What's your average speed?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
Marcus Aurelius
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Re: What's your average speed?

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 9 Nov 2019, 8:27am

CX-3 wrote:Must agree. astonishing has riding in a group got to do with anything?

Edit. I didn't write astonishing, but the censor changed my three letter abbreviation! W...T...???


Really? For a given power, in given conditions, on a given route, you expend 80 percent of your effort pushing air out of the way. Riding in a group, and draught in turn ( chain gang / pace line, echelon etc) will keep everyone in the group fresher, because there’s about an average 40 percent reduction for the person (s) in the ‘draught’s’ effort, to achieve the speed of the line.So over the distance, the average speeds tend to be higher, than if you ride solo, and have to do all the air moving yourself. Also it’s far easier, mentally, to sustain a higher power ( and therefore speed ) if you have someone else’s effort to focus on.

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Audax67
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Re: What's your average speed?

Postby Audax67 » 9 Nov 2019, 9:12am

Yup. The funny thing is that when two cyclists are riding with one tucked in behind the other, not only is the one in back sheltered, but the guy in front experiences less drag too, because the turbulence that would be sucking at his back moves to the back of the pair. My old long-distance partner & I could do this pretty well, but you have to be very sure of each other.
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cycle tramp
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Re: What's your average speed?

Postby cycle tramp » 9 Nov 2019, 9:42am

crossy wrote:Knowing my average speed would make me depressed as I’m that slow. Saying that it must be above 7.5 mph as I can get round an audax in the 12.5kph time limit (sometimes only just).How do people judge average speed? From start to finish with the time running all the time or do they pause the the time when they stop. Mine is from start to finish overall average.



Personally, i find the question 'Are you still enjoying riding?' Is a little more relevant than what's my average speed. My lowest average speed was four to five hours to cover some 15 miles. I had cycled into town to buy a book, it was a pleasant day and I cycled home along the river.... I stopped at a bench part way through the journey home, to read the first few chapters of the book, surrounded by bird song, and enjoying the gentle breeze and warm sun.. it was one of my best cycle rides of that year....
... if you still enjoy riding dispite any (perceived) lack of undue haste on your part then you have my admiration..
...however if your emotional fulfillment of any cycle ride rests on purely attaining a given amount of measures (speed, distance, time or height gained) .. then my advice would be to try a couple of rides without strava or cycle computers or any measuring devices and see if you are less or more stressed at the end of your cycle ride

(Apologies, edited... I should have used the word 'without' in the last paragraph)
Last edited by cycle tramp on 9 Nov 2019, 2:47pm, edited 2 times in total.

CX-3
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Re: What's your average speed?

Postby CX-3 » 9 Nov 2019, 10:15am

Really? For a given power, in given conditions, on a given route, you expend 80 percent of your effort pushing air out of the way. Riding in a group, and draught in turn ( chain gang / pace line, echelon etc) will keep everyone in the group fresher, because there’s about an average 40 percent reduction for the person (s) in the ‘draught’s’ effort, to achieve the speed of the line.So over the distance, the average speeds tend to be higher, than if you ride solo, and have to do all the air moving yourself. Also it’s far easier, mentally, to sustain a higher power ( and therefore speed ) if you have someone else’s effort to focus on.

But the question posed was "What is your average speed?"
Riding in a group, chaingang or doing a TTT is not your average speed, it is the average of the group.

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Cugel
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Re: What's your average speed?

Postby Cugel » 9 Nov 2019, 10:53am

cycle tramp wrote:
crossy wrote:Knowing my average speed would make me depressed as I’m that slow. Saying that it must be above 7.5 mph as I can get round an audax in the 12.5kph time limit (sometimes only just).How do people judge average speed? From start to finish with the time running all the time or do they pause the the time when they stop. Mine is from start to finish overall average.



Personally, i find the question 'Are you still enjoying riding?' Is a little more relevant than what's my average speed. My lowest average speed was four to five hours to cover some 15 miles. I had cycled into town to buy a book, it was a pleasant day and I cycled home along the river.... I stopped at a bench part way through the journey home, to read the first few chapters of the book, surrounded by bird song, and enjoying the gentle breeze and warm sun.. it was one of my best cycle rides of that year....
... if you still enjoy riding dispite any (perceived) lack of undue haste on your part then you have my admiration..
...however if your emotional fulfillment of any cycle ride rests on purely attaining a given amount of measures (speed, distance, time or height gained) .. then my advice would be to try a couple of rides with strava or cycle computers or any measuring devices and see if you are less or more stressed at the end of your cycle ride


That is sage advice but, in the cycling culture that's dominant in Britain, many will feel obliged to do the Strava-striver thing despite it causing them angsts and feelings of inadequacy.

CyclingUK is now a sort of backwater of British cycling culture in many ways. Many of the population are CTCers who have long-understood the pleasures of "mere" touring and the use of the bike for cycling pleasures of the less eyeballs-out kind. The cycling media in Britain is largely to blame. As with so many other things, there's an underlying heavy-duty commercial push that requires the cycling media to push shiny new glam-product based on some very silly notion that we can all be like professional racing cyclists.

I don't disparage the pleasures of racing or other more vigorous kinds of cycling. After all, I raced for many, many years and had great pleasure out of it. But even then we racer lads recognised the alternative pleasures of "just riding a bike" whether that was a more leisurely club run or hostelling or some other form of "mere touring". In truth, the "mere touring" and similar leisurely cycling styles would far better suit 95% of bike-users today, rather than treating every ride as a faux-race with ..... who? And why?

Cugel

crossy
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Re: What's your average speed?

Postby crossy » 9 Nov 2019, 12:53pm

I have tried riding faster but I get distracted after about 10 mins a glance at a tree or nice view and that’s my speed training over. I have tried using a heart monitor that works for a couple of days then I lose interest. I’ve ridden for over 50 years now and am happy to just continue to be doing so. As the saying goes if you find an exercise you love it’s not really exercise.

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: What's your average speed?

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 9 Nov 2019, 1:38pm

CX-3 wrote:
Really? For a given power, in given conditions, on a given route, you expend 80 percent of your effort pushing air out of the way. Riding in a group, and draught in turn ( chain gang / pace line, echelon etc) will keep everyone in the group fresher, because there’s about an average 40 percent reduction for the person (s) in the ‘draught’s’ effort, to achieve the speed of the line.So over the distance, the average speeds tend to be higher, than if you ride solo, and have to do all the air moving yourself. Also it’s far easier, mentally, to sustain a higher power ( and therefore speed ) if you have someone else’s effort to focus on.

But the question posed was "What is your average speed?"
Riding in a group, chaingang or doing a TTT is not your average speed, it is the average of the group.


Yes, that’s quite right. But if your group’s speed is up, so is yours.

fastpedaller
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Re: What's your average speed?

Postby fastpedaller » 9 Nov 2019, 2:34pm

I use a small cycle computer to see what my average speed is (but only after my ride :wink: ). One thing I have noticed, if I feel particularly lively and try really hard the average speed may only go up by 1mph - the effort involved to gain 1mph is huge IMHO. The other thing is that my average speed (for same effort) drops by at least 1mph when Autumn arrives :(

cycle tramp
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Re: What's your average speed?

Postby cycle tramp » 9 Nov 2019, 2:48pm

crossy wrote:I have tried riding faster but I get distracted after about 10 mins a glance at a tree or nice view and that’s my speed training over.


+ 1 :-)

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: What's your average speed?

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 9 Nov 2019, 3:00pm

fastpedaller wrote:I use a small cycle computer to see what my average speed is (but only after my ride :wink: ). One thing I have noticed, if I feel particularly lively and try really hard the average speed may only go up by 1mph - the effort involved to gain 1mph is huge IMHO. The other thing is that my average speed (for same effort) drops by at least 1mph when Autumn arrives :(


The effort / relative effort is all that’s really necessary. If your ‘average speed’ drops off, due to conditions or whatev’s, it matters not, as long as the power to weight is staying up, or increasing. That’s the whole point.

gbnz
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Re: What's your average speed?

Postby gbnz » 9 Nov 2019, 4:27pm

The utility cyclist wrote:
If it isn't impinging your safety then it's none of your concern never mind to get your knickers in a twist as to how fast others ride, relax or you'll have a heart attack one day!


I view it more with amusement :wink: . There's something intrinsically amusing when individuals who buy all the gear in any sport or occupation, are outperformed by others with none of the gear :wink: (NB. Rather like at the gym, when "body builders"in all the gear, are outperformed by taht 17 year kid from down the road and the retired shepherd :wink: )

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TrevA
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Re: What's your average speed?

Postby TrevA » 9 Nov 2019, 4:32pm

I’m not obsessed by average speed, to me it’s incidental. I record my ride and the average speed is what it is. If I’m doing 14.9 mph average, I don’t put extra effort in to make it 15. If anything I’m obsessed by miles, I will ride an extra 1/4 mile to get a round figure for mileage. I compare my week to week or year to year achievement by how many miles I did, not what average speed I achieved.
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Oldjohnw
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Re: What's your average speed?

Postby Oldjohnw » 9 Nov 2019, 4:58pm

The only reason I am interested in average speed is to enable me to calculate how long a journey will take.
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MikeF
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Re: What's your average speed?

Postby MikeF » 9 Nov 2019, 6:44pm

TrevA wrote:So far this year I’ve done 5193 miles in 344 hours according Strava. That’s 15.096 mph. This is my true average speed over all types of terrain and all types of riding. Yes, I record all my rides, even pootling into town just for my own personal interest. The total includes the Gospel Pass and the Tumble as well as lots of hills in Derbyshire, so not all flat - 145000 feet of climbing in total, but only 28ft per mile on average.
I presume that gives you overall average speed as opposed to average moving speed? Well done.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

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Re: What's your average speed?

Postby MikeF » 9 Nov 2019, 6:45pm

Oldjohnw wrote:The only reason I am interested in average speed is to enable me to calculate how long a journey will take.
One reason why I do it as well.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master