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Home » Cycling » Cycling; Rolling Time or Ride Time?  The Case for Rolling Time, for Amateurs of course.

Cycling; Rolling Time or Ride Time?  The Case for Rolling Time, for Amateurs of course.


August 2016

We had an interesting discussion on our ride yesterday…  One of the guys who rode with us last week posted a rolling time of 4:47 for the century, and though he wasn’t with us yesterday, that was the start of a broader discussion.  He started with us and was with us all the way to the 85 mile mark.  I didn’t keep track of whether or not he finished with us, whether he stopped at the rest stop we did, or whether he just kept going.  Let’s just say we went by rolling time, and we completed the hundred in 4:58.  We rolled into the parking lot, a mile more down the road from the 100 mile mark, less than three minutes later.  The chance he knocked off eleven minutes in just fifteen miles, when we were cruising between 23 & 26 mph, is impossible.  He must have a magic computer.

That said, it was brought up on yesterday’s ride that we should go by ride time, rather than rolling time.  It didn’t matter for yesterday’s ride, as they were the same.  56.5 miles in 2:52:10, a 19.7 mph average.  No stops.  Not too shabby.

The Assenmacher 100 was a different story though.  Rolling time was 5:00:05 but ride time was closer to 5:40…

I go by rolling time for one simple reason.  Normal cyclists have to stop.  We don’t have a support staff to keep us rolling.

We don’t have people out there to hand us food or cars to draft behind to get us back to the peloton after a nature break…  We can’t just whip it out on the side of the road like they do in a race.

So, for that simple fact that we mere mortals have to stop, it only makes sense to go by rolling time.

This is my position on the matter.  Rolling time is what counts.


  1. unironedman says:

    Agreed. Makes sense. Of course, in a triathlon event or similar, the clock is tick-tockin’ away, so as much as you’d like to wipe away those ten minutes spent eating a sarnie, they all count in the general scheme of things. But for a training ride… who’s counting!

    • bgddyjim says:

      Great point! Of course, the way they make time trial bikes nowadays, you can almost pack for your entire vacation in the special compartments! Now all they have to come up with is a portable loo…

  2. I’m in total agreement. Roads aren’t closed either so stop signs, crossings and traffic lights don’t count.

  3. It’s only cheating when you get paid for it! 🙂

  4. Quan says:

    Agreed! Rolling for training… total for racing.

  5. “Rolling for training… total for racing.”

    ^^ That. 🙂 Otherwise I could say I went for a five hour total time ride (but forget to mention the three hour lunch break, hehe).

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