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  1. #1
    Jolt is offline Dodging the potholes...
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    May 2007
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    Southern Maine
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    Boy am I slow...

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    I was riding back from the grocery store this afternoon with a very light load (the trip was mainly to get city trash bags as we were out and tomorrow is trash day), and was riding up a fairly gradual incline on this one street and all of a sudden I hear another bike coming up on my left. Somewhat unusual around here, and even more unusual was that this guy was wearing a fluorescent/reflective vest as I do. Anyway, he blew by me like I was flippin' STANDING STILL!! And it wasn't like he was even trying to go fast--he looked like just another person using his bike to get around town, not a racing type (although he was on a road bike rather than a hybrid). I'm not sure why it bothered me so much, but I felt like I wanted to go crawl in a hole! I guess I didn't realize how slow I really was until then. I'd say my average speed was about 12 mph (the majority of the return trip is uphill). Sorry for the random vent, just aggravated with myself right now!
    2011 Surly LHT
    1995 Trek 830

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Limbo
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    8,783
    Don't be too tough on yourself here. In this case equipment is somewhat a factor. I rode a mountain bike on roads last year (oof!). This year I'm on the Pilot and I eat hills.
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
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    979
    I am pretty slow too... I think I average from 12-13 miles an hour. I think my fastest was 14.5 and I was racing how to watch Grey's anatomy. I am not sure how to increase my speed other than just riding. But man do I want to get faster, I am sick of missing my favorite TV shows.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Oakland, CA
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    276
    Hey Jolt,

    I just got a road bike, rode a hybrid for many years. All of a sudden I am the person blowing by others (without tremendous effort on my part). In the past I was always the blow-ee. For me, it's completely a function of the bike. Going 12 mph on a hybrid takes sooo much more effort for me than going 16 mph on a road bike (at least on my bikes).

    Don't feel bad.

    -Amy

  5. #5
    Jolt is offline Dodging the potholes...
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Southern Maine
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    1,677
    Quote Originally Posted by zencentury View Post
    Don't be too tough on yourself here. In this case equipment is somewhat a factor. I rode a mountain bike on roads last year (oof!). This year I'm on the Pilot and I eat hills.
    Do you think part of my problem might have been that I didn't have the tires pumped up to the point where they're rock-hard? It seems like letting them have a little "give" helps with the ride on the crappy roads (we have potholes and gravel out the wazoo here), but maybe I should experiment with pumping them up to a higher pressure and see if that helps with speed--I have a feeling it would.
    2011 Surly LHT
    1995 Trek 830

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by madscot13 View Post
    I am pretty slow too... But man do I want to get faster, I am sick of missing my favorite TV shows.

    That sounds like a great incentive.
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
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    if you let your tires get soft, the "Give" will pinch your tubes and flatten your tires. Put enough air in your tires to meet the minimum pressure recommended if you are a lightweight; more if you are heavier than average.

    You will move a lot faster on properly inflated tires!

    ps 12mph is NOT slow
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  8. #8
    Jolt is offline Dodging the potholes...
    Join Date
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    Southern Maine
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    Quote Originally Posted by ace View Post
    Hey Jolt,

    I just got a road bike, rode a hybrid for many years. All of a sudden I am the person blowing by others (without tremendous effort on my part). In the past I was always the blow-ee. For me, it's completely a function of the bike. Going 12 mph on a hybrid takes sooo much more effort for me than going 16 mph on a road bike (at least on my bikes).

    Don't feel bad.

    -Amy
    So the type of bike really makes a big difference? I guess riding this one will get me in really good shape then! I haven't ridden a road bike other than short test spins when helping work on a couple at the local bike co-op.
    2011 Surly LHT
    1995 Trek 830

  9. #9
    Jolt is offline Dodging the potholes...
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Southern Maine
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimitabby View Post
    if you let your tires get soft, the "Give" will pinch your tubes and flatten your tires. Put enough air in your tires to meet the minimum pressure recommended if you are a lightweight; more if you are heavier than average.

    You will move a lot faster on properly inflated tires!

    ps 12mph is NOT slow
    Sounds like I'd better add some air then--I don't need a flat!
    2011 Surly LHT
    1995 Trek 830

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
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    979
    Oh yes I agree with the air thing, low psi makes me feel extra sluggish. However, I ride a trek 520, a nice little touring bike. Is there that much of a difference between a "road bike" and my "touring bike"?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
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    3,135
    Please please *don't* be discouraged by your relative speed at this stage. If you try a group ride and can't keep up, get out there and work on your technique and distance and strength. You've only justbegun!!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,409
    For what it's worth, I don't agree with the rock-hard tires thing=faster speed.
    Yes, seriously underinflated tires are not good. But there is a happy medium.
    Super inflated tires will have less contact with the road and will bounce more on the upper surface of uneven pavement irregularities. The millions of tiny vertical bounces will add up to wasted forward motion. Medium inflated tires will make better road contact and thus transit forward motion energy better.
    My tires say maximum inflation recommended is 105 lb/sq.inch....that's "maximum". I keep them at 95 on the rear wheel and 85 on the front. That is nowhere NEAR low enough to get a pinch flat, mind you. With these pressures, I have stable steering and a smooth quick ride, and I'm not bouncing off every pebble like a kangaroo or feeling every nasty bump right on my "keester".
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Seattle
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    Lisa, me neither. i use 90 lbs for my tires too.
    but if they are "GIVING" they are too soft!
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    St. Paul, MN
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    979
    Quote Originally Posted by Geonz View Post
    Please please *don't* be discouraged by your relative speed at this stage. If you try a group ride and can't keep up, get out there and work on your technique and distance and strength. You've only justbegun!!!
    Do you have any specific hints? i would love to hear them

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    123
    I have a cheap cyclocomputer to mount on my bike, but I haven't done it yet...I'm kind of afraid of what my average speed is gonna be. My guess is not much above 10mph at this point...the "casual" local group ride is something like 12-15mph. You're doing a lot better than me!

    But hey, it means more room for improvement, right? And I have big tires on my Volpe right now...once I'm a little more used to the road position, I'll switch 'em out for something skinnier.

    I'd like to see any tips more experienced riders can give on improving speed!

 

 

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