to really hammer on the flats and descents to keep my average thusfar to 17.5 mph (making up for traffic and climbs). I am pretty sore with only Friday to go. I think I can make it, but I'm posting in the hopes that it might keep me from completely cracking tomorrow.

    Reasonable reactions:
    a) wow, 17 mph, you are a stud (unlikely),
    b) wow, 17 mph average, you are lame (more likely), or
    c) why the hell are you ruining a perfectly good commute measuring your speed, trying to get your average speed up by 1 mph (most likely)?

    Anyone else play these games?

    I am definitely taking it easy next week...

  2. #2
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    My commute is downtown these days... don't much chance to build up speed...

    And don't have a bike computer on my present bike anyway.

    17 mph is quite a respectable average though, in my humble.

  3. #3
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    This will end in tears. This week, you'll do 17 mph. Next month, you'll go for 18 mph. The month after, 19. On and on, harder and harder until one day you're seeing a Spanish sports doctor specializing in "performance through science". Then the company'll spring a surprise urine test on you and it'll be all over. You'll be disgraced. This will end in tears.

    j/k - Congrats and carbo load!
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  4. #4
    Custom User Title :-) saharvey2's Avatar
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    You are ruining a perfectly good commute trying for that extra one MPH. I should know my commute home is often more like a time trial than a stroll. And I just can not help myself. I have several waypoints where I try to beat my personal best. I startoff saying I'm just going to take it easy, work on my ankling. The next thing, I'm spinning away trying to make my first waypoint. Last year I was sooooo neurotic that I kept a log in MS Excel.




    I don't have a log this year ... I guess I'm getting better.
    06 Surly LHT / Ultegra 9 Spd
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  5. #5
    Custom User Title :-) saharvey2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian
    This will end in tears. This week, you'll do 17 mph. Next month, you'll go for 18 mph. The month after, 19. On and on, harder and harder until one day you're seeing a Spanish sports doctor specializing in "performance through science". Then the company'll spring a surprise urine test on you and it'll be all over. You'll be disgraced. This will end in tears.

    j/k - Congrats and carbo load!
    That's soooo true ...
    06 Surly LHT / Ultegra 9 Spd
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  6. #6
    "Per Ardua ad Surly" nelson249's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbojeff
    ...average speed for the week, that is. I was off the bike on vacation last week. When I got home on Monday, I noticed that my average speed was over 17 mph. I think that my average speed on the commute has been about 16.5 mph without paying much attention to it....so...I get the bright idea to go for an average speed of 17mph for this week.

    Might not sound like much, but for my 15 mile round-trip commute, I'm having to really hammer on the flats and descents to keep my average thusfar to 17.5 mph (making up for traffic and climbs). I am pretty sore with only Friday to go. I think I can make it, but I'm posting in the hopes that it might keep me from completely cracking tomorrow.

    Reasonable reactions:
    a) wow, 17 mph, you are a stud (unlikely),
    b) wow, 17 mph average, you are lame (more likely), or
    c) why the hell are you ruining a perfectly good commute measuring your speed, trying to get your average speed up by 1 mph (most likely)?

    Anyone else play these games?

    I am definitely taking it easy next week...

    I have my cyclocomputer calculated in km/h. The number on the speedo is bigger so it looks like I am going faster.
    1997 Mongoose Hilltopper, 1988 Bianchi Specialissima, 2006 Surly Cross-Check, 2010 Norco City Glide, 1947 CCM Single-speed.

    "Take him to the forge and show him the instruments"
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  7. #7
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    17 mph average is good for city riding, but how you do tomorrow probably has as much to do with how you hit the lights as anything. Don't exhaust or endanger yourself to gain speed you could lose through dumb luck.

  8. #8
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marqueemoon
    17 mph average is good for city riding, but how you do tomorrow probably has as much to do with how you hit the lights as anything. Don't exhaust or endanger yourself to gain speed you could lose through dumb luck.
    Actually it's OK. If I get creamed and the bike stops moving it doesn't contribute to my average speed.

    Seriously though, agreed (and I appreciate the concern).

    I'm lucky in that only the last 3/4 mi of my ride is truly urban. The rest is mostly suburban roads with only a few lights/stop signs. I will confess that my stops and starts have been a little quicker this week though...

  9. #9
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    My commute is about 5 miles each way, and it takes me about 40 minutes. Therefore, my average speed is about half of yours.

    Paul

  10. #10
    Seņor Member Moto-Velo's Avatar
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    Slowing down for stop lights and busy intersections kills the average on my computer.

  11. #11
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    Excellent average for commuting. I can only manage that on the 18 miles of Mups I ride on. The other ten are on streets with stop lights and little red signs. I don't bother with keeping track of my average after the MUPs. That and the streets I ride have these annoying increases in elevation. I think they are something that starts with an h.

  12. #12
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    You know, I've never calculated my average speed. Do you do that using total time, or actual biking time (total - time spent standing still at lights)? What I do look at is my biking time (I don't count time at lights because I'm not doing anything while I wait for them). I've dropped three minutes on the way in and a whopping six and a half on the way home.

    Since I've started doing the all out sprint for one stretch, I've discovered that sprinting on the commuter exercises my vastus medialis (primarily). As opposed to sprinting on the road bike which seems to work out my vastus lateralis and rectus femoris. I'm wondering if I need to move the commuter seat up and back a bit more.

    But, I digress...my response is:

    17mph sounds really fast to all my non-biking friends. =) Whatever gets you commuting, I say.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian
    This will end in tears. This week, you'll do 17 mph. Next month, you'll go for 18 mph. The month after, 19. On and on, harder and harder until one day you're seeing a Spanish sports doctor specializing in "performance through science". Then the company'll spring a surprise urine test on you and it'll be all over. You'll be disgraced. This will end in tears.

    j/k - Congrats and carbo load!
    If you go from 17 to 19 mph in 2 months I may have to check your testosterone levels.

  14. #14
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    I average 16 or so and find my speed varies based more on route/traffic/lights than on effort. Except for the loop in Prospect park, the ride is all urban. I'm wicked impressed by your average! good luck!

  15. #15
    Newbie Commuter
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    Sounds like you're pretty fast to me. I used to average around 14-15 on my converted moutain bike. But that was pushing it for me...and I wasn't enjoying it. Now, I throw the computer on every two weeks or so just to see how fast I'm going, and I only average around 12-13...but I'm enjoying in, and doing it 5 days a week. I've raced (running) in the past, and I'm very competetive...but now, I'm ready to chill and enjoy life. Screw speed.

  16. #16
    Opt-in Member GreenGrasshoppr's Avatar
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    Commuting to work almost every day, I average 20mph on my HP Velotechnik Grasshopper

  17. #17
    GATC
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    My computer only counts when the bike is moving, so while it takes me a very consistent ~30 min to go ~6.5 miles, the speedometer tells me I'm doing 15-17 mph!

  18. #18
    Old fart redden's Avatar
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    sure do play that game, makes the ride more interesting and to some extent shows the level of improvement. Only play the game on the morning comute when traffic is light. Another game I play is try to run the commute with the lowest calorie burn.

  19. #19
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
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    I average about 18 on a good day. My commute has exactly 5 stops in 13 miles. But sometimes I'll hit 19 if I make every light and there's no wind.

    Average speed is not a real good indicator. Stops will kill it. After 13 miles, whatever average speed I have on my computer will usally drop by at least half a mph when I walk my from the gate to my classroom.

  20. #20
    Seņor Member Moto-Velo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
    My computer only counts when the bike is moving, so while it takes me a very consistent ~30 min to go ~6.5 miles, the speedometer tells me I'm doing 15-17 mph!

    Doesn't it also catch your speeds when you slow down to and accelerate from a stop? That tends to really bring your average down.

  21. #21
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saharvey2
    You are ruining a perfectly good commute trying for that extra one MPH. I should know my commute home is often more like a time trial than a stroll. And I just can not help myself. I have several waypoints where I try to beat my personal best. I startoff saying I'm just going to take it easy, work on my ankling. The next thing, I'm spinning away trying to make my first waypoint. Last year I was sooooo neurotic that I kept a log in MS Excel.
    Keep track if it makes your commute more fun, stop if it becomes drudgery or if you catch yourself cutting safety corners to get that extra .1 mph.


    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian
    This will end in tears. This week, you'll do 17 mph. Next month, you'll go for 18 mph. The month after, 19. On and on, harder and harder until one day you're seeing a Spanish sports doctor specializing in "performance through science". Then the company'll spring a surprise urine test on you and it'll be all over. You'll be disgraced. This will end in tears.
    Just don't put on a green and yellow jersey.

  22. #22
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
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    Update: As of this morning, with only the ride home to go, my average is 17.61 MPH. The climb is on the way home, so I would expect the average to fall a bit. Also, we are forecast for thunderstorms this afternoon...

    For the record: this is average speed according to my computer. So, standing still at a light or waiting for traffic does not contribute to the average speed, but decelerations and accelerations do. There are about 15 stop signs and lights on my commute as well as 1 big rotarty. I'm including everything in the average speed (climbs, traffic, lights, weather, etc.). This is the commuting forum, right?

    Also for the record, I categorically deny using any performance enhancing drugs (though the testing policy at my work is pretty weak).

  23. #23
    Pedal Power!
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    Yeah, my cycle computer is always watching!
    If anyone asks why, it's cos i want to know the time so i'm not late for work. But once i'm riding, i'm always checking the speed/distance/max/average. I tend to get to about 2/3rds distance either way and if the average is high i will go for the 'World Record' (yes, i know 'personal best' might be a better description!). Actually both World Records (to work 18.2mph and from work 17.2mph) have been broken in the last fortnight, i'm in good shape at the moment.
    My weekly average is around the 15.5mph mark though, so you're doing great.

  24. #24
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saharvey2
    You are ruining a perfectly good commute trying for that extra one MPH. I should know my commute home is often more like a time trial than a stroll. And I just can not help myself. I have several waypoints where I try to beat my personal best. I startoff saying I'm just going to take it easy, work on my ankling. The next thing, I'm spinning away trying to make my first waypoint. Last year I was sooooo neurotic that I kept a log in MS Excel.




    I don't have a log this year ... I guess I'm getting better.
    Not really relevant, but ankling is an even better way to hurt yourself than making your commute a twice-daily TT. It has long since been abandoned by most because it offers no perceptible advantages while greatly increasing the risk of joint or muscle strain.

    As for the OP, my average speed is somewhere between 11 and 12 mph. Why worry about it? It's a commute, not a race (well, except on day when I'm running late... ).

  25. #25
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    that's fast to me-- I am usually around 13-15 mph on my commute. I try not to look at the speedometer too much...
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

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