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NYC Central Park Lap times...(8 posts)

NYC Central Park Lap times...avitar
May 6, 2002 4:43 PM
As I am just getting back into biking after years away, I was wondering what I should shoot for in a lap time for the Central Park Loop. Is 22 minutes really slow? I seem to remember doing 18's ....
May 6, 2002 4:47 PM
Just ride. Speed will come back on it's own.

Besides, fast times are no substitute for good form.

One with good form can always work on speed.


re: NYC Central Park Lap times...nigel
May 6, 2002 6:50 PM

Since you asked, I'll tell you. Are you planning to race, or just content to ride "recreationally" (with no snobbiness intended from me on this term--it's an industry-accepted phrase)? NYC's Century Road Club (CRCA, the yellow-and-blue jerseys you see buzzing around Central) recently did a 2-lap time trial (closed to traffic/pedestrians, and run EARLY on a weekend morning). Cat 4/5 (beginning or 1-2 year) racers timed between 27 and 36 minutes for TWO laps: 12.4 miles approx. With this information in mind, judge for yourself where you fit in. At 22 minutes a lap, you'd likely do 2 laps (closed to traffic) at about 45 or 46 minutes. This doesn't mean that you can't compete or ride with the New York Cycle Club (who offer a wide variety of rides of different speeds and experience levels). You'll need to do lots of hard training in order to race by next year, but you can certainly do group rides with NYCC ( for enjoyment and good chatting, as well as some quick rides if you prefer. Speak to them about joining or try out a couple of their rides; you needn't be a member to ride with them: just show up, and you won't get any grief.

I hope this helps you decide where you fit in. Enjoy riding, and if you want to get faster, do group rides where you'll be challenged and pushed a bit. Or, speak to someone at CRCA regarding their free coaching services (you must be a member, though).

re: NYC Central Park Lap times...feathers mcgraw
May 6, 2002 7:35 PM
If you want to get discouraged check out the TT times on CRCA's site:
The winner did two sub 13 laps. Don't worry about your times. For motivation record them and chart your progress.
Slow? Hell...Val_Garou
May 7, 2002 12:39 AM
Hey man, after "years off the bike" a good lap time is whatever the watch says after you make it around. So, no, 22 minutes is not really slow. It may be in six months, but for now, just enjoy it.

Fast/slow, who can tell? If Armstrong was riding with you, you'd look fossilized. If you were riding with my grandma, you'd be a god. So why sweat it?

Keep riding, you'll find the 18 again. And then, one day, 18 might start seeming slow to you too. And that'll be just as good as your 22 is now.
Lap times on my onespeedonespeed
May 7, 2002 4:47 AM
I am hitting 3 laps in 53 minutes on my onespeed.

I just like riding.
re: NYC Central Park Lap times...sidley
May 7, 2002 3:54 PM
Slow down and talk to the riders and you will find that a lot of them are (or claim to be) former semi-pros, pros, olympic hopefulls, ex track stars and the like. Put shortly, the sub 13 minutemen are genetic mutants to whom us normal folk should not compare ourselves.

When I started biking a couple of years ago, I did 22 min. laps but was down to 18 by the end of the first season. Now, I easily do 17:55 min laps -- maybe I'm not a good example.

But f$%# all that. Yesterday, I saw a beautiful pheasant in the north end of the park and herons in the Harlem Meer. I went for a great ride and just sat and enjoyed the CP's brilliant parade.
Amen. I spit on "lap times." Ptooey!Sintesi
May 8, 2002 4:48 AM
Challenge yourself, go faster, etc... But most of all enjoy the ride. I love riding CP.