Skill Levels and Speeds
Choose the right ride for your abilities and preferences. Common speed categories are listed as follows:
20+ mph – Race-speed pace for very strong riders, high skill level in tight pace lines
18-19 mph – Fast pace for strong riders, tight pace lines
17-18 mph – Aerobic pace for intermediate riders
15-16 mph – Conversational pace, opportunities for skill and endurance development
12-14 mph – Beginner or social pace for fun and supporting new cyclists
- The advertised pace is the average over entire ride, not including stops. Expect to go slower uphill, faster downhill and slightly faster on straight, level ground.
- Estimate your preferred pace based on how strong you will feel at the end of the distance.
- Understand your physical conditioning and limitations on the day of the ride. If you have not ridden for two months, drop down a level. Same if you are experiencing pain or tiredness even before your ride. Remember that what pace you rode at during the summer does not translate to the winter.
- Don’t try to start out faster than the advertised pace; save your energy.
- When a no-drop ride is advertised, some portion of the group will stay with and support slower cyclists even if they cannot maintain the advertised pace.
- Social rides focus on conversation, sightseeing, and destination visits at a very casual pace. Social rides are a great way for beginners to try riding in a group and to meet new people.