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Old 08-26-06, 03:19 PM   #1
jschen
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A minor ride report: best average speed

Since we have our own little corner of BikeForums now, I don't feel too bad posting a minor ride report. So here it goes...

I've been off the bike this week thanks to unusually long days in the lab, mostly because of a one week special lecture series that was going on at work. (Oh well... that means I should have fresh legs, right?) So I decided to take a relatively flat route, ie my Miramar MCAS loop. ~18 miles, no need for a small chainring except in two small inclines on the home stretch. This flat-ish route is where I set my previous best average speed of 16.8 MPH about a month ago.

The ride started out pretty miserably, with a noticeable headwind on the eastward leg. Ouch. At least it would mean a tailwind later, right? So I rode hard in the outbound direction, intending to let a tailwind help me sail home afterward. A pretty uneventful southbound leg saw two cyclists with flat tires--separate incidents--but they assured me they were okay, so I continued on my way. The westbound leg indeed had a nice tailwind, so it was very enjoyable. Nice high speeds with relatively low effort. Then I got pretty tired out by the minor inclines on the northbound home stretch. The second minor incline, a tiny "hill" I usually don't really pay much attention to, hurt today. And I was about 2 MPH slower than usual there. (That's what I get for being off the bike, I guess.) But I got back in 60:58 ride time, for an average speed of 17.7 MPH. Almost an entire MPH faster than my previous best! I didn't think I could get under the one hour mark on this ride this year, but now it's looking like a realistic possibility.

I guess I have my flat ground legs back. Just need to get my climbing legs back before next Saturday's GMR/GRR/Baldy ride. And thanks to all the faster SoCal riders I've had the privilege of riding with. There's nothing like chasing you guys on our group rides to help me push harder and get faster.
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Old 08-26-06, 03:26 PM   #2
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Actually, being off the bike for a week sometimes does wonders. Congratulations on your new course PR!..

I been busy this week also. This was my first Sat that I had to work in a very long time, thus missing my usual Sat morning ride. I rode solo Thurs at the Rose Bowl, jumping in the main pack for just 1 lap when this moron in the middle of the pack apparently overlapped wheels, taking about 5 people down, this happening practically right in front of me.
I'll ride again on Wed & Thurs before our ride up GMR. Looking forward to that one!

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Old 08-26-06, 04:00 PM   #3
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Did you get those Rolf's yet?
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Old 08-26-06, 04:02 PM   #4
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The LBS near my parents' place has my Rolfs waiting for me. I plan on picking them up next Sunday when I visit for Labor Day weekend. (Saturday if the group ride wraps up before they close.)
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Old 08-26-06, 04:18 PM   #5
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Great stuff jschen! Good job!!
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Old 08-26-06, 06:46 PM   #6
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You ROCK Jason! Great job on the new PR!!!

Trac'
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Old 08-26-06, 08:18 PM   #7
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Thanks Tracy. Given that the previous PR was only a month ago, 0.9 MPH is a huge jump. I'm not really sure what to attribute the change to. So I attribute a lot of it to chasing faster people around on recent group rides. It's probably forcing me to get used to tolerating a slightly higher level of exertion. Yeah, it's the R3's maiden ride on my speed loop, but a change of bike to one that has little consideration for aero shouldn't make much a difference on flat ground.
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Old 08-27-06, 05:19 AM   #8
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well... there's a lot to be said for chasin' those faster riders around eventually, I hope that will work for me too! ... okay off to big bear

t~
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Old 08-27-06, 05:30 AM   #9
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Have fun! (Boy are you up early!)
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Old 08-27-06, 06:21 AM   #10
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AWESOME job jason!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you both are up early! i slept in til 5 today!
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Old 08-27-06, 03:16 PM   #11
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Yeah that's awesome! 17.7 solo on a flat course for one hour is great!
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Old 08-27-06, 05:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschen
Yeah, it's the R3's maiden ride on my speed loop, but a change of bike to one that has little consideration for aero shouldn't make much a difference on flat ground.
I doubt the bike will make much of a difference at that speed. Even for pros averaging 30+mph in TT the difference isn't that big. However the position of the rider could. Is your saddle to bar drop on your R3 similar to your Roubaix?
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Old 08-27-06, 06:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pico
I doubt the bike will make much of a difference at that speed. Even for pros averaging 30+mph in TT the difference isn't that big. However the position of the rider could. Is your saddle to bar drop on your R3 similar to your Roubaix?
Drop is within a quarter inch of each other, maybe even closer. Same reach. Same leg extension from the saddle height. (Slightly different heights due to different shoe/pedal combo.) That's why I think it's because I've been chasing others around at group rides recently, making me get used to riding harder on flat ground. (There's no way I improved my sustainable power output by ~15% in one month. But it's possible I'm riding at a level of exertion closer to my sustainable power output.)
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Old 08-31-06, 09:20 AM   #14
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Sorry about bumping my own thread... just felt like sharing an update.

Decided to ride the same loop today and try to break one hour and 18 MPH. It was nice and cool, and the wind seemed a bit calmer, so it seemed like perfect conditions to go for it. Checked my computer after about 1.5 miles. Only 17 MPH average so far? Well, I guess that includes lots of intersections/turns near the beginning and warm-up time, so no big deal. It's probably right on pace. The overall plan from here was simple. Go at a pace that causes my legs to hurt a bit all the time, and hope to have a bit in reserve for the two minor inclines on the home stretch. And if I burn out along the way, so be it. I could simply limp home at a reduced speed.

Got going along the eastward leg and determined the wind to be relatively light and from east or ENE. Okay, cool... just hold a good effort on this leg, and my average speed should pick up on the southward and westward legs. Got to the end of the eastward leg, briefly checked my cyclocomputer, saw a 18.3 MPH average speed. Right on schedule. Picked up the pace (but not effort, thanks to change in relative wind direction) on the southward and westward legs. Not much to pay attention to other than simply keeping my cadence nice and high (aimed for 95-105 RPM today to help keep my power up since my legs aren't that strong) and pedaling smoothly. And watching out for cars at intersections. At the end of the westward leg, I checked again. 19.3 MPH! Hey, maybe I can keep up that 19 MPH average on the home stretch. Though my legs are kind of hurting.

There are two downhills and two "climbs" on the home stretch. The downhills were a nice reprieve from working hard, but the climbs really hurt. In an effort to keep my average speed up, I climbed the first incline a tiny bit faster than usual. Boy that hurt. Good thing it was immediately followed by the second downhill. That left the final climb before a 2 minute flat-ish ride home. I felt pretty tired by then, but downshifted to a really low gear and tried to just spin as hard as I could. Somehow, knowing I could set a new PR helped me keep my speed up around where it normally would be. Got home in 56:05 (ride time) for an average speed of 19.2 MPH.
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Old 08-31-06, 09:26 AM   #15
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Sandbagger!

Well done.
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Old 08-31-06, 09:29 AM   #16
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you are AWESOME!

he's not a sandbagger so far! he's admitting to his abilities (unlike one of the drunks we know! now SHE's a sandbagger! )
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Old 08-31-06, 09:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fixer
Actually, being off the bike for a week sometimes does wonders.
Will being off the bike for a month do super wonders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jschen
Somehow, knowing I could set a new PR helped me keep my speed up around where it normally would be. Got home in 56:05 (ride time) for an average speed of 19.2 MPH.
Jason, having read through many of your ride reports I will say that I am not surprised by ability to set a PR at that speed. I find that riding fast near you limits is as much mental as it is physical. Once you get past a mental barrier you will be surprised at just how fast you can go.

Great job!
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Old 08-31-06, 10:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschen
Got home in 56:05 (ride time) for an average speed of 19.2 MPH.
Wow, that's great.
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Old 08-31-06, 10:30 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Got home in 56:05 (ride time) for an average speed of 19.2 MPH.
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Old 08-31-06, 10:35 AM   #20
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Smokin! Nice job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jschen
Got home in 56:05 (ride time) for an average speed of 19.2 MPH.
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Old 08-31-06, 10:36 AM   #21
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Good job. I've found that after time off the bike, I turn in my best commute times. So far, I've done a couple 19 mph averages, but I'm usually around 18.3-18.5 on the way in. If you go out and try to run 19 and change the very next day, your average will most likely drop. I commute Tues-Thurs, and Tuesdays are always the fastest.

What's your MCAS route? I plotted my commute on http://www.bikely.com search for Santee.

Any of you guys planning on the TT in October? I may or may not do it depending on if I crew for the 508. I've found it's a great tool to use to gauge your performance throughout the year. Do an early spring one, and then compare the times in Sept/Oct.
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Old 08-31-06, 10:41 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleave
I find that riding fast near you limits is as much mental as it is physical.
That's what I've learned from last Saturday and today. I'm clearly not 2.4 MPH faster physically than I was a month ago. I'm mostly making myself ride harder than I used to think I could handle. (Last Saturday because of an annoying headwind on the eastward leg. Today because of a target time.)
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Old 08-31-06, 10:47 AM   #23
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What's your MCAS route?
Get out of apartment complex to Nobel Dr and Regents Rd. North on Regents Rd to La Jolla Village Dr. East on La Jolla Village Dr/Miramar Rd to Kearny Villa Rd. South on Kearny Villa Rd to Clairemont Mesa Blvd. West on Clairmont Mesa Blvd to Genesee Ave. North on Genesee Ave to Nobel Dr. Return to apartment complex. Start and stop timing at my apartment.
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Old 08-31-06, 11:12 AM   #24
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Get out of apartment complex to Nobel Dr and Regents Rd. North on Regents Rd to La Jolla Village Dr. East on La Jolla Village Dr/Miramar Rd to Kearny Villa Rd. South on Kearny Villa Rd to Clairemont Mesa Blvd. West on Clairmont Mesa Blvd to Genesee Ave. North on Genesee Ave to Nobel Dr. Return to apartment complex. Start and stop timing at my apartment.
Good deal. You find yourself maintaining a higher speed on the flats, or on the Genessee climbs? It's been awhile, but you have 2 pretty healthy ones going North on Genessee. I'm buying my buddies older powertap so I can start evaluating ride data. Overlay two rides at different times, etc. Should be interesting.
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Old 08-31-06, 11:29 AM   #25
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Definitely a higher average speed on the flats. (A higher max speed on Genessee, though. Hit 42.x MPH today descending toward CA-52.) A Powertap, huh? That should give some cool data to play with. As for me, I really ought to get myself a heartrate monitor so that I have a means of guaging effort other than perceived exertion.
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