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Average speed dropping

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Old 04-10-18, 11:32 AM
  #26  
bogydave
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Originally Posted by pesty View Post
Personally, I don't think average speed over the course of a year is a meaningful metric unless you ride the exact same roads with the exact same equipment under the exact same conditions for the entire year. There are just too many variables. As others have mentioned, air temp and altitude will have an effect on your performance capabilities, as well as colder air and lower elevations being more dense, which will affect your speed. Tire pressure and brand/model tires you use will affect your speed. If you spend more time climbing one year than the other, or if there's more headwind.

If you want to use speed as a metric, find a velodrome and occasionally measure your performance over a set distance on the same equipment in a controlled environment.



The one thing you're forgetting to add here is that you will ALWAYS go faster when riding in an easterly direction as the Earth spins to the east. You can gain up to a 1,600kph boost (at the equator) simply by riding east.

I Didnt calculate in the
Well known anomaly
Solar Gravity waves ,
coupled with the magnetic arora effect . & solar winds
In Alaska , offsets rotational forces.

On days Im real slow, typically ,
can be attributed to Solar flares & Sun spots
Which amplify the above

.......Variables......
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Old 04-10-18, 11:56 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by pesty View Post
Personally, I don't think average speed over the course of a year is a meaningful metric unless you ride the exact same roads with the exact same equipment under the exact same conditions for the entire year. There are just too many variables.

As others have mentioned,air temp and altitude will have an effect on your performance capabilities, as well as colder air and lower elevations being more dense, which will affect your speed. Tire pressure and brand/model tires you use will affect your speed. If you spend more time climbing one year than the other, or if there's more headwind.

If you want to use speed as a metric, find a velodrome and occasionally measure your performance over a set distance on the same equipment in a controlled environment.
Scientifically that’s pretty correct, but I think that degree of precision discourages the use of average speed, which I find useful and pragmatic.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I’ve done very little riding for the past five months, and I’ll be starting from near-scratch this week. It’ll be interesting to monitor my average speed incremental (hopefully) rise as a function of fitness, rather than temperature, on well-established commuter routes.

I’m otherwise not competitive about it.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
On my Excell spreadsheetI track:
  • Miles:…Annually I try for but have not attained 5000 miles.
  • Average speed: Not so much to consciously increase, but to use as a measurement of fitness; ridden over pretty standard routes...
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…An adage I once read on BF is My 15 mph (40 mile ride) is to me, as your 23 mph (double century) is to you."
Over the time from about March to August in 2016 I gained an average of about 2 mph.

I also use average cadence, rose from about 70 to 80, on a slightly to moderately hilly route (for Metro Boston).

BTW, for a graphic illustration of the variation of the measurement of average speed (as function of time on a commute distance), see the graphs I referenced in my previous post on this thread.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
FYA, see these two wonky, but illustrative graphs by @Wilbur Bud (follow the links) of commuting time by month and temp on the thread, "Winter slower than summer by about 15%," and my peculiar, completely hypothetical explanation....[follow the link]

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 04-10-18 at 12:10 PM. Reason: added BTW
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Old 04-10-18, 09:24 PM
  #28  
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Noticed for Thursday in my area, a Sunny 67 with WNW 22 mph winds is the forecast. I might set a new speed and distance metric if I just ride south and get a ride back...
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Old 04-10-18, 11:10 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
Noticed for Thursday in my area, a Sunny 67 with WNW 22 mph winds is the forecast. I might set a new speed and distance metric if I just ride south and get a ride back...
I've wanted to do that in the Palm Springs area.
Get dropped off & "Ride with the Wind "

Head East with a 35MPH West wind,
The windmills cranking mega watts,
I'm coasting at on near level ground at 30.
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Old 04-11-18, 07:22 AM
  #30  
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Guess we need to ask Strava for annual or year to date numbers: avg speed, HR, cadence, watts etc.
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Old 04-21-18, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bogydave View Post
A good number to watch to monitor progress?
Has trended up since I started riding , starting 4th year.
Last year it was 12.5

For my 890 miles this year my average
speed is 12.8
When I left SoCal, I was gaining average speed,
One 22 mile ride , no wind day, ride avg was 14.6

Now back in Alaska, my average not over 12 mph for 3 rides of 82 miles.
Some is having to walk around ice/snow,
1st exploring ride when I got back here, avg for 43 mile was 10.7 mph.

Gotta be air temp, muscles/lungs still trying to
recover from 75 -85 to 35- 40.
Start on Zwift. Every year on Zwift I start Nomember and ride 4-6 days per week until spring. Every year I have started in spring faster than I was in the fall when I stopped outdoors. It is a game changer and I have added 2 mph per hr in 1.5 years at age 64.
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Old 04-21-18, 09:08 PM
  #32  
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Got some better riding clothes
for the 40 temps
Castelli bib tights
Been up over 13 mph avg last few ride ,
Legs feel much better after the ride too


23 mi today , windy mid 40s
Over 13 avg
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Old 04-21-18, 09:59 PM
  #33  
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You've probably heard this already, but a more useful metric is probably Watts either via a power meter, an online calculator or the guesstimate used by Strava. It accounts for some variables where speed isn't the most useful gauge due to wind. And Strava may be factoring in estimates to account for wind, as well as terrain.

I know some folks who use power meters so I compare my performance on the same Strava segments (cyclists using power meters are marked with a lightning bolt icon). If we're roughly the same size, similar bikes, etc., our power output is probably roughly equal. And that seems to be reflected in the Strava estimates.

Even if the calculators aren't as accurate as power meters, they're still reasonably useful measured against other data derived using the same method. On that basis, my average power output has increased from just over 100 Watts last year to 130 Watts now. My average speed is about the same, but the expended effort feels very different now because of the nearly constant stiff winds this spring, and I'm tackling more climbs to improve my strength.

As another rough gauge of performance, last week I was able to keep up better with a fast local club ride. I got gapped a couple of times by a few hundred yards, but managed to catch up. In some previous rides I couldn't keep up at all and occasionally dropped out when they disappeared from sight. My average speed on that group ride was 17.5 mph overall, and 20-22 mph on the flat sections. That's a little faster than my previous solo times on the same route, and I wasn't drafting this time -- I usually held back a few bike lengths, which is one reason I got gapped and couldn't close it. But I wanted a better estimate of my real ability based on pacing off the group rather than drafting.

Comparing Strava's power estimates for my ride with other folks in the group using power meters, I averaged over 150 watts for the 20 mile distance, and occasionally 160-190 watts for a mile or two. For me, that's a huge improvement.

That's not my fastest ride, but my fastest average over 6 miles, 25 mph, was heavily tailwind assisted so I'm skeptical of Strava's 300+ watt estimate. There were some roller coasters with short, steep climbs, so perhaps the Strava estimated average is correct.

And while I've ridden some Strava segments fast enough to crack the top ten a few times, I know the folks with slower times are stronger riders than I am -- I've ridden with them and cannot keep up over longer distances. It's a pretty good bet my times only indicate that I'm a slightly better sprinter, with poorer stamina, and that I may be more reckless on some segments while they ride steadily and safely. So I don't assume that my faster times on some segments of a half-mile to a few miles means I'm equal to the "slower" riders. It only means I got lucky that day, on that segment, uncontested by other folks riding the same segment under identical conditions.
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Old 05-26-18, 11:26 AM
  #34  
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Finally got an increase in average speed.
Up a tad over 1 mph.
First time this year in Alaska I wore shorts, was above 50.
Avg'd 13.7
Temp is a big factor for sure.

Last edited by bogydave; 05-27-18 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 05-26-18, 12:29 PM
  #35  
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I never used to keep track of speed or distance I ride, but when I got my first smartphone last winter, I noticed it came with a built-in app that can do both. And I seemed to a discovered something interesting: I tend to be 1-2mph faster when I ride my fixed gear bike than when I ride a derailleur bike; same routes, similar weather. Not sure how to explain it. Maybe not having a lower gear available means I just power through things I'd ordinarily downshift for?
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Old 05-26-18, 12:39 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Maybe not having a lower gear available means I just power through things I'd ordinarily downshift for?
Yep, with no choice but to put out the grunt and/or stand to get up and over on a FG vs a multi-FW more watts applied in a higher gear = More Speed.
With zero possibility of slacking off a FG is keeping the drive-train power constantly "on" while every click of the FW is not as riders ease over road irregularities, take a drink or adjust the firmament/shorts interface. That's some of those "incremental gains" we hear about....

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