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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm pretty pumped, for the last few months I was chasing a demon, (analgous to the Right Stuff of cracking the sound barrier), I had been flirting with upper 20's earlier in the year. But due to the crappy maine weather, winds near the coast, etc., always something that seemed to be holding me back.

Finally today, had a warm day (70+ temps), the first real warm day of the year, AND moderate winds. Result, I finally had an average over 21 mph. It's a fairly hilly route, and it always seems like the downs never balance the ups. But it is a closed loop route, so I know that it's even. On the flats with neutral winds (side or minimal), I was cruising at about 25 - 26, wih tail winds, about 28 - 30 (why does it always seem that yu're riding against the wind both ways? The biking paradox I guess).

While it may not be recommended for a beginner to worry too much about things like this, but I think it helped my development to set a goal and meet it. Looking forward to see if I can improve in upcoming warmer weather.
 

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rugger said:
I'm pretty pumped, for the last few months I was chasing a demon, (analgous to the Right Stuff of cracking the sound barrier), I had been flirting with upper 20's earlier in the year. But due to the crappy maine weather, winds near the coast, etc., always something that seemed to be holding me back.

Finally today, had a warm day (70+ temps), the first real warm day of the year, AND moderate winds. Result, I finally had an average over 21 mph. It's a fairly hilly route, and it always seems like the downs never balance the ups. But it is a closed loop route, so I know that it's even. On the flats with neutral winds (side or minimal), I was cruising at about 25 - 26, wih tail winds, about 28 - 30 (why does it always seem that yu're riding against the wind both ways? The biking paradox I guess).

While it may not be recommended for a beginner to worry too much about things like this, but I think it helped my development to set a goal and meet it. Looking forward to see if I can improve in upcoming warmer weather.
My current goal is 20... my PR is 19.5mph right now... I have been riding since January, how long have you been riding? how many miles a week are you riding?
 

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I am 33, currently 192lbs (down from about 210lbs) and usually ride between 25 and 30 miles at a time. I bought my first road bike October 20th, then tore up my knee pretty bad in a soccer game 9 days later, and was in rehab until December. So, I really didn't start riding with any consistency until January. I am now riding almost every Tuesday and Thursday night after work as well as trying to get in a Saturday or Sunday ride as family restraints allow.
 

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yeah -- I don't keep track of my average speeds during solo rides.

Either I'm doing an endurance or recovery day, which means the point is not to push the pace, or some kind of intervals, which require bursts of speed and then periods of recovery. Both aren't efficient for average speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the words of encouragement.

I have been riding for about a year, I bought my first real road bike last year, before that was an 70-80's era Puch. A real tank, well made, but not for speed.

I did the trainer over the winter, and I think that helped me quite a bit, with the abilityto vary resistance and build up strength.

I'm 5-9, 160 lbs, 45 years old, was mostly a runner before (I still run, I mostly got in to biking to cross train to take some stress off my knees), so the endurance is no prob, but am working to build up more power and speed.

I have a Trek Pilot, it has carbon forks, but Al frame. Do you guys think I could buy more speed with an upgraded bike? Gotta say, I love the Pilot, can's say enough good about it. I was toying with the idea of entering a novice race, jsut for giggles, it might be a rush to ride with a bunch of otehrs. I always ride alone, might be fun for a change.

Keep crankin!
 

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rugger said:
Thanks for the words of encouragement.

I have been riding for about a year, I bought my first real road bike last year, before that was an 70-80's era Puch. A real tank, well made, but not for speed.

I did the trainer over the winter, and I think that helped me quite a bit, with the abilityto vary resistance and build up strength.

I'm 5-9, 160 lbs, 45 years old, was mostly a runner before (I still run, I mostly got in to biking to cross train to take some stress off my knees), so the endurance is no prob, but am working to build up more power and speed.

I have a Trek Pilot, it has carbon forks, but Al frame. Do you guys think I could buy more speed with an upgraded bike? Gotta say, I love the Pilot, can's say enough good about it. I was toying with the idea of entering a novice race, jsut for giggles, it might be a rush to ride with a bunch of otehrs. I always ride alone, might be fun for a change.

Keep crankin!
Your Pilot is a great bike. Riding in a group will involve drafting techniques you need to practice w/ a single person before you do it in a group. Find a friend to ride w/ & practice following the wheel , falling off, etc. before you try it in a group & cause a major pile-up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Thanks again!

Sometimes I get bummed watching the Giro or TDF, those guys are cruising at about 30 for 120 mi! That is incredible. I wonder what their average is?

I really have no basis of comparison to know how I'm doing relatively, except on one day a month or so ago I caught up with a group of 3 riders, and they were with the local racing club! I was pretty psyched, they were the first riders I have come across that did a pace similar to mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
venus said:
Your Pilot is a great bike. Riding in a group will involve drafting techniques you need to practice w/ a single person before you do it in a group. Find a friend to ride w/ & practice following the wheel , falling off, etc. before you try it in a group & cause a major pile-up.

I have heard several times of the "group dynamics" of a race. That's why I think it would be fun, and yeah, as a newbie wouldn't want to cause a major pileup. Does riding in a peloton increase your speed due to the windbreak around you? Some poor bloke has to take the lead, and he does all the work!
 

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rugger said:
Thanks again!

Sometimes I get bummed watching the Giro or TDF, those guys are cruising at about 30 for 120 mi! That is incredible. I wonder what their average is?
I think I read where pro-cyclists average around 25 - 28 mph for the whole race. I'm speaking "Tour De France"
 

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That is very strong......

especially for a 45 YO that has ony been riding for a short while.

Next time you ride along beside someone, doublecheck your speed against their computer......I made the mistake once (too many years ago) of miscalibrating my computer......it can make your speeds look either better or worse then they actually are. I'm not saying this is true in your case, but it never hurts to check.

Cruising at 25 to 26 for any length of time is very strong for a novice rider.

To answer your questions:

-Drafting on one other rider can reduce your effort by up to 35+ % if you are close enough (within 6 inches or so) of the wheel in front of you. The majority of your effort while riding on flat ground is moving the air out of the way. This Air resistance goes up exponentially as your speed increases. It is significantly harder to ride at 25 MPH compared to 20 MPH.

-In a peleton (a large group of cyclists riding tightly together), because the mass of the riders is moving this air out of the way, the effort is reduced even more. To give you an idea, Alone, with no headwind, I can ride at 23 MPH for an extended period with my heartrate (a measure of effort) at around 170 BPM which is around 93% of my LT (and 85% of Max). Put me behind another rider in a paceline in the same conditions, and my HR would drop to around 150 or so. Put me in the middle of a peleton in the same conditions, and my HR might be around 120. The only one's really working are those in the front.

Keep riding with goals and you will continue to improve.

Len
PS Good advice on developing your bike handling and pace line skills before you get into a race.
 

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Hey it's pen1s measuring time!

My best average speed for a distance longer than 20 miles was 32.7km/h last June (google tells me that is 20.3mi/h). It was over a distance of 50.5 miles during something called "Tour de Feed" put on by my company to benefit Operation Feed.

The route was flat, and I rode completely by myself with only an ipod, and did it non stop. I was 250 pounds then, age 31. That was ~55 weeks after I started riding a road bike.

Oh, I was riding with my computer set to metric because I was doing brevets last year, and the cue sheets were in kilometers. I still ride that way, though I constantly convert in my head my speed and distance in miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
sdnomis88 said:
good to see another Maina around here, rugger. i normally average at around 19 on my steel bianchi 16 speed
Cool, where in Maine are you? I am north of Portland
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Len J said:
especially for a 45 YO that has ony been riding for a short while.

Next time you ride along beside someone, doublecheck your speed against their computer......I made the mistake once (too many years ago) of miscalibrating my computer......it can make your speeds look either better or worse then they actually are. I'm not saying this is true in your case, but it never hurts to check.

Cruising at 25 to 26 for any length of time is very strong for a novice rider.

To answer your questions:

-Drafting on one other rider can reduce your effort by up to 35+ % if you are close enough (within 6 inches or so) of the wheel in front of you. The majority of your effort while riding on flat ground is moving the air out of the way. This Air resistance goes up exponentially as your speed increases. It is significantly harder to ride at 25 MPH compared to 20 MPH.

-In a peleton (a large group of cyclists riding tightly together), because the mass of the riders is moving this air out of the way, the effort is reduced even more. To give you an idea, Alone, with no headwind, I can ride at 23 MPH for an extended period with my heartrate (a measure of effort) at around 170 BPM which is around 93% of my LT (and 85% of Max). Put me behind another rider in a paceline in the same conditions, and my HR would drop to around 150 or so. Put me in the middle of a peleton in the same conditions, and my HR might be around 120. The only one's really working are those in the front.

Keep riding with goals and you will continue to improve.

Len
PS Good advice on developing your bike handling and pace line skills before you get into a race.

Thanks Len

As an engineer, I realized the importance of calibration, so I did a roll out several times to make sure I was accurate.

I don't have a bpm monitor, but I wonder if that would bea good tool to monitor my performance.

I'm sure I am weak on group riding, it would be good to see if there is a group around I could join up with for some rides. That sounds like it adds a whole other dimension.
 
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