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i just got my first road bike this week, and in the past 4 days i have put about 80 miles on it. here is my question, is a 14-15 mph avg pace a good pace? or should i pust it hard and try to speed it up? im try to loos weight by the way, well let me know.
thanks
 

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most beginners over train, ride to fast/hard. Legs burninging, heart rate through the roof. Condition your heart before your legs, your legs burning doesnt mean youre going to get in shape faster.

get a heart rate moniter

14-15mph average sounds like a good pace but you need to get a monitor and have one of the more experienced riders on the forum tell you what your heart rate should be at when riding

Most the time I spend 75% 132-142 heart rate and 25% going balls out, riding 100miles wk. I've lost 19lbs in about 8wks, eating clean and riding
 

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BikerBamBam said:
i just got my first road bike this week, and in the past 4 days i have put about 80 miles on it. here is my question, is a 14-15 mph avg pace a good pace? or should i pust it hard and try to speed it up? im try to loos weight by the way, well let me know.
thanks
you are exactly where I was in January..... keep putting in the miles and you will build speed very quickly. I think my first few rides were in the 14's and just Tuesday I set a personal best average of 18.6mph over 27 miles. I dropped from 210lbs to about 190lbs in the first couple months, but you will find that after a while you start building more muscle and your pants will fit better without loosing any more actual weight.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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I agree on the HR monitor. 14-15 mph is good, but it really depends on conditions. Is the terrain flat? Was it windy? Cold? Raining? etc.
 

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BikerBamBam said:
i just got my first road bike this week, and in the past 4 days i have put about 80 miles on it. here is my question, is a 14-15 mph avg pace a good pace? or should i pust it hard and try to speed it up? im try to loos weight by the way, well let me know.
thanks
sounds about right for a beginner.
 

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well...

BikerBamBam said:
i just got my first road bike this week, and in the past 4 days i have put about 80 miles on it. here is my question, is a 14-15 mph avg pace a good pace? or should i pust it hard and try to speed it up? im try to loos weight by the way, well let me know.
thanks
Is it a good pace? If by good you mean competitive, then the answer is no. Competitive would be more like 23-24 mph at least.

If by good you mean appropriate, then the answer is probably yes if you are a beginner.

Either way, don't sweat it too much. Your pace will improve by leaps and bounds with consistent time on the bike. Before long 15 mph will feel like you are hardly pushing on the pedals at all. In fact, it will be hard to go that slow. Just focus on training at an appropriate pace (and yes, losing weight will help) and the speed will come in time.

Mike
 

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mprevost said:
Is it a good pace? If by good you mean competitive, then the answer is no. Competitive would be more like 23-24 mph at least.

If by good you mean appropriate, then the answer is probably yes if you are a beginner.

Either way, don't sweat it too much. Your pace will improve by leaps and bounds with consistent time on the bike. Before long 15 mph will feel like you are hardly pushing on the pedals at all. In fact, it will be hard to go that slow. Just focus on training at an appropriate pace (and yes, losing weight will help) and the speed will come in time.

Mike
23-24 if you wanna be a Cat. 2!
As a beginner, I would say that logging training like that, by the end of the year you should be up to around 19-21mph, which is actually competitive for Category 5 racers, and starting to be for Category 4 races - you'd be able to 'sit in' on the pack in Cat. 4, but not do winning, Cat 5 you could probably do some winning.
Getting up to 23-24 takes a ton of training - you'll find in your first year you'll get up to around 19-21mph if you're training well, and then the next year you'll maybe gain a mile and a half or two, etc; as you get faster your gains get smaller
-estone2
 

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Anything that propels you forward on the bike is good!. Keep a log, which can be as simple as a 3x5 notepad and track your mileage, time, and pace. Over time, you'll be amazed at your personal improvement if you stick with it.

If you are just starting out, just try to get miles and familiarity / comfort in riding rather than focusing on getting faster. If you just get miles, speed will follow naturally, at least at first. After a few months, if you're still hankering to go faster, or you've hit a plateau, search this site or do a google search on bicycle + race + training. There are numerous resources out there.
 

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If you ever read the book "Lance Armstrongs War" in the chapter "Hard Men" i believe it was called, the author goes on to describe how any 6th grader can get on a bike and ride 15mph, but the hard men can get on a bike and ride 25 mph. Citing that as speed increases wind resistance increases exponentially. It made me feel like a pu$$ when I used to tool around at 19mph. I am no Belgian Hard man!

15mph is where you start. Give it a couple years and you'll be up in the 19-20 mile range for solo speeds, more if you get anal with diet an training. Group rides that average 22 will feel the norm.
 

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kpcw said:
Are you riding on the Salt Flats or Mt. Everest?

A 14-15mph rate...if the the terrain is as flat as Elizabeth Mary McQuade in fifth grade, then you just made Kerry Irons puke.

a beginner though, that is a pretty good rate for flats. I was in that boat about a year ago, and it is amazing how fast the progression is if you get bit by the bug. I rode 22 miles today, average speed was 18.3mph. Of course, as KP has mentioned, there are a ton of variables. On our weekend ride a few weeks ago, we had a 24mph headwind heading out, and average speed with a group was only 16-17, coming back though was pure joy. Had it in the 50/12 gear and averaged 28-29mph. Hills, terrain, weight, wind, lots of variables, but that's pretty good if you're just starting out.
 

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physasst said:
coming back though was pure joy. Had it in the 50/12 gear and averaged 28-29mph. Hills, terrain, weight, wind, lots of variables, but that's pretty good if you're just starting out.

that is flying!!! bet it was a blast:thumbsup:
 

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gastarbeiter
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what was that line by LeMond?

Average speeds = Average riders

don't sweat your avg. right now just ride and enjoy. want to lose weight? then ride LSD, or long/slow/distance.


BikerBamBam said:
i just got my first road bike this week, and in the past 4 days i have put about 80 miles on it. here is my question, is a 14-15 mph avg pace a good pace? or should i pust it hard and try to speed it up? im try to loos weight by the way, well let me know.
thanks
 

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botto said:
what was that line by LeMond?

Average speeds = Average riders
Ditto! Try not to even track avg speed (which, I know, is very hard for a beginner NOT to do). Don't even think in terms of miles. Instead, think in terms of hours (e.g., I've got 1 hour to ride today, 1 hour Friday, 2 on Sunday, etc.). Avg speed is meaningless and often becomes a source of fixation for beginners that goads them into always trying to 'beat' last ride's avg.

I will clarify, if you want to loose weight, there is no 'fat burning zone' that magically burns more fat than other zones. Riding faster will not burn less fat than riding slow. The body burns about the same amount of fat per hour in absolute terms when cycling regardless of speed. The faster one rides, the more stored glycogen the muscles will recruit for the increased energy demands. Weight loss is all about burning more calories than you consume, so spend as much time on the bike as you can. You'll want to ride easy on some days to promote muscle recovery, but don't avoid riding hard on those days you're feeling chipper because of some fear it will take you outside the 'fat burning zone.'
 

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Small changes make BIG difference

When I upgraded to a real road bike last year, I was starting in the 18 mph category. I would go out mostly in a tank top shirt due to the heat, didn't have a real jersey because I couldn't find one I liked. After I bought one, I noticed speed took an average +0.5 mph over my loop. Next I tried adjusting seat height to optimize stroke, and found another big improvement, legs less fatigued at the end of the run by raising seat 1/4 - 1/2 inch (now i know why lance was nicknamed "Mr. Millimeter").

The biggest improvement however came when I asked someone what my tire pressure should be, I would keep it in the 80's because in the old bike I would get blowouts alot, using a pump that I plugged in to the car cigarette lighter. The LBS said keep it at 110-120 mph, and pump before every ride, at the min every other day. A HUGE increase in speed, I routinely average now in the 20.5 - 21 range (wind ALWAYS sucks in the coast in Maine in spring). I noticed a big boost this spring after riding the trainer for the first time this winter.

Another thing that affects average speed is air temp. Riding in the 40's can take as much as 0.5 mph off the average, due both to the higher drag from winter clothes, and the higher density of the warmer air. Had my first ride in the upper 60's this weekend, up to 21 mph average!

:thumbsup:
 

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First of all, you need to know that people lie about their average speed. Many people ESTIMATE their average speed. So don't worry about comparing your average speed. As others said, hills make a BIG difference. Plus, riding by yourself makes a big difference. For example, I ride about 14-15 when I'm alone in hilly/mountainous terrain near my house. On a flat ride last week where I had to do almost all the pulling, I averaged 18.5. In a big pack on flatish ground, I have averaged over 22.

So don't let anybody make you feel bad when they tell you their average. There are many variables, even if you don't include the possibility that they are bs-ing you.
 
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