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Average speeds

sylwiasylwia Posts: 9
edited November 2009 in Road beginners
What sort of average speeds do you need on the hills to keep up with the slower riders in the Cycle clubs?

I live close to Peak District want to join a club but i dont want to be out of my depth.

My bike computer does not give average speeds over a single trip.

I know the question is tough to answer but there are a large variety of hills in the Peak for example i was on one the other day upto the suprise from Hathersage and could only manage 6-7 mph.

The flats and downhills are straightforward but obviously the hills sort the men from the boys.

Any POSITIVE advice VERY welcome.

Cheers
Nick

Posts

  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    There is one very good way to find out if you are able to keep up with a club ride...
  • volvinevolvine Posts: 409
    i had exatly the same worries about going out with the club members but tbh i have found them to be nothing but encouraging and no matter what speed you are going up the hills as long as you can get up them you will find your club mates waiting at the top for you and i bet because you are riding with a few others as well you tend to go that little bit better/faster i am going out with a few from our club now and struggle to keep up when the road heads upwards but i manage to grind them out and they are constantly giving encouragment which helps no end.
    so my advise would be join the club and get out with the slower riders who will advise you and bring you on.
    hope my experience helps
  • lfcquinlfcquin Posts: 470
    volvine wrote:
    i had exatly the same worries about going out with the club members but tbh i have found them to be nothing but encouraging and no matter what speed you are going up the hills as long as you can get up them you will find your club mates waiting at the top for you and i bet because you are riding with a few others as well you tend to go that little bit better/faster i am going out with a few from our club now and struggle to keep up when the road heads upwards but i manage to grind them out and they are constantly giving encouragment which helps no end.
    so my advise would be join the club and get out with the slower riders who will advise you and bring you on.
    hope my experience helps

    +1
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 8,658
    the earlier you get down to riding with others of greater ability the better...
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • sylwia wrote:
    for example i was on one the other day upto the suprise from Hathersage and could only manage 6-7 mph.

    The flats and downhills are straightforward but obviously the hills sort the men from the boys.

    On hills steep enough, even protour riders will only be going 5mph. It depends on the gradient and length.

    On the flats and downhills it's not straightforward at all. Power, weight, endurance, descending skills, all play a part. Some clubs sprint for the village signs, leaving the climbers behind.

    If you can aim for 15mph average on a reasonably hilly course, then you'll be fine on the medium club rides. As others have said, go out with a club and find out. If you are too slow up the hills, don't worry, they will generally wait for you at the top.
  • Joe86Joe86 Posts: 180
    sylwia wrote:
    for example i was on one the other day upto the suprise from Hathersage and could only manage 6-7 mph.

    The flats and downhills are straightforward but obviously the hills sort the men from the boys.

    On hills steep enough, even protour riders will only be going 5mph. It depends on the gradient and length.

    On the flats and downhills it's not straightforward at all. Power, weight, endurance, descending skills, all play a part. Some clubs sprint for the village signs, leaving the climbers behind.

    If you can aim for 15mph average on a reasonably hilly course, then you'll be fine on the medium club rides. As others have said, go out with a club and find out. If you are too slow up the hills, don't worry, they will generally wait for you at the top.

    I think when we first start out we expect too much. I basically kept to the flat land for the first months I had my bike and averaged about 20 mph on a clear route. When I started going to the hills and could only manage 5-10 mph on some of the small hills, it was quite a change and I was thinking I'm so awful. But then I realised it probably isn't so bad considering the hills were 10% and peaked at 15% and some about 0.5 mile in length. I manage to keep an average of about 17.5-18 mph, so I guess it isn't so bad afterall. Just extremely hard to gauge how you are when you haven't had any experience in the hills, and experience of almost going at walking distance.

    So I guess 5-6 mph is probably what a lot of us new riders do on the steeper hills.
  • FeynmanCFeynmanC Posts: 649
    I'd agree with the others. Get out there and do it. It's by far the best way to improve.

    Plus, you'll find the effort needed to maintain higher speeds on flat is much reduced when youre in a group, leaving you with more juice in the tank to get up the hills.

    On my first ride out I was gently pushed over the top of the first small hill we came to. Now, after only a couple of months, I'm going up it at 13mph. I still drop to 4mph on some hills after we've been going for 30+ miles, but i'm not going to compare myself unfavourably to the guys that have been doing it for 10 years when i've only been at it for a few months, and they don't think any less of me. Quite the opposite, they appreciate the effort it takes to get up a hill when you are struggling (and they appreciate the rest they get waiting for you at the top ;))
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  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,148
    Just go out with a club - I waited years before doing this - some clubs have graded runs, fast, meduim, slow for example - and some clubs have dedicated beginners rides.

    Ive been a member of 2 clubs, and on the medium rides , they wait at the top of big climbs.

    Riding with a club will improve your cycling no end - so go for it - if the worse happens and you get dropped , so what ? - it really isn't a big deal.
  • FlasheartFlasheart Posts: 1,278
    It is when you are 25 miles from where you started the club ride and have NO IDEA where you are :(
    The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle. ...Stapp’s Ironical Paradox Law
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  • Getting lost is the best way to find your way around!!
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  • Agree with everyone else - get out and ride with a group. I'm sure your local club will be really supportive. Most clubs have a policy of climbing at each riders individual speed but regrouping at the top. Likewise with fast descents.

    My climbing plan is always to try and save 50% of my energy for the final 25% of each hill. I try to get my breathing steady before I hit the hill and get into a comfortable gear and riding position early.

    You'll soon find a group you can stay with and improve your technique and pace!!

    Best of luck. :)
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  • Thanks to you all, great advice from everyone.

    Will join a club looking forward to this.

    Cheers
    Nick
  • FeynmanCFeynmanC Posts: 649
    Yay - my advice...take lots of your prefered energy drink/fuel bars with you. I didn't and bonked on the way home from my first ride.
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  • Most of them aren't that good anyway so I wouldn't worry about it.
    The British Empire never died, it just moved to the Velodrome
  • geoff_ssgeoff_ss Posts: 1,234
    The climb out of Hathersage isn't very steep but it's a long drag up to Fox House. 6/7 mph isn't too bad; it depends what sort of club ride you go with. If it's a social rather than an out and out training ride then you'll have no problem. We may well be going to the Pool cafe on Saturday and returning up that very climb. If we manage 6/7 mph on our tandem I'll be very happy.

    Not sure what Derby Mercury Sunday runs are like these days but there used to be one that catered for everyone, including youngsters that needed pushing home at times. If you live near the Derby side of the Peak then you'll be welcom at the club night on Tuesdays from about 8pm (Darley Abbey church hall) My wife is the treasurer/membership secretary. She'll be happy to see you (especially if you're young and fit :lol: - which I'm not btw)

    Check the web site http://www.derbymercury.org.uk/ The agm is a few weeks so make sure you miss that one as it won't be an ideal evening to meet people.

    Geoff
    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
  • On a casual ride I usually aim for an average of 15.5-17.5mph when I ride in the Cotswolds, which have some pretty steep climbs. This translates to about 8-11mph up a 10% hill and 5-7mph up 15-20% depending on length and severity. Bushcombe lane which is 25+% brings me down to about 4mph.
  • trickeyja wrote:
    On a casual ride I usually aim for an average of 15.5-17.5mph when I ride in the Cotswolds, which have some pretty steep climbs. This translates to about 8-11mph up a 10% hill and 5-7mph up 15-20% depending on length and severity. Bushcombe lane which is 25+% brings me down to about 4mph.

    With a lot of climbs there is a descent that follows which will allow you to ride faster than your average and partially cancel out the slow speed up the hill...therefore keeping your average up...
    17 Stone down to 12.5 now raring to get back on the bike!
  • sovedasoveda Posts: 306
    fuzzynavel wrote:
    trickeyja wrote:
    On a casual ride I usually aim for an average of 15.5-17.5mph when I ride in the Cotswolds, which have some pretty steep climbs. This translates to about 8-11mph up a 10% hill and 5-7mph up 15-20% depending on length and severity. Bushcombe lane which is 25+% brings me down to about 4mph.

    With a lot of climbs there is a descent that follows which will allow you to ride faster than your average and partially cancel out the slow speed up the hill...therefore keeping your average up...

    Depends on the roads, the lanes around here are so twisty that more than 20 mph on the downhills is blody terrifying (from a vehicles apearing round bends POV) so you don't get as much back as you do on nice straight roads.
  • guv001guv001 Posts: 688
    skinarelli wrote:
    Getting lost is the best way to find your way around!!

    Couldn't agree more, I love going places I don't know and just exploring my way around, you will eventually find where you need to go. If you have toslow down then so be it.. real freedom.
  • geoff_ssgeoff_ss Posts: 1,234
    geoff_ss wrote:
    The climb out of Hathersage isn't very steep but it's a long drag up to Fox House. 6/7 mph isn't too bad; it depends what sort of club ride you go with. If it's a social rather than an out and out training ride then you'll have no problem. We may well be going to the Pool cafe on Saturday and returning up that very climb. If we manage 6/7 mph on our tandem I'll be very happy.

    Geoff

    It was a lovely morning today and we rode out to Hathersage and back up the hill to Fox House. I kept half an eye on the computer and we climbed at 7/8 mph for most of it. A bit slower on the steeper sections and a lot faster past Surprise View car park. Mind you a lot of single bikes passed us and we passed a couple of other tandems.

    We only did 55 miles but I'm knackered for some reason. Perhaps it was the cold. I really didn't think we'd make it up the hill in the village to get home. My dear wife and stoker when I told her what a struggle I'd found it, had the cheek to comment that if she'd realised she'd have pushed harder :?

    'twas a lovely ride though.

    Geoff
    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
  • My dear wife and stoker when I told her what a struggle I'd found it, had the cheek to comment that if she'd realised she'd have pushed harder

    She quite categorically isn't taking you for a ride :lol:
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    I was lucky enough to see two hours of sunshine on the other side of the dales cycling round bolton. :o
  • fuzzynavel wrote:
    trickeyja wrote:
    On a casual ride I usually aim for an average of 15.5-17.5mph when I ride in the Cotswolds, which have some pretty steep climbs. This translates to about 8-11mph up a 10% hill and 5-7mph up 15-20% depending on length and severity. Bushcombe lane which is 25+% brings me down to about 4mph.

    With a lot of climbs there is a descent that follows which will allow you to ride faster than your average and partially cancel out the slow speed up the hill...therefore keeping your average up...

    Yes that's why I said I end up from 5-11mph on >10% gradients, but this evens out with the downhills to bring my average to 15.5-17.5. I always seem to be slower overall on a hilly ride than flat, despite the downhills! I definitely prefer hilly rides though - more interesting.
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