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Thread: how slow am I?

  1. #61
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    I've been trying to ignore parts of this conversation but I want to make sure that (particularly) new cyclists aren't discouraged by the stats that Lenusik keeps quoting.

    I really believe that the important thing here is that we are all riding, and we are riding because we enjoy it, regardless of speed.

    There are racers who participate in this forum, and I know that they are very cognizant of (and trying to improve) their speed. There are non-racers too who are working to improve their speed, and there are others of us who just want to ride. I'm not a fast rider, and I never have been. My body seems to like the speed it goes, and that speed happens to be slower than many other riders. In fact, I'm one of the people who occasionally rides with Robyn where (as she said in her post last week) she knows she won't be riding her max speed on those rides. And she's fine with it - if she wants to ride at a higher rate of speed then that's not a good day for us to ride together. I believe that works for both of us.

    On the other hand, while I'm not put together for speed, I am very happy riding long distances. Touring, being on my own on a bike exploring new territory, playing with my camera - all make me very happy. And when I'm touring, I'm going at an even slower pace than normal because I'm either hauling a trailer or I have loaded panniers on my bike.

    What I think it really important is that we each continue to use our bikes to meet our own goals, to add something good to our lives, to enjoy our own version of cycling. That might include riding at a faster pace, but it might not.

    Have fun on your bikes!

    --- Denise
    Last edited by DeniseGoldberg; 07-06-2006 at 06:36 AM.
    www.denisegoldberg.com

    • Click here for links to journals and photo galleries from my travels on two wheels and two feet.
    • Random thoughts and experiences in my blog at denisegoldberg.blogspot.com


    "To truly find yourself you should play hide and seek alone."
    (quote courtesy of an unknown fortune cookie writer)

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Chandler, AZ
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    281
    Quote Originally Posted by caligurl
    i didn't mean to attack her... ... i was just trying to justify her bluntness... saying that perhaps what she really meant to say wasn't translating well? that perhaps there is a language barrier? thus the bluntness... harshness....
    I was a straight "A" student.

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Bayside, New York
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    499
    Well, now we see that not everything that we post is interpreted the way we want to, no matter what your first language is.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bendemonium
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    Yep, flat like Davis. Flat, flat, flat, oh gosh, more flat, thank goodness a hill to break up the monotony, darn, back to the flat. The girls in the California Bay Area, the Sierra Nevada, the Cascades and the Rockies are all scratching their heads. Let's talk 5-20 mile long climbs and then a repeat.

    And, those speeds were still from a very short race.

    I am so tired of these constant comparisons of speed when we don't know the variables for each person. It's like asking "are my eyes bluer than yours" without having a picture or a judge that has seen both pairs of eyes. It's ridiculous. If you want to know how fast you are, ride with someone you consider a peer on a familiar route. Sorry to everyone. I'm getting a bit wound up over this one. I don't want anyone to be discouraged through lack of understanding about comparisons of average speeds.
    Last edited by SadieKate; 07-05-2006 at 01:17 PM.
    Frends know gud humors when dey is hear it. ~ Da Crockydiles of ZZE.

  5. #65
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    Jun 2005
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    Illinois
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    There are people in bike clubs who sincerely and earnestly have Lenusik's attitude (also in academia) They "don't have any special talents" - (but they're straight A students, etc...) so if other people would just TRY HARDER they could all be better, and what's with all the excuses??? They just need to push themselves~ we can only know what's been in our universe.

    It is a good thing to see this discussion and see that this is how their minds work... and if it's foreign and doesn't make sense... then when somebody talks like that at a ride, you know that person is coming from such a different perspective than yours and to put "discouragement shields" up. Or... get angry and use that for motivation.

    Hard to tell when we need encouragement and when we need that kick in the rear - but it's the KITA at the wrong time that does more harm than the other way around.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    I'm the only one allowed to whine
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    10,576
    Woo-hooo! My average is the slowest! 10.9 mph!!!

    (do I get a prize?)

    I can't wait to do my first triathlon next month: in my miniskirt with my bike seat with springs under the butt and upright bars with a dingy-bell and fenders and a big ol' grin on my face!

    Have fun, everyone, cuz we'll all be dead someday!

    But (say it with me now) we're NOT DEAD YET!!!!

    -KnottedYet
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  7. #67
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    Jan 2006
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    Chandler, AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet

    Have fun, everyone, cuz we'll all be dead someday!

    But (say it with me now) we're NOT DEAD YET!!!!

    -KnottedYet
    I love that! Thanks for riding!

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    The Red Stick
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    Like Denise said - your body will let you know what speed is good for you. Some days you might want to go faster, other days you might want to take it easy. If you want to improve your overall speed, whatever that may be, then set that goal and work towards it. The more you ride, the better chance you may have to improve speed. However, you might be riding at your optimum speed now. It just depends. Riding should be fun. This discussion has quickly degraded into something not very fun. Please don't be discouraged by those who will tell you that you are slow. That is unproductive and unnecessary. Just be happy to ride and if you want to try to improve your speed for you, then I wish you luck.
    *******************
    Elizabee (age 5) at the doctor's office: "I can smell sickness in here...I smell the germs"

  9. #69
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    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
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    Quote Originally Posted by SadieKate
    I am so tired of these constant comparisons of speed when we don't know the variables for each person. It's like asking "are my eyes bluer than yours" without having a picture or a judge that has seen both pairs of eyes. It's ridiculous. If you want to know how fast you are, ride with someone you consider a peer on a familiar route. Sorry to everyone. I'm getting a bit wound up over this one. I don't want anyone to be discouraged through lack of understanding about comparisons of average speeds.
    Thanks SK for speaking my mind very clearly.

    I think all those discussions about speed are totally useless.

  10. #70
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    May 2006
    Location
    Memphis, TN
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    Quote Originally Posted by SadieKate
    Yep,I am so tired of these constant comparisons of speed when we don't know the variables for each person. It's like asking "are my eyes bluer than yours" without having a picture or a judge that has seen both pairs of eyes. It's ridiculous. If you want to know how fast you are, ride with someone you consider a peer on a familiar route. Sorry to everyone. I'm getting a bit wound up over this one. I don't want anyone to be discouraged through lack of understanding about comparisons of average speeds.
    Amen, Sister! ...One of the reasons I don't post my average speeds or distance in my daily ride post.

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    2,716
    There are people in bike clubs who sincerely and earnestly have Lenusik's attitude (also in academia) They "don't have any special talents" - (but they're straight A students, etc...) so if other people would just TRY HARDER they could all be better, and what's with all the excuses??? They just need to push themselves~ we can only know what's been in our universe.
    HA! HA! "Keep riding and you will be as fast me someday!"

    Yea, unfortunately... there are genetic barriers involved in our speeds... and how much faster we can get... I do believe.

    I could ride 7 days a week, and I know I would never get very fast (aka: 22-25 mph average). I'm not sure what my top speed will ever be, but after 1.5 years on my bike, the fastest I have ever gone is a 17 mph average. But, most days, I hang around 15-16 mph.

    I can only DREAM of breaking the 17 mph barrier!

    The fact is... is that some people have natural ability... some do not. If we all had the same abilities... everyone would be riding the same speed!

    For me, I don't have the natural ability. All I have is the ability to be perfectly mediocre. And that allows me to ride with groups and makes me happy!
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather, to skid in broadside thoroughly used-up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW WHAT A RIDE!!!!"

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North Central Florida
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    3,387

    Dragging Out My Favorite Quote

    You can't stop participating in a sport because there are professional-level people who can obliterate you at it. A sport is about a lifestyle, about health and fitness and happiness, and you want to try hard, of course, you want to do your best, but you'll have to accept that other people's best will
    frequently be better than yours.

    Mike Magnuson, Heft On Wheels

    (Nanci, who faces this acceptance on each and every ride)
    ***********
    "...I'm like the cycling version of the guy in Flowers for Algernon." Mike Magnuson

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548

    speed... bwahahahaha

    you know, I have a great worksman bicycle at my office. It is a huge thing, it weighs 40 pounds. After zipping around town on my little cross or roadbike, it is a humbling experience to hop on to this rather newish bike and ride just as fast as i can (on the flats here at work) and MAYBE get up to 10 miles an hour. What's more, I'd like to see anyone else do 15 mph on the flats on a bike like this.
    having said this, I must add that I can do a lot better on a lightweight bike.
    So if you are the owner of a comfort cruiser, Do not expect to go really fast no matter how fit you are, because the sheer weight of the bike is going to slow you down.
    Your speed on a bike has a lot to do with the bike itself.
    Take a look at the kinds of bikes they are riding in the Tour de France.
    Those bikes weigh about 1/2 of what most of our road bikes weigh; and they are even built differently, different geometry and stuff.
    One of the reason that they can sell those really expensive bikes is because they do add to your speed.
    So worry about YOUR speed, not someone else's. but even that is subject to so many variables. Try to beat your own records, but if the wind is going in a different direction, even if you worked twice as hard as you did the last time, you still might not be any faster.

    The biggest bummer about speed is that it limits who you can ride with. If you have a friend that averages 15 mph and you only average 12 mph, it won't be any fun riding with them; either they will be falling asleep waiting for you to catch up or you will be working TOO hard to have fun... or both.

    if you are riding to get fit, don't compare yourself to anyone else. Just imagine me on my worksman bike trying to go fast.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    56
    An interesting thread. I was worried about my average speed, too, when I kept reading what others have posted. But, as I began to think about this conversation, I realized that the truth is, as a newish rider, I don't really pay too much attention to the "speed" I'm going. In fact, I more often have my computer set to cadence. That way, I ride by feel rather than some arbitrary number that may have nothing to do with road/weather/fatigue/whatever conditions. And just because I'm riding by feel, it doesn't mean that I'm not pushing myself on a given day.

    While I am aiming for general improvement, I'm really more interested in enjoying my life than besting the other person. As has been stated, there will ALWAYS be somone faster than me, so why worry about what *they* can do? Why not just worry about what I can do? Seems like that's plenty enough to make me happy.

    For what it's worth.

  15. #75
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    Aug 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatlander
    . . . I'm really more interested in enjoying my life than besting the other person.
    Most excellent words and worth a lot.
    Frends know gud humors when dey is hear it. ~ Da Crockydiles of ZZE.

 

 

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