CTS Fitness Test

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11 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

I have recently begun working with Carmichael Training Systems, and I really like it. My only problem is performing the fitness test, which requires a 3-mile flat, straight and smooth road. I did the test over the summer when visiting a friend in Sag Harbor (I used Rt. 27 on the way to Montauk--the flattest, straightest road I know), but I don't know of anything around here like that.

What do club members who use CTS coaches use for their fitness tests?

btw, I managed 7:21.



Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Flat Spot

Floyd Bennett Field -- it don't get flatter than that.

Anonymous's picture
Jay (not verified)

From the line at Tavern on the Green in Central Park to the line at the 103rd St. cutoff on the East side is exactly 3 mi. It is not flat, but somewhat flat-ish, and the key to the field test is not so much flatness of road but consistency between tests. Your field test is to measure not only your initial fitness, but moreso to test your ongoing fitness and level of improvement. Note that on the CTS field test form, you have an input field to denote whether you did flat, rolling or hilly terrain.

Anonymous's picture
Diane Goodwin (not verified)
Flattest Route

The flattest bike route in Manhattan is West Side Bike Path. You can go there extremely early in the morning or late at night. I've checked the grade and it's 0 - sometimes 1. The colder the day and the worse the weather predictions, the less traffic.

You could start around 72nd or 79th Street and ride south until Chelsea Pier or a little further south. I know my commute from 68th & Broadway to Spring and Sixth via WSBP is 4.6 miles. I catch the path around 59th St - no windy turns and FLAT.

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)

The West Side Bike Path is hardly a good place to perform a CTS fitness test, even at early or late hours. While flat, it does twist and turn, the crossing are sometimes uneven, and there is traffic turning across your path.

Anonymous's picture
David Regen (not verified)
re: West Side Hwy

Okay folks, I think the Hudson River Path (or whatever it's called) would work. After I got home today, I went for a spin to see.

It is exactly 3 miles from Houston Street to 54th street. The only sharp turn is near Chelsea Piers. Just watch those sanitation depots, those guys never expect to see a cyclist when they pull the trucks out early in the morning.

Anonymous's picture
Jay (not verified)

With all due respect, and in total agreement with John Z., the West Side Path is completely inappropriate for the CTS field test.

There is no way you can, or should, put in the all out, time-trial effort required on this path. There is simply too much you need to be on the watch for at any time of day.

You would be putting yourself and others in danger, and since you WILL be disrupted by something, you would be wasting your time.

Anonymous's picture
robin (not verified)
west side bike path


I ride this path often, especially the stretch between 24th and 96th streets. Based on my experience I really wouldn't recommend it for a speed test. It's a multi-use path with many crossings and pedestrian traffic--if you don't get hit by a turning taxi or a bus, you may hit a runner, a dog, a dazed cruise-ship passenger, another cyclist, or a car or one of those park vehicles with the guys who do maintenance. There ARE stop lights along the way...

At 23rd street there is a busy pedestrian crossing. At 24th people have reported near-misses with taxis turning into Chelsea Piers. At 26th there is cross traffic for the heliport. A little higher up, maybe 34th, is a bus crossing for the ferry service. Around 40th you get the Circle Line-Intrepid traffic AND cruise ship traffic, or right now, the pier Antiques show traffic. Then at 59th you may get a garbage truck crossing your path.

It's too dangerous and frankly, a selfish move. That path is as conducive for ""training"" as Central Park is on a summer saturday afternoon. You are going to be frustrated if you have to slow down or stop.I agree with the poster who suggested the park, despite the ""hills"" (which aren't really) in the early morning, or between 10 and 2. There's also route 501 or 505 on your way to or from Piermont. That's quite flat.

Please reconsider.


Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
Is 9W of any use?

Is there a three mile stretch of 9W somewhere between Hudson Terrace and Piermont that would be suitable, or would the hills skew the result?

Anonymous's picture
David Regen (not verified)
re: 9w

Nope, I tried it, there isn't a decent flat stretch 3 miles long.

Perhaps 340 near Sparkill would work, tho.

Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)

"Yes, Floyd B Field may work.

Also, if you feel like riding further into Brooklyn/Queens, there is a stretch of Cross Bay Blvd. (which is Woodhaven Blvd. South) that runs south from the Addabbo Bridge at 165th St. to the Veterans Mem. Bridge. That section is 3.7 miles, has a bike path and is flat. Cross the Addabbo Bridge and cut out the marina route to Rockaway, and you can easiily lay out 3 miles. Some stores, etc., but a nice place to hammer. And, there is the Broad Channel A train stop if you bonk ;-) And you can continue to Rockaway and return via Marine Park Bridge/Flatbush Ave.

To get to Cross Bay, you can take Myrtle Ave. to Woodhaven to Cross Bay. Or you can take the bike path (Shore Parkway)beyond Canarsie Pier and loop around using Pennsylvania Ave. Or, you can continue on the bike path (""proposed"" path) beyond Penn Ave. (as of last year just dirt and mud) to Cross Bay.

Good luck,"

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
A Different Option

"Perhaps the smarter option is not to use a 3 mile flat road, but a climb that takes about the same time. The distance will be shorter, but if your choose an appropriate climb, the work effort will be the same. Such a climb exists nearby, the so called ""Alpine"" climb at the end of River Road in New Jersey. Its about 1.25 miles long, with an average grade of just over 6%. A medium-sized ride producing a constant power of 300 watts will take about 7'05"" to finish this climb. The same power output over a 3 mile flat will result in a time of about 7'20"". River Road is lightly traveled, with no traffic lights or stop signs -- the perfect place to hammer.

More important, testing yourself on a climb offers a distinct advantage over testing yourself on a flat: wind resistance in minimized, especially on steep climbs. Consider a 10% power improvement: now the test rider can produce 330 watts for about 7 minutes. On a flat, the rider's time improvement will be about 15 seconds, on the climb it will be almost 40 seconds. A slight head wind on the flat would seemingly negate this improvement, while on the climb small variations in windspeed are less of a consideration."

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