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Average speed cycling alone

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Old 07-15-03, 09:45 AM
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jester69
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Average speed cycling alone

Hey all,

I am new back into cycling and thinking about group riding.

I was wondering, you see people saying this group averages XX mph, but that is a paceline/peloton kinda speed, so one pulls/drafts and the overall average is probably higher than what one can do alone.

What would yuou guys say is a good way to compare avg speed without drafting to average speed with drafting.

I/e If I can average 15 MPH alone, would I select a 17 or 20 mph paceline group?

Basically I am looking to make a goal on my alone training of averaging X miles per hour, then go ride with others once I know I can keep up.

take care,

Jester
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Old 07-15-03, 10:02 AM
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SipperPhoto
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Jester,

By myself I average around 16-17 mph... but when I'm riding with a group.. I can usually up it a couple miles... try to find a big guy to draft off of :-) My suggestion would be to try and hang with the fast group, and see how you do... it may be a lot of work.. 2-5 mph more always does.... but yanever know... you may be ok

Jeff
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Old 07-15-03, 10:33 AM
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Alone, I usually average +/- 17-18 mph (30-40 miles) on a rolling terrain w/out a ton of climbing (just a few relatively short climbs)

On the same route with my team I finish at +/- 23 mph average.

The size of the group (20-30 riders) plus the added incentive of riding hard (we do a lot of sprints) with my teammates adds the extra oomph to get to the next level.

Try the 17mph group and see how you like it. If it's too slow, move up to the next group.
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Old 07-15-03, 10:40 AM
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ChipRGW
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If you have not ridden with a group, go with a slower group than you think you can ride. If for no other reason than to learn group riding skills. Failure to follow proper group etiquette, can get you or other riders in the group wrecked and injured. With a slower group you'll be more able to deal with learning, rather than just thinking about hammering all the time.
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Old 07-15-03, 10:48 AM
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mjolnir2k
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Originally posted by ChipRGW
If you have not ridden with a group, go with a slower group than you think you can ride. If for no other reason than to learn group riding skills. Failure to follow proper group etiquette, can get you or other riders in the group wrecked and injured. With a slower group you'll be more able to deal with learning, rather than just thinking about hammering all the time.
This is EXCELLENT advice!

There is NOTHING worse than having someone jump into a fast group ride who has never ridden in a pack before.

The pack is a dangerous place to be if you are not comfortable riding THISCLOSE to the guy next to you and in front of you. One wrong touch of the brakes or a swerve at the wrong time can be disasterous.

Definately spend some time learning how to ride in a big group. It's not as easy as it might appear.
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Old 07-15-03, 11:00 AM
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The reason I say this, and emphasize it, is my club.
We have a few riders that show up to group rides, whos "paceline skills" are terrible. It is truly scary to ride with them. Some other riders, refuse to ride with these folks. Most of the time, however, the scary riders are ones that are out for thier first or second club ride. They've been training for a long time and are pretty strong riders. So they go out with the "Advanced" group. Most of the riders in the advanced group have developed most of thier strength, riding with the group. They are very comfortable riding shoulder to shoulder, with a couple inches spacing. The newbie, gets in there and at 20+ mph, it becomes VERY dangerous.
I have been toying with the idea of proposing a "group ride primer class" for new people to come ride with our club. Once a month or so, we'd have a little class, where new riders, slow and fast alike, could come and learn paceline basics. First some basic skills in the parking lot, with one on one instruction, and then a short, easy pace group ride. I'd also consider a little basic roadside mechanical skills section too. Too many times, I've had to help someone change a flat, because they had no idea how.
[/end rant]
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Old 07-15-03, 11:09 AM
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Every race I did it was obvious who the people were who had not done any group riding. They made the whole thing so much more dangerous.

Here are my top three favorite bike racing incidents:

1. Saw a frame pump rolling down the road in the middle of the pack. Who the hell carries a pump during a race? You flat and you're finished anyway.

2. Saw a couple guys wearing Camelbacks. I still can't believe it. This is a 40 mile race, not the ride across Iowa.

3. Finally, I saw a bad crash when some yahoo's front wheel came off. Not the tire - the whole wheel. Being able to properly use a quick release should be one of the first things you learn.

Anyway, I could ride alone at 21 mph for a few miles and took part in many 27 mph pacelines.
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Old 07-15-03, 11:20 AM
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Originally posted by Laggard
Anyway, I could ride alone at 21 mph for a few miles and took part in many 27 mph pacelines.
Ditto for me. First time, I was amazed at how fast I could go in the group. I hung in the back, tried to be calm and hold a straight line, and watch and learn. After a while, I even learned to go out and bridge a gap. Fun times.
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Old 07-15-03, 11:49 AM
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What a great feeling. Flying down the road at 27-28 mph in a 20 rider paceline. The only thing you're thinking about is you, your bike and the guy ahead of you.

It's amazing that a lot of these pacelines took place at the end of the ride on the way back into town. I was always amazed that I could bust my ass for 40 miles and finish off the ride like that.
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Old 07-15-03, 12:30 PM
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Based on my own experience I would say my solo average represents about 80-85% of my paceline ability.ie when I was racing and could consistently average 22-23 solo then I was able to ride in groups at 25-28 mph on flats if we swapped off the front on a good rotation.
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Old 07-15-03, 12:58 PM
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When I started out this year I was at around 15-16. I had trained only lightly all winter. Now I can push hard on a flat road and do 20-21 on a 40 mile ride. 19.5 or so on a tempo ride. On a 57 mile hilly ride I did recently (several .5 to 1 mile climbs) I did around 19. My faster rides include interval sessions. I have not ridden group or raced for a month or two due to weekends being all botched with other crap (I'll spare my sob stories). I wonder if I need to up my average speed any more or just focus now on climbing and sprinting faster...
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Old 07-15-03, 02:20 PM
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deliriou5
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phew you guys go fast...

man i want to get back on my bike so badly.....
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Old 07-16-03, 12:15 AM
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When I first started riding last summer I immediately started doing group rides. My paceline skills didn't matter, as I was dropped by the last group (of 3 or 4) on my first ride. By the end of summer I was comfortably riding in the 2nd group so I started to try to hang with the first group. Tonight's ride was the first time I stayed w/ the first group the entire way. As it's a somewhat hilly route, it felt pretty good to hang with the skinny guys since I carry around 230lbs.

Since I ride a tri-bike, sometimes to don't notice a huge difference in mph unless we're really hammering in the group. I'll ride 19-21mph alone and tonight's ride averaged a litte over 21 mph, but the route has much more traffic than when I ride alone.

I would recommend riding with a slower group at first until you get comfortable with your skills and then try to ride with the faster group if you feel like pushing it.
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