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How fast is fast?(16 posts)

How fast is fast?boyd2
Apr 25, 2003 4:58 AM
I am very new to road biking, but I have been a serious MTB rider and occational racer for about 13 years. I have been on my road bike about 3 weeks loging about 80 miles per week. I am looking at some club rides this spring and at least one triathalon this summer. One of these days I may want get into full on road racing. My problem is I have no idea if I am fast enough (even for the club rides). Yesterday I took a ride at lunch and managed an average of 20.1 MPH over a 10 mile hilly course with lots of wind. That is about the best I can do. On the ride home from work I was really feeling the earlier ride and kept the average to about 15.5 MPH. What are good averages for a 180 lb, 6'1", 32 yo male? Am I going to get chewed up and spit out of a club ride? I am really curious how my MTB fitness and skill is going to transfer to my road bike.
Only one way to find outfiltersweep
Apr 25, 2003 6:09 AM
I wouldn't worry about actual average numbers- the only people who tell the truth are the ones complaining about how slowly they ride ;) Actually, there are a ton of factors that affect avg. speeds which makes comparisons almost impossible-

No offense, but a 10 mile ride and 80 mile/week avg. is probably going to affect you as much as anything else- for many people, 10 miles is a warmup or a cooldown.

I would check out the distances and paces for the club rides- when you ride in a group, you can draft, which will substantially increase your avg speed. If it is a fast training ride, you will probably go nuts if it speeds up when you want it to slow down, and vise versa. You might want to start with more of a beginners ride just to learn how to ride in a group.
re: How fast is fast?MR_GRUMPY
Apr 25, 2003 6:58 AM
It's not how fast you are, it's how well you can suck wheel. There are some riders that just sit in and never do a lick of work, but are always in there for the sprint. They may not win many races, but they pile up a lot of 2nd's and 3rd's.
If you can go out and ride a 40K TT, and average 22 or above, you should be able to hang, if you are smart.
re: How fast is fast?boyd2
Apr 25, 2003 7:24 AM
I know that it does not seem like alot of riding. I am trying to get in as much as I can, but I have a demanding job, wife, 2 kids, house, ect. Additionally I run 2-3 times a week and try to MTB at least once. Most of my mileage is riding to work. My hope is that I can get involved in some club rides to increase my weekend time on my bike. I am looking at one that is an "easy 2 hour ride" for now. I basically wanted to get an idea of what I could do right now, and how much more I had to do before I took it to the next level.

Do you think that those club guys would mind if I brought along my kids in a Burley trailer??
re: How fast is fast?Spiderman
Apr 25, 2003 7:37 AM
I am by no means a racer but i am your size (6'0" 175ish). Last summer i was able to only average about 18-19.5 mph solo for about 30-40 miles but was able to cruise easily at 22 or so on club rides becuase there was always someone to draft off of, or we would be in a paceline chugging along at 28+ the whole time. You work hard but the time goes SO much quicker because there are other people to socialize with.

The only true way to tell is just to go out there and try it, if you gone blown out the back, train for two weeks and come back to kick their ass. Riding in groups makes cycling so much more enjoyable (not that it isn't already). Hope that helps.
I'm reading your rider description and thinking...shirt
Apr 25, 2003 9:49 AM
'have we met?'

I'm reading your rider description and thinking...boyd2
Apr 25, 2003 11:11 AM
Hard to say, Shirt. I bet there are a million guys like me out there. I am in Elkridge, near Baltimore. My off-road ride is Patapsco St Park.
Apr 25, 2003 12:39 PM
I meant that in reply to Dr. Grumpy in his description of the quintessential wheel sucker who does as little as possible, attacks too early, and is happy to get a top ten but rarely wins. That would describe yours truly (before I upgraded, anyway.)

And... I live about as far away from you as possible without leaving the lower 48... But I grew up in DC!

While I'm writing, I'll add my 1.5 cents on your original post. You'll find numerous posts on this board in the past by new roadies who are curious to know about average speeds and what constitutes "fast." Because of the multiple variables that affect speed, a simple uncontrolled measurement is worse than meaningless, it is misleading. If you got on a velodrome and found out how far you could ride in an hour, that might mean something, but the best you can do is start showing up at your roadie's local Saturday ride and see how you do/feel. If you're on the road 2-3 times a week, off road once and run 2-3 times, you'll probably fare okay. I'd say that the number of hours you're doing aerobic/anaerobic activity is a better indicator for "club" fitness, and if you're over 12 a week you probably won't get shelled too quickly. Road is a different discipline, however. Take note of Roland Green, the International God of X-Country, barely inside the top 20 of a domestic stage race this week. But this is only due to the simple, incontrovertible fact that roadies are harder, tougher, meaner, stronger, fitter, and more courageous than all the cross-eyed, dope-smoking, trail-sitting, camelback-wearing mud-chewers out there. :-)

those be fighting words, jk. nmJas0n
Apr 27, 2003 8:09 AM
thanks for going down on me.
re: How fast is fast?RockyMountainRacer
Apr 25, 2003 9:53 AM
Don't worry about the average speed. Worry about how fast you are going while doing your intervals, and ride pretty slow the rest of the time. I think a common mistake that a lot of people make when they are first trying to get fast is to ride a fast average speed over a pretty long set route. The truth is that your top speed is going to be pretty "average" if you do this. You need to do intervals of going really fast, recover and do it again. That's the only way you'll get the strength to hang with the fast group.
Last Tuesday...merckx56
Apr 26, 2003 5:06 AM
our practice crit averaged right under 27mph and went for 1:03. That included the neutral first lap. Not trying to brag but just give a frame of reference.
Well, that explainsMcAndrus
Apr 28, 2003 7:12 AM
Why I hurt so bad on Wednesday... :-)
re: How fast is fast?R600DuraAce
Apr 28, 2003 4:15 PM
I did my first race last week. About 18 miles doing 5 laps around a 3.4 miles road around the park. Rolling course with a quarter of a mile 5% incline. Top speed was 38 mph. Slowest speed was 20 mph (on the "climb"). The pack was doing about 29 mph most of the time. Average speed was 25 mph.
So how did you do? nmshirt
Apr 28, 2003 4:21 PM
Almost finished with the cat4 (cat4/5 mixed).R600DuraAce
Apr 28, 2003 4:53 PM
Did another lap with the cat4. :)
Oh yeah.R600DuraAce
Apr 28, 2003 4:56 PM
I wasn't conerning about position though (I don't even know what was my position). I was at the back most of the time. Went up to the middle of the pack a bit.