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Speed number padders...(24 posts)

Speed number padders...eschelon
Apr 17, 2002 12:37 PM
You ever meet those persons who like to pad their numbers? My bro was tellin me the other day he was out riding 35 miles and he was averaging ~24mph. Sounds impressive...I had my doubts but I who cares? Whatever.

So I road with him yesterday and said that he and I were going to ride really really hard and do some hard intervals in that ride. I start out first and did 3x hard 40 second intervals consecutively with 10 second rests with him drafting me the whole way...then it was his turn and he managed to do only 1 interval and he took a really long time recovering to the point I said to him to start hammering away and quit resting...his rest was done! He says to me he wasn't ready*t! I could've pulled off to the side and baked a cake at the rate he was I simply did some more intervals at 1 minutes in front of him and he got dropped. By the time he passes me, he tells me he didn't want to do intervals and wanted to ride at a steady hard fast pace...I told him see ya.

So as he passed me, I recovered and did some more intervals and end up passing him a couple of more times and each time I would recover and then end up passing him again. And this guy did 24 mph for 35 miles?????????

I think my bro is padding his numbers so badly that he doesn't even see a problem with his discrepancy because he doesn't "see it". Too blinded by sheltering his ego from the naked truth.

It's so annoying listening to people "brag" about their average speeds. Just like men bragging about their "stamina" and phalic erection sizes.
I've never been able to get much over 20ColnagoFE
Apr 17, 2002 12:40 PM
for an average. Do these people that ride 25MPH average for 50 miles ride any hills?
I've never been able to get much over 20Dave Hickey
Apr 17, 2002 12:47 PM
I've averaged over 20mph on a couple of charity rides. My usual average is 18-19 mph. I can tell you the lead group in this years Ride for the Roses did 100 miles in 4 hours. Yes the course didn't have many hills, but the lead peleton of about 20 riders were flying. Keep in mind this was a charity ride and not a race. It took place on open roads with traffic.
I mean not drafting though...25 doable easy drafting (nm)ColnagoFE
Apr 17, 2002 2:20 PM
plus if it says 19.6 on my computerColnagoFE
Apr 17, 2002 2:22 PM
I'll count it as 20! ;)
My computer slowed me down.McAndrus
Apr 17, 2002 12:54 PM
I have a biker friend who once said "I used to be 3mph faster before computers. They weigh too much." (It's a joke.)

My experience is that fit cyclists (racers and non-racers) by themselves in flat terrain will average 20mph or so for almost any distance. Start throwing in hills and it drops.

Now, on the other hand, in a pack and the mph number starts going up. The bigger the pack, the bigger the number.

If someone tells me they averaged 24mph for 35 miles and he's not a Cat2 or better ---- well, let's just say I'm skeptical.
My oops.McAndrus
Apr 17, 2002 12:56 PM
I meant to say "in flat terrain -can- average 20mph" not "will." Sorry.
re: Like the Mythical 5 hr. CenturyScummer
Apr 17, 2002 1:01 PM
I've seen/heard people state that they did a 5 hr. Century, but "stopped the clock" during breaks, and drafted in a paceline. I think that anytime one "stops the clock" the average speed is no longer valid. Heck, why not sprint for a mile, stop the clock and rest, sprint for another mile, stop the clock and rest, etc.etc.etc. and then see what the average time would be? Regardless, it would be meaningless.
re: if it's flat it's easycyclopathic
Apr 17, 2002 2:22 PM
I've done flattish nonstop solo 102mi in 5:05 (there were at most 1,500-2,000' of climbing).
the buddy of mine Cat2 racer did flat century in 3:40 but they had paceline going at 28mph

what tickles me is that there're riders who can do Moutains of Misery in 5hr, scroll down and check result page.
Danny ChewRideLots
Apr 17, 2002 3:14 PM
Danny Chew, a RAAM'er, has done a solo century in 4:06. That's really, really smokin for a solo.
re: if it's flat it's easyAllUpHill
Apr 17, 2002 5:25 PM
Are you riding the MoM? I may try to find you there among the (probably) 300 riders. I'll be one of those nuts trying to get close to a 5 hr-even time but i'll have plenty of help from the paceline (I really should just enjoy the scenery...). According to the results page I took 5:48 last year, but there must be a mistake - I'm positive it was actually 3:48 ;-)
why does it matter?RideLots
Apr 17, 2002 1:02 PM
We all know he likely did not do 24 mph for 35 miles solo, especially if there were any hills, based upon your description of his riding with you. You do realize that average speed could be very low doing intervals, though, right?

Now, if he did 24 mph with a group, and with no big hills, now that's pretty darn easy. I think I could sit in and hardly even peddle and do that.

Is is annoying that people discuss (brag about) average speeds, or is it just annoying when they exaggerate? I doubt you'd believe the numbers I'd post on some long rides, so I won't even discuss them. Most all riders I know are pretty caught up and/or aware of the numbers. Heck, though, why worry about it. Besides, I doubt he'll be running any more numbers by you.

Maybe his speedo was set on kph?
why does it matter?eschelon
Apr 17, 2002 1:10 PM
I guess it boils down to this kind example that I may illustrate to you: let's say your friend says he is a great downhill you say great! am I. You and your friend set up a weekend day to go sking at your favorite ski hill and you two get on top of the hill and he absolutely sucks...he sucks at skiing so bad, he ends up totally draggin you down...hell, this guy sucks so bad he doesn't know what snow plowing is...Actually, this scenario happended to me a long time ago.
that makes senseRideLots
Apr 17, 2002 1:17 PM
Yes, I suppose that would make sense. I guess you figure that out really fast, though.

There is something about that "race of truth" phrase I like. There ain't no foolin the clock. There's no leadout, no domestiques, no faking people out.

I suppose it's like golf scores. I heard a guy on the radio say, "I got my braggin' handicap and my bettin' handicap." I think your friend gave you the wrong one.
re: Speed number padders...Icefrk13
Apr 17, 2002 1:08 PM
When I first started MTB I rode with a guy taht would tell you he rode this 6 mile(RT) trail in 55 min. The part he left out was that was only his RT. His total times were like 2hr 10min. spent more time off the bike than on. Last mountain bike ride I went on dropped him by 30min. And I am fat and out of shape.
I think people don't know what an average isterry b
Apr 17, 2002 1:18 PM
Having listened to these claims for a while, I'm convinced that what they mean is "a lot of the times I looked at my computer I was going 25." Not even subtly the same thing.
Most computer display itlaffeaux
Apr 17, 2002 1:40 PM
My cheap 7 year old computer dispalys it. Although it stops calculating it when I stop ridding. But I agree that people who estimate are generally way off.

I'm always amazed that I can ride for a mile at 20+ and barely move my average from 17.6 to 17.7, but if I hit one stop light it drops from 17.6 to 17.4 right away.

Although it's my goal to average 20mph on my 12 mile commute, I can honestly say I'm yet to break 18.6 mph, and a strong head wind can take me down to 16.5 pretty easily.
but I don't think that's what they're quotingterry b
Apr 17, 2002 2:50 PM
I have a friend who is always telling me, "I was out there blowing by everyone on the bike path averaging like 23 mph." Now I've ridden with her, and I've ridden the path and I know a)she's not capable of averaging 23 over any distance and b)the bike path won't support that kind of average. The tip off was a conversation we had a couple of years back about the TdF. I said how amazed I was that those guys could average >22mph for all those 1000s of miles. Her response, "Oh, I average 22 all the time." Truth be told, she was riding at 22 some of the time, probably whenever she bothered to look at the computer and was calling that her average. I don't think she ever looked at the actual average on the computer for her rides. When we started talking about the distances and the times, she was really averaging 16-17.

And I agree with you on the math - it does not take much coasting at 12 to blow your 20mph average. I keep details on all my rides. My 4 year average, in all conditions over all terrains is 17.66 mph. If I look at the computer on my regular rides, I am usually in the 20-22 range. Numbers lie while they're telling the truth.
You've probably hit the nail on the head nmgreg n
Apr 17, 2002 1:41 PM
Apr 18, 2002 4:52 AM
I think you hit the nail on the head. What I love is when people say, "I averaged 23-24 mph." Well, average isn't a range. What I suspect they mean is, at various points when everything was clicking and they felt good, they looked down and saw 23 or 24 mph on the computer. (Or maybe they saw 21 or 22, considering the numbers inflation rampant around here).
re: Speed number padders...funknuggets
Apr 17, 2002 2:16 PM
Of course, it could be a question of fuzzy math. You know, the whole mean, median, and mode... Or he could have his computer calibrated way wrong, or could have had one hell of a tailwind. Regardless, my 18 mph will kick his 24 mph ass!!!
The metric systemmr_spin
Apr 17, 2002 3:00 PM
Maybe he had his computer set to kilometers. Doesn't 24 kph for 35K sound a lot more reasonable for this guy? That's 10 mph for 20 miles, which certainly anyone could do. A lot of serious marathon runners can do that on foot!
re: Speed number padders...oregonyankee
Apr 17, 2002 4:20 PM
This thread is a delight! As a fairly newbie roadie (Sept 01) and an old guy (57), I was getting concerned about not being able to sustain 20+ mph. As I am signed up for Seattle to Portland (a 200 mile fully supported jaunt) and as I intend to do it in one day, I need to avg 17 mph or so. My log tells me I have averaged 14+ mph over 900 miles of riding since 2/1/02 - including some horrific Oregon hills. With interval training and a couple of centuries and a 150 coming up, I should get closer to the reasonable 17 mph and put away thoughts of sustaining 20+ over distance. What a relief!
This is why I use a power meterDuane Gran
Apr 17, 2002 7:05 PM
Although it doesn't lend itself to convenient discussion (given the rarity of the devices) I'm very fond of training with a power meter. I use the power kit for the Polar S-710. Observing the average power output is much more useful as a function of fitness. Windy day? No problem. The speed may go down, but the watts are still recorded as normal.

I've observed a lot of number padding. Among the reasons cited, I'll offer another reason for why it happens. We all tend to remember our best day and figure that is how we always ride. Heck, I've had a few recovery rides at about 30km/h (roughly 19mp/h and about 180-220 watts for the curious) but that is pretty uncommon, but in my mind I still think that this is my recovery speed. We are optimistic about our performance.