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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's define quick as averaging 20 mph on a solo flat 30 mile ride.

Using whatever amount of training you did/do, how long did it take you to get to that level?
 

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About 2-3 months. I had a pretty good aerobic base from running and just needed to build up my leg strength.

Started end of December 09, ride 3 times a week. 2 1 hour sessions on the trainer during the work week and 30-50 miles on Saturday or 1.5-2 hours on the trainer if it's raining.
 

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I could probably do that in the third year I returned to cycling. First two years I was learning and building conditioning, and only riding weekends. Third year I started riding 5-6 days a week in the summer.

But I'm old...
 

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Are we talking about starting from scratch or what?


With a good training plan you could conceivably do it in 2-3 months IF you have a decent aerobic base to begin with. You will also need to stick to the training plan through whatever.

I started in May with very little base work, but with a strict plan I was able to get my average speed up to about 33km on the hilly-ish route I take within 2 months. During this time I was weight lifting, training with a power meter, and building a training plan based on what I had learned from the training bible. I also avoided fast food, alcohol (to excess), and smoking. It can be done, but it can be very difficult.
 

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eminence grease
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RyanDFL said:
Let's define quick as averaging 20 mph on a solo flat 30 mile ride.

Using whatever amount of training you did/do, how long did it take you to get to that level?
I started riding when I was around 5.

And I rode my first 20mph century in 2004.

So......45 years.
 

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Honestly, a couple of months from when I picked up road biking after a 10+ year hiatus from cycling. My regular route is fairly hilly, which makes flat routes feel like a cake walk. Unfortunately, I plateaued after a few months, and haven't picked up a lot of speed since.
 

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What is the purpose of your 20 mph ride?
Riding at 20 mph for 30 miles, won't help you if you get into a group that rides at 26 mph for 5 miles.
Doing 20 mph is all well and good, but you also need to ride at 28 mph, and you need to ride at 17 mph, and you need to ride at 15 mph.
 

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eminence grease
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MR_GRUMPY said:
What is the purpose of your 20 mph ride?
Riding at 20 mph for 30 miles, won't help you if you get into a group that rides at 26 mph for 5 miles.
Doing 20 mph is all well and good, but you also need to ride at 28 mph, and you need to ride at 17 mph, and you need to ride at 15 mph.
That's too many numbers. I don't want to spend all my time looking at my computer. Can't we just pick one speed?
 

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MR_GRUMPY said:
What is the purpose of your 20 mph ride?
Riding at 20 mph for 30 miles, won't help you if you get into a group that rides at 26 mph for 5 miles.
Doing 20 mph is all well and good, but you also need to ride at 28 mph, and you need to ride at 17 mph, and you need to ride at 15 mph.
20mph solo for 30 miles... wouldn't that generally be good enough (fitness wise) to be able to ride with a group at 26 mph for 5 miles?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
MR_GRUMPY said:
What is the purpose of your 20 mph ride?
Riding at 20 mph for 30 miles, won't help you if you get into a group that rides at 26 mph for 5 miles.
Doing 20 mph is all well and good, but you also need to ride at 28 mph, and you need to ride at 17 mph, and you need to ride at 15 mph.
Well I hear you, but I'm just going with 20mph because it's a nice round number, it seems pretty quick to me for a decent length ride, but it's not insanely fast.

I'm asking about solo rides rather than group rides because I have never ridden in a group and therefor have only the haziest concept of how much faster a group move when sharing the wind.
 

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terry b said:
That's too many numbers. I don't want to spend all my time looking at my computer. Can't we just pick one speed?
42  
 

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makeitso said:
20mph solo for 30 miles... wouldn't that generally be good enough (fitness wise) to be able to ride with a group at 26 mph for 5 miles?
No. That means you can put out ~180w for 1.5 hours. That doesn't mean you can put out 400-500w (26mph) while pulling, then recover at 240w-280w. See how much bigger the numbers are for the second one? Way, way bigger effort.
 

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RyanDFL, it doesn't take too long. After riding my bike for 2-3 months... or well, thefirst part of summer, I was able to average 20mph for 30 miles. That was when I was... 15.

Now, I'm much, much faster. But I can't remember the last time I averaged 20mph on a ride. My last ride, I averaged 19.2mph... But I'm one of the fastest Cat3's in the state. Don't focus on average speed. It's chasing something that's way too variable due to wind, slight hills (you'd be amazed what a 0.5% hill can do), etc.
 

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estone2 said:
RyanDFL, it doesn't take too long. After riding my bike for 2-3 months... or well, thefirst part of summer, I was able to average 20mph for 30 miles. That was when I was... 15.

Now, I'm much, much faster. But I can't remember the last time I averaged 20mph on a ride. My last ride, I averaged 19.2mph... But I'm one of the fastest Cat3's in the state. Don't focus on average speed. It's chasing something that's way too variable due to wind, slight hills (you'd be amazed what a 0.5% hill can do), etc.
This.

While I posted before that I haven't ever averaged 20mph for 30 flat miles, I expect I could. I don't have any need to. I'm not in a quest for speed. That said, I've ridden training rides with race groups (24+ on flats) and been at the front taking my turn in pacelines that have moved as fast as 32. There's a lot more to going fast than being able to average 20mph for 30 mi.

All that said, I don't really enjoy working that hard. I prefer a slower ride, a much longer ride, and HILLS.
 

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It took me about 2 years to get quick. And I didn't really start out with any kind of endurance/aerobic base... MMA fighting and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was conditioning my body more for short bursts rather than long sustained efforts. I've dropped about 30 pounds of muscle and fat and would now consider myself a quick rider as I've switched my focus from combat sports to riding my bike.

This is my ride from last night. My true max HR is about 200 based on what it hit during a race earlier in the season. Last night I was able to keep my average HR pretty low but still maintain a good average pace. There's one slight gradual climb on this route but it's nothing significant.

All I can really say is to just get saddle time. Your body will make the adjustments and sometimes it seems like it takes forever but that's part of conditioning the cardiovascular system. It does take time. But it is worth it.
 

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Not long.

When I was 20 and just learning, I would ride my flat route for 30 miles and try to finish in 90 minutes. Usually it took a 6 weeks or so in the spring to work up to that. (Then move on to hills and groups)

I just got back after a couple years off. I wouldn't suggest this as a yardstick of any significance now. (What do I use? which group I can hang with at the group rides? Can I drop off the back to pick up straglers and pull them back to the group? When I ride solo, how long can I go and still finish with strength at the end. Compare that to lastyear/nextyear)
 

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Life, the Universe and all that

estone2 said:
That's the answer.
 
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