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Old 07-03-02, 12:40 PM   #1
RiPHRaPH
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what % of your rides are spent coasting?!

this is a continuation of the 'junk miles' discussion. i think we can all agree that accrued milage spent coasting is junk miles.
is it 5% to 10% of your time in the saddle (including slowing for traffic lights, downhilling, etc.)?
How about during a century?!

so during a 3000 mile year, 5% would mean 150 miles of coasting?!
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Old 07-03-02, 12:44 PM   #2
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Old 07-03-02, 02:30 PM   #3
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My rides are 80% climbing, so I think I coast about 10% of the time coming downhill. I always brake a lot on downhills because I don't want to gain too much speed and enjoy the long effortless decent.
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Old 07-03-02, 05:11 PM   #4
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Coasting is something I try to hold to a minimum. Maybe 30 - 60 seconds out of a 90 minute ride to adjust my shorts My cycle computer doesn't record time if I'm coasting but my HRM does so I add the difference between the two timers onto the end of my workout (like extra time in soccer).

When you have to add 30 - 60 seconds to your final interval for the day it hurts you and you think twice before coasting.
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Old 07-03-02, 05:15 PM   #5
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Just crossing over form the biking to school thread...

"I never coast son.... Its up hill both ways!"
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Old 07-03-02, 07:04 PM   #6
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Well, I've only been on my road bike for 2 months, so I'm a total newbie, but I'd say 10% coasting, I try to always pedal, even when my legs are fatigued. I figure that even if I am taking it easy and delivering only maybe 10 watts of power, that's 10 watts I would not have while coasting.

I watch all the real cyclists, I almost never see them coast, then I watch the recreational types, they coast a lot.

I ride 20 miles a day and find that I'm quicker when I pedal easy but continuously then I am when I try to work hard but have to coast between these periods of effort...
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Old 07-03-02, 07:16 PM   #7
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I coast a lot when I'm negotiating city traffic, but when I'm out on the "open road", I don't coast at all. I never coast because I want to rest. I only coast when I want to slow down, or think I may have to stop suddenly.
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Old 07-03-02, 07:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Richard_Rides
...I'm quicker when I pedal easy but continuously then I am when I try to work hard but have to coast between these periods of effort...
I am so consumed with guilt when I coast that I try to keep it to a minimum.

Seriously, keep this experience in mind:

One day, I saw this grey-haired cyclist on my route. I thought it would be interesting to follow him. So we took off from a traffic light and away we went.

The first downhill he hit, he coasted. I thought, "junk miles!" I knew not to pedal as hard as usual, or I would overtake him and embarrass him. So I took it a little easier.

The first uphill, he dumped me. "I'll catch him, he's old," I said to myself. As I crested the hill, I saw him going down the other side (quite far ahead of me.) Yep--he was coasting again.

So I poured it on downhill this time (no sympathy this time for the old geezer, who does he think he's fooling?) He coasted, I pedaled my guts out.

Next hill, he disappeared forever. Lesson learned.
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Old 07-03-02, 07:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Richard_Rides

I watch all the real cyclists, I almost never see them coast, then I watch the recreational types, they coast a lot.
Do you race? Is cycling your profession? If not, then you are a reacrecational type yourself.

All riders are recreational riders except those that train quite hard on a regular basis speciffically for racing events and pretty much shape all their life around cycling, hence professional cyclists.
Recreactional cyclists are still cyclists, as real as the "real cyclists".

Professionals coast too. See them on the Deux Alps decent? They aren't pedalling that's for sure.

You don't see professionals coasting on flats because they have a damn race to win, while commuters and recreational riders are in a very different situation.
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Old 07-03-02, 08:23 PM   #10
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I don't coast a lot, but when I do I notice how it feels kind of like flying.
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Old 07-03-02, 08:53 PM   #11
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coast I feel that if i coast I will fall down.
I never coast I pedal down and up hills and I pedal backwards when i have to stop just to keep my legs warm until the ligth is green then i pedal forward...
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Old 07-04-02, 02:42 AM   #12
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Coast only if I have to--Like the last second before stopping.

I have noticed on steep descents, where I spin out (max 52-14), that even after a minute of coasting, my legs are tighter than before. My regular group likes to take a break in the midst of a longer ride (ca. 90-100 kms). It always drives me crazy, because I know that I am going to be much stiffer after the 10 minutes of standing around. I usually try to do some stretches in the meantime, which helps.

Pernicious habit coasting is.

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Old 07-04-02, 04:31 AM   #13
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Coasting is a really efficient way of travelling. With the wind behind me I can travel a mile along the seafront barely expending any energy at all. Of course I have to battle into the wind in the other direction. Ill coast on most downhills, to time my arrival at traffic lights and junctions, when I drink or map-read on the bike.

Is coasting good or bad? It depends if you use a bike to get somewhere or if you use a bike to make yourself work.
If you are the latter kind of cyclist, you can make yourself work harder by using a heavier bike, so why do all the "serious" athletes train on lightweight bikes?
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Old 07-04-02, 10:54 AM   #14
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I just built a fixed-speed out of my road bike, I guess no more coasting for me I still have my MTB and hybrid which have gears, freewheels and stuff though.
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Old 07-06-02, 08:03 AM   #15
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Hey RipH,

which is it? Time spent coasting, or distance.

I only coast when I'm going really fast, (steep hills) or at the sharpest point of a corner, usually braking also.....

So, my "time" coasting may be a given percentage, but "distance coasted" will be a larger proportion, or percentage of my ride...relative ti time..

But I don't coast anyway, so I don't care....

Junk miles will always be a "relative" term, riding like Lance, or Kevin, or Tyler on their "rest" days would porbably be a PR for me.....
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Old 07-06-02, 08:32 AM   #16
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i guess it would have to be time spent coasting, because your body only recognizes time, not miles. (although my body gets plenty beat up during hard rides)

again, my point is that when you tell someone that you rode 100 miles, there is coasting involved. so if it takes you 6 hours, how many is really biking (as defined as spinning) and how much of that time is simply sitting (although if you are doing 100 miles in 6 hours, i can't believe that there would be much coasting time.

i know some cyclists that coast on the downhill to conserve. others pedal and really get up to big speeds. i guess it depends on weather you are going for overall mph avg or for speed wherever you can get it.
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Old 07-06-02, 02:49 PM   #17
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Ok this morning I went for 25K, 11K was allmost wholly downhill, but kept peddling either with the brakes on, or just to keep my leggs mooving and my heartrate up.
2K was dead flat!
and 12 K was up hill.

I coasted maybe 500m, so thats? what .5/11= 4.54%

Total time was 1:05
Average Heartrate was 151

I used nothing larger than the 34f 22r

So;

A) is spinning your legs not catching up to the free-wheel not considerd peddling?

Or;

B) is it further to Denmark than by bicycle?
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Old 07-07-02, 11:46 AM   #18
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The issue of coasting is also surely affected by the terrain you cover whether or not you prefer to.

I generally don't do much as I enjoy going fast down hills. But most of Britain's "quaint" country lanes are fairly narrow and usually twisty so here I have to coast to reduce the chances of going headlong into a car, hiker, horse or cyclist coming the other way, or slidig on the loose stones and flying into a hedgerow.
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Old 07-07-02, 09:07 PM   #19
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Ummm... Well I live on the coast, and my daily ride to work is next to the ocean for the most part. Does that count as coasting?
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Old 07-09-02, 04:45 PM   #20
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For me I don't like to coast, but for the most part the only time that i do coast is when i have to ture really sharp. So i would have to say that i do it about 3%
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Old 07-10-02, 04:38 AM   #21
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I coast as much as possible. But then again, I'm riding for different reasons than most: commuting and recreation, not training for a race.
My new method has been expending as little energy as possible while achieving the maximum distance. This technique has greatly increased my distance. I used to really cook around town but found that my legs hurt badly afterwards and I was worn down pretty quickly. Now, I just cruise: can go much farther and for much longer.
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Old 07-27-02, 07:04 PM   #22
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I'm such a lightweight that if I coast downhill I get left behind.
I can tell when I'm tired, I start coasting.
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Old 07-29-02, 04:45 AM   #23
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Some people are natural hill-climbers, some are natural sprinters, I'm a natural coaster

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Old 07-30-02, 12:19 AM   #24
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Going downhill at 60kph in a tuck position is not coasting, it is simply a fact that on some descents you can't pedal quick enough to keep up with the speed on the descent.

Coasting to me in when a cyclist rolls down a hill at 25kph until the speed drops so low that they have to start pedalling again, that's how I define coasting.

The only time I ever coast is to stretch my back or legs, when necessary. Even going downhill I normally pedal until the tuck position becomes faster than pedalling.

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