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Average speed is 12 mph

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Average speed is 12 mph

Old 05-15-19, 07:55 AM
  #1  
Hondo Gravel
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Average speed is 12 mph

Sound slow and probably is but is a bit deceptive. The routes I ride have a fair share of climbs and long gradual ascents and I知 on gravel. Hydration pack and frame bag lightly loaded with 700x40 tires. Some
parts I知 buzzing along at a good pace then the climbing begins. Even at an average of 12 mph I feel I get a good workout. At my age now I知 just in it for fitness and the natural high the biking provides. I知 more worried about dodging rattlesnakes and open range cattle and the cow pies than getting passed by Tour De France guy.
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Old 05-15-19, 08:33 AM
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You're probably doing better than me! I've been out very little this year--just can't get enthused about riding, homesick for my old haunts in northeastern MD/southeastern PA, with lots of rail-trails and mtn.bike trails that ranged from mild to wild. But there is a section of the Louisville Loop that is close by, with a paved MUP that is relatively flat with a few gradual climbs over some bridges that run over a creek. Funny thing is, if I'm just taking it easy, or pushing a little harder, my time ends up being the same. 126 must be my "lucky number". The round trip is 12.6 miles, my avg.speed is 12.6 mph. It happened several times last year and twice so far this year. It's a nice ride, but I'm really missing the off-road trails near our previous home.
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Old 05-15-19, 08:36 AM
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Average speed is just a number, formed out of a nearly infinite number of variables. It's almost meaningless, which is perhaps why people obsess over it so much-- we don't like things that are ostensibly out of our control. I might see an average speed that's 1mph higher just because I made more stoplights that day, or the wind and traffic were more favorable.

A good ride is the one you enjoyed, without regard to how fast you were going.
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Old 05-15-19, 08:49 AM
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That's why I took the bike computer off my handlebars - cadence, avg. speed, max. speed, etc. is too much information in real time and I realized it was drawing my attention away from my enjoyment of the ride.

Now I simply activate the Ride with GPS app on my phone at the start of the ride and then stow the device so I'm not staring at it during the ride. I do like to review my stats after I get home - I'm mostly interested in seasonal mileage and elevation gained - I have goals for each of those.

Re: speed - When riding alone I don't really think about it. When riding a group ride I know that I'm moving at a pretty good clip if I'm keeping up with the others. That's enough real-time info. for me.
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Old 05-15-19, 09:02 AM
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Not everyone has the potential to complete a time trial at a 31 mph average speed. Fewer still are willing to train hard enough to reach that level. And even then, they have this ability for only a few short years. Be it porn or bike racing, it's never a good idea to compare yourself to the professionals, you will only become depressed.
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Old 05-15-19, 09:39 AM
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I ride for fun and fitness. Sometimes speed is fun but it isn稚 a goal on its own for me. I often enjoy the long uphills (where I知 focussed mostly on fitness) more than the downhills where speed comes easy. Long flat stretches where I hit a Zen rhythm are great. I don稚 really care about the speed but I like to push myself for the fitness aspect.

I think Strava is one of the biggest joy killers of all time, but some people have to compete.
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Old 05-15-19, 10:18 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
Sound slow and probably is but is a bit deceptive. The routes I ride have a fair share of climbs and long gradual ascents and I知 on gravel. Hydration pack and frame bag lightly loaded with 700x40 tires.
I suspect you also see your share of wind. If you're on gravel and dealing with wind, average speeds just aren't comparable directly with paved road average speeds. I know a lot of people who easily average 17 or 18 mph on smooth, hilly paved roads who also average 11 or 12 mph on relatively flat gravel (and 5 to 7 mph on a mountain bike). Any comparisons from one genre to another are apples to oranges. For that matter, average speeds on differing gravel conditions don't compare to each other in a meaningful way, either.
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Old 05-15-19, 10:27 AM
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I, too, ride for general fitness and travel/commuting.

As a younger pup, back in the day, I did a ~70mi out-and-back with a buddy at a 25mph average pace for the ride. Was fairly pleased with that, considering it was on a ~30lb Schwinn. Couldn't walk straight for a couple of days, truth be told. Decided, right then and there, I'd never again worry about pegging higher average speeds. Haven't worried about it since.

These days, on a few rides I occasionally hit 10mph+ average for the route, though these tend to be on routes without many hilly segments to speak of. I'm a tortoise on hills, these days.

Wind, OTOH ... don't get me started. Hated it during long runs. Even more, on long rides.
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Old 05-15-19, 10:45 AM
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My gravel-bike speeds on flat gravel routes are 3mph slower than my speeds on smooth pavement with my best road bike. My speeds on hilly routes are 5mph slower than flat routes.

But the fun I have on hilly gravel routes is greater than any fun I think I知 having on faster rides on pavement.

I try to remind myself that my muscles, including my heart, have no idea what my average speed is.

My pace this week was in the 4-10mph zone most of the time. It was the best cycling ever.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 05-18-19 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 05-15-19, 01:03 PM
  #10  
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Since living in Las Vegas I quit using a bike computer. When I used to ride in Montana I could do 30 miles in 90 minutes on a good day, but in the city I'm always slowing down and stopping and it kills my average speed. Too depressing!
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Old 05-15-19, 01:57 PM
  #11  
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For those of us who live in the hills, average speed is meaningless unless accompanied by a feet of climbing per mile number. Pretty much any ride around here is greater than 1,000 feet per 10 miles. That typically results in average speeds for me of about 13 mph. On flat segments (almost non-existent here) I'm in the 15 to 20 mph range.
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Old 05-15-19, 03:39 PM
  #12  
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Personal goals and the need to accomplish them determines riding habits. Do what's needed to accomplish, be happy with results and if not either train harder or give it up.

Average speed, maximum speed, distance ridden, total time out, time moving ...... BLAH-BLAH-BLAH ....... they are all important to me. Duplicating the rides is easily done where I live so comparisons are indeed meaningful.

Today's ride, first segment after 1.5 hours of sleep since Tuesday morning was meant to be around 4 hours long and was a minute over with 63 miles. Second segment was with group and hoping to suck wheels as long as possible. Managed that and even a couple of sprints that surprised me. ----- result = happy

https://www.relive.cc/view/2370027863

Last Sunday's ride with a time restriction of around 6 hours including comfort stops. Also meant to accomplish a design long wanting to achieve. ----- result = very happy

https://www.relive.cc/view/2361559275

To each our own.
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Old 05-15-19, 04:08 PM
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We’re talking real life riding here. Keep it going!
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Old 05-15-19, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
My gravel-bike speeds on flat gravel routes are 3mph slower than my speeds on smooth pavement
That sounds reasonable, and it puts the OP square in the middle of recreational road cyclists. I don't see a deficiency.
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Old 05-15-19, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
I知 on gravel.
12 MPH isn't bad.

I can ride 15 to 17 solo on pavement but sometimes I'm 10 MPH on gravel. 13 MPH is a really good day on gravel for me.

Gravel is more difficult than some people who don't ride it think.


-Tim-.
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Old 05-16-19, 03:04 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by jlaw View Post
That's why I took the bike computer off my handlebars - cadence, avg. speed, max. speed, etc. is too much information in real time and I realized it was drawing my attention away from my enjoyment of the ride.
Exactly.

Years ago I rode for the cycle computer. I pulled that off and now I ride for myself.

I've found I put out similar effort, but the fun factor is way up.
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Old 05-18-19, 01:03 PM
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Average speeds on an adult tricycle are lower than most 2 wheel mountain bikes; this I know because I致e rode mountain bikes with gears and they rolled much faster using less energy to peddle. 17 years after my last motorcycle accident, I tried an adult tricycle because I live in an urban area where it is dangerous to ride in the streets when I am unable to keep in the bike lane. It was exciting because I was able to ride it safely from the first time.



Average speeds on longer trike rides, i.e. between Orange County and Los Angeles County, are ~10 MPH reaching top speeds in the low 20痴, and shorter rides to the gym, store, or social gatherings are ~8 9 MPH. And more slopes, stronger winds, and even traffic stops can increase or decrease my average depending on if they池e in my favor or not. This morning I met some friends in Huntington Beach, and my average speed was 9.06 MPH. I use GPS with my phone, so I start the app then and stow my phone away so it records while not distracting me; I log my rides for comparison data. In the long run, my average speeds have increased by years/trikes. Late 40痴 at start, and early 50痴 today. Hopefully, I値l discover and purchase bicycles in the future to continue increasing my average speeds, fun and exercise.



I知 still looking for a bicycle that値l let me ride at ease. I don稚 know what that値l be yet. Shortly after I purchased my first adult tricycle, I bought a Mongoose 29er Mountain Bike. Getting it to go was hard, often I壇 take off turning when I intended to go straight - problematic. Once going, riding was good; they say at 5 MPH the bike holds itself up. In a parking lot, the 29er MTB was twice as fast as the trike and only required a third of the energy to peddle, so I tried stabilizer wheels to safely ride the streets; I ordered a set that claimed to fit 20 29 bikes. They didn稚 work well with my 29 wheels though. I rode residential roads anyway, leaning on one side, but the bike would naturally switch from one stabilizer wheel to another. And that was about a 6 jump on the lowest setting. Many times that happened, I壇 fall off the bike and get scrapes and bruises. But one day in 2017, I broke my hip and had total hip replacement surgery. That prevented me from riding a trike for 6 months. I知 still searching for a bike I can mount, and start/stop easy. Hopefully, everything else will come natural, like in my youth.
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Old 05-18-19, 04:15 PM
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You're not alone. I seldom do better on average over the course of a ride. Factor in hills and it and I'm down around 10. On flats I'm burning up pavement at 12 or 13.
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Old 05-19-19, 09:02 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by bargeon View Post
You're not alone. I seldom do better on average over the course of a ride. Factor in hills and it and I'm down around 10. On flats I'm burning up pavement at 12 or 13.
Same here. I did 24.6 miles yesterday with 1673 ft. of climbing - averaged 10.5 mph
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