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Old 12-10-07, 06:21 AM   #1
tdister
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11 mph avg into the wind...opinions?

Rode to my buddies and it took 59 minutes (including a ~2 min rest).

According to Google maps, the route I took was 10.21 miles long. According to my fav weather site we had winds ranging from 12-14 in this hour and though I wasn't always riding directly into it, it was aimed exactly from his house to mine. 80% of the route i had a near direct headwind. The entire route is long gradual hills. I think more uphill than down. A few stop signs and lights thrown in, but mostly open road.

If it matters, I had on MTB shorts, a tight jersey and an ~6-7 lb backpack. No drop bars...flat with bar ends. I'm 5' 11" and ~149 lbs.

Not exactly sure where I'm going with this, just curious what any of you more experienced riders think. I was feeling like I could have kept going for a ways at the same pace, but I'm not sure I could have pumped much harder than I did without needing another break somewhere (going farther or no).

Discounting my intended break and my estimated time at stop lights, I get just over 11 MPH. Is this closer to pathetic or "normal" ? I'm proud of myself either way, I gave it a good run and didn't let the wind talk me into driving.
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Old 12-10-07, 09:23 AM   #2
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A head wind can really take it out of you. I would say you were pretty close to normal.

If you are curious about the elevation gain, this site is pretty cool:
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BTW, what part of Austin are you in. My wife and I lived off of Far West, some 20 years ago. I've also got several friends down at Duval & Keonig.
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Old 12-10-07, 09:26 AM   #3
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12-14 mph isn't considered wind here in Kansas.
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Old 12-10-07, 09:38 AM   #4
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Likewise in CO.
That would be a nice breeze. I had 10 miles into a 30-40 mph headwind last week going uphill for 10 miles. My speeds ranged from 5 mph to 15 mph on my CF tarmac.
That was painful. My ears were almost ringing from the incessant howling. Still not sure if that was a good idea or not but I am still here.

In the OPs case I think his times were decent.
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Old 12-10-07, 09:40 AM   #5
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My last tour, I spent half a day fighting the wind and doing 5-6 mph.
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Old 12-10-07, 09:48 AM   #6
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Sounds decent to me.

Do you have a speedometer? (Oops, computer). $10 at Walmart. It will give you average speed. BUT, it stops the time when you stop (like at a redlight). When you hear most people giving average speed, that's how they're figuring it. The half-hour they spent resting under a tree doesn't get figured in.

Watch your route. If you can find a route that is more sheltered, it may help with the wind.
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Old 12-10-07, 10:20 AM   #7
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closer to pathetic.

hey u asked.

you should have droped the hamer on that wind
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Old 12-10-07, 10:29 AM   #8
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Headwind is like hill training, but more convenient.
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Old 12-10-07, 10:30 AM   #9
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Heh, heh... I average 11 mph overall!

Slow race anyone?
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Old 12-10-07, 10:40 AM   #10
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I was riding on a stormy day last spring and saw my speed dropped to 10MPH from 20MPH during a windgust of 40-50 mph. I averaged 11 MPH that day riding a folding bike with wind coming from all directions. 11MPH is not a bad speed average when cycling into the wind.
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Old 12-10-07, 11:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdister View Post
Rode to my buddies and it took 59 minutes (including a ~2 min rest).

According to Google maps, the route I took was 10.21 miles long. According to my fav weather site we had winds ranging from 12-14 in this hour and though I wasn't always riding directly into it, it was aimed exactly from his house to mine. 80% of the route i had a near direct headwind. The entire route is long gradual hills. I think more uphill than down. A few stop signs and lights thrown in, but mostly open road.

If it matters, I had on MTB shorts, a tight jersey and an ~6-7 lb backpack. No drop bars...flat with bar ends. I'm 5' 11" and ~149 lbs.

Not exactly sure where I'm going with this, just curious what any of you more experienced riders think. I was feeling like I could have kept going for a ways at the same pace, but I'm not sure I could have pumped much harder than I did without needing another break somewhere (going farther or no).

Discounting my intended break and my estimated time at stop lights, I get just over 11 MPH. Is this closer to pathetic or "normal" ? I'm proud of myself either way, I gave it a good run and didn't let the wind talk me into driving.
You don' tell us how steep the hills are. So it is hard to say how the effort was.

Reality check: Since you are 5'11" and 149 pounds you don't seem to be at all overweight and the 6-7 pound backpack is pretty light and should not effect you too much except on steeper hills.

It is a better effort than most totally casual riders can do but far less than good riders can do.

I'm 5'10" 212 and overweight and I think based on what you describe I would maintain 14-17 mph average over similar course. But we don't know exactly how steep the hills you describe are so this could be off. To me a gradual hill is one that I can sustain a pretty good pace on with only dropping one gear over a flat course.
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Old 12-10-07, 03:25 PM   #12
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I'm actually in the Cedar Park area, just north of Austin. The wind speeds I got were for Austin...no idea if they were accurate for my exact area. If I was guessing, I would say they felt a bit stronger for most of my ride (like they were being funneled to the more open roads I was riding) but can't say for sure. I can tell you the flags were flying very well...

No idea on the elevation gains and lost or the hill grades. You have to understand that truly flat for any length decent length is pretty rare here. If I only drop one gear it is just a gentle grade and not a hill to me. I was dropping 2-3 depending on how flat it was before most hills...The "steep" hill near my house requires going down 4-5.

I had a $10 Bell computer but it only worked for a week. haven't taken it back yet.

I started riding again a few months ago. I ride for an hour plus 3-4 times a week. I quit smoking about the same time I started riding. I think my question has been answered about as good as it can be. thanks for the opinions and info.
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Old 12-10-07, 06:41 PM   #13
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12-14 mph isn't considered wind here in Kansas.
Or Manitoba and parts of Alberta. That's only 19-22 km/h ... a fairly standard, everyday wind.

However 11 mph into that breeze wasn't too bad.
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Old 12-10-07, 09:07 PM   #14
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When I ride my heavy, heavy mountain bike type bike, I average around 12 mph. If I'm riding one of my lighter bikes with skinnier 700c wheels, I go a lot faster. But honestly, I don't care. I had computers on my bikes and I took them off. I ride because it feels good and I want the exercise. How fast I go only matters to me inasmuch as I need to plan ahead enough to be somewhere by a certain time.
My advice is this: don't worry about how fast you go. Just enjoy the ride! If worry too much about going faster or longer or whatever, you might just ruin it. But that's just me. I know a lot of people enjoy keeping track of their stats.
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Old 12-11-07, 06:59 AM   #15
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Note most weather stations measure wind at about 32'. The wind speed decreases as you get closer to the ground so if you watch the weather and it is says 15mph wind it will be less at ground level. I get a kick out of the people that say they ride against a 40mph wind, if you did the calculation on a flat road in the drops going 10mph against a 40mph wind a 145lb rider requires 428 watts of sustained power, you should race if you are doing this. Adding rider weight, slope etc just increases the watts needed.

If the wind at ground level is 15mph holding a pace of 15mph is about 250 watts which is much more reasonable for a fit cyclist to maintain.
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Old 12-11-07, 07:02 AM   #16
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i think the avg. speed was okay considering the sloping terrain and the wind. my question is why did you stop to rest. you shouldn't have to stop during a one hour ride unless of course you want to take in the scenery. if you needed to stop (to catch your breath) you were probably outpacing yourself (or you recently got back on the bike again).
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Old 12-11-07, 12:16 PM   #17
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My legs were unhappy...and I got a small bottle of Cognac at the liq store . The break/stop was actually about 10 min into the ride. I didn't get a warm-up in other than a quick stretch. After getting my engine warm and idling for a minute, I was ready for the rest of the ride.

The first mile of my route included a busy section of narrow 45 mph road, so I was pumping a little harder than I should have been on cold muscles. I generally find a short break after getting warmed, whether it's calisthenics or riding, is needed and/or helpful. I had two off days since my last ride, I am trying to add muscle mass too and these two activities can compete with each other.

If asked, I would not proclaim myself a "fit cyclist" just yet. Maybe more fit than your average person, but these day that means very little.
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Old 12-11-07, 12:46 PM   #18
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I really like the fact that when riding a bicycle, you're not detached from your surroundings, quite the opposite in fact. Wind and gravity, for example, can be your best friends or your worst enemies, it just depends which way you're going. Regardless, I love being out there and feeling it, going with the flow, fighting to make my way forward, whatever it takes.
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Old 12-14-07, 09:09 AM   #19
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wind? WIND is 45 MPH and gusting WAY above that coming down la veta pass in southern CO recently. hit 4 MPH spinning like mad (this coming DOWN the pass) . spent the day before doing the same thing (only 20-30 mph sinds though) coming into walsenburg. I was somewhat more fortunate in kansas the few days before colorado. basically, In the west, going west in the fall sucks.
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Old 12-15-07, 03:37 PM   #20
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11 mph anytime for me would be slow. I suppose that would be close to my average in deepish snow, but rare that i would average 11 mph. My last century (100 miles), I averaged 19.3 mph. So that would be slow for me.

But who cares? There are people that are a lot faster than me, and while it's ok to see where you compare to others, the main thing is to not get caught up in it. Unless you are racing or looking to get discouraged, i would ignore avg. mph and just enjoy the ride.
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Old 12-18-07, 11:05 AM   #21
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I can easily maintain 16-17 mph against a 20+ mph headwind. But of course I'm in the drops and in a much more aerodynamic position. If I want to "push" I can go faster than that... however, I NEVER feel like I must take a break (unless I'm doing hill, speed or sprint intervals). I guess what it boils down to is your level of fitness.
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Old 12-18-07, 12:15 PM   #22
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Considering the OP was more than likely riding a Trek 7.3FX, I would say this is a decent average. Comparing averages on a road bike to a fitness/touring hybrid bike design is like comparing apples to oranges.
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Old 12-18-07, 12:26 PM   #23
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We had a few days this fall where the winds were gusting up to 60 kmh (35 mph) and while on my rather lightweight and fast touring bike I was managing 30 kmh (19 mph) and when I put the hammer down was pushing 40 kmh on my 9 mile commute... the next day I though my legs were going to fall off.
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Old 12-19-07, 03:31 AM   #24
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I can easily maintain 16-17 mph against a 20+ mph headwind. But of course I'm in the drops and in a much more aerodynamic position. If I want to "push" I can go faster than that... however, I NEVER feel like I must take a break (unless I'm doing hill, speed or sprint intervals). I guess what it boils down to is your level of fitness.

You are lance Armstrong and ICMFP

alternatively, you are full of it.

17mph into a 20mph headwind is 411W. If you can 'easily' maintain this, I suggest you enter the TDF.
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Old 12-19-07, 03:58 AM   #25
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slightly slow. Try 30 mph winds. I suspect not having drops is a disadvantage. Can't tuck yourself in a low position minimizing wind drag. Suspect your cycling buddies felt you were slowing them down. ?
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