What kind of biker are you?

I am a B rider.

As the cooler weather approaches, I’ve been contemplating the upcoming change in my cycling habits. Here in Texas, we can pretty much ride all year.  But experience tells me that I will be cutting back on the amount of saddle time in the weeks to come.

But some of my friends in the club will stay at it, at about the same level they did during the summer. Gets dark earlier? They’ll ride with lights. Gets cold? They’ll bundle up. I see what some of them do, and shake my head. While I love to be on my bike, I’m just not the kind of biker they are.

Which got me to thinking — what kind of biker am I? And for all you Bike Noob readers out there, what kind of biker are you?

Okay, I’ll go first. I’m a “B” rider. I ride at about a 15 mph average. I can’t keep up with the fast riders in my club, but I like to turn out for the longer Sunday morning rides we have. This is why I started leading the B rides in our club. For example, this coming Sunday, we B’s will probably do a 30-mile out-and-back route over some rolling hills. It’s a favorite of mine, especially since they repaved the road, but the rollers make you feel like you’ve put in some serious saddle time.

The A’s, by contrast, are talking about taking the same route, but going much farther out before turning back. Some of them may do an 80-mile round trip. I could do 80 miles, but not now — not without training for it. And even if I trained, I couldn’t do it as fast as most of them.

Actually, I’m pretty happy with where I fit in the biking continuum. I’ve really improved since I took up the sport two years ago. My weight is down, my fitness is up. I enjoy long rides, even ones that wear me out, but I don’t go whacko with them. I also like my 15-milers, where I can turn on the juice, or practice cadence, or attack uphills.

How about you? What kind of biker do you consider yourself to be? Do you ride with the “A” group in your club? Are you primarily a utility biker/commuter? Do you prefer riding long distances on weekends? Or racing? Do you ride for fitness — biking replacing running?

Light up those comments, or send me an email. I’d love to know what kind of riders are out there, just to get a better feel for your riding styles and preferences. Heck, it should even help me do a better job of tailoring this blog to your interests.


  1. says

    I am an eternal B rider. Lifetime average speed 15.34 MPH. It seems whenever I start to get in descent shape, something comes up that seems like a good excuse at the time to stop riding. Flu, rain, vacation,business travel etc. Its seems like it takes a month to make up for the missed week. But somehow I start over again, go through the soreness hump and start again.

  2. mildstallion says

    I think by your definitions, I’m an A-. I can usually average around 18.5 MPH when I’m in good shape, but I’m a solo rider. No groups to fit into.

    Things do come up to keep me off the bike for longer than I like from time to time (record rain here this past July), but guilt is a powerful motivator for me.

  3. tracywilkins says

    I probably fall somewhere between an A and a B rider, depending on the season. I don’t usually ride in a group, and as I approach my 50th, I’m not as gung-ho about continually training to go fast, but when I’m out alone I’ll usually average about 17+/- mph, depending on the hills around here.

    It would be interesting to ride with some really good riders once in a while to see where I really stack up. My one measure is that on the week long trips I make during the summer, I can usually pass almost anyone at will, especially if we’re going uphill.

    My commuting speed through town is consistently 15.9 mph, which I think is a reflection of always riding the same route. If I track it for a week or a month, it’s always 15.9….

  4. says

    You know, I have no idea what kind of rider I really am. I’m a utility cyclist, that’s for sure.

    I don’t ride with the clubs, so I’m not sure if I’m an A rider, an aspiring A rider, or a B rider. I also have a mountain bike, which means that I could probably go faster when I feel up to purchasing a bike that costs more than a few hundred bucks, but I’m also fairly fast as is.

    I do not see an 80 mile ride as something I need to work up to. I’m, for the most part, already there. 15 miles is far too short of a ride.

    I don’t think that all cyclists fit well into neat little boxes, really.

  5. Daved says

    Life is short, just enjoy the ride..or riding. If we are in a box we built ourselves. I plan to just B happy since I know what takes to be A rider that trains harder than I want to. It’s all about impressing other cyclists since most of our non-cycling family and friends think that riding 40 miles at any speed is amazing. DD

  6. J says

    I’m a B rider striving to be a A- rider. I completed the livestrong challenge this past week (45 miler) and averaged 13mph. Not bad for starting cycling earlier this year and coming off an illness. I also try to use my bike commuting as training.

    Hopefully this time next year i’ll be another 30lbs less and will be aiming at my first century.

  7. RamonH says

    At this moment, I consider myself a B+ rider that wants to become an A- rider; A riders fall into the racing category on my scale. I am not sure if ever want to become an A rider since I feel cycling would become rather stressful, let alone somewhat unsafe, at that level. I also commute to work on a bicycle.

    I took up the sport back in March of this year and I am miles, no pun intended, away from where I started. My average mph varies from 14mph-17mph depending on what type of ride I am doing. I enjoy 20-35 mile rides and can easily do metric centuries if I am ambitious, although they take too long for my taste. I don’t plan to slow down during the Winter months as I will be doing fast-and-furious early morning rides on weekdays due to the days getting shorter.

    My favorite rides are the Sunday group rides. I can ride with the intermediate groups (A or B), but sometimes I will ride with the beginner group to help lead/sweep them out. I also consider the beginner group to be a lot more fun, and sometimes there are even sing-a-longs with bonus points being awarded if you replace the lyrics with cycling-related words*grin*

    My fitness and heart health is definitely better. The weight loss has been minimal, but I have lost a lot of bulk. I have gone down in shirt sizes and have gone down one notch on the belt buckle.


  8. says

    LOL, I must be a “D” level rider then, I ride 3 or 4 times a week, sometimes more but the rides are only 15 to 25 miles in length. I ride mostly Path’s (different surfaces), I’ve converted my hardtail MTB into a more road/path hybrid. Thinner, non-knobby tires, etc. Thinking of joining our local Club in Jan. but to be honest, I’m not sure if I’m up to even the “Sunday FUN ride” but will hopefully enjoy the Thrusday, Old Pharts Ride”! 😉 I envy you B riders, you seem pretty hardcore to me.

    Take care, Ride Safe, have FUN!!
    B.J. Ondo
    Colorado Springs, CO.

  9. Lanceoldstrong says

    I am a B+ for sure but a wanna be A.

    I crank out centuries in 6 hours but dream of 5.

    Oh well, something Bob Roll said once always give me a perspective that cheers me up.

    “no matter how fast you are or how much you dominate your local club rides, remember that every village in Begium has a 16 year old boy that is better than you”

    This is the expanded defination of one of Bobke’s 10 Commandments of Cycling – There is ALWAYS somenone faster than you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *