michael42 wrote:I shall experiment later on a route that has a 20km section up and down the same stretch of bypass. Last (and first) time I did this route I averaged 28km/h on the 10km down, but I stopped for a drink and so got 26km/h on the way back (so better than my average over all and nearly 18mph, but I can't help thinking the guys that average 18mph overall, given the same route would probably be much faster on this section rather than quicker through the villages to and from it) It's not entirely flat (nowhere is I suppose) but it's close.
But, given the experimental 100rpm, I'll try to do the whole thing changing gear based on the 100rpm chart in the above post rather than the 60-80rpm chart I probably use naturally. Going on that chart, if it were perfectly flat, I should be able to do the same average spinning 5th gear the whole way, or spin 6th and aim to do 34km/h as much as possible dropping to 5th only if I can't manage it - and I should forget 7th gear completely unless I can spin it to 40km/h - that would definitely be different to my typical gear use now. I can use the ride to and from the bypass section to warm up and recover.
Ok, well I managed to average 26km/h overall (which is up 2km/h over the last time I did it) and 30km/h down the bypass (which is a couple of k faster as well)
First thing I'd say to anyone else thinking of trying it - make sure you're warmed up well before trying to spin fast. I didn't and I really started to feel it in my lower back early on (perhaps not helped by the route being uphill at that point) and fretted a bit that I wouldn't be able to spin, but I slowed down and after a few miles my back was fine.
It was tough going spinning that fast though. I managed to spin 5th gear to 28km/h without too much trouble (before fatigued), but I didn't really manage to spin 6th to 33km/h on the flat.
I got a steady pace down the bypass at around 31km/h (which is the speed noted @80rpm in 7th, so, given that I was in 6th, I was definitely spinning faster than 80, but not 100)
I felt the effort a lot more, but it also felt good having a pace to push at in a particular gear, one eye on the garmin to check it was saying 31.x+ and pushing if it dropped, or changing down to 5th and spinning that when the terrain called for it.
Coming back down the bypass though I was starting to tire and so I'm spinning at 27-29kph, which is still above the cited 80rpm figure.
Looking at the log, the top speed I hit is actually quite a bit slower than last time, and I note even though I was faster down the bypass there were a few occasions in the first journey where I hit 35+kph in downhill-ish parts. So, I need to experiment with knowing when I can change up and try to spin 7 for a few extra km/h. Although I might leave that and do a few weeks or months just spinning between 5 and 6 as I did tonight and only use 7 when I'm well above 100rpm in 6. At least with the minimal data I currently have, this appears faster, with no training at all, just trying it.
But I guess arguably the small increase could be attributed to other factors - how rested I was, the wind, the fact I've been sat watching my speed and putting in effort when it drops, etc, so I need more data (and different routes too to see how they contrast)