My speed vs Club cyclist speed

MartAstur
MartAstur Posts: 122
edited October 2012 in Road beginners
I started riding about 5 weeks ago and am really enjoying it but feel I need to start setting some goals.
I ride on my own and whilst I can already see an improvement it would be nice to have something to aim at. I'm taking it easy to begin with but my aim is to become a competent rider able to keep up with the pack and able to tackle most routes.
With this in mind I would be interested to know what kind of averages a normal club run would reach? At the moment I am averaging about 25km on the straights and about 10km up 5% to 7% hills. I have a 20 year old hybrid bike that weighs nearly as much as a car which I am sure doesn't help up the hills but should have the new one up and running soon.
I'm not out to break any speed records but it would be nice to know what kind of averages I need to be aiming at to keep up with the pack should I ever join a club.
Any comments would be much appreciated :)

Comments

  • Calpol
    Calpol Posts: 1,039
    Ride as often as you can through the winter, enjoy it and you will get fitter. then in the spring assess whether you still like it and want to get more serious. Forget about average speed and comparing yourself for now. If all is going well in the next few months you will be back posting on here asking for advice on which Road bike to buy and then you can start thinking about keeping up with the club run. Club run speed ranges from 14mph amble to 20mph chaingang.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,849
    edited October 2012
    Depends on what clubs near you offer - some will do a wide range of different groups catering for all or most abilities, others might not offer groups for the slowest riders. More experienced riders will be somewhere in the 15-19mph range on club runs, but going up to 24mph or more on chaingangs. If you find clubs near you using the search facility here, the best thing would be to look at their websites or email them to ask what they have to offer.

    Of course it's very possible to set yourself challenging targets without joining a club, but joining a club can offer a good variety of extra incentives to improve your riding.

    EDIT - Ah, I've just seen where you are, and realise that the BC website probably won't be of much help in Spain.
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    Average speed is completely meaningless unless you live in a velodrome. Whatever your average speed is locally that'll differ on different roads, and the business of riding in a group will make you go quicker anyway so comparing your avg with a club ride average is pointless.

    Concentrate on your fitness and recovery times and take a look at the club's web site or talk to the secretary, to gauge an idea of what speeds they go at. Like Brian T says, they'll probably have a range of speeds and will run Saturday / Sunday rides at different speeds - 14mph for a bit of a potter, 17 for a good ride and maybe a 20+ for a mad hack round the countryside. Your best bet initially would be to do one and see how you go on.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,849
    CiB wrote:
    comparing your avg with a club ride average is pointless
    Hmm, I wouldn't say it's entirely pointless - I knew what my long-term average was before I tried my first club ride, so was fairly confident I wouldn't have difficulties in keeping up (though was prepared to drop off the back if I did - I certainly didn't want the whole group hanging round for me if I wasn't up to their class).
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    My club offers a 10mph for beginners, 12mph for more experienced, 14,16 and 18+

    That is in fairly hilly Devon and cornwall
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    Our Sunday runs offer a slower group which basically goes at the slowest riders pace, but when in a group you would be surprised how relatively easy it is to get average 18mph for example (flat terrain).

    A decent club will run a variety of groups and will always wait for stragglers.

    If someone really struggles on a run we split it down further with more experienced volunteers to shepherd the slower ones and give encouragment etc.

    Faster group tends to average 20+ depending on who is there and the route/weather etc.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • isimba
    isimba Posts: 44
    Mikey23 wrote:
    My club offers a 10mph for beginners, 12mph for more experienced, 14,16 and 18+

    That is in fairly hilly Devon and cornwall

    What club is that? As I am half tempted to join a club.
  • MartAstur
    MartAstur Posts: 122
    Thank you for your responses :) they are very helpful. I'm fully aware that averages depend a lot on terrain etc so should not be over analysed but tallying up all your averages does give me a good idea at what I need to be aiming for in the long run.
    For now I am going to train over the winter and get some miles in my legs and not worry too much about speed but will take a sneaky look now and again to see if I am improving.
    Oh to be in England again! you really don't know just how good the Brits are at things until you move away. Here in Northern Spain I have looked into clubs (thanks for the link 'briantrumpet' useful for when I move back to the UK someday) and have found only one that has a web site and that was last updated in 2009. You see loads of club cyclists around but they all look very professional. I will keep looking and will ask at the bike shop and see if they can put me in the right direction but it's likely to be a lonely winter. Good thing is I love going out on the bike alone or with others so it's all good.
    P.S Going on a ride this week that includes a 23% hill so this could well be my last ever post as I am not sure I will survive.
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    @isimba... That's yogi in Plymouth. They have an excellent website so check them out. I know they have invested a lot of time and energy in dealing with an influx of new cyclists ...
  • Calpol
    Calpol Posts: 1,039
    MartAstur wrote:
    Thank you for your responses :) they are very helpful. I'm fully aware that averages depend a lot on terrain etc so should not be over analysed but tallying up all your averages does give me a good idea at what I need to be aiming for in the long run.
    For now I am going to train over the winter and get some miles in my legs and not worry too much about speed but will take a sneaky look now and again to see if I am improving.
    Oh to be in England again! you really don't know just how good the Brits are at things until you move away. Here in Northern Spain I have looked into clubs (thanks for the link 'briantrumpet' useful for when I move back to the UK someday) and have found only one that has a web site and that was last updated in 2009. You see loads of club cyclists around but they all look very professional. I will keep looking and will ask at the bike shop and see if they can put me in the right direction but it's likely to be a lonely winter. Good thing is I love going out on the bike alone or with others so it's all good.
    P.S Going on a ride this week that includes a 23% hill so this could well be my last ever post as I am not sure I will survive.
    I think the key word you have used is "improvement". Thats exactly what I was looking at when I started training recently. To aid this my best purchase has been a Garmin edge 500 and Strava. its a brilliant way of tracking your performance and gauging if you are getting better. It is very encouraging to see your times reduce for segments and edging your way up the leaderboards. When I first started this year I was astounded at some of the riders performance but my 1500 miles in the last few months have definitely seen me view the other athletes as human rather than people filled with steroids!
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    I would agree, my best friend after my bike is my edge 500 and strava
  • markos1963
    markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    I found keeping a training diary helped a lot. Just a few notes added to my Garmin log about what I was riding,what was the goal/purpose of the session, the terrain, the wind direction and how I was feeling. It gave me a much more accurate insight into how I was doing. Strava is all very well but it is just willy waving, just because you 'win' a segment it doesn't tell you why.
    Definatly join a good club, one that has a beginners section that will allow you to ride with like minded people. We are lucky in Norwich to have the Norfolk Cycling Acadamy which is training new riders up in the skills they need to improve their riding.
  • MartAstur
    MartAstur Posts: 122
    Started using a Garmin 500 last week :) looks great and I am sure I will find it useful. Just set up an account on strava too. I used the Garmin this week and I did a local route I use which 6 weeks ago took me 40 mins this time I did it in 33 mins so it seems I am heading in the right direction. I think I will avoid willy waving for now and not concentrate on winning anything (not as if I could) but just use it to show my personal progression. I like the way Strava shows the % climb where Garmin connect doesn't seem to.
    Thanks again for all your imput
  • dubcat
    dubcat Posts: 737
    Keep logging data to both. They are both great. Garmin do great reports like weekly reports etc. Strava provide great info.

    You will be amazed how motivating that log is when you look back it over weeks and months. That is my experience at least. For example the weekly reports on garmin help me to easily see when I am slacking.
    2010 Specialized Rockhopper
    2012 Bianchi Infinito
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    I use both strava and garmin connect with my 500 ... Both have their uses
  • RandG
    RandG Posts: 779
    One thing is for sure, you'll never ride as fast on your own as with a club, for obvious drafting reasons, however, you will push yourself further out with a club as I have done recently, bearing hanging on to their coat tails but makes you make the hard effort to hang in there.
  • get in touch with a cycling cub (it'll help if you speak Spanish but I found this.
    http://konouz.com/Sporting+%26+Social+C ... _1_en.html
    http://konouz.com/Guide+and+Information ... 26_en.html
    http://twitter.com/mgalex
    www.ogmorevalleywheelers.co.uk

    10TT 24:36 25TT: 57:59 50TT: 2:08:11, 100TT: 4:30:05 12hr 204.... unfinished business
  • MartAstur
    MartAstur Posts: 122
    Thanks for the links @Mark Alexander I will look into it. I speak good Spanish so it shouldn't be a problem. I think joining a club is certainly the way to go.
    I think I will keep using the both Strava and Garmin Connect both have their own merits and I get addicted to these thing :)
  • MartAstur
    MartAstur Posts: 122
    Just a quick update. Still no luck with clubs here but plan to ask in the bike shop tomorrow. Just did my first Cat 4 climb today (nearly stopped several times but managed to keep going). It was already on strava and ridden by one other person who seems to be a damn good cyclist as he holds most of the records around here. Anyway, he did it in almost half the time I did.
    Personally I am quite proud of myself for just getting up it without stopping :) and certainly wasn't focusing on his time but it is useful to know just how quick these top club cyclists can go.
    Thanks again for all your contributions to this post :)