Campaign for real averages


Kilometre nibbler
I note that my favoured ride logging site, ridewithgps only shows "moving average" for a ride, not the actual average speed. Strava, I think, shows "moving time" by default. It's quite difficult to get hold of the real average speed on these sites, you basically have to calculate it yourself.

Now, how useful is this? Other than for flattering yourself than you're quicker than you really are, not much. If you want to plan a ride it's not much use at all. The reason why you stop is due to real world things like needing a rest, road conditions, traffic junctions etc. What use is moving average? Does it tell you how fast you would have gone if there were no junctions? No, not really because it would be a totally different route in that case: you would be less rested, but would spend less time accelerating and decelerating. So what's the use of knowing what your theoretical speed might be in a different universe?

And another thing. It's not even a real measure. Different sites have different algorithms for calculating stopped time, and will differ in their results. So it's just a made up measure, just like "calories burned".

I wrote to ridewithGPS, in green ink natch, making this point. They humoured me with a nice reply, but I suspect they may have considered me an obsessive nutcase. I can't think why.
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✊🏻✊🏾 🌈 😷
I always thought auto-pause was for cheats. Probably stops nobbers from blasting through red lights though.


Kilometre nibbler
When I look at a ride on Strava it gives moving time and elapsed time.

Then again I tend to know what time I left and what time I got back.
But does it give average speed? I don't think it does, only moving average speed. Same as RWGPS.
Why would they omit this key metric, leaving us to work it out for ourselves, when they do show the never-never-land "moving average"?


My yearly average speed, calculated any way you want, shows that on half my rides ~I'm below average.
I am the opposite , on half my rides I am above average .


I use a manual spreadsheet for tracking distance/speed on rides rather than any of the mobile/GPS apps, and absolutely agree that your average speed, warts (well, stops) and all, is a much more useful number to have than any sort of moving average. One's a useful gauge of how long an x mile long ride is likely to take, the other doesn't have any practical use whatsoever... except that it is a bit larger as other have pointed out!

The main reason I use a manual spreadsheet is I reckon I'd be rather in danger of obsessive statistics calculation if I got strava or similar... and cycling (for me anyway) is so much more fun when you concentrate on just enjoying the ride rather than on miles/elevation/speed figures :smile:


Full time tea drinker
Armonmy Way
In defence of the average moving speed: for us mostly urban cyclists much of our time is wasted waiting for the lights. Ok, it's ''resting time'' but the stopping, starting, slowing and accelerating has more of an effect on cycling effort than a straight interruption-low ride. Oh, and many of us have watches which means we can work out how long a journey actually takes without having to resort to complex application-fed algorithms. Even the stop-start mode of travel knocks down the moving average speed. That said, a stopwatch function on computers would be useful.
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