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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-04-14, 11:05 PM   #26
TinkerinWstuff
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9 mile commute, fairly flat, Giant Anyroad gravel grinder, all bike path/lane with few traffic crossings; I'm now averaging 12-13.5mph. I started out two months ago doing 3.5miles and struggled at 9-10mph
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Old 06-05-14, 02:12 AM   #27
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I have usually been having an average speed in the 10-12 m.p.h. range on my rides. I have been going between 3-6 miles. My fastest speed so far is on a flat stretch after turning a corner. I have been coming to the stop sign and then turning on the flat road and seeing how fast I can go. My top speed is 25 m.p.h. I think that I might be able to go faster, but I don't like how the bike wobbles when I hit the cracks in the road. I am just a noob when it comes to riding. So I know that I'll get better as I get into better shape. What do you guys average for speed on your rides? What's the fastest you go on a flat from a stop?
You gotta brace up over those spots, and keep your handlebars from moving. If you're turning over such pavement, you gotta force the handlebar to stay where you want it.

Around here there are a lot of areas with distorted pavement from heavy vehicles braking or turning. Also there are fissures between where the paving machine made each run on some wider areas, as in a big long split right under or next to the lane dividers or shoulder line. These are more caused by seasonal ground shifting vs flexibility of road with ambient temperature but vehicle weight plays as roll as well.

I simply keep the front wheel straight, even if i'm riding along one of these fissures for 20-30 feet. Can't be helped, it's not like i have a road grinder, asphalt mixer, paving machine and steam roller laying around

Do not let these minor road imperfections detract from focusing on your chosen travel path. Over time you'll learn to not fear these things & let the bike take the bumps for you by raising up out of seat a bit as you pedal.

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Old 06-05-14, 06:40 AM   #28
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What is a good speed? Just as my signature says, don't ride faster than your guardian angel can fly
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Old 06-05-14, 07:40 AM   #29
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All speeds are good, and on a commute it depends on the features of the route, mainly slows and stops. I made a private Strava segment just to track commuting time - it has me at 18 mph average, easy route. Nice weather, a little slower, miserable weather a little faster, because I'm cautious with pedestrians and other cyclists, so it has more to do with what's out there than with how fast we are.

It also helps my perspective to realize that for commuting time it doesn't really matter. Slowest to fastest this year, not counting the ice storm, was a difference of only 2.5 minutes.
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Old 06-05-14, 08:09 AM   #30
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I have usually been having an average speed in the 10-12 m.p.h. range on my rides. I have been going between 3-6 miles. My fastest speed so far is on a flat stretch after turning a corner. I have been coming to the stop sign and then turning on the flat road and seeing how fast I can go. My top speed is 25 m.p.h. I think that I might be able to go faster, but I don't like how the bike wobbles when I hit the cracks in the road. I am just a noob when it comes to riding. So I know that I'll get better as I get into better shape. What do you guys average for speed on your rides? What's the fastest you go on a flat from a stop?
The endless stopping in busy urban areas will destroy your average speeds - partly because of the time spent stopped and partly because of the time spent slowing and speeding up again.

The fastest I've ever been was 43mph, freewheeling down a 14% hill. The fastest I've ever hit on the flats under my own steam alone was 29mph. I think it surprised the van behind me because I turned a corner and decided to *** it to see how fast I could go.

Normally I try and maintain a moving average of 15mph but the overall average can drop significantly if I'm going into town proper, simply because of all the lights and junctions.
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Old 06-05-14, 11:18 AM   #31
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Like Doofus I'm usually on an Omafiets (my Oma herself would be really slow :-).
Ha!
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Old 06-05-14, 11:35 AM   #32
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A good speed is the one that gets there.
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Old 06-05-14, 11:39 AM   #33
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I'm riding a hybrid. I was just hoping that I'm not like a major slow poke.
Oh, so you're THAT guy in front of me, slowing me down!!!

I did a metric century (100km/60mi) last year in 4hrs on a 29er with narrowish (700x32) tires in a hair under 4hrs so you can do decent time on a more upright bike (flat bars vs drop handlebars). I pass people who are riding racing-style bikes and get passed by people riding uprights, I don't care, I'm having fun and am getting to where I'm going in decent time.

I do have a bit of a competitive streak in me; if a person appears to be just slightly slower or faster than me and is ahead of me, I will try to catch up and maybe over take them.
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Old 06-05-14, 11:49 AM   #34
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I have usually been having an average speed in the 10-12 m.p.h. range on my rides. I have been going between 3-6 miles. My fastest speed so far is on a flat stretch after turning a corner. I have been coming to the stop sign and then turning on the flat road and seeing how fast I can go. My top speed is 25 m.p.h. I think that I might be able to go faster, but I don't like how the bike wobbles when I hit the cracks in the road. I am just a noob when it comes to riding. So I know that I'll get better as I get into better shape. What do you guys average for speed on your rides? What's the fastest you go on a flat from a stop?
Just like @TransitBiker, I picked up on this too.

I found that if I look down at the road, my path wobbles and I get in trouble more often than when I look about 5+ seconds ahead of where I am so that I can plan my path around obstacles. Around here, the city tends to use a rubber filler between cracks and when the pavement is warm, it becomes soft and narrow bike tires can get sucked in if you're travelling in the same direction as the crack filler (crossing it isn't a problem). Avoid this as much as you can!!
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Old 06-05-14, 01:07 PM   #35
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sigh.

i can do 36ish for a few mins when i stand up and full on sprint on a 17 lb road bike. but when i'm done sprinting i want to puke. methinks another commuter needs to recalibrate their bike computer (and/or stop guessing).
I loved my old bike with its miscalibrated bike computer. That thing was fast!
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Old 06-05-14, 01:30 PM   #36
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36 mph for a few minutes​?
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Old 06-05-14, 01:45 PM   #37
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When my commute was a lot longer -- 38 mi r/t -- I would usually average 13mph at the beginning of the season, end up around 16mph in the Fall. Along decent flats, I'm usually 17-19mph; if I have the wind at my back, sometimes in the 21-23 mph.

When doing estimates for how long it will take me to get to the bus or work, I'll usually compute distance/time at 12 mph. Just to give myself a little margin. Fastest I've ever gone is low-40s down this one hill... Whenever I get to hyper-legals speeds, I always hope that's the day a cop is sitting somewhere and gives me a speeding ticket. And also, past the speed limit, I start singing Judas Priest's "Breaking the Law" in my head.
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Old 06-05-14, 02:17 PM   #38
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36 mph for a few minutes​?
On a steep downhill with a tailwind.
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Old 06-05-14, 03:04 PM   #39
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For me a good speed is one that is marginally faster than yesterday's.
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Old 06-05-14, 03:29 PM   #40
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sigh.

i can do 36ish for a few mins when i stand up and full on sprint on a 17 lb road bike. but when i'm done sprinting i want to puke. methinks another commuter needs to recalibrate their bike computer (and/or stop guessing).
I just HAVE to quote and preserve for posterity a post that claims speeds of 36 mph for a few minutes, then goes on to tell others to recalibrate bike computers and/or stop guessing.

For those that don't know: 25 mph for an hour is considered a good speed for a decent bike racer on a very-aerodynamic time-trial bike in fully aerodynamic kit: speed suit and time trial helmet. And it takes THREE TIMES as much power to go 36 mph compared to going 25 mph. It's (36/25)^3

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Old 06-05-14, 04:54 PM   #41
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36 mph for a few minutes​?
ok...more like 1-2 mins.

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Old 06-05-14, 04:57 PM   #42
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I just HAVE to quote and preserve for posterity a post that claims speeds of 36 mph for a few minutes, then goes on to tell others to recalibrate bike computers and/or stop guessing.

For those that don't know: 25 mph for an hour is considered a good speed for a decent bike racer on a very-aerodynamic time-trial bike in fully aerodynamic kit: speed suit and time trial helmet. And it takes THREE TIMES as much power to go 36 mph compared to going 25 mph. It's (36/25)^3
40+ mph sprint speeds in professional racing are not uncommon. i'm a strong rider and a mid 30 sprint speed on a road drive train is just spinning at 110. i can do this for very short periods of times as can just about anyone who trains a bit.
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Old 06-05-14, 05:07 PM   #43
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At a rough guess that would be near 12 watts per kg for 1-2 minute speed. Impressive.
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Old 06-05-14, 05:12 PM   #44
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At a rough guess that would be near 12 watts per kg for 1-2 minute speed. Impressive.
Power-to-Weight Ratios: Bicycling Training | Bicycling Magazine

12 W/kg is world-class TdF-winning level of cyclist at only 1 minute.

Impressive is an understatement.
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Old 06-05-14, 05:16 PM   #45
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I haven't reset my computer at all since I bought it.

1800km (1150 miles) and it's at roughly 24kph (14.5 mph).

That's all walking, riding, etc...

Hope that helps.
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Old 06-05-14, 05:18 PM   #46
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40+ mph sprint speeds in professional racing are not uncommon.
Barely. And that's with full leadouts from riders who actually do hit almost 12 W/kg for a minute...

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i'm a strong rider and a mid 30 sprint speed on a road drive train is just spinning at 110. i can do this for very short periods of times as can just about anyone who trains a bit.
You're NOT that strong. Good racers can barely hold 25 mph in a time trial on a time trial bike wearing aerodynamic gear. On a road bike they'll hold, say, 23 mph. And those riders will kick your ass and drop you like used toilet paper.

36/23 cubed is almost four.

That means GOOD RACERS have to hold almost four times their aerobic threshold power for a full minute or two to hold the speeds you're claiming. And they're a LOT faster then you.

You'd probably have to do five or six times your aerobic threshold to hold the speeds you claim to hold for a minute or two.

No one on this planet does that.

Why aren't you taking Mark Cavendish's spot in the TdF?

Because the speeds you're claiming to be able to HOLD for MINUTES are pretty much peak speeds reached in amateur bicycle race sprints, and those are only held for a few SECONDS.

By riders who can crush you.

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Old 06-05-14, 05:22 PM   #47
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Barely. And that's with full leadouts from riders who actually do hit almost 12 W/kg for a minute...



You're NOT that strong. Good racers can barely hold 25 mph in a time trial on a time trial bike wearing aerodynamic gear. On a road bike they'll hold, say, 23 mph. And those riders will kick your ass and drop you like used toilet paper.

36/23 cubed is almost four.

That means GOOD RACERS have to hold almost four times their aerobic threshold power for a full minute or two to hold the speeds you're claiming. And they're a LOT faster then you.

You'd probably have to do five or six times your aerobic threshold to hold the speeds you claim to hold for a minute or two.

No one on this planet does that.

Why aren't you taking Mark Cavendish's spot in the TdF?
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Old 06-05-14, 05:27 PM   #48
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Barely. And that's with full leadouts from riders who actually do hit almost 12 W/kg for a minute...



You're NOT that strong. Good racers can barely hold 25 mph in a time trial on a time trial bike wearing aerodynamic gear. On a road bike they'll hold, say, 23 mph. And those riders will kick your ass and drop you like used toilet paper.

36/23 cubed is almost four.

That means GOOD RACERS have to hold almost FOUR TIMES your aerobic threshold power for a full minute or two to hold the speeds you're claiming.

You'd probably have to do five or six times your aerobic threshold to hold the speeds you claim to hold for a minute or two.

No one on this planet does that.

Why aren't you taking Mark Cavendish's spot in the TdF?

comparing a 10-25 mile tt to a few hundred meter sprint is completely hilarious.




Quote:
Decent racers can barely hold 25 mph

25 mph is a high cat5 to cat4 speed for a flat tt course. Nothing to write home about. And once again if you actually took the time to *read* what I wrote you would realize i was discussing a brief sprint. in fact, hitting mid 30s on a full on sprint is relatively easy (~100 rpm in the big ring) for any fit rider on a road bike. maintaining it for more than 10 seconds is difficult but not impossible. (especially if conditions are favorable.)

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Old 06-05-14, 06:00 PM   #49
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On a steep downhill with a tailwind.
more like a slight grade and a tailwind. on a steep downhill i spin out completely and gravity gets me to ~50 mph.
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Old 06-05-14, 06:25 PM   #50
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There is an incredible range of abilities among cyclists. My wife cruises at about 12 or 13 and averages about 10. She once gave it all she had, and she hit 20.

I measure my speed somewhat by how many people pass me on the bike path. If it's a busy day and no one passes me, I figure I'm doing well. If someone passes me, it's either because I have a reason to go slowly or he's the kind of amazing cyclist that I could never dream to beat.

But now I've started to race, so I ask myself again how fast is fast enough? I was in three races last night at the track. I remembered to turn my little computer on for one of them. It's not legal to have one of these visible while you ride it, so I attached it to my seatpost and it faced backwards. It said I averaged 20 mph and hit a max speed of about 29.5 mph. I think it was a 2 mile race.

So now I'm almost the fastest bike commuter I see anywhere in NYC but I'm also slower than all the bike racers I encounter. I came in last in all races so far. There are more gaps to bridge, if you want to. You will always find people who are faster than you are. The question is whether this matters to you.

I decided to race this year so I could learn and grow and have fun. I'm accomplishing all of that, while losing every time. I'm having a blast.
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