Your greatest achievement on the bike?

by sm   October 20, 2013  

Once it was staying up right with no stabilisers.
Then it was riding no handed.
Then it was pulling wheelies and endo's.
Then it was riding far.
Then it was going fast.
Then it was climbing mountains.
Then it was a two year quest to climb my local hill in under two minutes.
Today was that day. Swaines Lane broken!
http://www.strava.com/activities/90181306

You have no idea how happy I am!
What about you, what's your greatest achievement on the bike?

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Those are some pretty hardcore achievements. Respect one and all. I mean, eating an icecream on the A40! Love it.

Seriously, big respect to some of those epic rides. I once rode to Spain in ten days from London. Brilliant but today's hill climb meant so much more to me!

The Human Cyclist A blog. Try it, you might like it...

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posted by sm [334 posts]
20th October 2013 - 22:03

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40.80km @ 35.46kph
82.10km @ 33.59kph
160.93km @ 26.67kph best times so far, take your pick

Makes a sweet graph (patent pending; secret formula):

Untitled-1.jpg

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1182 posts]
20th October 2013 - 23:56

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bikeboy76 wrote:
Makes a sweet graph (patent pending; secret formula):

What's the Y axis there? And which of those times are you proudest of? Short and fast or long and solid?

I used to like long and solid (insert poo joke here) but they don't feel so much like work compared to the short and fast.

The Human Cyclist A blog. Try it, you might like it...

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posted by sm [334 posts]
21st October 2013 - 19:41

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A very interesting idea to take speed out of the picture on the longer rides. Sometimes we can all get a little too fixated with speed.

It's hard sometimes as an amateur to put all of the numbers in context. There's just too many variables. As you say traffic lights. But then there's terrain and wind. Or wheelsucking - I did Ride London - wow what an average time!

I guess this is where power meters come into play but that would take half of the fun out of our bad science and trying to guess how we are or are not improving.

Confession: I too had many a spreadsheet charting many a thing until recently. Nowadays I just compare my performances of the same routes/segments on Strava.

The Human Cyclist A blog. Try it, you might like it...

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posted by sm [334 posts]
21st October 2013 - 21:31

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Ah, but how do you compare different routes/distances? If at least approximately. Ultimately this is still a graph of speed it just tries to balance distance and time in a new way; or if you can go further and sustain your speed you have done better.

I don't have Strava, I am happy to beat myself, so far. 50miles at 35kph and/or 100m at 30kph are two duel targets.

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1182 posts]
21st October 2013 - 22:13

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Stupid double posts, I've nearly got as many post here as points on my spreadsheet.

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1182 posts]
21st October 2013 - 22:15

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Short and fast are certainly a different physical challenge, but on open roads sometimes they are entirely determined by how many lights you hit. Even if you stop your watch you still have to accelerate again.

X is distance in km, Y is my special formula 'audax' score:
audax=(distance^0.25)*(speed^1.6)

Last year I was trying to extend my training. I would go out on a new longer route, just random wandering around Cheshire. When I got back I would have gone much further but gone slower (of course.) This left me scratching my head because I knew these were better rides. I had to find some way of making speed a less important factor the further I went, or in other words if I could sustain 30 kph for further and further it should produce a better score.
So I worked out some kind of logarithmic taper. Don't ask me why those exact numbers, but they just made the best rake on the graph. The curved lines are 35kph, 30 and 25. They flatten out as you go further, but sustaining speed is the aim. Lets me compare different distances equally.

The highest score was at the Great Manchester Cycle 2013. The pink zig zag ending on the right is the London 100 with intermediate times. This is probably the greatest challenge as there was also 797m of climbing and much the fathest I have ever ridden. Most of my other riding has been on the flat, and the flat does favour higher scores. I need to work out some climbing factor, perhaps 1pt for 10 metres. Still wouldn't quite make it the top ride, as it was such a great struggle, it wasn't exactly effortless athleticism. Perhaps some 3d element to my graph (any excuse for more analysis/logging behaviors.) Any ideas for tweeks to the equations are welcome.

FYI, Bradley Wiggins Olympic TT scores 1429 off the top of my graph, nearly double my best scores, so yeah, not giving me false sense of achievement.

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1182 posts]
21st October 2013 - 22:15

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LEJOG last year as part of the Delottie Ride Across Britain, and coming in 73rd out of a fair few hundred.

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posted by glynr36 [261 posts]
22nd October 2013 - 1:13

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Paris London over three days is one. Then there was the 120 mile with 6000 feet of climbing in a little over 7 hours.

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posted by giff77 [1036 posts]
22nd October 2013 - 14:20

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100 solo miles in less than 4hrs is prob my best result on a bike.

There is a hilly (Garmin tells me 7500ft) Welsh route I enjoy that is about 120 miles , I was pretty chuffed to crack 20mph solo after a number of attempts.

A very long 20 on a 10m tt was my best short distance I guess, but I know on a different day I would have gone faster so not really chuffed with it.

posted by ilovemytinbred [164 posts]
22nd October 2013 - 17:57

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Getting into the top 10% of finishing times on the last sportive I did. Was v happy with that, esp as I was on my own for most of the route..

I think judging a ride on distance or speed in isolation is tricky, as conditions will vary, so for me comparing against my peers on any given event is the best measure of how well I've done.

I do love the graphs though!

posted by 700c [553 posts]
22nd October 2013 - 18:10

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Having said that, a sub 4 hour 100 is impressive regardless of the conditions!

Some of the achievements people have posted on here are truly impressive. Shows how far I have to go!

posted by 700c [553 posts]
22nd October 2013 - 18:30

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managed London to Paris in 2 days. Ok it was via Dieppe but 120 miles in one day hurt. The most satisfying part of it was that it was unsupported, self arranged and made a few pounds for a worthy local charity.

Thinking about the 100 hour pyrennees raid next year....

posted by arfa [445 posts]
22nd October 2013 - 18:31

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My greatest achievement was due to commuting half hardheartedly a couple of years ago. My car blew up on the way back from the bike shop just over a year ago and I decided not to buy another one. 11 months later and I did the Manchester 100 in under 6 hours.

Mad when a year ago I thought people averaging 15 mph was witchcraft

posted by dunnoh [168 posts]
22nd October 2013 - 22:09

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only been cycling since August 2012 so doing the RideLondon under 5 hours was mine.

posted by snappyandrew [61 posts]
22nd October 2013 - 22:14

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snappyandrew wrote:
only been cycling since August 2012 so doing the RideLondon under 5 hours was mine.

(whispers) Barsteward.

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1182 posts]
22nd October 2013 - 23:34

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Hmm... tricky... I think there's a few little ones rather than one big one yet.

First Dun Run last year for realising that I can cycle many more miles than previously imaginable.

Getting back on the bike as soon as physically allowed after a car door crash this April, which wasn't too difficult as I am a bit obsessed these days, but still commuting around London day and night and still passing the spot on the bike is something I'm quite chuffed with.

Also intentionally cycling up and down a bit of mountain on holiday this year - I'm still coming to terms with hills being a good thing, and this was something of a milestone.

They're kind of psychological achievements, I guess, I generally let the physical take care of itself. Actually, that observation's getting me thinking quite deeply now!

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posted by chrisl [31 posts]
23rd October 2013 - 0:23

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Putting in a solid block of training then going from never having ridden an imperial century to covering over 200 miles in a weekend in Yorkshire, with 13k ft of climbing.

Going from hanging off the back of the club run, to enjoying a fast chaingang.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2929 posts]
23rd October 2013 - 13:49

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sub two minute Swain's is good, but your strava page says you did 1:41!!

My goal is 2:14. I'm only 10 seconds off that.

Best achievement so far? Imperial tons? I was quite proud of a sub 30 minute 10 miler around Regent's Park, given the traffic, I thought I was knocking on with that...

posted by DrJDog [80 posts]
23rd October 2013 - 15:21

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I can take my sunglasses off turn them upside down and store them in my helmet when not required, probably my greatest achievement in life, not just on the bike

posted by lazyusername [140 posts]
23rd October 2013 - 21:41

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glynr36 wrote:
LEJOG last year as part of the Delottie Ride Across Britain, and coming in 73rd out of a fair few hundred.

I think it was 440 or so. I was top 20 Nerd Big Grin Drooling Smile , which I was pleased with since I didn't turn up with a chain gang, but I did meet some good guys along the way.

My best day on that was the last day. I averaged over 33.79kph that day. I think it was about 170km or so. The head winds on day 7 were a killer though.

I did the Raid Pyrenean this year and killed the Col d'Ares and was pleased with my performance up the Col de Port d'Aspet - that was a fairly full day including the Col d'Aspin and Col de Peyresourde. Loved it.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1079 posts]
23rd October 2013 - 22:19

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Some amazing achievements here, keep 'em coming! The variety is what strikes me - there's always something new to motivate you on the bike.

The Human Cyclist A blog. Try it, you might like it...

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posted by sm [334 posts]
23rd October 2013 - 22:25

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posted by Mat Brett [1817 posts]
23rd October 2013 - 22:28

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I bunny hopped a frog last night. Trivial for me - pretty big deal for the frog.

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posted by joemmo [773 posts]
24th October 2013 - 14:11

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My achievement is quite small compared to others here. Some good ideas worth aiming for.

I rode from my flat in London to my parents house in west Berkshire which is about 100 kms. Just felt really good to save the 20 quid rail fare and travel for free.

I've got friends in Pembrokeshire. Considering riding down to them one day.

posted by Tom Amos [236 posts]
25th October 2013 - 16:12

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Tom Amos wrote:
My achievement is quite small compared to others here. Some good ideas worth aiming for.

I rode from my flat in London to my parents house in west Berkshire which is about 100 kms. Just felt really good to save the 20 quid rail fare and travel for free.

I've got friends in Pembrokeshire. Considering riding down to them one day.


I bet sunday dinner tasted smashing after that.

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1182 posts]
25th October 2013 - 18:55

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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
glynr36 wrote:
LEJOG last year as part of the Delottie Ride Across Britain, and coming in 73rd out of a fair few hundred.

I think it was 440 or so. I was top 20 Nerd Big Grin Drooling Smile , which I was pleased with since I didn't turn up with a chain gang, but I did meet some good guys along the way.

My best day on that was the last day. I averaged over 33.79kph that day. I think it was about 170km or so. The head winds on day 7 were a killer though.

Thought it was around that.
Day 7 was the 200km Glasgow>Fort William wasn't it? Over Glen Coe was a killer in the wind.

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posted by glynr36 [261 posts]
26th October 2013 - 13:05

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Solo LEJOG in support of a local special school

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

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posted by Cooks [478 posts]
27th October 2013 - 21:24

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The achievements on here were so great I simply had to label you all in a blog post. Setting cycling goals - can you spot yourself?
http://humancyclist.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/cycling-goals/

The Human Cyclist A blog. Try it, you might like it...

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posted by sm [334 posts]
3rd November 2013 - 11:43

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non-cyclist to 400km on 4 months - that hurt!

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posted by andybwhite [174 posts]
3rd November 2013 - 17:46

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