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Two skinny J's
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I were out walking the dog this morning and the topic of riding came up. It started out by reflecting on last weekends century and the speed at which we rode. That was followed by Sundays fast but shorter ride which lead to talking about the next century October 8th. I told my wife that some of the fast riders I rode with Sunday said they were coming out to "Ride the Dragon". One guy who was a beast and could pull our pelton with the greatest of ease in the wind at 28 mph said he had never ridden that far and was wondering if he could do it....I somehow doubt he will have issue with completing it...

Anyway as we talked about all this and being fast(er) someone made a post(in a local forum) saying that Ride the Dragon was a ride and not a race to which my wife said " Does she not ride with guys? It's always a race with guys!" Hmmm...My response to that was NO it's not! BUT there is a certain rush that you can only get from riding hard and fast. To me it's like a drug addiction, once you reach a certain speed just a little more feels better!

I remember when I could first maintain a 14 mph avg and it felt fast. About that time I was asked to ride in my first group ride and what an eye opener that was. It was a late fall ride and it was everything I had to hang on and not quit. After the ride when I felt like I had done something I talked to one of the guys who said " Yea, we slow down in the late fall but good ride!" Talk about bursting my bubble.

Sorry I got so carried away but I do like the rush of riding fast and hard...being on the edge feeling like you've got nothing left to give and being able to give one last push and finish! I still haven't reached my goal of being able to maintain a 20 mph avg and it seems improvements only come in tenths or so of mph and at my age I'm not sure I can get that avg but I'm gonna work hard this winter to rectify that.

I know not everyone likes riding like that and I still enjoy Rail to Trail rides with my wife and friends as much as ever too. I'm trying to work a deal with a friend on a tired old MTB bike to add something different for the winter months to "round" out my riding.
 

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Good post and have to say I'm right there with you. This is my first year of road biking and like you have a competitive spirit that just drives me a little harder than I anticipated.

I began the year averaging around 14-15 mph on short 15-20 mile courses. In August I was consistently at 17+ over 30-35 mile courses. I've recently hit a snag in my ride frequency and my avg has taken a bit of a hit but will definitely be finding alternate training regimens to start next year off better than this year, and hopefully go forward from there. In the words of Road Warrior Hawk-"Whaaaaat aaaa Ruuuuuuuush!!!!" :)

Adding a trail bike to your stable will allow for you to expand the fun. I have my 1994 Trek 820 Hardtail that I ride with the kiddos when we go camping. Fun times.
 

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Put me in the 'need for speed' category. When I started riding at the end of March I was only able to muster 12-13 mph avg and a 20 mile ride on the weekend would literally wipe me out for the rest of the day. Fast forward 1600 miles of peddling my arse off later and I can now do 18-18.5 avg over the same 20 miles. I can also taste that 20 mph avg and know it's within my reach.

Why do I do it? Partially because every time I go a little faster I know my body is getting stronger and healthier, which is ultimately why I threw a leg over a bike back in March in the first place. But the other part is that it's just darn fun. I love going fast.

I also have an old REI MTB that I'm in the process of getting ride worthy again. There's a bunch of dirt trails around the house that will go along way to putting some muscle on the old legs.

As much as I love fall, I really dread the coming winter. I still plan to ride on the weekends, but the week nights will soon be out. Due to crappy road conditions around my house (and even worse drivers), and my riding trail closed after dark it's going to be hard to maintain what I've gained this year.

I've looked into a local health club and think I may do a Nov to March membership and ride their spin bike and work on my core. Not nearly as much fun as riding out with nature, but it's better than nothing I guess.
 

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Rola and all, I thought it was just me. I started riding this past May. May 14th to be exact. First it was 7 mi. Then it was 12 mi, and on the 27th of May I was talked into my first group ride and we went 27 miles. After that I was hooked. I too started out feeling like a bullet going 13-14 mph, but after going out on more group rides with the merciless and getting dropped out of sight, I had to practice on my own. Today's 42 mi was at 18.1 mph. I love group rides with fast guys, but hate getting dumped after 25 miles at a much faster pace. I keep telling myself when I'm out alone that one of these days I'm going to finish right up front and when the fast guys look at me on my JYD and wonder wtf, I'm just going to drop the microphone and exit stage left.
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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I put in a fue miles here and there but I will never be fast, at 67 I think fast left me behind like most riders do, slow and old.
 

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I find biking a good way to satisfy the need for speed. It's helped when driving my car or motorcycle. Kind of puts "speed" in perspective.
 

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I have been riding for 2 years now and i am impressed that you guys can average 17 or 18 mile an hour I'm 51 and find it hard to maintain that speed. Do you do this solo or group rides? I did do a group ride in Delaware 62 mile and averaged 17 but that was with other people and we were all doing some pulling and it was flat. I find riding solo 14 to 15 is about average for me in Pennsylvania with hills.
 

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Two skinny J's
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have been riding for 2 years now and i am impressed that you guys can average 17 or 18 mile an hour I'm 51 and find it hard to maintain that speed. Do you do this solo or group rides? I did do a group ride in Delaware 62 mile and averaged 17 but that was with other people and we were all doing some pulling and it was flat. I find riding solo 14 to 15 is about average for me in Pennsylvania with hills.
There is a definite advantage to group rides! The more group rides you can do like that the faster you can get. When I can consistently hit group rides I see the most improvement. Last Sunday, after riding 104 miles Saturday, I was looking for a recovery ride and ended up with a hard ride with a new group and had an avg speed of 19.4! Prolly should not have done that. My personal best happened to be a big group ride and it was my first ride with them and stayed back and did not pull - not good :) BUT since I did not know the group I wanted to lay back and watch how they rode; how's that for an excuse to be a wheel sucker?

I can avg, anywhere from 17 - 18.5 on a solo with 20 as my goal. I'm 49 and have ridden only a couple of years myself so I'm a relative newbie as well.
I also feel better on solo rides at a higher cadence and I am usually close to 90 or better and group rides tend to be lower for some reason, more gear I'm guessing. Below are snapshots from Sundays ride.

Contrast this to Sundays century ride which we were coaxing a first time rider through an epic ride for him. Avg speed was 11.8 mph with an avg moving speed of 15.4 BUT he finished! It was a HUGE accomplishment for him! He is 61 and only been riding a little over a year on a road bike!
 

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Due to time and schedule constraints I generally ride solo. However, the 'cool kids' on the local forum just invited me to ride with them if I wanted. They ride at a slightly faster pace than I do so I think I'll try to free up the time and ride with them. It can only make me better. And if nothing else I can provide them some entertainment.
 

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I don't do a lot of fast riding part cause still learning my roadie and all but since the beginning of this season and my first full year of riding it I have gotten a lot faster, faster than I ever have been. I can easily do on the flats close to 20 yeah that's fast for me right now. Hills still working on them but getting better. I used to only be able to pull 10 mph and thought I was a bullet myself but now that does seem slow. Speed yeah sure it's fun and all don't get me wrong but I'm a cruiser my body just can't handle balls out fast riding short distances yep not an issue
 

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There's no doubt that my average speed increases in group rides. My goal is to go longer than before when I'm out with them, because the guys are truly fast. Ex. there's a 3.5 mile flat loop that EVERYONE settles at on Tuesday and Thursday nights. On the front half I was clicking off 22-23 mph when the peloton came by. I jumped on the dragon's tail and looked down to see 34 mph!!! Obviously that was a much faster sustained pace than I ride, so I just watched them leave when my little bubble burst. I was amazed at how many people actually were in that group at that pace. I just spun for a while until they came back around, and jumped in earlier and enjoyed the ride a little longer. Whew!, come on Thursday!!! And yes, when there's a wreck, gravity and momentum don't mix.
 

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Two skinny J's
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I jumped on the dragon's tail and looked down to see 34 mph!!! Obviously that was a much faster sustained pace than I ride, so I just watched them leave when my little bubble burst.
I can do that! Down hill :)
 
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