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Average MPH

Old 06-05-17, 07:16 AM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
That doesn't look too bad, (heavy traffic, big city standards) but it would be annoying if that was happening every few minutes.
Unfortunately that video segment lacks local context. That's a designated slow zone for families. Lots of kids and foot traffic around there. It's very specifically marked a slow zone with speed bumps. If you watch that short video carefully there's a wall on one side and steep downhill to the river on the other -- pretty much nowhere to go to bail out for cyclists or pedestrians.

Yet just to thumb their noses at being civil some middle aged rebels have designated it a Strava segment for their personal trolling. Of the two guys shown passing in that video the one in tight fitting apparel was from out of town (per his Strava, which showed up on mine due to the flyby feature). His Strava logs indicated he's pretty much an idiot everywhere. Typical middle aged MUPpet wannabe racer.

If I seem reactionary keep in mind that I know this route well and there are plenty of segments on this MUP where you can safely get up a head of steam. Clear sight lines in all directions, wide grass on either side for bailouts, and in places the pavement widens to double that of a standard sidewalk. Also, there's a very fast public street running parallel to it most of the way that has relatively little vehicular traffic -- for now. It's being developed for high end condos and retail but for now it's in progress so there isn't much traffic. I usually ride that street instead when I want to go fast, and I'm by no means fast. "Fast" for me is an average of 14 mph over a 10-60 mile ride, although I can cruise at 20 mph for awhile on a cooperative flat if there's no wind.
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Old 06-05-17, 07:35 AM
  #77  
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Strava segments on a MUP. Kinda pointless IMO.

On the other hand, the only way to use average speed as a measure of fitness, is to have a closed course.

For me, figuring out my HR zones was a revelation.

I usually troll around in zone 2, however sometimes I can't resist a short burst of speed.
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Old 06-05-17, 08:13 AM
  #78  
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Are you telling us you could average 25? Bull.
Hmmm, could also be Dave Stoller....
I'm sorry, but averaging 25 m,ph for an hour would classify you as hors catagorie, or "worthy of the peleton" on the TdF. Heck, even the domestiques on the top teams BARELY manage that.....
That's a little harsh, folks, you should lay off him. 25 for an hour is a sort of milestone for amateur racers, with the right equipment and enough training. It's not that unbelievable.

I've never actually tried a one-hour time trial, flat terrain no stops. I think I could do 20 miles, but it's honestly a WAG.
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Old 06-05-17, 08:18 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by MikeOK View Post
Tandems go super fast. When we're in a group ride with tandems we always draft behind them. It makes a huge difference.
They might go superfast if you have two strong riders and even without that we can hit 50 mph downhill, but in our mid-70s we are not superfast on the flat. I find I have a higher average when riding solo. Maybe I should get my stoker to pedal
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Old 06-05-17, 08:38 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
That's a little harsh, folks, you should lay off him. 25 for an hour is a sort of milestone for amateur racers, with the right equipment and enough training. It's not that unbelievable.

I've never actually tried a one-hour time trial, flat terrain no stops. I think I could do 20 miles, but it's honestly a WAG.
He even said he could do it easily. I've been around a lot of crit racers, heck I've done a few myself. Only elite racers can approach 25 average for an hour. Even when I was in the best of shape I could only get 20.
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Old 06-05-17, 01:31 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by AlexCyclistRoch View Post
I'm sorry, but averaging 25 m,ph for an hour would classify you as hors catagorie, or "worthy of the peleton" on the TdF. Heck, even the domestiques on the top teams BARELY manage that.....

Oh, I just realized who you must be.....
Ladies and Gentlemen, this poster is actually Lance Armstrong, posting incognito!
I don't know where you get your numbers from, but the Grand Tour TTs are much faster than that - around 32 mph. They are normally shorter than 25 miles, however and often in one direction. Plus, the whole Grand Tours over 3 weeks and about 2500 miles average about 25 mph.

The 25 mile TT record in the UK, held by Marcin Bialoblocki, is 34.0 mph on an out and back course. He said he could have gone faster had it not been for the wind on the return!

The British 100 mile TT record is 30.1 mph on a 2-lap road course.

My best 25 mile TT at age 18 was 22.7 mph (with chronic asthma!! (1hr 6 min)) on an out and back undulating course in the UK on a 84" fixed gear.
Even back in the 50s, 25 mph av for 25 miles was common among club riders.
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Old 06-05-17, 01:57 PM
  #82  
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Equipment makes a huge difference. Breaking an hour for 25miles is pretty epic Merckx-style. On a TT bike with an aero helmet and skinsuit? Within the grasp of mortals. Even 50-year old mortals.
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Old 06-07-17, 12:49 PM
  #83  
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While doing 25 mph for an hour is certainly do-able, I doubt that anyone can do one "without much effort." Depending of course on the definition of "much."
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Old 06-08-17, 07:30 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
While doing 25 mph for an hour is certainly do-able, I doubt that anyone can do one "without much effort." Depending of course on the definition of "much."
For most 50+ers, it's probably difficult, but for younger riders it's very common, and has been for over 60 years
without the need for fancy kit.
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Old 06-08-17, 08:08 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
Strava segments on a MUP. Kinda pointless IMO.

On the other hand, the only way to use average speed as a measure of fitness, is to have a closed course.

For me, figuring out my HR zones was a revelation.

I usually troll around in zone 2, however sometimes I can't resist a short burst of speed.
Even MUPs have huge variables. People traffic is only one of them.

More seriously, on the subject of tracking cruising speeds you have to factor in that finding a truly level outdoor course is rare (especially where I live). This is why I laugh at that line "CRUSHING THE FLATS" on the peloton trainer ad. Flats. Yeah right, you mean that half-mile stretch just south of town??

Avg speed is deceivingly hollow.
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Old 06-08-17, 01:47 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Even MUPs have huge variables. People traffic is only one of them.

More seriously, on the subject of tracking cruising speeds you have to factor in that finding a truly level outdoor course is rare (especially where I live). This is why I laugh at that line "CRUSHING THE FLATS" on the peloton trainer ad. Flats. Yeah right, you mean that half-mile stretch just south of town??

Avg speed is deceivingly hollow.
Very true. I could artificially inflate my average just by carefully selecting routes and cropping the ends on Strava. From my neighborhood on the west side of Fort Worth it's pretty much a long continuous gradual downhill grade toward town, especially if I concentrate on the MUP which is in the Trinity River valley.

I suspect that's one reason why the local MUP is so popular with wannabe roadies and tri-folk on aero bars, hands nowhere near any brakes as they zip past kids on Hello Kitty bikes and grandmas on walkers. The MUP is mostly flat with a few gentle rollers but depending on direction is mostly a long downhill grade. Makes the wannabes feel faster

Heck, I enjoy that sensation of speed too. And it all falls apart the moment I hit anything resembling hills. Never been a strong climber.

That's why I've been avoiding the MUP and familiar suburb to city route, other than for casual group rides with friends a couplafew times a month. It wasn't challenging my conditioning. So I've mostly headed west of town where the terrain is an uphill roller coaster. We don't have any really steep stuff that lasts more than a few hundred yards at a time, although some of those get up to 8% and steeper in places. But if I don't push myself I'll get lazy and flabby. And the downhill bits are a blast.
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Old 06-08-17, 01:55 PM
  #87  
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Not all MUPs are created equal. And even on the same MUP, conditions vary depending on the day of the week and the time of day. The ARBT is a bike highway M-F. Most folks on it are commuting, training, or both. On Saturday mornings, though, it's a zoo. I avoid it at all costs.
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Old 06-08-17, 01:58 PM
  #88  
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What exactly is a MUP? I've seen that term used a lot around here but I don't know what it is.
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Old 06-08-17, 02:51 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by MikeOK View Post
What exactly is a MUP? I've seen that term used a lot around here but I don't know what it is.
Multi-use Path.
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Old 06-08-17, 03:14 PM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Not all MUPs are created equal. And even on the same MUP, conditions vary depending on the day of the week and the time of day. The ARBT is a bike highway M-F. Most folks on it are commuting, training, or both. On Saturday mornings, though, it's a zoo. I avoid it at all costs.
Much of the SoBay bike path in SoCal is the same. You can go as fast as you damn well please M-F at almost any time of the day. Weekends are maddening ... gotta slow down substantially.
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Old 06-08-17, 07:06 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Very true. I could artificially inflate my average just by carefully selecting routes and cropping the ends on Strava.
Exactly right. My normal routes are in relatively hilly country - very few flat sections. So no matter what I do, I wind up in the 13-15mph range. Even though the climbs are not particularly long, they do kill the average. But when I find a relatively flat long section, it's not hard to keep it at 15-17mph.

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Old 06-08-17, 11:24 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Exactly right. My normal routes are in relatively hilly country - very few flat sections. So no matter what I do, I wind up in the 13-15mph range. Even though the climbs are not particularly long, they do kill the average. But when I find a relatively flat long section, it's not hard to keep it at 15-17mph.
J.
Yup, just to mess with my own data during Thursday's ride I saved the easiest long segment I could think of, an 8 mile route from my home to a popular trail head on the MUP. It's a long, gradual 200 foot descent. The only thing slowing us down are the occasional stop sign intersections.

With my upright bike I usually average 14 mph. Today without trying hard I did that route at 18 mph on a new-to-me Centurion Ironman, my first road bike in 30+ years. It's uncomfortable on my back and neck, feels twitchy and I have to watch my balance carefully, and mind every tiny rut in the road that could swallow those skinny 700x23 tires.

But it made me look fast -- except for folks who actually ride that route and know it's all an illusion. And those cyclists could ride the same route at 25-30 mph, easily.
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Old 06-09-17, 07:45 AM
  #93  
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I am not a fast rider on my upright hybrid I have been average 12 mph and it is mostly flat roads and paths. Last Sunday though two riders on road bikes passed me and while they were definitely not pushing it I managed to keep pace with them and I stayed at 17- 18 mph. Felt real good for that short period 1 1/2 miles. I
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Old 06-09-17, 08:48 AM
  #94  
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Distance covered, over the time involved in doing it.

that is my average speed.
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Old 06-10-17, 09:48 AM
  #95  
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When you guys talk about average speed, how do you take in account hills? It's difficult for me to average 13mph in a 20 mile ride. I live in a very hilly area. In a 20 mile ride I climb 2400 ft (and descend 2400 feet) at an average grade of 8% with many grades at 12% and 16%. I'm not a speed demon descending the hills so I don't make up a lot of lost time climbing the hills.
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Old 06-10-17, 04:06 PM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by hisownself View Post
When you guys talk about average speed, how do you take in account hills? It's difficult for me to average 13mph in a 20 mile ride. I live in a very hilly area. In a 20 mile ride I climb 2400 ft (and descend 2400 feet) at an average grade of 8% with many grades at 12% and 16%. I'm not a speed demon descending the hills so I don't make up a lot of lost time climbing the hills.
I think that's the point - average speed doesn't mean anything unless you take the terrain into context. I also ride in a hilly area and when compared to riding in flat places, the difference is about 3-4mph.

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Old 06-10-17, 09:55 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by hisownself View Post
When you guys talk about average speed, how do you take in account hills? It's difficult for me to average 13mph in a 20 mile ride. I live in a very hilly area. In a 20 mile ride I climb 2400 ft (and descend 2400 feet) at an average grade of 8% with many grades at 12% and 16%. I'm not a speed demon descending the hills so I don't make up a lot of lost time climbing the hills.
You mean like when I was commuting, it'd take me half an hour to get to work and an hour to get home, all because of a stupid hill in the middle.

Average speed can only be a measure of yourself against yourself, anything else is meaningless. It's a way of being pleasantly surprised that you felt so horrid but still managed to do well, or confused because you had a blinding ride and that average was down. It's all part of the internal games you play with yourself. If you want to compare yourself with others, line up next them and race.
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Old 06-10-17, 11:40 PM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by hisownself View Post
When you guys talk about average speed, how do you take in account hills? It's difficult for me to average 13mph in a 20 mile ride. I live in a very hilly area. In a 20 mile ride I climb 2400 ft (and descend 2400 feet) at an average grade of 8% with many grades at 12% and 16%. I'm not a speed demon descending the hills so I don't make up a lot of lost time climbing the hills.
That's more of a power output consideration than speed. Strava does that too. Even without a power meter, heart monitor, etc., it'll estimate the power based on our bike type, weight, etc. But it's not particularly accurate, just a rough guide.

For example, Strava estimates roughly double the power output for my "mountain bike", compared with my road bike. I'm not sure what Strava considers a mountain bike, but mine is closer to a rigid frame/fork hybrid. Strava estimates my average power output at 200 watts on the "mountain bike" and 100 watts with the road bike. It sure feels like the same effort, and I'm averaging only about 2 mph faster on the road bike.

So I still rely on speed to some extent. But it helps only if I compare my own efforts to myself.

And that's why I create my own private segments on Strava, to compare myself only to myself.

Occasionally someone else has created a hill segment that suits my own routes. But too many existing Strava segments in my area make no sense or don't suit my habits. For example, some segments are too short -- phone GPS can't accurately and consistently measure short routes. And some go on for miles past my usual turn off. Still other folks create Strava segments that are mostly long downhills -- fun, but mostly a challenge to aerodynamics, not conditioning.

So it's difficult to evaluate my progress against others -- which isn't really my goal anyway. I'm just concerned about my own progress, so it's easier to create my own segments that I can repeat.
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Old 06-11-17, 08:51 AM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by europa View Post
You mean like when I was commuting, it'd take me half an hour to get to work and an hour to get home, all because of a stupid hill in the middle.

Average speed can only be a measure of yourself against yourself, anything else is meaningless. It's a way of being pleasantly surprised that you felt so horrid but still managed to do well, or confused because you had a blinding ride and that average was down. It's all part of the internal games you play with yourself. If you want to compare yourself with others, line up next them and race.
Most bike computers can computer average speed for only the time you are moving.

And, FWIW, the best way to train is to compare to yourself if you want to measure improvement. The point some of us are making here is that average speed is not the best way to do it.

J.
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Old 06-11-17, 09:13 AM
  #100  
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I have a slight correction -- earlier I said that my average commuting pace was 17mph. I rechecked the distance and it is not 12.5 miles, it is more like 12.0 (actually 11.96) that I make in ~44 minutes. That makes my door-to-door commuting 'average speed' -- including traffic lights -- to be 16.3mph.
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