Author Topic: How fast?  (Read 9481 times)

How fast?
« on: June 18, 2010, 12:46:31 pm »
I recognise the minimum and maximum speeds for audaxes, but at what sort of speed would the "average" audaxer travel? I would like to have a go later in the year (once I am used to the new bike), but I wondered what sort of cruising speed people normally manage. I appear to be able to maintain about 25 - 28 km/h on the flat in still air, abnd although I haven't done that for any long distance, it appears to be sustainable. Going up hill is significantly slower of course!

What should I be aiming for?

Re: How fast?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2010, 12:50:34 pm »
That's about my kind of speed (25-28kph on the flat), I finish near the back of the field but pretty comfortably within time. It takes a very hilly ride or several mechanicals to make me worry about finishing within the time limits.

On flatter than average rides I'll have a moving average of 23-25kph.
On average hillyness rides (2000m climbing for a 200km ride) I'll have a moving average around 22kph.
On hilly rides (AAA points) I'll have a moving average somewhere around or slightly below 20kph.
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iakobski

Re: How fast?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2010, 12:55:18 pm »
Quote
what sort of speed would the "average" audaxer travel?

Anywhere between 15 and 30 km/h  ;D

Srsly, don't worry, there will be others doing the same speed as you...

Re: How fast?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2010, 01:01:05 pm »
Its not just about the cycling!

Its also about the time you take not cycling.

I average in total about 17km/ph
O'LEL what have I done!

Charlotte

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Re: How fast?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2010, 01:02:16 pm »
Exactly, Biggers!

What should I be aiming for?

Somthing you can keep up for hour after soul crushing, mind-numbing hour  ;)

I have met some unbelievably old, slow and otherwise unlikely audaxers, but they have all had a number of things in common:

They're comfortable on their bikes
They don't hang about in controls
To the otherwise uneducated, they're miserable sods

As a newbie audaxer, a large amount of your focus should be on keeping your bum off saddle for as little as possible.  Until you're confident that you can get round whatever you're tackling in time, from the moment you get your card stamped at controls, be aware that "time is miles" and that the clock is ticking.

Other than that, you could do well to look to the past and Velocio's code...

1. Keep your stops short and few.
2. Eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty.
3. Never get too tired to eat or sleep.
4. Add a layer before you're cold, take one off before you're hot.
5. Lay off wine, meat and tobacco on tour.
6. Ride within yourself, especially in the first hour.
7. Never show off.

Hope this helps  :D
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vorsprung

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Re: How fast?
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2010, 01:07:34 pm »
As long as you finish in time it doesn't matter

If you haven't done an audax ride before I guess you are looking at 100km rides.  These often have a minimum speed of 12kph.  Or 8h20m for 100km

Let's say you have a 20 minute lunch stop at the turning point and spend an hour messing about
That leaves 7 hours so, giving an average speed while moving of 14.28kph or 8.87mph
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Re: How fast?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2010, 01:09:51 pm »
Speeds vary depending on the ride because of weather / hills / time limits of that particular ride, but at the speeds you mention you'll be fine. There's often the chance to get invovled with a mad, fast, dash to the first control at a silly pace - it's you chocie whether to stick to that group or not. Things normally settle down after the first control.
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Re: How fast?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2010, 01:15:33 pm »
I'd not be too fussed worriying about 'Am I fast enough', as speed per say is not generally a problem. The reality is that for a moderately active person on a sensible specc'd bike 200km across average terrain in ~13:20 hrs - and its not a race so feel free to use all the time allowed as indeed is the practice of many of the very finest AUKs - is eminently achieveable. The real challenge is making sure the bike is comfortable, you get enough to eat and drink enough and have appropriate clothing and kit with you so that you can keep the wheels turning..

Weirdy Biker

Re: How fast?
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2010, 01:19:08 pm »
Fairly typical times are:

100km - 5-6 hours
200km - 12 hours
300km - 17 hours
400km - 24 hours
600km - 36 hours

These include time off the bike at controls etc.  Of course people are faster.  People are slower.  And of course it varies by terrain.  But the above is my rule of thumb for "average" riders tackling a route with around 1,000m of climbing every 100km (which is a typical AUK terrain; hilly would be >1,500m per 100km on my yardstick).

Of Charlotte's sage advice, the important one for n00bs is not to race out of the blocks.  Not only will this allow you to build up and maintain speed throughout the ride but will mean it is less likely you will gasp and pant your way past a turning in the road.

Of course, if you want to set personal records, feel free.  Although don't expect to be hailed as a hero in audax circles - that comes from overcoming hardships.

Re: How fast?
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2010, 01:31:39 pm »
Things normally settle down after the first control.
.. or the first hill, whichever comes first. 

I think you'll be fine if you're capable of cruising at any sort of distance at those speeds, especially as you seem to be waiting to be certain you're comfortable with the new bike.  But don't wait too long - it will delay the day you become an ultra-randonneur.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: How fast?
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2010, 01:37:51 pm »
What should I be aiming for?

Somthing you can keep up for hour after soul crushing, mind-numbing hour  ;)

+1

To echo FY, don't push too hard at the start, just keep it ticking over at a comfortable pace. I've done a fair few audaxes now but I still often make this mistake - when you set out from the start, you might find yourself in a group with fast riders and it will feel all too easy to go at 25km/h for the first 80km, but then you start to feel it, the fast riders drop you and soon you're struggling...

I always do better when I ride at a steady 20km/h from the start, and only put the hammer down if I've got something left in the tank when the end is in sight.

I also tend to make the mistake of getting too comfortable at controls and/or making extra stops en route. Those few minutes here may not seem much at the time but they soon add up.

d.

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Re: How fast?
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2010, 01:40:43 pm »
Of Charlotte's sage advice, the important one for n00bs is not to race out of the blocks.  

This is oft-quoted advice (dating at least back to Velocio) but like everything else, people are not all the same. 

I've always adopted the opposite approach (ride as fast as you can, for as long as you can) and have never felt that disadvantaged me later on in the event, in fact quite the opposite as the all-important time buffer is established right from the start.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: How fast?
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2010, 01:48:25 pm »
Srsly, don't worry, there will be others doing the same speed as you...
And some of us a great deal slower!

I have met some unbelievably old, slow and otherwise unlikely audaxers, but they have all had a number of things in common:........................To the otherwise uneducated, they're miserable sods
..............

Funny, I don't ever recall meeting you in person!

Re: How fast?
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2010, 02:13:57 pm »

Of course, if you want to set personal records, feel free.  Although don't expect to be hailed as a hero in audax circles - that comes from overcoming hardships.

Depends which circles you move in.

My advice would be to remember to have fun. If that means stopping for an hour at each control for a natter then great, as long as you are either quick enough to make up time or happy with a long day. If it means hooning along and eating on the wing then great also.  It really doesn't matter what anyone else may think of your performance, not that they are likely to comment.

It is just a bike ride and if you test your limits and get it wrong, you'll learn what they are and it really doesn't matter. Just make sure you've got some flapjack and jelly babies for if you do get your output wrong.

If you want to be a bit scientific then use an hrm and keep around 60-70% of your max for most of the time

LEE

Re: How fast?
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2010, 02:16:15 pm »
Fairly typical times are:

100km - 5-6 hours
200km - 12 hours
300km - 17 hours
400km - 24 hours
600km - 36 hours

These include time off the bike at controls etc.  Of course people are faster.  People are slower.  And of course it varies by terrain.  But the above is my rule of thumb for "average" riders tackling a route with around 1,000m of climbing every 100km (which is a typical AUK terrain; hilly would be >1,500m per 100km on my yardstick).

Of Charlotte's sage advice, the important one for n00bs is not to race out of the blocks.  Not only will this allow you to build up and maintain speed throughout the ride but will mean it is less likely you will gasp and pant your way past a turning in the road.

Of course, if you want to set personal records, feel free.  Although don't expect to be hailed as a hero in audax circles - that comes from overcoming hardships.

Agreed.

The Faccombe-Four try to set a 5.5Hr/100km target (including stops).  It works OK up to about 300km but then sleep-stops buck the trend.

So, if there is a cafe control at 100km, we try to leave within 5.5hrs of the start, 11 hours for a 200km control and so on.

It gives a fairly good pace, not too fast, and leaves a decent margin for unplanned stops (and sea-front cafes in the sun).  I mentally break that down into 50km chunks taking around 2.5 hours (not including stops) to keep me on or around target.

For longer rides I'll write the 5.5hr/100km target times on the route sheet at the various controls, as a check I'm not dawdling in a cafe for too long.

You won't be first but you won't be last using 5.5/100 targets.  15km/hr Audax pace translates to 6h40m/100km pace so 5.5/100 bags you over an hour of "unplanned stopping" per 100km.


You could easily translate that into an "Overall Average Speed" pace if your computer supports it.  I like to have an hour in hand though, no point getting a DNF just because of a puncture with 5 km to go.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: How fast?
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2010, 02:40:17 pm »
It is just a bike ride

^This.

Don't make life harder for yourself than it needs to be by over-thinking it.

d.

Weirdy Biker

Re: How fast?
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2010, 03:31:20 pm »
Of Charlotte's sage advice, the important one for n00bs is not to race out of the blocks.  

This is oft-quoted advice (dating at least back to Velocio) but like everything else, people are not all the same. 

I've always adopted the opposite approach (ride as fast as you can, for as long as you can) and have never felt that disadvantaged me later on in the event, in fact quite the opposite as the all-important time buffer is established right from the start.

Heh, truth be told I often do the same thing on calendar events.  There is something about seeing shirts disappear off into the distance that just doesn't feel right.  Although I learnt the hard way to recognise that there are some regular faces that it is just folly to try and keep up with because they ride at a pace that just burns through my muscles.  At the first control, I tend to chill out a bit and make incremental increases to time gain over each stage.  More often than not, it works out for me and puts me in the "slightly quicker than average" group of regular audaxers.

On permanents, I tend to go at my own pace throughout (meaning they are typically 10% or so slower than corresponding calendar events).

Re: How fast?
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2010, 03:56:07 pm »
I recognise the minimum and maximum speeds for audaxes, but at what sort of speed would the "average" audaxer travel? I would like to have a go later in the year (once I am used to the new bike), but I wondered what sort of cruising speed people normally manage. I appear to be able to maintain about 25 - 28 km/h on the flat in still air, abnd although I haven't done that for any long distance, it appears to be sustainable. Going up hill is significantly slower of course!

What should I be aiming for?

Everything that everyone else has said is good advice. Before I started I was worried that I wouldn't be fast enough to finish with my overall average > 15kph. So I timed myself on my rides, ranging from 80km to 200km. I was never out to set a time, that isn't my thing, it's not a time trial after all.  I had to stop for food and water and natural breaks and rests etc. I was fast enough, my moving speed was fast enough. Do the same and see for yourself. You need to find the balance between riding hard and needing time to rest and riding slower and stopping less often and for shorter time periods. Your call.  You see all sorts of strategies on events.

I ride at all sorts of speeds, usually at whatever I am comfortable with at the time. Some events have been faster than others because I have tried harder and hung onto faster riders for as long as I could.

Re: How fast?
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2010, 02:56:43 pm »
7. Never show off.

Awww. But it's fun to try to lose a group of cyclists in triathlon-team shirts while at km 220 of a 300!
I always find it funny at 2/3s of a brevet. The last 1/3 always feels like "only 70/100/130/200km to go!"
Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been too many days since I have ridden through the night with a brevet card in my pocket...

Re: How fast?
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2010, 03:24:09 pm »
I like to experiment with the format - it's part of the fun.

Last year I did my fastest 400 (in itself - part of a 600) - with only brief stops - I was round in 18.5 hours.

Last week I did my slowest 400 (26.75 hours) but that included a 5 hour stop with sleep, food and a shower  :thumbsup:.

It's fun to play.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: How fast?
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2010, 05:31:41 pm »
My fastest 200 (9 hours) was the first 200 of my only 600 so far, which I DNF. I don't know what to make of that. I'm not sure the facts are related.

d.

Re: How fast?
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2010, 06:30:32 pm »
Wow! Lots of tips. I do have a HRM on my Sigma bike computer, but to be honest I turned it off since getting shocked at the 185 bpm I was getting climbing the really steep stuff off road!  :o

I will time myself over a longer distance, and then probably just enter one and give it a go. Even if I don't finish, I still have achieved something, and will have more to aim for in the future!

Thanks for all the comments - see you on the road  :thumbsup:

aregister

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Re: How fast?
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2010, 09:21:16 pm »
7. Never show off.

Awww. But it's fun to try to lose a group of cyclists in triathlon-team shirts while at km 220 of a 300!
I always find it funny at 2/3s of a brevet. The last 1/3 always feels like "only 70/100/130/200km to go!"

And that commandment in the original French:
  "Ne jamais pédaler par amour-propre"
is even more difficult to obey then the English translation.

Uncle Eric

Re: How fast?
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2010, 11:42:17 pm »
Wow! Lots of tips. I do have a HRM on my Sigma bike computer, but to be honest I turned it off since getting shocked at the 185 bpm I was getting climbing the really steep stuff off road!  :o

I will time myself over a longer distance, and then probably just enter one and give it a go. Even if I don't finish, I still have achieved something, and will have more to aim for in the future!

Thanks for all the comments - see you on the road  :thumbsup:

I use a HRM and it works quite well to control pacing. My max bike HR is 177 and I try to stay below 130 on the flats and let it drift into 140s in hills. If it goes above 155 I get off the bike and walk up the hill. Works fine in East Anglia where the hills aren't too long so a 42/23 min gear works ok. That strategy has left my legs fine and fresh in the end of rides with 200s taking 8-10 hours depending on season. The thing I haven't worked out is nausea in rides exceeding 300 km. In two of the four 400s I've done I've gotten problems eating during the night section and struggled through the final 70k.

Re: How fast?
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2010, 08:08:42 am »
And that commandment in the original French:
  "Ne jamais pédaler par amour-propre"
is even more difficult to obey then the English translation.

A new bit of french vocab for me ... I had that as "never pedal with clean love"  ::-)