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What can I do to get faster

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

What can I do to get faster

Old 06-02-07, 10:48 AM
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group105
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What can I do to get faster

Any plan? Starting this week I ride around 90 miles per week 5 times a week. I just got into riding in the beginning of May.

Yesterday I rode 16 miles on the Greenway (North)...there was a guy on a mountain bike who passed me and I loooked at my speed and it was 20.5 mph I yelled "your flying on that bike " He said "just taking it easy"...I hit @ 21 mph for 15 minutes straight and could not catch up with him I need to get in better shape...I hope I run into him again he would be a good rider to chase so I can get faster

thanks
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Old 06-02-07, 11:03 AM
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Don't worry about speed your first year - just ride and have fun. I would advise taking that computer off your bike - it's too easy to get hung up on speed, avg. speed and such. I've been riding (on and off) for a number of years and do not even own a computer. I keep track of time and effort.

Also, all else being equal, lighter = faster.
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Old 06-02-07, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by 2Tired2Shift
Don't worry about speed your first year - just ride and have fun. I would advise taking that computer off your bike - it's too easy to get hung up on speed, avg. speed and such. I've been riding (on and off) for a number of years and do not even own a computer. I keep track of time and effort.

Also, all else being equal, lighter = faster.
Good ideas...I think in the case of the guy on the mountain bike his legs were a lot stronger because I think my bike is lighter.
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Old 06-02-07, 11:31 AM
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Yeah, in your first year it is more important to focus on mileage and endurance than on speed. Use your computer to tell you how long your rides are. 5 rides for 90 miles/week is less than 20 miles/ride. Try doing some longer rides, even if you need to do them fewer times/week. I ride over 100 miles/week year round, but only 2 or 3 times/week. Once you start building up your endurance, speed will come naturally (to a point). When you reach that point, you can start thinking about intervals and power meter training to boost your speed.

P.S. "lighter=faster" only applies if you are going up hill. Some big guys can go really fast for long periods of time on a flat road.
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Old 06-02-07, 12:24 PM
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Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride. Ride.
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Old 06-02-07, 12:39 PM
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lighter=slower downhill

one of the kids on my team is near 200lbs, more of a trackie/sprinter than anything else. at a stage race last year he was literally the very last person up the 14 mile hill, but he caught more than half the entire field (including me) on the downhill. he finished 35th out of 88 riders.

in short, the time you make going uphill with a lighter bike may be nullified or even overtaken on the downhill, especially because drafting plays a big role going downhill, while it doesn't uphill. my take? don't worry about weight, its all about tactics. the weight of the rider makes more of a difference than the bike, so spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on some carbon fiber bottle cage when you could really just take a piss for free is pointless.
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Old 06-02-07, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by trackstar10
lighter=slower downhill

one of the kids on my team is near 200lbs, more of a trackie/sprinter than anything else. at a stage race last year he was literally the very last person up the 14 mile hill, but he caught more than half the entire field (including me) on the downhill. he finished 35th out of 88 riders.

in short, the time you make going uphill with a lighter bike may be nullified or even overtaken on the downhill, especially because drafting plays a big role going downhill, while it doesn't uphill. my take? don't worry about weight, its all about tactics. the weight of the rider makes more of a difference than the bike, so spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on some carbon fiber bottle cage when you could really just take a piss for free is pointless.


1 - Your first statement is just plain incorrect. Weight has nothing to do with how gravity affects you, unless you're the size of a planet. Air resistance is the only thing that keeps a feather from reaching the ground at the same speed as a rock, if both are free falling from the same height. Conduct experiment in vacuum, and you'll see for yourself.
2-In the first part of the sentence you're talking about weight(and what you're saying is true, basically), but then in the second part you switch over to aerodynamics. Logical failure in your argument.
3 - You're absolutely right. The weight of the bike is the last thing a rider should worry about. Only at the highest levels does the machine matter - when all else equals(training, genes, nutrition, mentality), the machine may make a difference. Otherwise - the rider's weight/power is much more important.


OP-Ride harder. Ride regularly. Enjoy yourself. Ride harder.

Salut
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Old 06-02-07, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by johnny99
P.S. "lighter=faster" only applies if you are going up hill. Some big guys can go really fast for long periods of time on a flat road.
I used to think that. Now I believe, if (as I said) _all_ other things are equal, lighter is faster even on the flats. The lighter person is going to be able to get into a more aero position and I think the leaner a body gets the more efficient it becomes. I know, in my case, my heat tolerance is definitely down because I am heavier now - my core temp builds up more quickly. I think there are other factors as well.

Yes, there are some fast big guys out there. I believe they would be even faster if they dropped the extra weight, even on the flats.

Last edited by 2Tired2Shift; 06-03-07 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 06-02-07, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by group105
Any plan?
You're probably ready to start dabbling in sprints and intervals. If suffering sounds fun...

...I like it.
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Old 06-02-07, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Lecterman
Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride. Ride.
I'm riding now. Perhaps you can be more specific? Less miles and more intense or vice versa?
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Old 06-02-07, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets
You're probably ready to start dabbling in sprints and intervals. If suffering sounds fun...

...I like it.
That's what I'm talking about...I want to be able to go faster...I could not believe how yesterday I could not catch up with the guy on the mountain bike....imagine him getting on road bike...I think he could easily cruise at 26mph
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Old 06-02-07, 05:14 PM
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You want to go faster.. pedal faster.



Sage wisdom.
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Old 06-02-07, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by red house
You want to go faster.. pedal faster.



Sage wisdom.
Nice I think you saved me at least 3 years of searching for this answer
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Old 06-02-07, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 2Tired2Shift
I used to think that. Now I believe, if (as I said) _all_ other things are equal, lighter is faster even on the flats. The lighter person is going to be able to get into a more aero position and I think the leaner a body gets the more efficient it becomes. I know, in my case, my heat tolerance is definitely down because I am heavier now - my core temp builds up more quickly. I think there are other factors as well.

Yes, there are some fast big guys out there. I believe they would be even faster if they dropped the extrra weight, even on the flats.

Think what you want but.. youre wrong .
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Old 06-02-07, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by group105
I'm riding now. Perhaps you can be more specific? Less miles and more intense or vice versa?
More miles, more time in the saddle, more intense.

Try changing your 5x a week rides from all the same distance (guessing that's what you're doing) to something like 3x 25 mile rides, 1x 35 mile 1x 50 (may need to work up to doing 50 miles regularly)... throw in some hills. Hills believe it or not are a good thing, and can help make you stronger... If you don't count miles, then go by time instead... do 1.5hr rides 3x a week, then throw in a 2hr ride and a 3-4hr ride. Do something like that for a couple weeks, then adjust it as you need to. Eat a proper diet, get good sleep (if possible), enjoy the ride
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Old 06-02-07, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by FidelCastrovich
Weight has nothing to do with how gravity affects you, unless you're the size of a planet. Air resistance is the only thing that keeps a feather from reaching the ground at the same speed as a rock,
And air resistance is the reason heavier riders are faster downhill.
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Old 06-02-07, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by grahny
More miles, more time in the saddle, more intense.

Try changing your 5x a week rides from all the same distance (guessing that's what you're doing) to something like 3x 25 mile rides, 1x 35 mile 1x 50 (may need to work up to doing 50 miles regularly)... throw in some hills. Hills believe it or not are a good thing, and can help make you stronger... If you don't count miles, then go by time instead... do 1.5hr rides 3x a week, then throw in a 2hr ride and a 3-4hr ride. Do something like that for a couple weeks, then adjust it as you need to. Eat a proper diet, get good sleep (if possible), enjoy the ride

Now this sounds like a plan. I'm going to try this starting tomorrow.
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Old 06-02-07, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 2Tired2Shift
I used to think that. Now I believe, if (as I said) _all_ other things are equal, lighter is faster even on the flats. The lighter person is going to be able to get into a more aero position and I think the leaner a body gets the more efficient it becomes. I know, in my case, my heat tolerance is definitely down because I am heavier now - my core temp builds up more quickly. I think there are other factors as well.

Yes, there are some fast big guys out there. I believe they would be even faster if they dropped the extrra weight, even on the flats.
"All other things are equal" is a silly argument. Are you talking about total power output or power to weight ratio? Those cannot possibly both be equal if 2 cyclists have different weights. If you're talking about equal power-to-weight ratios, then I would bet on the big guy on a flat road every time.
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Old 06-02-07, 06:17 PM
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There seems to be a consensus among fitness/racer types that intervals are the way to get faster. Ride really hard for one minute, coast/take it easy for 30 seconds, repeat. The actual length of the intense and relaxed intervals and the number of cycles and the need for electronic aids like power meters and heart monitors may vary in different people's opinions.
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Old 06-02-07, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by 2Tired2Shift
I used to think that. Now I believe, if (as I said) _all_ other things are equal, lighter is faster even on the flats. The lighter person is going to be able to get into a more aero position and I think the leaner a body gets the more efficient it becomes. I know, in my case, my heat tolerance is definitely down because I am heavier now - my core temp builds up more quickly. I think there are other factors as well.

Yes, there are some fast big guys out there. I believe they would be even faster if they dropped the extrra weight, even on the flats.
You forget, larger (by that I mean in terms of muscular fortitude), riders ARE faster, especially on the flats. Remember, the limiting factor is aerodynamic resistance. A larger rider with 10% more frontal surface area can have 20-30% more muscle and fuel onboard, which would make him a very formidable opponent in a race of both attrition and sheer speed.
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Old 06-02-07, 06:56 PM
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a guy riding a light bike on the flats is faster than the same guy riding a heavier bike on the flats in the same conditions. the difference is so small you can't see it

speed on the flats is a function of power output and frontal area. a larger guy with bigger leg muscles will be able to produce more power, which will more than overcome the drag caused by his larger area. this is why you generally don't see climbers being great time trialists; they don't have the large muscles of the time trial experts. there are, of course, exceptions, but this is the general rule

Originally Posted by waterrockets
You're probably ready to start dabbling in sprints and intervals. If suffering sounds fun...

...I like it.
if the OP thinks he is ready to start doing some hard work, this is the man to listen to. he is the Lord High Priest of the One-Minute Interval, the Prince of Pain. and his knowledge will make you faster. sacrifice a goat to him and pray he blesses you with his wisdom
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Old 06-02-07, 07:01 PM
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A reasonably decent rider once offered this advice, which I pass along to you for free.

"Ride lots."
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Old 06-02-07, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Lecterman
Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride.Ride. Ride.
yep.yep.yep and some more. BTW starting in May is only a month into it and even though I use a trainer during the winter and ride by March it takes over a month to get into real form. Vary your rides, long and short and I like to mix road and XC trail riding to shock and build the legs and body. Also 20-23 miles per hour will place you above the norm of riders out there, I get passed seldom on trail or road and when I do I just remind myself of that I am probably much older than them and most can't keep up with me if I want to drop them.
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Old 06-02-07, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by smoke
sacrifice a goat to him
Goat? Oreos man. Oreos.
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Old 06-02-07, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by trek1
yep.yep.yep and some more. BTW starting in May is only a month into it and even though I use a trainer during the winter and ride by March it takes over a month to get into real form. Vary your rides, long and short and I like to mix road and XC trail riding to shock and build the legs and body. Also 20-23 miles per hour will place you above the norm of riders out there, I get passed seldom on trail or road and when I do I just remind myself of that I am probably much older than them and most can't keep up with me if I want to drop them.
I'm definitely new to the riding and I feel speed will come if I work hard. As far as people passing me there have not been that many (but then again I most likely have not run into some real riders yet). Honestly I look forward to people to pass me so I can chase them. The guy on the mountain bike flying pass me while I was doing 20.5 was in his late 30s or early 40s (I'll be 28 in July)...I should have asked him if he is juicing or it's all natural That guy has total respect from me...
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