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Thread: A Personal Best

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    Are we having fun yet? Prosody's Avatar
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    A Personal Best

    I rode a ten mile route I've done often when I have only a little time for a ride. The roads either climb or descend, with a couple relatively steep grades each, up and down. Previously, on the hybrid, I've managed a best average speed of 15.1 miles per hour. Today I did the ride on the Roubaix and averaged 16.4 miles per hour. Not rocket fast, but I'm happy with it.
    You're east of East St. Louis
    And the wind is making speeches.

  2. #2
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I always love it when people can tell us about their improvements. Isn't that great!!

    Life has so many downers, uppers make my day.

    Thanks
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

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    16.4 is a great speed. For me, that speed burns 50.5 calories per mile, according to the web site at :

    http://www.caloriesperhour.com/index_burn.html

    I can usually knock out 1080 calores every day that I ride 20 miles. I keep my average at around 16.1, so I know how hard you are working! Congratulations!
    Ted Davis John 3:16
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    Da Big Kahuna
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    That's a heck of a jump! Does it include stops? I always ask that because my typical 12.5 mile run has 55 traffic lights and two other stops! Not counting stops (other than time to slow down and accelerate), I can usually average over 16 if I work at it. Record is 18.05 but I haven't come within 0.65 mph of it since.

    Bob

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    Duct tape won't fix that slotibartfast's Avatar
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    Way to go, Prosody! Improvement is the key, I think. Man, I've got to figure out a way to get some $$$$ for a road bike.....
    It's no matter, no distance, it's the ride.....Stephen Stills...Throughfare Gap

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    Are we having fun yet? Prosody's Avatar
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    Today's ride includes the possibility of 13 stops, but today I stopped five or six times. That means I stopped about every 1.6 miles. Computer, of course, does not count time when I am not moving. I suppose one advantage of suburban riding over urban riding is the greater distance between stop lights.

    Thank you all for your encouraging comments. I have been trying for some time to average over a low 15 point something mph. Next goal is 17 mph.
    You're east of East St. Louis
    And the wind is making speeches.

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    Da Big Kahuna
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    Originally posted by Prosody
    Today's ride includes the possibility of 13 stops, but today I stopped five or six times. That means I stopped about every 1.6 miles. Computer, of course, does not count time when I am not moving. I suppose one advantage of suburban riding over urban riding is the greater distance between stop lights.

    Thank you all for your encouraging comments. I have been trying for some time to average over a low 15 point something mph. Next goal is 17 mph.
    My first computer didn't count stops, but the one on my present bike gives me a choice - I have it set to not count stops because so many potential stops would otherwise make it darn near impossible to really measure improvement. I did some testing and apparently even when I stop, the computer will run for 3 more seconds plus there is the time lost from slowing down and accelerating.

    I think the best I've ever done was only hitting 3 lights, plus I slowed down a lot for 3 more.

    When I starting riding about 16 months ago, I figured a 15 mph average was almost an impossible dream to aim for, even at maximum effort. I think my first ride only averaged 8.4!

    Congrats on reaching 16. I found that often when I finally got past a plateau, I continued to make improvement for a little while. At least I did until my last record over 3 months ago. I've been stuck ever since!

    Bob

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    xc AND road WoodyUpstate's Avatar
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    It's nice to have BF so you can blow your own horn once in a while. I no longer tell my wife about my personal bests. She's tired of hearing it and doesn't appreciate the pain involved.

    I equaled my personal best on my 20 mi. TT route last night. It's signifcant, because last season I didn't reach that speed until late August.

    Congrats to all!! It's great hearing about your personal victories.

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    Well done Prosody, its a great feeling when you a complete a ride and then find out you've set a new record.

    Keep it up, Portent.

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    Photog Extraordinaire Crack'n'fail's Avatar
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    Great job Prosody. It's always so exciting to reach our goals. Keep pushing.
    I'm looking for 1,200 people who think that $10 is a reasonable price to say that you think cancer research should be a national priority.

    Please read my personal story and donate at:
    http://www.livestrongchallenge.org/06PA/vesper

  11. #11
    Are we having fun yet? Prosody's Avatar
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    Woohoo! I rode the same route this afternoon and decided to really push it. 17.5 mph.
    You're east of East St. Louis
    And the wind is making speeches.

  12. #12
    Victoria's secret MsVicki's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Prosody
    Woohoo! I rode the same route this afternoon and decided to really push it. 17.5 mph.
    Way to go!
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

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    Great average! You have got me beat by a mile ( literaly ). I'd like to see how fast I can burn 10 miles.
    Ted Davis John 3:16
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    Bianchi Campione - a really sweet bike

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    Da Big Kahuna
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    Originally posted by Prosody
    Woohoo! I rode the same route this afternoon and decided to really push it. 17.5 mph.
    STOP IT! You aren't supposed to improve by over 1 mph each time you set a personal record! You make me really feel stuck!

    Bob

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    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Crankin'!

    (Good job.)
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

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    Crank Crushing Redneck SamDaBikinMan's Avatar
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    What really sucks when trying to measure performance improvements is the unknown time to be spent dealing with the intersections. Today I had to slow for two intersections but not stop and was able to blow thru the third which was nice and bested my personal time for an 8 mile stretch by almost 30 seconds.

    If it had not been for slowing at crossings I bet it could have been closer to a full minute once you factor in deceleration and acceleration time.

    There is one nice stretch of road I visit from time to time that is a solid 10.5 miles predominately flat road with absolutely no interesections. I go there when I am dead serious about measuring my personal capabilities. If there is no wind it makes the perfect time trial road. It parallels a railroad.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  17. #17
    Da Big Kahuna
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    Originally posted by SamDaBikinMan
    What really sucks when trying to measure performance improvements is the unknown time to be spent dealing with the intersections. Today I had to slow for two intersections but not stop and was able to blow thru the third which was nice and bested my personal time for an 8 mile stretch by almost 30 seconds.

    If it had not been for slowing at crossings I bet it could have been closer to a full minute once you factor in deceleration and acceleration time.
    I know about intersections! I have 57 traffic lights and two other possible stops on my 12.5 mile route!

    However, I don't know if your two slowdowns cost you 30 seconds. I did some testing where I would be riding 15 mph, stop as fast as possible, and accelerate as quick as I could back to 15 mph. I kept repeating this for a certain distance and compared the time to what a steady 15 mph would be.

    It didn't make a huge difference - maybe 7 seconds each time and 3 of those seconds are the ones the computer ticks off before it decides you have really stopped!

    Now, since I stopped as quickly as possible and accellerated the same way, I was minimizing the lost time. More typical riding would waste more time. Also, if you are starting from a higher speed, it would make a bigger difference.

    On the other hand, you said you never had to actually stop so those extra 3 seconds I experienced wouldn't come into play.

    Bob

  18. #18
    Da Big Kahuna
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    Well, I finally accomplished something new today. I've been a bit frustrated by not being able to set any new speed records for months. Now that I have put heavy Armadillo tires on my bike to deal with my flat problem, it will likely mean it will take even longer before I can do so.

    So I decided to try to deal with another thing I really hate - hills. To date, my longest hill has been 1 mile and it is a pretty steep one - at least to me. Today, after riding about 13 miles and eating breakfast, I rode another few miles to the start of the climb up Tantalus. This is a long road up through a housing area on the slopes of where the mountains start near Honolulu.

    I rode up something over 2.5 miles to a park (didn't know it was there) and decided to check it out. So I followed the drive into the park (uphill another 3rd of a mile or so). What a view! I could see darn near everything from far east of Diamond Head, all the way to many miles west of Honolulu.

    Then I continued to go up Tantalus. I didn't know how far it was, but I thought I must be near the top. Well, no, I actually had two more miles to go! I guess altogether I climbed about 5 miles. Going down was not a lot better. The brake system on my bike simply isn't a good system, plus my hands are small, making it hard to get good leverage. So I was killing myself going down for 5 miles trying to hold those brakes so I wouldn't go too fast on the hairpin turns. I had to stop a number of times just to rest my hands!

    But, at least I made it and then rode another 10 miles home. I might even do it again sometime - but it sure won't be tomorrow!

    Oh, for the record, I used my lowest gear just about all the way up (28/32) and was pretty much going 5 - 5.5 mph.

    Bob (70 flatless miles and counting)

  19. #19
    Are we having fun yet? Prosody's Avatar
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    Congratulations on the climb. Five mile climbs are unheard of around here. I bet it was beautiful all the way.
    You're east of East St. Louis
    And the wind is making speeches.

  20. #20
    Da Big Kahuna
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    Thanks. It is nice to know I can do it (even if - because of the stop in the park - it was done in two parts. I'm pretty sure I could have gone another mile without stopping to rest if I wished. Don't know if I could have gone all the way.

    I think the preferred way of going up this hill is the opposite of how I went. I went counter-clockwise, but everyone else I saw was going the other way. Since I know there is a preferred way (I couldn't remember what it was), I need to check on the reasons. Coming down, there seemed to be a lot of extended places where the road was well shaded. That would help going up. But the shade also caused trouble going down because there was a lot of light specks where the sun got through and it made it very hard to see bumps and ruts (there were plenty of those!). I don't know if there are other advantages or not.

    Bob

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    I can relate to the improvements. I have a 17-18 mile ride that I do on a regular basis. It has some moderate hills and some flats as well. Started out this spring averaging 16-16.3. Am now consistently above 17.5. Did 17.9 the other day. Do a short 7.5 mile when pushed for time and managed a 19.23 the other day.

  22. #22
    Are we having fun yet? Prosody's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Duffy
    I can relate to the improvements. I have a 17-18 mile ride that I do on a regular basis. It has some moderate hills and some flats as well. Started out this spring averaging 16-16.3. Am now consistently above 17.5. Did 17.9 the other day. Do a short 7.5 mile when pushed for time and managed a 19.23 the other day.
    Excellent averages! Some day I might reach that average.
    You're east of East St. Louis
    And the wind is making speeches.

  23. #23
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    Originally posted by Prosody
    Woohoo! I rode the same route this afternoon and decided to really push it. 17.5 mph.
    That is great! I pushed it for the 1st half of my 22 mile route. I had 16.9 avg the first half. I rested about 30 minutes and took off back to the starting point. The return is much more down hill, but my average dropped to 16.4. I was just too beat to push as hard as I did heading out. If I can hit 17.x by the end of July, I will be happy. I get a lot of 20,21,22 mph time on the very slight downhills. On the first half, I worked very hard on keeping a good cadence. I don't know what rpm, but it was one that I was comfortable with. Best -
    Ted Davis John 3:16
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    Milestone! Averaged 18.01 for the 17 miles today.

  25. #25
    Da Big Kahuna
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    Well, I rode up Tantalus again today. It wasn't planned. I started with one of my pretty aggressive rides to Waikiki and normally after one of those, I'm just going to take it easy when I go home.

    But I wanted to check the early part of Tantalus because I had missed a turn the last time, so I figured I'd ride a little bit just to be sure where it was - and then I just kept going!

    This time I was going around the route in the opposite direction, which helped. Though it did involve 5 uphill miles without a break (the other way I stopped at a park a bit over halfway), it allowed me to have a lot more shade going uphill. Also, going back down the other side, I was more in the sun which made it much easier to see any bad spots in the road. There were also fewer sharp turns so I didn't have to ride the brakes the whole way.

    And after all that, I still was able to pass a couple of road bikers on the way home! Always nice to pass young people!

    Bob (227 miles: 1 rear flat)

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