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Question for 20+ mph avg commuters

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Question for 20+ mph avg commuters

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Old 05-29-18, 09:13 PM
  #1  
Limpingbass
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Question for 20+ mph avg commuters

When I was commuting a lot more often, I am not a fast rider, but I didn't get passed that often either. Granted, I was on a fixed gear cyclocross frame but I made sure I had slick 28mm tires. I would average maybe 15 mph? on a good day. Into Boston, over 7-10 miles.

Then I see numbers like 20+ mph in commuting forum?? I am thinking these guys are fast riders to begin with but their commutes have to be in rural/suburban flat terrain, no?

Can some of you share your routes, please? For inspiration... Would anyone average 20+mph commuting into a decent-sized city?
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Old 05-30-18, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Limpingbass View Post

Then I see numbers like 20+ mph in commuting forum??
It's all bull**** and exaggeration. Some people believe that posting big numbers will give them more credibility on internet forums. .....You just can't average 20+++mph when there are frequent traffic lights, stops signs and a lot of traffic. Also things such as wind direction and hills have a lot to do with speed averages....20+++ mph averages are only possible on internet forums and not in the real world.
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Old 05-30-18, 05:15 AM
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mcours2006
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With all the lights it's not possible to average 20+, and even a few lights it's difficult to do so. If you're route is short, mostly flat with few turns and few lights, then sure, it's doable...with some help from the wind.
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Old 05-30-18, 05:27 AM
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Some people are fast. Others are liars.
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Old 05-30-18, 05:40 AM
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Most of my commute is this https://goo.gl/maps/n8EnGDm15zJ2 without showing the endpoints of where I live or work. I have made that portion at 20mph average every once in awhile, but 18-20 average is typical. Only a couple of lights, flat and sheltered from the wind. I try for 20 only when there is practically no one on the Greenway.
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Old 05-30-18, 05:40 AM
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For a faster rider doing my route i would say someone could easily average 20+ mph doing my ride. I'm slow and I average 11.5 mph for a 7.5 mile ride. However, there are a lot of things in favor for a faster ride. First of all, if someone rode on the road doing my route, they wouldn't really have any stops to slow them up since all the traffic light intersections have pretty much been replaced by roundabouts. Second, I'm in Indiana and there are really no hills on my entire route. Sure there are some inclines but most of you would consider them speed bumps not hills. I've talked to a few others around here that are bike commuting and most of them seem to be in the 10 -15 mph range but they also say they aren't really pushing it. I don't ride the roads and use our MUP system to get around so I do get slowed up at the roundabouts since I'm using the crosswalks to go through them but I still get through them pretty quickly.

I do see how someone could do the 20+mph average but I would think they have some pretty nice conditions that work in their favor. I'd rather take me time and enjoy the sights and sounds.
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Old 05-30-18, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
It's all bull**** and exaggeration. Some people believe that posting big numbers will give them more credibility on internet forums. .....You just can't average 20+++mph when there are frequent traffic lights, stops signs and a lot of traffic.
My situation exactly. I'm lucky if I can get 13 (good) on my hybrid, and roughly 2-3 mph slower than if I were on a road bike.
Also things such as wind direction and hills have a lot to do with speed averages....20+++ mph averages are only possible on internet forums and not in the real world.
The truth has never been spoken so succinctly.
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Old 05-30-18, 06:03 AM
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Couple of short stops, favourable winds, mostly highway = occasional 20+mph commute. Normal round trip avg in the summer is around 30.5 kph (19mph).

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Old 05-30-18, 06:32 AM
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Averaging 20+ MPH on any ride is a challenge, and not likely on a urban route (unless you have greenway routes that keep you away from lights and traffic).

This is my old commuting route with my fastest ride home (I don't work or live at these locations any more, so no risk sharing). It is a rolling route, but I had a good tail wind and on a road bike, plus it's a suburban route with only 4 or 5 of stop lights.

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Old 05-30-18, 06:43 AM
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My commute is 9.5 km (6 mi) one way, with 17-18 traffic lights on my way. Best I've done is around 24 kph average (15 mph), and I don't see much options to improve on it, since no matter how hard you pedal between the traffic lights you always have to stop at one or the next. The only way would be doing it sometime in the night and skipping red lights.
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Old 05-30-18, 06:49 AM
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My commute, through downtown Atlanta, averaging 20mph just not possible. I donít really think I could do it driving either since it takes about the same time for me to drive my 9 miles as it does to bike it.

Maybe other people can do it in other parts of the world. For me though, my comfortable cruising speed is about 15mph, which makes the commute average out to about 12mph including hills and stops. Yeah, I have a 30lb Surly with panniers, so itís not exactly fast. But I just canít really imagine averaging 5mph faster. There are lots of folks in little road bikes that pass me everyday, but they are never that much faster and I can generally keep up if I push it.

I doubt people who who quote high average speeds, but I could be wrong. But why do that on a commute? I want to be reasonably comfortable. Averaging 20mph on a road bike that can maintain that, canít possibly be comfortable for very long.
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Old 05-30-18, 07:00 AM
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Tend to agree with OP that 20+mph avg requires favorable conditions. I also rarely get passed on my somewhat hilly 16 mi one-way commute where I've improved to 16mph in the morning and 17mph evening. The non-assisted faster cyclists usually ride without any bags so I think most are probably riding recreationally. There are definitely much stronger cyclists than me but I generally don't encounter them commuting.
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Old 05-30-18, 07:08 AM
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Even without traffic lights and stop signs, a commuting cyclist still has to worry about traffic coming in from side streets and blind corners. It is not wise to ride faster than your ability to maneuver out of harm's way or to brake if need be.
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Old 05-30-18, 07:23 AM
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My commute takes 19-23 minutes whether I ride my TT bike or my beater. It all depends on the lights. But if you had an uninterrupted MUP or country road, sure why not?
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Old 05-30-18, 07:56 AM
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My commute of 15 miles each way is entirely on MUPs, other than a few blocks on the road. Pretty flat, as well. I typically average 18 mph and have hit a 20 mph average on a rare occasion, usually with a good tailwind. 18 is not a problem. 20 is almost impossible. Too many areas where you have to slow down. I did a group ride in Florida a couple years ago where we averaged 26 mph for the first hour. However, I was dropped on the return ride, and was told the average was 28.
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Old 05-30-18, 08:23 AM
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My commute is 17 miles each way over flat central Florida terrain split about equally between neighborhood streets, busy roadways and a nice trail. My cruising speed is typically between 15-18MPH. With the traffic lights and stop signs during rush hour, I typically average a little over 12MPH over the entire distance. Interestingly, when I started riding about 10 years ago, my top cruising speed was more like 12-13MPH and my average was still right at 12MPH.
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Old 05-30-18, 08:38 AM
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Yesterday's average with a neutral wind both ways was 15.7 mph over 25 miles. I tend to push the PM ride harder than the AM one. With favourable wind and catching traffic lights, and maybe drafting a bus I have done the PM ride at 17.5 mph, but that's about the max. I would expect to duplicate this perhaps once a year or every couple of years.
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Old 05-30-18, 09:25 AM
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I can ride over 20mph in a lot of places for a long time but intersections, obstacles, etc... always bring my trip avg down under 18. And that's for a recreational ride. My commutes are never as high as 17 for a whole trip for me (despite those long flat slightly downhill stretches; the traffic etc... is always there)
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Old 05-30-18, 09:29 AM
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I'm sure it's possible with the right conditions, but that simply isn't the reality for most of us. And that includes facilities at the workplace, because if you average over 20mph on the way into work, you are going to be a completely sweaty mess unless you are some freak of nature with an abnormal body temperature maintenance system.

I ride pretty much as slow as possible in the morning, and take a ferry across the river, to avoid sweat as much as I can. But I don't put any restrictions on the ride home, since I will be able to shower and change at my leisure. This is my typical afternoon commute, which is obviously pretty urban. There is a traffic light at every single intersection on the Manhattan side, and although I skip 4-5 of them by using the 1st avenue tunnel, that's still over 30 lights. The only time I can really push is on the bridge, in the tunnel, and on a few small stretches in Queens. That 34mph blip is just a erroneous reading from the GPS/Strava.
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Old 05-30-18, 10:26 AM
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20+ mph hour averages are easy to achieve.....IN ONE DIRECTION

To anyone who claims 20+ mph average on the way to work, I bet your average speed on the way home is 4 mph.

That big hill you ride down the whole way TO work is doing most of the work.
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Old 05-30-18, 10:51 AM
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20mph might be a moving average speed; my cyclocomputer shuts itself off after a few seconds of inactivity, so time that I am stopped at a light is not counted in the time that goes into the distance/time=speed that is reported as my average.

Also, they might be reporting something more like 'mode' than mean (aka average); meaning, when they're not impeded by intersections, their cruising speed is 20+mph. So most of the time, the first digit on their speedo would be a 2. But if you factor in stops, and slower speeds for braking to a stop and accelerating after a stop, the overall average speed would be less.

FWIW my bike computer very consistently shows a 10-11mph (moving) average. I can get over 30 on downhills, and crawl up anywhere from 3-8mph depending on the hill. Typical cruising speed on the flats with neutral wind is probably like 13. But I am definitely NOT a fast rider. I get passed all the time by people who care more about riding fast. I'm sure I get passed by at least 10x as many cyclists as I pass.
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Old 05-30-18, 11:39 AM
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Thank you all for replying! My lack of posts make me ineligible to reply with quotes so I will just write here.

It matches my experience that it's very hard to go over 15 mph commuting into a city. But Hypno toad's estimated average of 300w ?? wow

I will stop worrying about average speed. Just enjoy the ride.
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Old 05-30-18, 12:07 PM
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I am a numbers geek, and getting over that 20mph average when you factor in the stops is hard. I have my GPS set to pause when stopped, and even with that, stopping at red lights then accelarating back up to the 18 to 20mph crusing speed is going to kill that 20mph average fast. My goal this year is to make it home in less than an hour at least once, my ride is 19.8 miles home, not much in the way of climb, it's mostly flat to downhill, but the city here and the lights kill that. It only takes hitting 2 or 3 lights red in the middle of what would otherwise be 20-22mph blowthoughs to kill any shot you have at that 20+mph deal. Below is a screenshot of my fastest this year- and I was booking.

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Old 05-30-18, 12:32 PM
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I get 20 mph + rides all the time. On the 2 downhill sections that might total 3/4 of a mile.
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Old 05-30-18, 02:20 PM
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How about 20 MPD, as in Day?
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