My Progress


Über Member
Hi all, sorry about this being another "how am i doing thread" but i would like some comments/advice.

I signed up to london to brighton with my mate, for something to do firstly and also some motivation.

I've been proper cycling again for about 6 weeks or so, i went on a couple of 12 milers a few months ago on my mtb but recently got a Dawes Galaxy (i'm currently using it without mudguards and racks) and since then have started putting in some miles.

I started cycling to my 5 a side footy twice a week, (9 miles round with anything from 40 mins to 1.5h football in the middle) and on may 1st i did a 25 mile trip to my mums which took me 2h20. I was shattered afterwards and felt cold for hours and i also realised that speed is slower than a marathon runner which was disappointing.

I continued riding to football and may 15th i did the same(ish) run to mums, 24 miles this time in 1h40 which i felt was better. I felt a little wobbly at the end but otherwise pretty good.

Then may 17 because our league football was over i switched to riding that night and did a 20miler in 1h30.

Cycled to 1.45h football game wednesday again, and today i have just done 34 miles in 2h12. Felt better and better as the ride went on and feel pretty good right now.

Thing is, i've worked out i'm doing something between 12mph average on some rides and just over 15 on others.

I'm 31 and in fairly good shape as i've been playing 5 a side once or twice a week for the last decade and feel my speeds should be better.

Or am i being unreasonable?

Thanks in advance.


Average speed is not a good way to gauge your progress, too many people get hung up with their average speed. So many factors will govern your performance on a particular ride.

From what you ve said you are showing a marked improvement. If you have some time have a look in the training threads you ll find far better yardsticks to see how you are doing.


Active Member
If it helps any I've not managed to break 12mph ave. As lukesdad said do meny thing effect it. Traffic lights on one route, hills on another. I can be crauising along at 15-18mph on the flat and then hit a slight incline and bam down to 12mph. Hit a hill and I'm in granny gear doing 5mph.

20miles in 1.5hrs sounds very good to me. I'm 33 and have only been cycling seriously since just before christmas. My cycle to work is 15miles (with a few pesky hills in the way (yes that's an excuse :biggrin:) and I'm doing that in the same 1.5hrs.

Personally I cycle because I enjoy it and want to be able (physcally/mentally) to cover the distance. For me speed is way down on my list of priorities and may improve in time. For me going faster will just mean I can go further distances - I'm not interested in getting anywhere quickly, if I was I'd use the car :smile:

That said - it's Sunday and beautiful weather outside, what am I doing indoors on the internet? I'm gonna see if I can get to the coast today I think :smile:


As long as I breathe, I attack.
Has anyone mentioned cadence /rpm to you yet?

If you use a higher gear you can grind away and not go very fast and knacker your kness etc .
If you drop to an easier gear and pedal more fluidly at a faster speed you can go just as fast/faster for less apparent effort.
Most people say 70-90 rpm for your legs,this is a wide variance and some people will be faster or slower depending on what suits you.

And good luck with your ride!


slower but further
SE London
When it comes to distance it should be your bum that becomes the limiting factor. If it knees/breathing/feeling knackered then you are going too fast.

Best to see how far you can get at 12mph with lots of tea and cake. Then when you have amazed yourself at the distance on the map (that also impresses people more than speed) you can then slowly wind up the speed as your fitness improves if that gives you satisfaction.

Me? Well I never cut out tea and cakes so my overall average is still pretty low!

We went out for a sixty miler yesterday. Cruising speed was 12mph. Coming back into town I split from the group and was surprised to find my speed averaging 20mph without noticing. That's the point you should have as much energy available at the ends as at the beginning of the ride. Otherwise you are a racer, not a tourer ...
I wouldn't worry dnrc about average speed, with mileage it comes. I didn't imagine breaking the 15mph barrier when I started, but it sudenly came. (The first time I broke it was in a group). I only really started cycling again when I was 26 (short commutes) and gradually got hooked over the next few years; bought my first road bike when I was 31 and I haven't looked back since. I'm now 34 and although there's plenty faster, on a club run (last year mind you, I was fitter then) I was averaging 22mph and just last weekend I was 19.1mph for the 81 mile etape Caledonia.


Forum Stalwart (won't take the hint and leave...)
Just one warning - as far as I have heard, London to Brighton is a bit hilly - you'll hit both the North and South downs, neither of which are something to be taken lightly.

So whilst your training is going well (echo comments about spinning, rather than grinding - it can seem like you are going slower, but are actually going faster), I'd make sure that you get some decent hill practice in before you do the ride.


Über Member
Thanks all for the advice.

I think i'm doing alright, but am a bit of a speed freak so always want to be going faster!

I am just trying to steadily build up the miles really, i would have liked to have been up past 50 before the ride next month but that may be unlikely as i am going on a fortnights holiday on thursday.

That just leaves me tonight and a small ride wednesday and i'll have about a week when i get back so maybe a short, medium and long ride then.

I should get close i would have thought, maybe do 40+ miles just after my holiday. I may try to hire a bike while i'm away too.

I'll try thinking a bit about cadence too.

And thanks for the warning about hills, although i can't train them too much unfortunately as i live in Norwich. Norfolk isn't as flat as they say but it isn't far off!


Man or Moose!
If you can cycle 20-25 mile comfortably, you will make 50 (it might not be comfy though)! If you want to, and if you eat as you go.


Über Member
I did 34 comfortably saturday so I should be ok i would have thought. I want to do the ride easily though rather than having to grit my teeth at the end so that's my aim.

I just went out this evening and put in 20 miles before the football came on.

i span the pedals a bit more than previously and while i didn't really feel like i was going faster i barely had to stop pedalling the whole ride (previously i would have to do 30 seconds of coasting for every few minutes of riding) and i managed 20.4 miles in 1h15m which is about 16mph so getting better.

Thanks for all the comments and advice.

Oh, and well done all here on being a very friendly and helpful bunch. I've been on many many forums over the years and it does notice.


Forum Stalwart (won't take the hint and leave...)
You've got to be reasonably happy with a 16mile/h average over 20 miles. Remember that for the big one, you will probably be riding in a group, which will help a lot, both psychologically, and physically by reducing wind resistance (although makes very little difference on hills).

I did a 40 mile run on Friday after work. Didn't realise how far it was, so pleased when I calculated it yesterday. Ran out of water and energy around the 35 mile spot - took on some more fuel at a filling station (Oasis and a Picnic bar, not Super Unleaded!), and legs were a bit wobbly, so probably didn't do enough spinning, and too much grinding. But pleased I did it with enough left over for a good 35 miles the following morning.

Aim is 50 with plenty of gas to spare by the beginning of July.
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