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Longest ride so far...

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Longest ride so far...

Old 08-01-10, 10:54 AM
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Longest ride so far...

Yesterday I did a club ride for the first time, and despite the route being shortened because of weather, it was the longest ride I've done since starting riding 18 months ago. I ride 70-80 miles per week, but it's in 9 mile commuting chunks, and level ground. So the planned 50 miler was a challenge. I had no idea if I could keep up with the club, where the slower of their two groups averages about 20 on the flats, which is what I do on my commute rides. I knew I'd have to keep it up for longer, but would gain the efficiency of the pace-line. Turns out the heavy rain kept most folks away, so it was just three of us. Two gung-ho guys on Felts that ride together all the time, and 55yo 230lb me.

I was surprised that we got to the top of the incline with me right on on the tail of one of the guys. Well, I suppose I should mention the flat tire he had, huh?

I couldn't hang with them on the incline, especially when the younger of the two was pacing us, but that didn't surprise me. After a few miles my calves were saying "Dude, you've never put us through THIS before!" So I fell off the back and slowed down considerably.

They decided to shorten things up and go to a relatives house, so we split on the way back, and my route ended up at 42 miles. Don't mind the rain while riding, but the cleanup is always a pita.

Anyway, longest ride for me. I tried to do a metric century charity ride a few months ago, but ended up meeting a some cute paramedics when I crashed hard at mile 13. :-/ Stayed on the bike this time, anyway, and am going to keep doing club rides to get my endurance and climbing ability up.
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Old 08-01-10, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
I had no idea if I could keep up with the club, where the slower of their two groups averages about 20 on the flats, which is what I do on my commute rides.
Congratulations.

Alert: rant shields up.

Could there be any Embellishing? My club ride had a lot of experienced riders on it yesterday, and the slow group did nowhere near 20 MPH. We rode near where the Iron Man competition is held and the speediest of the racers, on their TT bikes and after years of training, crank out 23 MPH. Our slow group averaged 14 MPH over 44 miles, and I was happy with it.

Ain't dissin' and ain't doubtin', just wonderin'.

Last year I watched the Masters TT at Taylorsville. The winning speed over a 14 mile course was 29 MPH. That's really fast.

Last edited by The Weak Link; 08-01-10 at 11:16 AM. Reason: Rant alert given.
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Old 08-01-10, 11:24 AM
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I'll find out if they embellish when I can join them on a more normal ride, with more people, but that quoted speed is on the flats, not an average for the ride. My average for my commute is usually around 17, and was 17.6 for the 42 miles yesterday. But that's a computer average, which pauses the timing if you aren't moving at all (lights, flat tires, etc). On the straight/flat spots I hover in the 19-21mph range.. assuming no big head wind, of course. Any rise at all, and my speed starts dropping fast.

Oh.. and thanks.
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Old 08-01-10, 01:55 PM
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My commute is of similar distance and speed. I have no trouble with 50-70 mile rides on the weekends, although most weekend ride this year have been around half that. I just have to ease off the throttle a bit, and be sure I have enough water and fuel.
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Old 08-01-10, 02:57 PM
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20mph on flat terrain with a group is not out of the relm of possibilities. I ride with what I consider a strong B group most of the time. Our terrain is usually fairly rolly. When it's my turn to pull I usually lock in at 19mph and try to keep that up for 5 to 10 minutes before I switch out and then I float in the group. When I have gone with the A group that average is usually 2 mph faster and I can only pull at that speed for a few minutes before I have to drop back and then I am usually still struggling to find a kind wheel to stick to. This time of year our club rides are usually in the 60 mile range and I am usually pretty tired after them, if I do an A group ride I am done for the day, after a B group ride I can usually get some yard work done. The only part I question in all of this is the 18 month rider part and 230 lbs, I have been riding for a lot longer than that and weigh in at 175, I ride about 125 miles/week and do two intense 17 mile training rides every week. But genetically I am not an athlete so that may put me at a severe disadvantage to the OP if he was born "lucky"
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Old 08-01-10, 03:51 PM
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I was born 'lucky', in some respects, in that my 230# is spread over a 6'6" frame. When I was 165# in high school, and then 185# in college, I thought being 200# would be obese. But now I think I'd be a scarecrow under 200. I think my perfect weight is about 215, and am trying to ease down to that by eating a bit better, building more muscle mass, and burning more calories. But if it ends up meaning I give up wine, well, then... never mind. :-) Some things come at too great a cost.

1 or 2 mph difference can be huge, huh? I feel like I can hold 18-19 'forever', but push it over 20 and it's hard to maintain. Maybe I need to become fonder of the drops?

Like many people, it took me awhile to grasp the idea of "spinning" your way to speed and strength. Especially being tall, I wanted to grind it out with longer cranks at a slower cadence. After getting a road bike, and a computer, I started working my 'on the flats' cadence up from what turns out to have been the low seventies. I developed an "80/20" mantra: keep the cadence over 80, and the speed over 20. I try to maintain that on my commute as conditions allow (not uphill, not against a headwind, and not while passing pedestrians). On the ride yesterday, that cadence proved to be too low if I was going to hang with the other two, and so I was sticking to lower gears than I do on my own, and cranking up closer to 90. Average cadence ended up in the high 70's. When they kept the pace at <=20, I could keep up fine, but would have worn out and dropped off eventually on the ~1% grade. 21-22 was a real struggle. Part of it is also being new to drafting. I was further behind the guy in front of me than he was behind the leader. I need to tighten it up.

My wife is the natural athlete in the family, and she loves proving that on the (pick any sport but basketball) court. Well, she can't hang with me on a bike either, thank goodness. I have to have bragging rights somewhere!
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Old 08-01-10, 06:01 PM
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20 MPH on the flats doesn't mean that the ride average is 20 MPH. I go on lots of club rides where the group goes 20 for long stretches but in the end, with hills, stop signs, turns, etc., the average is 16-17 MPH.
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Old 08-01-10, 06:33 PM
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Well don't tell my wife, but this thread has inspired me to commute in to work tomorrow, at great risk of life and limb. And that's just from my wife. Out on the road it gets really hairy.

Maybe some day I'll get my average speed over 15 MPH.
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Old 08-01-10, 08:45 PM
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AzTallRider, Congrats on your longest ride to date. From your comments and explanations I think you are on the way to faster riding. On flattish roads and riding with good cyclists, 20 mph is not that hard to maintain for the ride. Throw in some town line sprints followed by some recovery/regrouping and hills and maintaining 20 mph takes more work to overcome the periods when the ride is slower. Group riding takes some learning as well as relaxing while riding. When I first started to ride with groups I was very nervous and anxious that I couldn't keep up and was concerned with my group skills. At first my only goal was not to get dropped by the group. At some point your fitness and skills will enable you to fit right into the group, at that point the group ride has a whole new dynamic that includes the friendships developed as you all work together.
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Old 08-02-10, 09:05 AM
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WOW!! all this talk about average speeds in the 20"s, I'm really feeling slow averaging 12 to 15..... (
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Old 08-02-10, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by jjmctag View Post
WOW!! all this talk about average speeds in the 20"s, I'm really feeling slow averaging 12 to 15..... (
That's internet forum speed
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Old 08-02-10, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
Congratulations.

Alert: rant shields up.

Could there be any Embellishing? My club ride had a lot of experienced riders on it yesterday, and the slow group did nowhere near 20 MPH. We rode near where the Iron Man competition is held and the speediest of the racers, on their TT bikes and after years of training, crank out 23 MPH. Our slow group averaged 14 MPH over 44 miles, and I was happy with it.

Ain't dissin' and ain't doubtin', just wonderin'.

Last year I watched the Masters TT at Taylorsville. The winning speed over a 14 mile course was 29 MPH. That's really fast.
Weak Link,

Reminds of a ride I went on. I was meeting with friends for a Friday morning ride. But I got out and did about 20 miles before going. There is a "fast" Friday ride. So whilst I was out on my tuneup, I saw it up ahead (it was there warm up) and passed it and then rode to the group start. Someone mentioned the "fast" ride. I said that "yeah, I passed them coming over". The reply was "How did you do that, they ALWAYS ride over 25 mph". I said, I was only going 23 when I went by. Then someone said that "it is much easier to go over 25 mph on the internet then on the road". To tell the truth, they were still warming up, but there was no way they "averaged" over 25 mph. On the course they ride, it can't be done unless they hold open the roads for you which they don't.

Yeah and 29 mph on a time trial is smokin.

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Old 08-03-10, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by George View Post
That's internet forum speed
Thanks for clearing that up for me and making me feel better. I guess there is still hope for this slow old fart. )
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Old 08-03-10, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by jjmctag View Post
Thanks for clearing that up for me and making me feel better. I guess there is still hope for this slow old fart. )
I know many people who like it slow. Most of my rides are mini- hammer fests due to time restraints. But when I can get a day to do an all day 12 -13 mhp ride, I love it.

AzTall Rider: Congrats on your ride. Sounds like you're headed for even longer ones.
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Old 08-03-10, 01:57 PM
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I used to ride and I would pull the data off my Garmin 305 and look at the average speed 12 to 15MPH for a ride. It was pretty consistent then. I was talking to a friend I was riding with after the ride and average speed came up. His computer showed and average speed of 20-22MPH. We had ridden side by side and I know I hadn't ridden that fast for any appreciable distance. He told me he had set his computer's stop speed to 5MPH. So all of his miles and time below 5 MPH were excluded from his average speed calculation. His speed is always significantly faster than mine and I guess it makes him feel good.
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Old 08-03-10, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Torgrot View Post
So all of his miles and time below 5 MPH were excluded from his average speed calculation. His speed is always significantly faster than mine and I guess it makes him feel good.
But his mileage will be less than yours. That should make you feel good!
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Old 08-03-10, 02:18 PM
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A loop from NL Thru Belgium, to UK to PL via Norway and Denmark , back via CZ, Austria Germany and France back thru Belgium.

Took a while .. Beer was featured.

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Old 08-03-10, 02:27 PM
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Sounds like a nice route!
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