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riding solo(11 posts)

riding solosoloflight
Aug 6, 2001 7:02 PM
How does mph of riding solo compare to riding in a group? I mean if you go 16 mph solo what are you going to be able to do in a group? I guess this comes down to: how much does drafting help?
I can tell you about my experienceDog
Aug 6, 2001 7:54 PM
I can hold 20-22 mph solo on aerobars pretty much indefinitely on flat ground. I can timetrial around 25-26 for 10 miles. With a good group on flat ground, I can easily hold 28 or even 30 if it's a smooth group.

If you were doing 16 on flat ground, you should easily be able to do 20 with a smooth group.

Throw in some hills, though, and everything goes to hell. No way to predict, then. You might be relatively strong or slow up hills. If you are a little guy, I'd suspect you could keep up with a 20 mph group on a hilly group ride, but it's pure speculation.

I can tell you about my experience--Doug, you're stronger than yBigDaddySmooth
Aug 7, 2001 9:15 AM
Doug, in a previous post, you thought you could only hold 340 watts for 10 minutes. If you can hold 25-26 for 10 miles, you're going about 340 watts. You're as strong as me (BigDaddySmooth), if not stronger. Keep it up!
Aug 7, 2001 9:25 AM
I thought you were refering to an hour ride. I'm pretty blown after 10 miles at that pace. Maybe my watt-meter thingie on my trainer isn't so accurate.

What does your computer say?Jim Burton
Aug 6, 2001 8:39 PM
My computer can read 17.5 mph average when I know that I rode over 19 mph for most of the ride. I stay with my group fairly easily doing 23-25 mph on flat to rolling terrain. Now, including warmup on these group rides, my computer states an average of 18.5 to 19 mph depending on the length of the warmup. When I ride solo, my computer usually states an average of 16 to 18.5 depending on what I am working on that day. If you are going all out solo at a 16 mph "computer" average, I would expect that you could hang with a group doing 20-24 mph, as long as you didn't take long pulls. But, as Doug said, terrain makes a huge difference. Case in point: In the mountain Time Trial of the Tour de France, Lance--the winner of the stage, and entire Tour--averaged only about 18.5 mph. That's an extreme example that makes the point; terrain DEFINATELY makes a difference.
A slower perspectiveDCP
Aug 7, 2001 6:38 AM
I am a good deal slower than the other posters. A typical flat ride for me gives about a 1 mph difference for average speed in riding with a group than alone, but I think the "cruising speed" difference is about 2 mph (18 alone vs. 20 group). The lower average differential is probably because there are more delays in a group and more group slow riding time than when I'm by myself.
I have to say that average speed should be used asLive Steam
Aug 7, 2001 7:23 AM
a general gauge to see what your level of riding is. However, your actual ability mey be much better. There are times when I come in with an average time of 16+ mph, het for the better part of the ride I was motoring at 21+ mph. Stop signs, red lights, slowing for stragglers to regroup, mechanicals etc all hurt the average. Some of the guys in our club constantly come back with higher averages, but they don't stop and barely slow for stop signs and red lights. I refuse to ride that way and put myself in jeopardy. A time trial on a specified length of roadway and under known conditions, ie. wind speed direction, would be the best way to judge your level of ability. I TT at +24 mph with wind conditions taken into account. In some areas of the country, I'm not sure how many places there are like this :-), but the things I mentioned such as lights, stop signs, traffic, etc. don't come in to play as much. Don't get frustrated by your computer results. You'll know when you are getting stronger and you will be able to judge your ability when riding with others, if that is what you choose to do.
re: riding solosoloflight
Aug 7, 2001 11:14 AM
Thanks for all the feedback.

My average is about 16+ mph on flat ground for around 25 miles, although for about 80% of the ride I'm at 17+ mph.

Is there a better way to measure ability/conditioning before going in group rides?
Aug 7, 2001 12:10 PM
Do a 10 mile time trial. Find an out and back or loop that is flat, good surface, relatively traffic free, and try to pick a near windless day. Go as hard as you can for the 10 miles, pacing yourself but using yourself up by the end. Stay in the drops or use aerobars. That's a pretty good standard for fitness.

Roughly, I'd say if you can average over 20 mph, you're very fit. If you can do over 23, you can think about racing. Over 25, and you'll be mid-pack in the 4/5's on a relatively flat course. Over 26, and you might well win something. All relative to environmental conditions for your area - just a very rough guideline.

Aug 7, 2001 6:48 PM
Thanks for the last post. I know it is only a guideline but for me it gives me something to shoot for. I can currently do about 20 mph for a solo 10 mile TT on my Trek 8000 mountain bike with narrow road slicks. I got blown away in a recent criterium (not enough acceleration ability after corners)and the winners of the cat 4/5 men averaged about 23 mph. At the same time there are many riders who cannot do that and to say that 20 mph is very fit is an encouragement to me. I'm mostly a fitness / recreational rider but still am competitive, even if it's only with me and personal bests. Thanks again.
I'm in the exact same boat!crankspinner
Aug 8, 2001 8:11 AM
Just yesterday I was so down.....I've been riding almost a year now and I've been putting off "The BIG Club ride".

I'm 38 and have managed to drop from 210 lbs to 190 lbs and I'm dying to get just a little faster!

For me to say I know nothing of road racing would be and understatement but right now I may be stuck in the middle...

By that I mean there two local groups in my area. I've ridden with the less serious group and I hate to say it, but a couple of the guys wanted to get off and push up some of the I ride alone hoping to get strong enough to ride with the faster group.

Where I do most of my riding is rolling hills and I usually average about 16 mph.

I went hard yesterday for 15 miles, a couple of rather long hills and I averaged 17.2 mph....(I cover up my computer with tape so I don't have to look at it when I'm doing all I can do anyway.)

So to the point!!!!!

The Big Daddy in the fast group says they averaged 20 mph and I know where they ride is not as hilly as where I ride.....

I've been looking at new wheels, bars, shoes, anything so I can keep up but according to some of these posts, I may be there already...

I don't mind being the Lantern Rouge, but I would like to make it back to the parking lot before everyone is loaded up and gone!!!

Any comments would be appreciated