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Riding slower than your normal pace

Old 09-07-18, 02:32 AM
  #1  
subgrade
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Riding slower than your normal pace

I have noticed that it's hard for me to bring myself to ride slower than is my normal pace (which, of course, varies due to road conditions). I can manage it when riding together with other people who then act as pacemakers, and even then I'm tempted to break away from them if they are slower, and wait for them afterwards. But when I ride alone, and that is 90% of the time, I seem incapable of riding without at least minimal physical exertion. When commuting to work, I usually try to drop the tempo so as to not sweat too much, but after a short while I always find myself going for it again. It's like "why ride slower, if riding a bit faster doesn't take a noticeable amount of energy more" - until you get to the point where the increase in energy spent becomes noticeable. The only times I do go slower than usual is if I'm not feeling well.

Is it the same with you?
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Old 09-07-18, 02:43 AM
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I don't understand ... why are you riding slower if riding a bit faster doesn't take a noticeable amount of energy more?
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Old 09-07-18, 02:47 AM
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I get bored and lose interest riding too slowly. I prefer a bit of a challenge without going into the red zone too frequently.

Last edited by Doctor Morbius; 09-07-18 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 09-07-18, 02:50 AM
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"Slower than my normal pace" would be "not riding."
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Old 09-07-18, 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I don't understand ... why are you riding slower if riding a bit faster doesn't take a noticeable amount of energy more?
...and riding a little bit faster yet, and so on, until it's the usual, sweating pace.
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Old 09-07-18, 04:16 AM
  #6  
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I slow down for safety reasons, matching speed with companions, and sightseeing. Otherwise, I habitually ride fast, even in hot weather. I've even found myself thinking I am riding slow on a hot day only to glance at my phone to discover I am going 20 mph. It's almost like a muscle memory thing, I really have to make a choice over and over to keep from pedaling hard.
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Old 09-07-18, 04:43 AM
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Depends, most days I like a workout. Yesterday was glorious weather and all I wanted to do was putz around and take it all in so rather than going for a "run" on the bike I went for a long "walk."
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Old 09-07-18, 04:48 AM
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My normal riding pace is very slow. I would probably fall off the bike if I rode any slower!
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Old 09-07-18, 04:55 AM
  #9  
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I get what the OP is saying. I have tried coming into work drier, it just doesn’t happen. I end up with nearly the same results 9 months of the year. But I do have a place to wash up clothes and change, instead of an easy commute, I ended up deciding to make it my personal race against the clock.
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Old 09-07-18, 05:05 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
I have noticed that it's hard for me to bring myself to ride slower than is my normal pace (which, of course, varies due to road conditions). I can manage it when riding together with other people who then act as pacemakers, and even then I'm tempted to break away from them if they are slower, and wait for them afterwards. But when I ride alone, and that is 90% of the time, I seem incapable of riding without at least minimal physical exertion. When commuting to work, I usually try to drop the tempo so as to not sweat too much, but after a short while I always find myself going for it again. It's like "why ride slower, if riding a bit faster doesn't take a noticeable amount of energy more" - until you get to the point where the increase in energy spent becomes noticeable. The only times I do go slower than usual is if I'm not feeling well.

Is it the same with you?
I know exactly what you are saying. Some days I tell myself I am going to go for a casual spin, and yet when I get settled in, I am right there at my normal pace. Riding with others at a slower pace poses no problem for me either.

So yes, it's the same with me.
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Old 09-07-18, 05:34 AM
  #11  
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I slow down to smell the roses. I speed up to avoid smelling the roadkill.
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Old 09-07-18, 05:48 AM
  #12  
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All this will change with age. You will naturally ride slower, whether you like it or not.

Its then time to look outward again, just like when a high schooler begins to look at the outside world around him.

All those hours spent on riding, and there are many, may get substituted for other more meaningful activities. That includes "smelling the roses".
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Old 09-07-18, 06:18 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
why ride slower
Active recovery and aerobic base miles.

Most people ride too long and too hard on recovery rides. Most people ride zone 1 and low zone 2 aerobic base miles too hard as well, or they ride zone 3 and think they are doing aerobic base miles.

This is one of the beauties of a heart rate monitor and correctly calculated heart rate zones. It helps with focus and discipline. Some heart rate monitors can be set to beep when heart rate falls out of a specific range. Shift to an easier gear and spin. This type of riding is measured in hours, not miles.


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 09-07-18 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 09-07-18, 06:19 AM
  #14  
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Riding slower than your normal pace
Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
I have noticed that it's hard for me to bring myself to ride slower than is my normal pace (which, of course, varies due to road conditions). I can manage it when riding together with other people who then act as pacemakers, and even then I'm tempted to break away from them if they are slower, and wait for them afterwards.

But when I ride alone, and that is 90% of the time, I seem incapable of riding without at least minimal physical exertion. When commuting to work, I usually try to drop the tempo so as to not sweat too much, but after a short while I always find myself going for it again.

It's like "why ride slower, if riding a bit faster doesn't take a noticeable amount of energy more" - until you get to the point where the increase in energy spent becomes noticeable. The only times I do go slower than usual is if I'm not feeling well.

Is it the same with you?
I have previously posted about my riding effort as the basis of my riding (training):
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I’m a 40+ year cyclist and I ride mainly for fitness. My training tool is the Relative Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale, and I use cadence to chose gears to maintain my desired exertion.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
This year though, I decided to go for speed (intensity), and I use the semi-quantitative, standardized, but personally relavant system of (Borg’s) Relative Perceived Exertion (RPE), with my own particular adaptation.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
The RPE scale ranges from 6 to 17, with descriptions of the intensity. Multiply the RPE by 10 is the approximate heart rate. Jim's scale is the equivalent on a 0 to 100 scale, easier to think about:

RPE = 6, resting... Jim's scale = 10 to 20

RPE = 7, very, very light... Jim's scale = 20 to 30

RPE = 9, very light... Jim's scale = 30 to 40

11, fairly light...50 (my usual happy-go-lucky pace without thinking about it)

13, somewhat hard...60 (I have to focus to maintain)

15, hard...70 (I start breathing hard at about 30 seconds)

17, very hard (lactate threshold; breakpoint between hard but steady
breathing and labored with gasping)...80 (my predicted max HR)

19, very, very hard...90 to 100.
My basic training is to ride at my RPE of 50% for six miles to warm up, then cruise at an RPE of 60%, and do intervals (on hills) at 70%. I try to change gears to maintain a cadence of about 85-90 rpm on flats and rolling hills, and about 60 to 80 rpm on harder hills, to maintain my RPE.

Shift up to higher gears as the cadence rises, and shift down as the RPE increases
So for me, riding slow is riding less than 50% of my RPE
(my usual happy-go-lucky pace without thinking about it). However,
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Any other old timers enjoy riding slow? I replied to this thread.However, for me as a cycle commuter, with limited time to train for longer rides, I can't just meander.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 09-07-18 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 09-07-18, 06:26 AM
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depends on how much time I have to ride. hard for an hour or putz (great word!) around for 4-5
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Old 09-07-18, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by taz777 View Post
My normal riding pace is very slow. I would probably fall off the bike if I rode any slower!
Fit a pair of stabilisers
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Old 09-07-18, 06:59 AM
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I think it's a sweet-spot cadence thing - spinning the pedals without enough resistance (i.e., slower than normal pace) feels like MORE work (and wasted work) than going up a gear, riding a bit a faster, yet with more resistance.

One of my main rides only has 6 speeds and that's the sense I get when stuck at a pace between two gears.
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Old 09-07-18, 07:15 AM
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I know what you mean. There is a certain level of excurtion that feels like “riding” to me. I takes some patience and discipline for me to go slower than that for long.
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Old 09-07-18, 08:19 AM
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“It never gets easier, you just go faster.”
— Greg Lemond
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Old 09-07-18, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
“It never gets easier, you just go faster.”
— Greg Lemond
When you get older, it just gets easier.
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Old 09-07-18, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Active recovery and aerobic base miles.

Most people ride too long and too hard on recovery rides. Most people ride zone 1 and low zone 2 aerobic base miles too hard as well, or they ride zone 3 and think they are doing aerobic base miles.

This is one of the beauties of a heart rate monitor and correctly calculated heart rate zones. It helps with focus and discipline. Some heart rate monitors can be set to beep when heart rate falls out of a specific range. Shift to an easier gear and spin. This type of riding is measured in hours, not miles.


-Tim-
Gimme a break!
Some people ride a bicycle just to enjoy riding a bicycle, w/o a care in the world about "aerobic base miles", cadence, heart rate monitors, and least of all "focus and discipline", and do just fine.

OP, I suggest you ride whatever speed you like and forget about crowd sourcing for your own preference for what is normal.
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Old 09-07-18, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Some people ride a bicycle just to enjoy riding a bicycle, w/o a care in the world about "aerobic base miles", cadence, heart rate monitors, and least of all "focus and discipline", and do just fine.
I never said otherwise.

You are arguing about something which was not said.


-Tim-
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Old 09-07-18, 08:59 AM
  #23  
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throw it in the small chainring and leave it there. That'll do it
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Old 09-07-18, 09:01 AM
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I am guilty of this. Not just of riding too hard on days when I should be recovering, but riding on days when I really, really shouldn't be riding at all. I probably have a significantly depressed heart rate on one ride per week.

I did a fairly brisk solo century on the first of the month, and on my "recovery" ride the following day, simply could not elevate my HR above 127bpm. I nevertheless keep staring at my speed, and pushing myself when I knew I shouldn't.

Group riding would probably help with this-- the local clubs are sloooooowwww. But they also have start times and regular routes, and I'd just rather not.

I really want to go get on the bike today (Friday is a non-riding day) and I literally have to talk myself out of it. Because I did an hour of threshold yesterday, am set for probably ~70 miles tomorrow, and need the day off.

So I totally get it.
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Old 09-07-18, 09:04 AM
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People can ride whatever speed they want. I used to just go out at pretty much the same speed every ride, but now my riding is structured around an exercise plan and I have hard and easy days. If I want to go really slow and smell the roses, I just go on a bike ride with my daughter.
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