Average speeds for women

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Newbie2020
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Average speeds for women

Postby Newbie2020 » 19 Jun 2020, 1:52pm

So pleased to have found this forum and have already found loads of useful information to help me! I've cycled nearly 1500 miles since 1st April and during this have increased my average speed on both short (20 miles) and longer (40+ miles) routes. But I can't find any form of guidance on what is a 'good' average speed for a female rider the wrong side of 50. Is there such a guidance anywhere? My local cycling club suggest 12-14mph for their ladies only cycling groups buy I'm averaging 16-16.5 on short solo rides and 15-15.5 on longer (solo) rides so that sounds very slow,.

I don't want to be a speedster or race anyone but would love some targets to work towards to gauge my ability and fitness levels!

Carlton green
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Re: Average speeds for women

Postby Carlton green » 19 Jun 2020, 2:04pm

I’m not at all sure that an able lady cyclist moves any more slowly than a man. H’mm, that said when I was a young man similar aged women would struggle to keep up with what I then considered to be a cruising pace. I think that there are so many variables that it’s too hard to give a definitive guide and it’s best to not worry too much. If it’s bad weather or the terrain is tough your average speed will suffer, if your bike isn’t the best or needs attention then your speed will suffer, if you’re carrying loads of gear then your speed will suffer, etc., etc.

I’d say that the speeds you are averaging are quite respectable and I’d be pleased to be doing them. Enjoy your rides, if they are at a comfortable pace for you then that’s perfect, and with your times I don’t think you need to have any concerns about keeping up with the other Ladies and most of the Men.

dodger
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Re: Average speeds for women

Postby dodger » 19 Jun 2020, 3:06pm

"Quite respectable" is an understatement. I generally average about 10 mph, although if you know the Cornish terrain, you'd understand why.
I used to watch my cycle computer and worry over speed, but then I realised I wasn't enjoying the ride. Now I've junked the computer and just cycle at a pace where I can look around.

thirdcrank
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Re: Average speeds for women

Postby thirdcrank » 19 Jun 2020, 3:51pm

I don't think there's much to be gained by worrying about average speeds, except as a broad measure of improvement in performance. All day into a howling gale will inevitably be slower than half-an-hour riding with it at your back. There's a difference between the true average ie the time taken between setting off and getting there and the average when only actual riding time is used for the calculation. The latter seems to have become more popular with handlebar computers which offer either calculation.

If you are concerned about the time taken for journeys, it's much easier to lose time by stopping than it is to make it up by riding faster.

I've often referred to cruising speed ie the speed you can keep up throughout a ride without tiring too much

On the matter of women riders compared with men, there's information about Beryl Burton in this post, and several immediately following:

viewtopic.php?p=133830#p133830

reohn2
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Re: Average speeds for women

Postby reohn2 » 19 Jun 2020, 4:02pm

Newbie2020 wrote: I'm averaging 16-16.5 on short solo rides and 15-15.5 on longer (solo) rides so that sounds very slow.

That's pretty quick
I don't want to be a speedster or race anyone but would love some targets to work towards to gauge my ability and fitness levels!

Your ability and target is yourself,you ride and guage your 'performance' by your previous self until you plateau,that then is your ability.
There'll be variation within that plateau but generally that's it.
It's usless guaging yourself off someone else unless in competition with them.
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I cycle therefore I am.

peetee
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Re: Average speeds for women

Postby peetee » 19 Jun 2020, 4:15pm

What sort of terrain? Is it hilly or windy round your way?
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eileithyia
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Re: Average speeds for women

Postby eileithyia » 19 Jun 2020, 4:32pm

Sounds a reasonably quick pace. When I started with a small touring club, 12.5mph was considered average for a club run pace... this of course is average.... with pace being higher and lower depending on general terrain / wind / temperature etc.

Most tourist trials such as 50 in 4 100 in 8 etc use this average speed as a guide.

To go to the other end of the scale the Mens 10 mile competition record for a time trial (flat out for 10 miles against the clock) is 16m35s
Womens is 18m36s..

At the end of the day it all depends on what you want to achieve, are you riding your bike for enjoyment; to see the birds / wildlife in the fields or are you 'training'. Personally I can do a mixture of both. My local club's B ride is probably around an average 14-16mph.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

whoof
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Re: Average speeds for women

Postby whoof » 19 Jun 2020, 8:55pm

When the current restrictions end and group cycling returns see if you can find a local club/group with a high female membership. Go on a few rides with them and you will see how compare with other women. I suspect if there are a fair few of them you will be faster than some and slower than others.

MikeF
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Re: Average speeds for women

Postby MikeF » 19 Jun 2020, 9:40pm

Average speed will depend on terrain. It's the speed going up hills that mainly influences the average and not the speed on the downhill. :wink: I'm on the wrong side of 50 :lol: and women cyclists often pass me!
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Vorpal
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Re: Average speeds for women

Postby Vorpal » 20 Jun 2020, 9:38am

There area so many variables. Your speeds sounds quite good. I'm a woman, over 50 and a regularl cyclist, and my average speeds are more like 13 mph. I do a lot of hilly rides, which could imfluence that.

But the best way to both improve, and see the improvement, is pickig a regular quiet route of a distance that you judge to be suitable, and timing yourself on it. Ride once every week or two amnd try to improve a little each time.

You can do the same by doing time trials with a club. Some clubs are pretty serious about it, but if you can find one with a fairly social atmosphere and a wide variety of folks attending weekly time trials, it can be quite fun.
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Carlton green
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Re: Average speeds for women

Postby Carlton green » 20 Jun 2020, 2:02pm

Vorpal wrote:There area so many variables. Your speeds sounds quite good. I'm a woman, over 50 and a regularl cyclist, and my average speeds are more like 13 mph. I do a lot of hilly rides, which could imfluence that.

But the best way to both improve, and see the improvement, is pickig a regular quiet route of a distance that you judge to be suitable, and timing yourself on it. Ride once every week or two amnd try to improve a little each time.

You can do the same by doing time trials with a club. Some clubs are pretty serious about it, but if you can find one with a fairly social atmosphere and a wide variety of folks attending weekly time trials, it can be quite fun.


H’mm, a ‘light bulb’ moment for me, thank you. I’m now wondering about plotting a not too long (40-50 mins?) and not too hard route to cycle on a regular-ish basis and to note the results on some chart. The idea for me would be not to be looking for personal bests and not to be particularly pushing myself but towards seeing and helping trends over the longer period of time. Well that and seeing which of my bikes and/or mechanical modifications might be quickest. It’s perhaps a weekly or fortnightly run, all year round, coping with variable weather and variable health as best one can.

One ‘could’ do the same with a time trials club but that wouldn’t work for me - for others it could be fine but we’re all different.

Thanks again, what an interesting concept this thread has prompted.

Newbie2020
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Re: Average speeds for women

Postby Newbie2020 » 20 Jun 2020, 4:09pm

Thank you to everyone who has responded- its certainly given me food for thought. I'm in the Leicestershire/Northamptonshire area so reasonably bumpy- a 30 mile ride would normally have around 2000 feet of climbing. Not Tour de France territory but not flat! I'm really pleased at the improvement since 1st April - I have a post work ride of 20 miles which before I was doing at around 14.5mph average and now just over 16mph - obviously this does depend on the weather to some extent but I'm definitely faster! I was just curious how 'good' that is for amateur riders. :D

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foxyrider
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Re: Average speeds for women

Postby foxyrider » 20 Jun 2020, 8:31pm

Newbie2020 wrote:Thank you to everyone who has responded- its certainly given me food for thought. I'm in the Leicestershire/Northamptonshire area so reasonably bumpy- a 30 mile ride would normally have around 2000 feet of climbing. Not Tour de France territory but not flat! I'm really pleased at the improvement since 1st April - I have a post work ride of 20 miles which before I was doing at around 14.5mph average and now just over 16mph - obviously this does depend on the weather to some extent but I'm definitely faster! I was just curious how 'good' that is for amateur riders. :D


I used to live that way when i was a sprog, we'd bash about the lanes, up to Leicester, down to MK etc, etc at @20mph average, no fancy gizmos back then, just time and distance. Whilst not Fenland flat you can do a lot of miles without much gear changing, most of the climbs of any note can be easily avoided, its bouncy rather than hilly.

The real question is, what have you done since April that has affected your speed? My post April rides have seen avg speeds increase by 3-5mph, i haven't done anything different but i'm not encumbered by thermals etc and its just so much nicer to ride in the sun. Sadly, come the autumn those same gains will be reversed (unless i move to the Med :lol: ).

'How good is that for amateur riders?' well, in theory you'd be okay on most social club rides but anything associated with competition and i think you'd soon be in trouble - well most of them will be younger than you for a start and a middle of the road racer would easily cruise along at 20mph, the serious ones faster than that. These days the boundary between amateur and professional is quite blurred, there are certainly many amateurs that can give the paid ranks a good run for their money.

The main thing is to enjoy your riding, if pushing your efforts to higher speeds ticks your box, fine but its not the only way 8) :wink:
Convention? what's that then?
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TrevA
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Re: Average speeds for women

Postby TrevA » 21 Jun 2020, 4:56pm

Newbie2020 wrote:Thank you to everyone who has responded- its certainly given me food for thought. I'm in the Leicestershire/Northamptonshire area so reasonably bumpy- a 30 mile ride would normally have around 2000 feet of climbing. Not Tour de France territory but not flat! I'm really pleased at the improvement since 1st April - I have a post work ride of 20 miles which before I was doing at around 14.5mph average and now just over 16mph - obviously this does depend on the weather to some extent but I'm definitely faster! I was just curious how 'good' that is for amateur riders. :D


As a cruising speed that’s pretty good. I cycle with my wife, though I’m usually in front and she sits on my wheel. We usually average around 16 mph on flattish terrain, dropping to 14.5 if it’s hilly. She’s done a bit of racing, and her best time is 28.05 for 10 miles, alone and unassisted, which is just over 21 mph. She’s not a racing snake, but she’s quite strong on the flat.

Our local club has a ladies only ride which has several ability groups from steady 12-14 mph, to intermediate 14-16 mph.
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mattsccm
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Re: Average speeds for women

Postby mattsccm » 21 Jun 2020, 9:07pm

Looks like you are enjoying the speed and the improvement. I for one can agree with you. As things are relaxing a bit think about joining a club. One with a womens rep and group may be good but a friendly welcome is the important thing. If you are not pushing yourself too much at the moment you have more to come. Well done. Have a go at a club evening time trial if you like to challenge yourself. Easy going and fun in a hurty sort of way. :D