RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

How fast do you ride?

I’m a newbie from Florida, excited to join you knuckleheads on Rabbrai…
I’ve just started training and am up to 100 miles a week on my Gary Fisher Marlin MTN bike

The mountain bike has slicks and clipless peddles & 21 speeds but it still moves like a tank dragging an anchor. (It does not help that I’m shaped like a fully deployed spinnaker).

I’m only averaging 10.3 mph!

Hopefully by July I’ll have lost 15-20 pounds to help me move faster.

But those 80 mile days are going to seriously suck if I can’t get up to 13-15 mph average for a few hours of riding.

How fast do you ride on average?

47 Replies

Dint, April 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Don’t worry about it. 10 mph will get U through the day with no problems. U have all day to get there. Enjoy the ride.

#182825

Jboz, April 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Are you planning on taking the MTB on Ragbrai, or are you just using it to train with until you get a road bike? IMHO, a lighter bike will do wonders, and switching alone can probably pick you up 1.5 to 2 mph from where you are now.

#182826

longrider42, April 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm

You must remember a Mt. Bike is geared for hills and rough roads with low gear ratio’s. So change out your front chainrings to something like 28/40/52, and change your cassette/freewheel to 11-28 and I think you’ll find you go a bit faster. Also add Bar ends to your handlebars so you can have at least two hand positions. And keep riding!

#182846

mentor58, April 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm

PM Sent

Steve

#182851

rjjensenia, April 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm

longrider42:
You must remember a Mt. Bike is geared for hills and rough roads with low gear ratio’s. So change out your front chainrings to something like 28/40/52, and change your cassette/freewheel to 11-28 and I think you’ll find you go a bit faster. Also add Bar ends to your handlebars so you can have at least two hand positions. And keep riding!

I think it was pointed out on a different thread that the gear ratio available on most MT bikes will not be an impediment to riding at a good rate of speed. Other factors like the weight of the bike and the lower pressure tires WILL be problematic. While I would not care to ride ragbrai on a MT bike MANY people have done this in the past and will in the future. Ragbrai is a road ride. It is more fun on a road bike imho.

rjj

#182858

Way2Cynical, April 17, 2012 at 6:10 pm

I have tip extensions on the bars but I thinking that I’m going to install pretzel /touring bars for my hand positions. I’m training with my current bike.. but may consider buying a used road bike in June. It’s just that with the costs of flying and chartering for the ride I can’t justify dropping another grand on a road bike!

#182859

Sandaltan ., April 17, 2012 at 6:28 pm

On a good RAGBRAI day I might average 10 to 12 mph, that is if I bothered to check my average. I seldom check my average, not what I am interested in. You keep riding, you will be fine.

RIDE RIGHT

#182862

knees36, April 17, 2012 at 7:13 pm

No need to worry about how fast you might average on any given day. One year when entering Dubuque, the ending town, I pulled up next to a lady who hollered out to some folk watching us bikers go by. She said, “Have you seen 7,000 bikers go by?”, and they yelled back, Yes! She replied, “Well, I’m the 7,000 and first!!!” We all had a laugh about that and there were lots of bikers behind us yet. Cheers. :lol:

#182863

mentor58, April 17, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Way2Cynical:
I have tip extensions on the bars but I thinking thatI’m going to install pretzel /touring bars for my hand positions. I’m training with my current bike.. but may consider buying a used road bike in June. It’s just that with the costs of flying and chartering for the ride I can’t justify dropping another grand on a road bike!

I’m a big fan of touring bars, I’ve got one on my fixed gear bike, and before that it lived on my touring bike. (I mainly ride recumbents now). It will give you a bunch of different hand positions, let you get down out of the wind (a bit), let you shift around so you don’t get stiff and sore. Probably the biggest headache with them is that there are so many different angles you can mount it at, it sometimes takes a while to get it exactly dialed in for you. I promise you’ll like it better than just the straight MTB bar.

As long as you’ve got decent road slicks on the MTB, I don’t think that there is any real need to change out gearing on it. Standard MTB gearing will get you down the road at about 25+ MPH at 90 RPM, and believe me, that’s more than enough speed. The weight of the MTB isn’t really a factor on the flats, and going up hill you’ve got the advantage of lower gears to help ease the way. (and the fact that you indicated that you may be carrying a few extra pounds means that bike weight isn’t really going to be a factor. {smile}

I wouldn’t get a new bike a month before Ragbrai. Just enjoy what you’ve got, know that you’ll have a great ride, and when you pass a bald guy on a recumbent, say hi to Garfield.

One thing I would do, if you haven’t yet, get the local bike shop, or somebody knowledgeable about it, to really check your position on the bike, in terms of seat height, leg position, handlebar height and reach. It can make a huge difference as the miles add up, both in comfort and preventing any injuries. The other thing, if you’re not currently either toe-clips and straps )old school) or clipless pedals to lock your feet the pedals, look into them. Shimano makes a couple of nice models that you can either clip into or use as regular platform pedals. They make a big difference in your efficiency.

Steve

#182864

SFC JKL 2, April 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm

It depends on how smooth the road is and which way the wind is blowing. You have all day to get to the next overnight town. You won’t be the first one to leave and you won’t be the last one to get in. Just keep peddling and you’ll get there.

#182882

busymike, April 17, 2012 at 8:30 pm

i averaged 16-18mph on the bike during ragbrai. my philosophy: wake up early, get a good workout while on the bike, take good solid breaks in each town and enjoy the day. so while I rode hard and was passing A LOT of people all day long, I still “enjoyed” RAGBRAI. And … I got to the overnight towns with enough time to pick a primo tent spot.

don’t worry about your average speed. it’s only april. when i first started training last april, I was probably about the same. You’ll be amazed at what some time on the saddle will do for you over the next few months. and as others have said, you might consider investing a small amount in rethinking your gear layout for a setup for your slick tires.

#182927

rjjensenia, April 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Mentor said:

“The weight of the MTB isn’t really a factor on the flats”

Sure it is the heavier the bike the more effort it will require to move at a specific speed. Simple Physics.

#182928

mentor58, April 17, 2012 at 8:59 pm

rjjensenia:
Mentor said:

“The weight of the MTB isn’t really a factor on the flats”

Sure it is the heavier the bike the more effort it will require to move at a specific speed.Simple Physics.

Sorry, weight factors into accelerating and climbing, but not really an issue on the flats. There you are mainly concerned with rolling resistance and wind resistance. You don’t have to take my word for it however, let me give you some numbers.

Presume we have a 150 pound rider, flat ground, clincher tires. He’s riding up on the bar top, it’s flat and there is no wind. He’s putting out a consistent 150 watts output. Lets run the numbers with different bike weights.

17# 17.02 MPH
27# 16.97
37# 16.93
47# 16.77.

Looks like bike weight works out to a difference of 0.25 MPH total, or no difference in practice.

Now if you throw in a climb, same rider, now he’s working at 175 watts up a 2 mile 5% grade. Lets look at times to the top

17# 14.35 minutes
27# 15.03
37# 15.75
47# 16.43

So, weight does make a difference climbing, but in this example, each 10 pounds is about 45 seconds or so overall duration. It’s really not as much of a difference as people tend to think.

These calculations come via BikeCalculator.com and use a set of formulas and models that are considered to be generally accurate and representative of real world results.

Besides, the OP made it clear that he could stand to lose a few pounds, and for 99% of us that aren’t at bare minimum of body fat,that’s the easiest way to improve performance. Eddy Merckx said it best, “don’t upgrade your bike, ride your bike up grades”.

Steve

#182939

jwsknk, April 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Pretty flat where you are? Sometimes those long flat days are more work than hilly days because yoi never really gat a break. Hills and wind speed/direction is going to come into play. You have 12 “official” hours.so 10mph would be plenty. We probably average around 15 but it still takes 10 hours. Except the last day. Everybody leaves early and pushes the pace up that day.

#182960

Michrider !!!, April 18, 2012 at 5:46 am

Flat days seem to translate into headwind! Headwinds don’t normally seem to be a problem on hills! However, I do remember the 2006, “Death march into Audubon” when I was pedaling down hills at 13 MPH!!! I should have been able to coast down those hills at 20+ MPH!!!!!

#183247

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 47 total)

The forum ‘RAGBRAI XL – 2012’ is closed to new topics and replies.

Categories

RAGBRAI L – 2023

RAGBRAI XLIX – 2022

RAGBRAI XLVIII – 2021

Training

Gatherings & Meetings

Lost and Found

Miscellaneous

Clubs, Teams & Charters

Friends of RAGBRAI