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  1. #1
    Senior Member tntom's Avatar
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    Greenways and average speed

    I have been doing most of my riding on a greenway and wandering why my average want go up. After 22 miles on it today it hit me[I aint that smart a guy]you cannot keep your speed up because someone is always walking in front of you and they won't move over. Today was verry nice weather and my average went down. Don't get me wrong the greenway is a nice place to just ride but not to train. Anyway I am getting off the greenway and on the road for a while I bet my average will go up some.

  2. #2
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    What is a "greenway?"
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I ride a Mup as a sheltered route home occasionally and I am afraid that speed is the one thing you cannot rely on for this part of the ride. Too many people- kids and dogs about for comfort- even in bad weather conditions. My only problem is that most of the roads round here are a bit exposed and riding in heavy rain or strong winds does not make for a pleasant end of a ride.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member BillK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tntom View Post
    I have been doing most of my riding on a greenway and wandering why my average won't go up.
    If by greenway, you mean a mixed-use (i.e., walking, jogging, biking, etc.) trail, then I fully understand. Our rail-trails around MD carry a posted speed limit of 15 mph, but maintaining even that speed can be difficult during the nice, warm summer months as the trails are clogged with people out for a leisurely walk, taking pets for a stroll, and young families with small kids on trikes or small bikes with training wheels.

    And, on top of it all, you have roads running 90 degrees to the trail...some with very poor sightlines. Last year, one month before my last century I came to one such crossing. Unfortunately, I spent a little too much time/energy focusing on the person coming from my left (near lane) and didn't see the elderly lady coming from the right (who was not paying attention to me). As a result I "t-boned" her brand new Toyota Solara, leaving a $2K crease in her driver's side door. Me? I ended up with a trashed bike, a ride to the hospital, one broken bone in my right hand and one really wicked looking black eye (thankfully I was wearing sunglasses, which dispersed the impact around my eye socket). As a result I either ride on the road or one or two carefully selected rail/trails that have minimal crossings.
    Last edited by BillK; 02-16-08 at 04:19 PM.
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  5. #5
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    You can ride on a greenway or you can be concerned with your average speed. Trying to work on your average speed on a greenway is not a good idea. Unless you like the idea of being the equivalent of an SUV driver in a hurry to get to work.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  6. #6
    Senior Member tntom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    You can ride on a greenway or you can be concerned with your average speed. Trying to work on your average speed on a greenway is not a good idea. Unless you like the idea of being the equivalent of an SUV driver in a hurry to get to work.
    Right it just took me while to understand that. Like I said I aint that smart a guy.

  7. #7
    Senior Member tntom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    What is a "greenway?"


    What Billk said.

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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    In my opinion you can still "train" on a greenway although you average speed will not be anything to write home about. Slowing for the pedestrians, passing them (possibly nodding and saying something) eventually leads to a significant amount of work while accelerating back up to speed. In fact, its possible that your bike handling skills will improve because of all the traffic.

    When I want to maintain a high speed on these sorts of trails I go out early in the morning. Then all I have to dodge are the dog walkers. Dogs seem to be early risers

  9. #9
    Senior Member wrafl's Avatar
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    My ride is mostly on a MUP and there is a 8MPH speed limit painted on the pavement. Police patrol the path that goes to a park section of the MUP and enforces speed limit. I doubt if you could maintain a constant speed average riding on greenways but if you start very early, you might achieve that average you desire and if it's far from pedestrian traffic.

  10. #10
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    The MUPs here are quite good at rush hour on weekdays, and are often the fastest way across town. Just avoid them on weekends.

    Pau

  11. #11
    Senior Member tntom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    In my opinion you can still "train" on a greenway although you average speed will not be anything to write home about. Slowing for the pedestrians, passing them (possibly nodding and saying something) eventually leads to a significant amount of work while accelerating back up to speed. In fact, its possible that your bike handling skills will improve because of all the traffic.

    When I want to maintain a high speed on these sorts of trails I go out early in the morning. Then all I have to dodge are the dog walkers. Dogs seem to be early risers
    My bike handling skills should be verry good the biggest part of the last 500 miles were on MUP. And to tell you the truth I am tired of dodging people. I agree you can train on a MUP but if you want to know where you stand on the road when riding a century you will have to get out on the road and train. Or you will never know how you will do when you get out there. That is where I am now and things ARE going to change.

  12. #12
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Why do you have to know how you'll do? Just be prepared to do the ride and you'll see how you do when you do it.

    But yeah, get off the MUP and on the road. Performance goals make you do unsafe things on a path shared with more casual users. IMHO, if you have goals that don't fit the purpose of the facility, whether a MUP or a city street with intersections and traffic lights, take them to a road where you can expect to ride at speed with few interruptions.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  13. #13
    Senior Member tntom's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=BluesDawg;6178659]Why do you have to know how you'll do? Just be prepared to do the ride and you'll see how you do when you do it.

    To me being prepared and knowing how I will do are the same.

  14. #14
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I don't quite understand. How are you going to know how you are going to do in a century ride before you do a century ride? And if you do ride a century and it really goes differently than you "knew" it would go, does that mean you haven't really done it?
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  15. #15
    Senior Member tntom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    I don't quite understand. How are you going to know how you are going to do in a century ride before you do a century ride? And if you do ride a century and it really goes differently than you "knew" it would go, does that mean you haven't really done it?
    YES.

  16. #16
    Roadkill byte_speed's Avatar
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    I usually ride on the road when going past the local greenway by the river (which runs parallel to the road), and get more than a few calls of "get on the bike path" from autos. But unless I am just rolling a few leisurely miles, I stay on the road and leave the greenway to the joggers, dog walkers, ducks, etc.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Cadfael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    What is a "greenway?"
    Basically a cycle path that runs through countryside, or areas of common land.







    That is the one I use on my way to and from work, both taken on a bright sunny morning at about 5:00am, so it was deserted. But during the day you do get a lot of walkers, don't get me wrong, they have every right to be there but they do tend to pull their face at you when you ring the bell to pass them. They forget that it IS a cycle path.

  18. #18
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Our rail trails / greenways are only lightly used, outside of larger cities. The one beside my house runs south about 45-50 miles to Freeport, IL. On a normal day, you would encounter someone else on the trail every 1-2 miles and there would be plenty of room to pass. If you could maintain 20-22 mph on fine limestone, then there would be nothing stopping you from doing so. One BF 50+ member has maintained an average speed of 19 mph over a 46 mile segment of a local trail.

    No one around here calls them "greenways." Around here a "greenway" is defined as a green area (woods, fields, etc.) that is zoned as a non-development area. It is more like a park or a protected land than a bike trail.
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  19. #19
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrafl View Post
    My ride is mostly on a MUP and there is a 8MPH speed limit painted on the pavement.
    Wow! A post speed limit of 8! Is that within a congested area? We have no limit at all. I've been passed a number of times by people riding 20+.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  20. #20
    Senior Member Cadfael's Avatar
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    Most off our Greenways are old rail lines, but the one above was actually new laid from scratch apart from the tarmac section which was a rail line. Walkers are not to bad in the winter months, but we get quite a lot in summer. But having said that even when I have to slow down for them it still cuts about 20 minutes of my commute over sticking to main roads.

    Sustrans, who fund the greenways and other cycle paths in the UK have the ultimate goal of making it possible for cyclist to travel the whole of the UK with minimal main road riding. The most famous of their paths in the Hadrian's Wall Cyclepath 72. I hope sometime this year to ride it, I walked it from east to west last year, but cycling it is better done from west to east to take advantage of the prevailing winds.

    http://www.cycle-routes.org/HADRIANSCYCLEWAY/

  21. #21
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Sustrans are a Body that I admire and I took part in aride in 96 ish for them. Did not do the whole ride but they went from Scotland to Dover using sustrans paths as much as possible. Back then it was less than 50% but I believe that it is now possible to do the bulk of the ride on MUP's- or Road routes designated as "Safe" cycle routes.Attachnments are of the Local Cuckoo Trail- one of the earlier Sustrans trails.
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  22. #22
    W A N T E D Juggler2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    What is a "greenway?"
    A small, small town in Arkansas.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenway,_Arkansas

  23. #23
    Senior Member wrafl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    Wow! A post speed limit of 8! Is that within a congested area? We have no limit at all. I've been passed a number of times by people riding 20+.
    Yes Tom. It is painted every 100 feet of the ~2 mile long park circling around a lake where geese are common and being chased by the goose police. Not only humans are using that part of the MUP but wildlife as well. I get passed still by careless riders who does not observe the speed limit but I ride a hybrid.

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    To commute to work I use a combination of MUP's, quiet streets and roads with bike lanes with a few busy intersections thrown in. The slowness and danger of the MUPs used to make me want to find alternatives but now I just ease back and take the speed hit. Most mornings I greet the same people and it makes for a nice beginning to the day.

    'Round here about the best time to ride MUPs is in mid afternoon on a weekday. Seems few people are out walking their dog at those times. In the morning, people are out for their "constitutional".

    There is only one bike path around here that goes any distance (>40 miles I think) sufficient for training for a Century. It has reasonable road alternatives so I seldom use it if I want to make time and/or train.

  25. #25
    Northern Rider nondes's Avatar
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    Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto is a popular through route for cyclists - it has a 10 kph (6mph) limit for bikes and a 30 kph limit for cars. I take it easy when there are people around but pick up my pace when the path is clear. I have often been yelled at by their security people, but why respect a limit that's so unreasonable? I'm sure they would ban bikes if they could get away with it, as they did with rollerblades. The cemetery is operated by a public trust - it's not a private company.

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