We’ve discussed some of the land speed records for cyclists, but what about your average Joe (or Joline)?
In my experience, most riders are on road bikes are going to progress at about 12-13 miles per hour. They will waste about 2 hours sitting around at rest stops. Which means if the ride starts off at 7 am, they will be rolling into the finish line somewhere around 5-6 pm.
Sure, you have your hardcore cyclists who like to brag about how they can do a century in 5 hours. But those are only under the flattest of circumstances (like the Hotter Than Hell in Texas) and when riding in a group. It takes a lot of work, patience and working together to hit those kinds of speeds.
You need to pace yourself and not waste too much time at rest stops. Sure, stop, refill your bottles, and grab a banana. Because if you bonk, it will only be that much worse. But if you stay hydrated and fed, and if you have prepared properly, you will have no problem rolling in under the time cuts with the best of them.