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How fast do you ride?

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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

How fast do you ride?

Old 01-03-21, 10:46 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
The real question is: Does enjoyment of bicycling require obsessing over or boasting about speed, mileage and/or so-called fitness ?
Different strokes for different folks. Some people get a kick jumping out of planes or jumping off cliffs on skis, and thatís just fine for them but I donít belittle them because they donít abide by my definition of whatís satisfying or fun. Some people are goal attainment oriented and some just love to cruise and enjoy the ride, but who am I, or you, to judge which is right as long as it makes them happy?
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Old 01-03-21, 10:53 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by BCAC View Post
I live in Florida, No long hills near me. I get a sense of achievement and satisfaction doing 27-31 mph in a Paceline for miles. Lots of guys faster, but thatís pretty good for me.

That is impressive speed even pace-lining. In my late 40s I was working pretty darned hard to work with a group doing 23-25 and really didnít enjoy it because I was on the ragged edge and just waiting to detonate and drop off and never catch them again, while watching them disappear ahead.

You should be be very proud to ride at such a high level with such an accomplished group.
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Old 01-03-21, 11:12 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I've missed the solo 5-hour-century three times-- my closest was averaging 3m1s per mile, so I missed it by less than 2 minutes. Not quite fast enough.

I don't obsess much over downhill speed, as that's just a combo of willingness and luck. I've averaged 35mph for half an hour before. Thanks, gravity! Aside from once having a 100%-not-awesome speed wobble @ 45mph due to an over-tightened headset, I've not really had much drama descending (knock wood.).

My "best day out there," for avg. speed that is, came at the close of the Rapha Festive in 2018-- I let +20mph winds from the north push me from the IE all the way to the Pacific Ocean, covering 75 miles in 3h10m, averaging 23.7mph. I set something like 140 PRs that day, and most of them are untouched still.

So close on your century! What a heartbreaker.

I got close once once but missed by 10 mins which really pissed me off since that was my goal. I did grab a couple of pacelines along the way but still wasnít enough.
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Old 01-04-21, 08:05 AM
  #54  
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I've done the "breaking away" UPS truck draft roll out. I was surprised how easy it was - stayed with the semi until well over 50mph - but started getting scared not being able to see pavement more than ten feet ahead under the trailer.

I've also hit 53mph - trying as hard as I could - on an Ozark county two lane road. (retrying several times)

I'm always skeptical if anyone says they went 60 or more - wind resistance really over powers gravity at about 50 - I weighed about 155 - but i guess some big guy could go faster? Anybody?
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Old 01-04-21, 10:35 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
I've done the "breaking away" UPS truck draft roll out. I was surprised how easy it was - stayed with the semi until well over 50mph - but started getting scared not being able to see pavement more than ten feet ahead under the trailer.

I've also hit 53mph - trying as hard as I could - on an Ozark county two lane road. (retrying several times)

I'm always skeptical if anyone says they went 60 or more - wind resistance really over powers gravity at about 50 - I weighed about 155 - but i guess some big guy could go faster? Anybody?
I used to be around 220# when I was still trying to go as fast as possible on descents and I have hit 53mph. I agree with being skeptical of some of the speeds people say they go. I suppose 60 is within reach but much beyond that I don't know.

It is the internet, though, so someone probably dug a bike out of a dumpster and went 80 mph barefoot down a 5% grade.
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Old 01-04-21, 11:53 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
That is impressive speed even pace-lining. In my late 40s I was working pretty darned hard to work with a group doing 23-25 and really didnít enjoy it because I was on the ragged edge and just waiting to detonate and drop off and never catch them again, while watching them disappear ahead.

You should be be very proud to ride at such a high level with such an accomplished group.
Thanks for the nice comment. I donít want to mislead....27-31 in a Paceline is not an everyday occurrence for me at all. Iím more normally capable of 22-25, but when the pavement is good, other riders are good and Iím able to ride above my norm, I get great enjoyment riding faster. And then afterwards, going home for a nap.
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Old 01-05-21, 10:56 AM
  #57  
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I have a hill on my favorite route that is pretty steep and if you get a tailwind, you can get up to 45mph. I had a tailwind once, going over 40mph and I saw something in the bike lane. As I got closer, I realized it was a railroad tie that probably fell off a truck. I didn't slow down because I was just going to go around it. As I approached the railroad tie and ready to go around it, a truck came to my side blocking my path. It was too late to slow down, so I bunny hopped it going 40mph. My front tire cleared it, but my back tire hit the top and I hit hard but landed it. My heart was racing big time after that. Every time I'm going over 40 mph, I am looking for any rock, sand, or any obstacle that is going to send me over my handlebars.
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Old 01-06-21, 07:05 AM
  #58  
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The title of this thread is a little bit misleading. Bombing down a hill isn't how fast you ride. It's how fast you're willing to go under conditions where speed isn't dependent on power supplied by you. Maybe the two are indirectly linked. I suppose the faster you normally ride, the faster you're willing to go on a big downhill.
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Old 01-06-21, 07:52 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
The title of this thread is a little bit misleading. Bombing down a hill isn't how fast you ride. It's how fast you're willing to go under conditions where speed isn't dependent on power supplied by you. Maybe the two are indirectly linked. I suppose the faster you normally ride, the faster you're willing to go on a big downhill.
yeah, how fast you can go, or are willing to go, down hill should be a separate thread. Would be an interesting one, too.

FWIW I average a burning 11 mph over the course of most rides. That always includes hills. On flats I can burn the pavement at 14 or 15. It's been consistent for years, I haven't really tried to up my speed, it's not something I care much about.
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Old 01-06-21, 09:43 AM
  #60  
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My rotational velocity top speed is about 1040 mph downhill.
I have not tried terminal velocity yet.
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Old 01-06-21, 06:10 PM
  #61  
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I guess I should have titled it "how fast do you go downhill" or "do you push downhill as hard as you do going uphill"

When I get to the bottom of the hills I get to ride, I'm usually as winded as I was going up them.

I find that on just about every ride I've gone on since I resumed cycling after decades last August (~1100 miles in 4.5 months), I see hardly anyone pedaling downhill, they're all just coasting and sitting upright. I have seen a few people pedaling, even fewer actually pedaling hard.
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Old 01-07-21, 10:39 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by LibertyFLS View Post
I guess I should have titled it "how fast do you go downhill" or "do you push downhill as hard as you do going uphill"

When I get to the bottom of the hills I get to ride, I'm usually as winded as I was going up them.

I find that on just about every ride I've gone on since I resumed cycling after decades last August (~1100 miles in 4.5 months), I see hardly anyone pedaling downhill, they're all just coasting and sitting upright. I have seen a few people pedaling, even fewer actually pedaling hard.
The speeds people are talking about, 50 mph or higher, riders are generally spun out, just coasting in a tuck. Unless you can spin a huge gear and remain aerodynamic you can't pedal above 50 mph.
I stop pedaling above 35 in most cases. Maybe below 35, depending on the hill.
BikeCalc.com - Speed at all Cadences for any Gear and Wheel
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Old 01-07-21, 11:39 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
The speeds people are talking about, 50 mph or higher, riders are generally spun out, just coasting in a tuck. Unless you can spin a huge gear and remain aerodynamic you can't pedal above 50 mph.
I stop pedaling above 35 in most cases. Maybe below 35, depending on the hill.
BikeCalc.com - Speed at all Cadences for any Gear and Wheel

yeah I have no intention of going anywhere north of 50, heck probably not going past 40 again although I had no idea I was when I did. 35-7 feels plenty fast for me and throw in some corners itís enough for me. Fun to read all the replies though!!
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Old 01-07-21, 11:46 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by LibertyFLS View Post
yeah I have no intention of going anywhere north of 50, heck probably not going past 40 again although I had no idea I was when I did. 35-7 feels plenty fast for me and throw in some corners itís enough for me. Fun to read all the replies though!!
I agree 100%. I am a lot more careful than I used to be, especially in the twisty turns.
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Old 01-07-21, 01:54 PM
  #65  
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How fast do you ride?
I'm a plodder, commuter, pleasure rider. Always have been.

Generally I tool around in the 10-12mph range, I suppose, sometimes peaking at 15mph for spurts. But I don't push it nor really track it. Down some hills, I guess I peg above 25-30mph or so, for brief periods, but not because I'm trying.

Once headed down a several mile long, ~12% grade on a bike. Got the jitters, above about 40mph, so kept riding the brakes in the rougher spots in order to keep the speed tolerable. All I could think about was how much road rash I'd have if something broke. Visions of the old film "Red Asphalt" going through my mind ...

Running and skiing, though, I must admit pushing the limits was fun (back in the day). Am too old to be pushing that hard anymore, IMO. Not my thing, though I admire those who can go at such intensities and speeds. Good on 'em for being capable.
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Old 01-07-21, 02:59 PM
  #66  
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I had a personal anecdote about descending on MD route 77 just south of Camp David after climbing out of Thurmont. A single lane each way with ample shoulder. During the decent, I could have reached out and touched the fender of the cars pacing me. This was a decade or so ago. Now I'm so old that I can't remember the exact speed number. It may have been 50 mph + or - 2, but don't quote me. Again, I don't remember things as reliably as I used to.
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Old 01-09-21, 10:15 AM
  #67  
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I ride as fast as I feel like it at any given time. And no I dont pedal down hill. That is why gravity was invented.

I might add that one time on my DF road bike my personal best was 42.5, down hill with the wind.

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Old 01-11-21, 10:51 PM
  #68  
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How fast do you ride?

I did things like you did: raced high performance sports cars, motorcycles, snow skis, ,ice speed skating, running, MTB and road bikes. My fastest was 62 mph on the Markleville Death ride on Monitor Pass several years ago. Normally my averages on group rides is usually under 18 mph due to the fact you are usually climbing or descending in Orange county.
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Old 01-12-21, 10:20 AM
  #69  
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We don't have many hills around here so I'm not used to going down there. Therefore on the occasional one where I can really tuck and go fast, I don't. I generally get up to "speed" and sit up a bit to control the rate. As far as on the flats, I go as fast as I can according to the workout I'm doing.
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Old 01-12-21, 10:50 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by DeadGrandpa View Post
Speed going downhill is some kind of achievement?
So I'm guessing you're also not a fan of Endure MTB downhill, or Super-G downhill skiing either?
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Old 01-12-21, 10:58 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
So I'm guessing you're also not a fan of Endure MTB downhill, or Super-G downhill skiing either?
That's not really a reasonable analogy. Tucking and coasting for top speed on a road bike is nothing like the efforts required by those other sports.
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Old 01-12-21, 11:43 AM
  #72  
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Lets make this simple. I ride as fast as I feel like on any given day.
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Old 01-12-21, 02:41 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
That's not really a reasonable analogy. Tucking and coasting for top speed on a road bike is nothing like the efforts required by those other sports.
The efforts are different for sure. But you think downhill skiers don't tuck and coast? Pro riders don't require effort to go 75 mph coming into their turns? Do you also think NASCAR/F1 drivers don't put out any effort either?
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Old 01-12-21, 04:33 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by fastcarbon View Post
I did things like you did: raced high performance sports cars, motorcycles, snow skis, ,ice speed skating, running, MTB and road bikes. My fastest was 62 mph on the Markleville Death ride on Monitor Pass several years ago.
That'll do it. What, 6-7% grade for something like 10 miles, and steeper still (but shorter) on the "nasty" stuff? Has been some years since I've driven a vehicle over the Pass, there.

At about 35mph I begin to wonder if I've got enough "road rash" gear on, myself.
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Old 01-12-21, 05:06 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
The efforts are different for sure. But you think downhill skiers don't tuck and coast? Pro riders don't require effort to go 75 mph coming into their turns? Do you also think NASCAR/F1 drivers don't put out any effort either?
Of course NASCAR drivers put out effort but it's not the same as a pro cyclist or a downhill skier. I have seen a NASCAR driver being lifted out of the car due to exhaustion. When a downhill skier is tucked they are still absorbing the terrain and aren't resting.

And I would have to see evidence that a cyclist went 75 mph. I'm not saying it's impossible but it might be, especially in a turn. And whatever effort a cyclist puts out to coast is dwarfed by their climbing effort. Maybe a little strenuous for those that sit on the top tube.

I read an article by road racing great Kenny Roberts and he said the hard part of racing Moto GP was staying at attention constantly throughout the race. Not an aerobic effort or a strength thing but super high attention and perfection of movement and reaction wears you out.

I also read that Supercross riders typically have their heart rate north of 175 bpm during the race and they rest while in the air over jumps, the only rest they get.

From TDF:
Katusha-Alpecin’s Nils Politt – a top-five finisher at Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders this year – became the first rider to break the 100kph barrier according to the Tour’s official data feed, hitting a mind-boggling 101.5kph on a section of the descent with a negative 7 percent gradient.

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