Whats a normal average speed?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Whats a normal average speed?

    I know it depends on all kinds of variables... But my wife is a runner and I am brand new to mountain biking. I just finished a ride and was feeling pretty good about it. She started laughing at me and saying that she could run it almost as fast. (she frequently runs the same trails).

    I rode 7 miles with 242 feet of vertical climb and averaged 6.3 MPH with lots of twists and turns.

    I still feel pretty good about the ride and told her I am confident I could smoke her if she was on a bike. Just wondering...

  2. #2
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    You'll get a lot faster. I'm really overweight and I average about 10-12 mph on singletrack. Granted, it's on Texas trails, but I was probably close to the same average when I lived in Utah and did rides with a thousand feet of climbing. I'm really looking forward to being one of those fat guys who isn't fast, but isn't slow either, and drops a bunch of weight and is really fast. (Holy run-on batman)
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  3. #3
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    I would bet I am little different from the OP. If I had to guess, I would guess I average around 7mph, and that's on a good day.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk. Typos and terseness are to be expected.

  4. #4
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    I am up there too, on the main trial I ride right now, I am averaging about 10-12MPH. Granted it is paved asphault and mostly straight with few smallish minor "hills" and a few turns with long straight sections between the turns, but this is only my 2nd year riding since I was in High School and I am 33 now. In addition, I do ride with 3 of my 4 kids. Once in a while I will sprint, but average pace is right around 10-12 MPH.

  5. #5
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    I track every ride for my own amusement. I don't worry much about average pace because there are some many variables.

    There are lots of trails where I can run faster on the uphills. There is a 12 mile loop I run and ride that is pretty steep uphill for the first 4 miles, then gradual downhill back to the trailhead. I can run to the top faster, but my fastest overall bike time is over an hour faster than my fastest run. (1:10 vs 2:24)

  6. #6
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    I'm about 7-9 mph, as well.

  7. #7
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    I'm around 7-10 mph.
    Yip yip yip nope nope nope

  8. #8
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    Agree that you will get faster. Ask some more experienced riders what their speed is for the trails you ride. Or try to keep up with them It will give you an idea what you have to look forward to.

    I have been riding for three years. I read Mastering Mountain Bike Skills have been getting in getter shape, and have made what I thought was a lot of progress. But I was in a race and suprised that children and girls and and old men were blowing by me on the downhills like I was standing still. So I have a lot to learn about technique still.

    I usually ride alone, but have been advised to ride with people to watch and learn. It really does help. It is difficult if everyone is faster than you, but if you can find a group where you can keep up, you will move closer to the front as you get faster.

    I was doing 6 & 7 on this real twisty narrow trail covered with pine needles, and averaged 9.7 today. I think 10 is certainly possible.

  9. #9
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    Depends what trail I'm at. Some, it's 7-10mph. Others 12-15mph.

  10. #10
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    Depends on the trail, which bike, how I'm feeling, my goals for that day, and/or the other riders I'm with.
    Round and round we go

  11. #11
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    10-18 is my average on flats.

    Really depends, on a steep climb, 2-5 mph, downhill, 20-40 depending how twisty it is.
    DJ, "Because I'm sure the world need's more dudes stalking the woods stoned out of their mind carrying a deadly weapon."

  12. #12
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    7-9 here. Depends on the trail really. The more/steeper hills the slower the average. Flatter trails = higher average. I'm sure it's the same for everyone.

    Don't worry so much about your average. Like others have said there is a lot to take into account for your average speed. It doesn't have anything to do with your fastest speed, which I'm sure is a whole lot faster than your wife can run!
    Relax and have fun with it, that's what it's all about anyway.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 61rsss View Post
    I know it depends on all kinds of variables... But my wife is a runner and I am brand new to mountain biking. I just finished a ride and was feeling pretty good about it. She started laughing at me and saying that she could run it almost as fast. (she frequently runs the same trails).

    I rode 7 miles with 242 feet of vertical climb and averaged 6.3 MPH with lots of twists and turns.

    I still feel pretty good about the ride and told her I am confident I could smoke her if she was on a bike. Just wondering...
    Sounds like it's time for a race. Figure out how much of a head start to give her on foot, and then chase her to the ground.

  14. #14
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    The biggest variable for me seems to be how i'm feeling, I did a race recently on 15Km circuit and average speed was a shade under under 21kmph (13~14mph) and felt good at the end of it. A couple of weeks later I did the same circuit on the same bike average at 15kmph and felt absolutely shagged by the time I finished

  15. #15
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    On asphalt roads, I usually average around 25 km/h or 15 mph, for a couple of hours (singlespeed MTB with easy street gearing). On trails, it is more like 10-12 km/h or 6-7 mph. No mountains: just lots of smaller ups and downs. Lots of small rocks, roots and twists in the trails.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  16. #16
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    interesting posts ;p

  17. #17
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    Too many variables. To your wife I would say, "great, come running with me while I go riding." I'll bet she has an unrealistic idea of her own pace and then you can laugh at her, and then maybe she'll want a mountain bike to try and show you how it's done.

  18. #18
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    I usually average between 6-10 on singletrack, but crashing typically slows my average down considerably

  19. #19
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    Mountain biking is incredibly variable. I did a fire road climb at under 4 mph with a teammate recently. Actually, that was somewhat painfully slow. I ran out of gears. But I didn't want to ditch him and go to the top at "my" pace. I probably don't go below 6 mph much on trails that let me keep my forward motion going. But that's not all of them - particularly technical singletrack can pull my speed down further.

    I also do singletrack descents at over 10 mph, and less technical singletrack descents at peak speeds over 30 mph.

    Keep in mind when you ask that people on the internet may not define "average" the same way you do...
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I also do singletrack descents at over 10 mph, and less technical singletrack descents at peak speeds over 30 mph.

    Keep in mind when you ask that people on the internet may not define "average" the same way you do...
    About 30 mph is fast enough for me on dirt.

    My averages include whatever breaks I may take along the way. Many count averages for the time their wheels are turning only.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  21. #21
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    About 30 mph is fast enough for me on dirt.
    Damn, that's moving! I have never gotten a top speed over about 26 on dirt, and top out at about 35 on pavement -- that's going DOWNHILL. I haven't tried it latey -- maybe could do a little better now that I am in better shape and have proper clothing that doesn't flap in the wind.

  22. #22
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    Depending on the trail I'm usually at 9-12mph.

    Tails

  23. #23
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    When I break 30, it's on fire roads or on a pipeline trail that's as straight as a laser beam (probably literally, if it was surveyed fairly recently) and goes straight up and straight down some steep inclines. So I can see really far ahead. No way I'd be going that fast on something remotely technical. On the road, I've broken forty since using cycle computers. I "think" I went a bit faster on a descent on one of my old routes, but I've never clocked myself there.

    Most of the time, whether I'm using a computer or something like Strava, I turn it on at the beginning of the ride and off at the end. I'd have to be doing something like stopping at a restaurant to feel justified in not including that stopped time in my average. So, stopping to catch my breathe or wait for a riding buddy, while my heart keeps right on recovering - definitely including that time, even if the number I get at the end isn't as much fun.

    Anyway, I often wonder what people are riding when they post high averages in forums like this. I'm mid-pack in Sport class racing in my region, and my under-over pace for a race on singletrack or mixed surfaces is around 10 mph.
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  24. #24
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    8-10 depending on how dry the trail is.
    It's such a fine line between idiocy and genius.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisF View Post
    that's going DOWNHILL
    I have no ambitions to get close to 30 mph any other way (unless I ever get a Time Trial or Triathlon bike) And as AndrwSwitch says: it has to be straight and pretty smooth, and have good visibility. The hills are not big here, so I don't stay at high speeds for long.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  26. #26
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    8.5mph according to my phone's GPS tracker.

  27. #27
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    On the 14 mile single track where I live(the one I ride often) going over 10MPH will make you hit a tree!

    To man small trees real close together which requires slow turning and balance to weav through them. Some spots I can get going, but mostly this track is pick your way, occasional uphill with rocks and really tight knit brush and tree scaling around...

    I'd like to ride single track that is more open and out of the woods so I can get going a lil faster.

  28. #28
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    Just tell her to stop dreaming and go make you a sammich.
    Super snowflake = when an avatar offends you so much you have to cry about it and report it to admin. Life must suck for you.

  29. #29
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    I worried a LOT about average speed, and comparisons during my first few years. Then I ditched my bike computer. I'd say the fun factor went up about 80% on the next ride, and has been climbing ever since.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    Just tell her to stop dreaming and go make you a sammich.
    Boy, this one will get some results.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavyRay View Post
    Boy, this one will get some results.
    it woulda got +rep but alas, im fresh out as of right now.
    If you arent bleeding, you arent riding hard enough.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by velophoric View Post
    I worried a LOT about average speed, and comparisons during my first few years. Then I ditched my bike computer. I'd say the fun factor went up about 80% on the next ride, and has been climbing ever since.
    +rep for you.

    Although I have to say I get a kick out of Strava.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    I have no ambitions to get close to 30 mph any other way (unless I ever get a Time Trial or Triathlon bike) And as AndrwSwitch says: it has to be straight and pretty smooth, and have good visibility. The hills are not big here, so I don't stay at high speeds for long.
    I'm trying track racing this season. So I've revisited wide-open-throttle sprint intervals. I've managed to push my odometer up to 27 (that I've seen) on the flats doing that. The world record for the flying 200m is over 46 mph. Which is insane.

    EDIT: this is on the road and track. I doubt I could sprint to 27 on a fire road, let alone singletrack, without some incline to help me.

    Track time trial - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Anyway, we'll see if by the end of the season, I'm hitting my MTB descent speeds on the flats, at least on the track.
    Last edited by AndrwSwitch; 05-20-2012 at 09:15 AM.
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  34. #34
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    I don't really pay attention to my computer on the trail, but when I get home my average speed seems to be around 15km/h (just under 10mph). I'm a big fat guy, though, and my normal runs aren't technical at all.

  35. #35
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    for what its worth, my fat clyde self hovers between 4-5 mph according to strava app (or whichever one i happen to be using). i spend a lot of time in granny gears haha.
    If you arent bleeding, you arent riding hard enough.
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  36. #36
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    And it depends witch tire you use. Because of friction.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by 61rsss View Post
    I know it depends on all kinds of variables... But my wife is a runner and I am brand new to mountain biking. I just finished a ride and was feeling pretty good about it. She started laughing at me and saying that she could run it almost as fast. (she frequently runs the same trails).

    I rode 7 miles with 242 feet of vertical climb and averaged 6.3 MPH with lots of twists and turns.

    I still feel pretty good about the ride and told her I am confident I could smoke her if she was on a bike. Just wondering...
    I average from 3-15 mph.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    I average from 3-15 mph.
    Yah, that's about right
    =======================
    No doubt that runners can do quite well on the trails and likely beat some decent cyclists times on some trails. No shame in that. My goal is not to cover as much ground as possible in the least amount of time. My goal is fun. For me, MTB provides that in spades over running any day of the week, and twice that amount on Sundays. It also cannot be measured by a speedometer or estimated on Strava

  39. #39
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    with a 29er i can coast uphill at about 20 knots quite easily

  40. #40
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    The thing the OP is missing is that running is horrible, and unless there's a monster chasing you, there's almost no good reason to do it.

    No such thing as an average speed. Too many variables. Maybe on a given trail, but that's it.

  41. #41
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    Yeah, I'll run 9-10 average on the trails. Best of luck!

  42. #42
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    This isn't (just ) me boasting stats, which are hardly impressive! But hopefully the more info you have, the better you can judge ...

    I started mountain biking Feb 2011. Record all my rides on my Garmin.

    Mountain bike miles:
    2011 - 41 rides, 310 miles, 41,700ft vertical ascent, 78.6hrs, 3.9mph average
    2012 - 33 rides, 273 miles, 38,900ft vertical ascent, 68.3hrs, 4.0mph average

    All time top speed on a fire-road is 38.2mph, but that's unusual. Usually cruise on the flat stuff around 12-15mph.

    I think those speeds are total time for the activity rather than moving time so average speed when actually moving will be a bit faster (mostly social group riding so lots of candy- and chat-stops).

    I'm slow but happy

  43. #43
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    Average around 9 mph on technical singletrack (on a singlespeed). For gravel, it is usually 12-15 mph, also on a SS.

  44. #44
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    Had the embarrassing experience of having a jogger run by me while I was climbing up a fire-road this weekend. Twice. In my defense, I was getting pretty tired - 2 or 3 hours into my ride - and the guy was an animal...

    But... am I the only one? Has this ever happened to you?

  45. #45
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    LOL, nope.

    But if you think about it - a 6 mph climb speed is a 10-minute mile.

    Competitive runners can stitch together a lot of 6- and 7-minute miles, for hours sometimes.

    So if it hasn't happened to me... it's just chance.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  46. #46
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    [QUOTE=skiermike;9332518]Had the embarrassing experience of having a jogger run by me while I was climbing up a fire-road this weekend. Twice. In my defense, I was getting pretty tired - 2 or 3 hours into my ride - and the guy was an animal...

    But... am I the only one? Has this ever happened to you?[/QUOTE
    Its happened to me as well. Definately hurt my pride, but im not in the hills to race.


    Aint no shame in my game.

  47. #47
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    Unless any of these posters ride the exact same trail as you do, all of their answers are useless to you. Every trail is different; average, top or slowest speed they ride has no bearing upon you. I would always "race myself" on my trails using the elapsed time to complete the ride to guage whether I was faster or slower than last time. I usually only really cared if I made some changes on the bike and wanted to see if they helped or not. You computer stops when you do. You can ride a 1 mile trail, take 3 hours to do it, and end up with a 15mph average speed if you use your cycle computer to check your performance. Use your watch!

  48. #48
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    [QUOTE=Prat859;9332569]
    Quote Originally Posted by skiermike View Post
    Had the embarrassing experience of having a jogger run by me while I was climbing up a fire-road this weekend. Twice. In my defense, I was getting pretty tired - 2 or 3 hours into my ride - and the guy was an animal...

    But... am I the only one? Has this ever happened to you?[/QUOTE
    Its happened to me as well. Definately hurt my pride, but im not in the hills to race.


    Aint no shame in my game.
    Thank god I'm not the only one. I ended up passing the guy midway up while he rested in the shade, then he passed me again before the top. I think he was kind of running sprints so we kept leap-frogging each other.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiermike View Post
    Had the embarrassing experience of having a jogger run by me while I was climbing up a fire-road this weekend. Twice. In my defense, I was getting pretty tired - 2 or 3 hours into my ride - and the guy was an animal...

    But... am I the only one? Has this ever happened to you?
    On a grinding steep climb, a runner will usually outpace an equally fit person on a bike.

    Heck, I'm not even much of a runner, and there are plenty of climbs I could get to top of faster with sneakers and no bike.

    Of course, who wants to be at the top of a hill without a bike?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  50. #50
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    It all depends on the trail you ride. On my commute to work on a kind of twisty concrete MUP without anyone else to get in my way, I average about 14 MPH. There are not too many strait lines on that ride.

    When I'm riding some of my favorate single track I have to slow down to less than 10 MPH average.

    On my road bike on a long strait run, I can do well above 20 MPH.

    The only thing that counts is that you are out and riding, not how fast you go.

  51. #51
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    i do a lot of trail running and riding. On technical trails (e.g. the lower portion of Noble Canyon), I will pass most riders while running. I will occasionally be passed by runners while I ride. Depends on the runner and rider. If the trail is extremely technical and slightly downhill to uphill, runners have a bit of advantage. Runners aren't as affected by surface roughness as much as riders are.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiermike View Post
    Had the embarrassing experience of having a jogger run by me while I was climbing up a fire-road this weekend. Twice. In my defense, I was getting pretty tired - 2 or 3 hours into my ride - and the guy was an animal...

    But... am I the only one? Has this ever happened to you?
    This happened to me while I was riding with my wife a few weeks ago. I was being a nice guy and riding slow behind her on my single speed, and along comes this jogger. As he passed us he got this huge grin on his face. I could only think how he was planning on telling one hell of a story to his friends about how he was running faster than two people riding on bikes up hill.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Of course, who wants to be at the top of a hill without a bike?
    Even though this should only be a rhetorical question, I'd like to emphatically state:

    Not me!

  54. #54
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    I can think of one XC scenario that is easy and fast on a bike but impossible on foot -- a gully where you haul ass going into it and coast out. The walls are way too steep to run or walk out.

  55. #55
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    Well since it was brought up about peak speeds, I figured I could jump in and share my peak speed and small story to go along with it: top speed ever reached while on a bicycle was 85 MPH

    my father gave me a high end Hybrid bike back in the early 90's. It had one of those computer things on it at the time too. I was biking to a friends house and on the one paved road, I was keeping myself at the speed limit of 35mph. On this particular section of road there was a decent hill I have been down many times in the car, so I decided to go for it and see what I could top out at on the bike... Well let me tell you that was one heck of a pucker factor, started at the top about 35mph and when I got to the bottom, I was topped out around 85mph. I had seen plenty of stuff on TV and knew to tuck myself down as much as I could to reduce my wind resistance coupled with the bike I had made for one heck of a down hill. I remember the only thoughts in my mind were "don't wipe out," and "don't hit any bumps." It was a blast and if I ever get back out to where I grew up, that hill is definitely on my my ride again list. This time I will be armed with technology so I can know what the drop is, how long that section is, etc. I don't think I will try to reach that speed again, but it was fun when I did it when I was 16.

  56. #56
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    You should really change the display of that bike computer from km/h to mph

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  57. #57
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    hahaha, it was in MPH when i did it.

  58. #58
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    I am a trail runner first and a mountain biker second. It's MUCH HARDER to bike the trails than run them. Give your wife your bike and let her give it a try.

  59. #59
    mtbr member
    Reputation: manmythlegend's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    274
    Im pretty sure I used to Big Wheel tricycle faster than I currently ride on the streets.
    So long as people refuse to look before opening there doors Ill keep it mighty slow.

  60. #60
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    29
    7-10mph here, does depend where it is though...

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