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speed/distance/terrain?

Old 04-23-07, 11:44 AM
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seosamh
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speed/distance/terrain?

i see people going on about cycling 50miles in 2 hours and stuff like that, when it takes me a day to do 25, granted i am currently figuring out how to attach a bong to the front of my bike and i head for fairly rough trails and walk up alot steep hills the now, but question is, what kinda terrain are ye going over? is it big hills? wee hills? flat? singletrack? forest roads? roads? or whatever?

basically how far can you cycle in a day and how long does it take ye, and how manys stops do you take, think i've got it down to about 100! and what kinda of terrain, and how high up on a OS map do you go? think the highest i've been up is about 450m, no very much, but there shedloads of stuff about here so i don't need to go very high up.

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Old 04-23-07, 11:50 AM
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50 miles in 2 hours has GOT to on the road?
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Old 04-23-07, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by apclassic9
50 miles in 2 hours has GOT to on the road?
Yup, even then they would be moving if it was a solo ride. If there are any climbs forget about it.
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Old 04-23-07, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by apclassic9
50 miles in 2 hours has GOT to on the road?
aye i'd think so, that's really the point of the question, i dunno, just curious to see what kind of cycling people can do..
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Old 04-23-07, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by seosamh
i see people going on about cycling 50miles in 2 hours and stuff like that, when it takes me a day to do 25, granted i am currently figuring out how to attach a bong to the front of my bike
I doubt many average 25 mph on single-track over a 2 hour period. In fact, I'd have to say that's nearly impossible unless the trail is smooth, hard as pavement, and all downhill with no technical sections at all. Even then .... well - no.

Oh, and that bong mount may also be slowing you down a bit.

... Brad
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Old 04-23-07, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bac
I doubt many average 25 mph on single-track over a 2 hour period. In fact, I'd have to say that's nearly impossible unless the trail is smooth, hard as pavement, and all downhill with no technical sections at all. Even then .... well - no.

Oh, and that bong mount may also be slowing you down a bit.

... Brad
dunno, 2 hour downhill, find me the trail and i reckon i'd try keep up the 25mph! i'd give it a go anyhow!

so what's the average speed you should be looking at then over red to black grade type stuff xc, over a few biggish hills? think i keep working mine out to about 3 mph! :shock: how long should 25miles take you?
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Old 04-23-07, 12:58 PM
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The terrain I ride is in the Rocky mountains and foothills, and as such involves lots of climbing. I would say that our rides are at least 90% singletrack [singletrack defined as literally, a single track, typically 6"+ wide on the ground, with tree clearance of 20" or greater - typically 6' or more - on the sides]. I loathe fireroad climbs - I would rather ride roads on my road bike. Thankfully, the majority of the trails around Calgary have no fireroad component.

As far as trail conditions go, they are governed by the geology and geography of the area. The region is semi-arid, so we don't get much mud. The soil is clay, with low organic content, so it can pack as hard as cement in some areas but be soft dust in others. Since we're in the Rockies, there are rocks everywhere. Typically it's slate, which means you can get into scree pretty often. On the valley floors, you tend to get glacial till, so lots of babyheads and the occasional chunk of rough granite. The forests are spruce and pine, with some deciduous trees thrown in for good measure. We don't usually get thorns, so most flats are due to snakebite. There are lots of surface roots, and combined with the rocks things are technical. I can't really think of any "buffed" singletrack - there's always something to jump, dodge or absorb.

As to how most trails are formed, the vast majority are a couple of generations old or more. As the first ranchers set up shop, they sent their cattle out to graze. The cows followed existing animal trails, the ranchers followed the cows on horseback and the trails were developed. Other trail systems come from mining operations, logging, etc. A few trails are man-made, but not many [except trails with stunts, etc.]. Trail maintenance is on a volunteer basis, and usually consists of repairing damage done by horses. [Bias? What bias?] The area that we have to ride is actually pretty huge, and even on the most popular routes it's common to only see one other group on the trail, regardless of the number of vehicles in the parking lot.

Now, after all that preamble, we typically average about ~10km/h, regardless of the distance. We ride for fun, and nobody races any more, so we've gotten slower. Still, race pace on many of the XC rides is only 12 km/h, so we're not too far off. The longer rides are 40-50 km, and often involve some bigger flat sections, increasing our average speed significantly. I haven't seen terrain in the US that is similar to ours, but I've only been to Tahoe, Moab, WA and Hood River. I would imagine Colorado would be pretty close.
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Old 04-23-07, 01:04 PM
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On mountain bike while racing I typically average (after all is said and done) 9 - 12 miles per hour. I have done races where the average was closer to around 7 or 8 mph because of the terrain and amount of climbing though.

Just riding, I've been on rides where it would have been next to impossible to average 5 mph. It all depends on the trail and the conditions.
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Old 04-23-07, 05:21 PM
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I almost always average between 10-11, above 11 on really good days. The rides are usually anywhere from 30-40 miles. Every few months I do a 60 mile-er, but I take my sweet time and usually average between 8-9.
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Old 04-23-07, 07:23 PM
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There is one member here that has done a off road century in 8 hours.
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Old 04-23-07, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbiker66
There is one member here that has done a off road century in 8 hours.
and my legs are still burning from that ride














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Old 04-25-07, 10:39 AM
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The winner of the Chequemegon Fat Tire (one of the biggest Mtn bike races in the country - 40 miles, rolling hills on cross country ski trails and firelanes) did it in 2 hours, 7 minutes last year (about 19 mph). These guys are professional or Cat 1 racers though with tremendous power outputs.
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Old 04-25-07, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jrobe
The winner of the Chequemegon Fat Tire (one of the biggest Mtn bike races in the country - 40 miles, rolling hills on cross country ski trails and firelanes) did it in 2 hours, 7 minutes last year (about 19 mph). These guys are professional or Cat 1 racers though with tremendous power outputs.
I think this is one of the key things about high average speeds - easy terrain. Raw power helps alot as well. Throw in some technical stuff and the speeds drop dramatically.
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Old 04-25-07, 01:07 PM
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whether I have grounds to compare or not, due to being a beginner, I won't decide. But the short trails around here that I've done (two are flat, minimal inclines, resulting in more surface root terrain) and one is very "inclined" where if you're not going uphill, you're going down, with it being a single track that is just over 3 feet wide, and narrows to the width of my handlebars plus 1" on either side at times. I average 12 mph on the flatter trails 3 miles long and about 8mph on the 2 mile up and down terrain. Granted the climbs aren't very high at all, anywhere between 15-30 feet, but do that 30 times plus over two miles and it gets kinda enduring. I'm also one of the bigger guys here I reckon, at 6'2 260lbs, so I at least have the advantage of carrying my speed on the downhills.

There's plenty more trails around, and I'll take some pictures when I do, from now on. I just have to find the time to make the trips out TO them.
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Old 04-25-07, 01:52 PM
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There's just about every kind of terrain around here (Arkansas) except really extended climbs (i.e. more than an hour up) and high-altitude stuff. Rocks, roots, clay, mud (semi-permanent bogs, not wet trails), drops, jumps, you name it, you can find it here. There are even two IMBA epics in Arkansas (Womble and Syllamo).

That said, I average anywhere from 6-15mph (10-25kph) depending how much climbing/how many rock gardens/amount of non-single track is mixed in. I've spent 2 hours just making 8 miles through some trails I'd never ridden before which were tricky and in places dangerous (along the edge of bluffs), but I've also hammered out 20 miles in an hour on relatively flat (less than 1000 ft total climbing) and occasionally paved trails.

By the way, I'm 6'2", 235 (now). To give some kind of more general perspective, I cruise level to rolling pavement at 19-21 mph on my mtb with knobbies, rolling singletrack at 12-15mph, and go uphill at 3-11mph. 3 mph is climbing 300 vertical feet in 1/2 mile or less; 11 mph is climbing 100 vertical feet in 1/2 mile or so.
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Old 04-25-07, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbiker66
There is one member here that has done a off road century in 8 hours.
Definitely not me as My offroad century takes me 12 hours. 108 miles in 12 hours is 9mph Average. We do a training run of 30 miles that takes in 2,100ft, and when we can do that in 2 1/2 hours- or 12 mph- We are fit. The faster riders do the 108 in just under 8 hours so do it at 13.5mph average.

The ride is The South Downs Way and is just about 95% offroad. Total climb is 10,000ft but no climb is more that 650ft. Problem is that some of the climbs are steep-Average of 15% with a steep bit thrown in somewhere and some are long- in excess of 1 mile. Then the 3 hardest climbs are saved right till the end.

So far I have attempted this ride 10 times and done it on 8. Last years failure is posted on

https://www.bikeforums.net/fifty-plus-50/197532-south-downs-way-failure.html

If you want to see how badly we failed But any of you in the UK that fancy a decent days ride- Try the South Downs Way- in one day.
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