It’s quite an intriguing title but nonetheless let me elaborate. Since the past few weeks I have been thinking about the right pace or speed at which one should cycle. A question which often confronts most cyclists who have survived the initial “stop-start syndrome” is “am I Cycling at the right speed”.
Frankly speaking I am in the average cycling speed category, again with my stops or breaks enjoying the view of the landscape and making the most from my trip. However hard one tries to keep away from the pacemakers you still don’t wish to lag behind. It’s good to let the bug in, but I maintain a certain cycling pace that suits my energy level, which is an average speed of about 18 to 20kmph.
Setting my stat’s aside., what’s the right cycling speed one needs to maintain. Ask me, the answer lies in yourself. How comfortable and fit are you to keep pace with your previous speed and maintain or improve upon those speed levels. I always felt Cycling to be a combination of fitness & leisure. It’s always good to have a ride experience, capture memories and build cherishable milestones. Like they say it’s always good to follow the trail than lead the pack. But if you’re in an event say like racing or time trials then it’s a different story. There you must race to win. But on a fitness cum leisure ride maintaining a comfortable average speed is always best.
I keep talking to cycling enthusiasts and experienced cyclists who have done most forms of cycling and their inputs I wish to share.
The cycling speed varies, depending on fitness, road conditions and traffic. Some of the observations on average speeds are mentioned below(cruising speed based on a flat, paved road in good condition):
18-20km/h (12.4 mph) – many leisure cyclists which includes myself ride around this speed.
20-25km/h (15.5 mph) – most daily commuters.
25-30km/h (18.6 mph) – fast commuters, slower roadies.
30-35km/h (21.7 mph) – fast roadies.
any faster than that on a long flat road and they’re probably a racer.
There are many GPS assisted Apps one can use to keep track of your cycling speeds and save the stat’s for future reference. One can join a cycling group which rides at a certain speed or pace. This will also help in gaining momentum and maintaining an average speed. This pack of cyclists who ride together for long distances are refered to as pelotons. Each cycling group which maintain pelotons have their own group riding rules. One of them is to be able to ride at a minimum speed(say 20-25kmph or 30-35kmph) on flat riding surfaces. In most long distance cycling road races one can notice group or peloton formations for a large part of the cycling distance to help riders maintain an average pace or speed before they can accelerate.
Therefore start cycling maintain your own pace and enjoy your ride. The speed I am sure will join you shortly.