To Be Demoralised or to Take Incentive?

OwenB
OwenB Posts: 606
edited October 2012 in Road beginners
I've been cycling for a few years now but still class myself as a beginner, most of my rides are short between 10 and 30 miles and have only just broken the 50 mile distance a few weeks back, but I have felt that I'm improving slowly.
Last night though I was passed by a group of 3 cyclists that made me look like I was sat still on the bike which obviously I put down to them riding in a group and benefiting from that, however this morning while I was thinking to myself how much I was improving on a certain hill on my way into work a guy went past me like I was riding through treacle!
Now I spent the rest of the ride contemplating my "improvements" and I know that I'm slow, I've always known I'm slow but I'm riding more now since I've begun to commute 20 mile round trip 3 times a week and in the last 8 weeks I've lost 21 pounds through this increase in cycling and a change in my eating habits so I'm not going to let myself get down about it. I also looked back through my gps data from my rides to work and noticed that I've managed to take almost ten minutes of my commute home time so I'm pleased with that!

A friend of mine has invited me to ride with him on the Lakeland Loop http://ridewithgps.com/routes/200810 in April a 70 mile sportive which takes in Whinlatter, Honister, Hardnott and Wrynose passes so I definitely need to improve!
So I'm going to keep riding, keep eating less and I'm not going to let myself be demoralised, I guess I just have to appreciate that there will always be people faster and I should aim to keep improving and hopefully I will manage the ride in April without too much stress.

Comments

  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    What does it matter if you aren't as quick as others? What's your age, level of experience and fitness, and daily activity compared to those you're measuring yourself against? I have different goals to those of my cycling buddy, but it doesn't stop the enjoyment when we're out together. Yes he's quicker than me and gets up hills slightly easier than me, but then he's 5 years younger than me, has spent many years running and his job is far more active than mine. As long as you enjoy what you're doing, take no notice of what anyone else might do in comparison. We can't all be good at something.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • pipipi
    pipipi Posts: 332
    And bear in mind that you are riding along contemplating life etc.

    The rider behind has seen you a few hundred yards away, paced themselves and then put a burst of speed on so that they fly past you! Especially noticeable on a hill when it is harder to 'get back' at the overtaking rider.(It's what the road race champion did last week)

    There seems to be a psychological instinct to overtake. Please going at your own progression. Losing the weight and losing the time are great achievements. Keep it up.

    And with a good imagination...imagine the old you cycling to work and the new you setting off five minutes later. How fast would new overtake old? Keep cycling, keep improving!
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,471
    I've be riding years (albeit with a long break) and this happens to me pretty regularly. You are probably getting passed by riders that ride a lot more than you do. The only person you can gauge improvement against is yourself.
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    I think you are going bloody well and you should keep on doing it, simple as that. Don't worry about your speed and certainly don't worry about other riders, let them get on with it. You are improving and GETTING BETTER, that's the bottom line.
  • It could have been me writing the original post, same thing happened to me last weekend. Guy absolutely flew passed me with a cheery hello as I reached the top of a 2 mile climb in his Sheffield CC kit.

    I've also lost just over 20 pounds but I'm still 'heavy' in cycling terms. Sometimes I think I'm just not 'suitable' for cycling having come from a body-building background.

    But you know what, I love it. I'm 43, I'm never going to keep up with the skinny young lads. But when I look round at the majority of 40+ year olds in my office, I'm not doing too bad.

    I mentioned in the office last week I'm doing the 'Cat and Fiddle' ride in a couple of weeks. 55 miles. The reaction was, 'what, 55 miles, ON A BIKE!!??'.
    Wind. Cold. Rain. Pick two.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Although it is still a beast of a ride, you can take encouragement from the fact that the ride doesn't go anywhere near Honister Pass :wink:
  • OwenB
    OwenB Posts: 606
    keef66 wrote:
    Although it is still a beast of a ride, you can take encouragement from the fact that the ride doesn't go anywhere near Honister Pass :wink:

    Does it not?? My mate assured me it did, still it's going to be a massive challenge for me :)

    Thanks for the encouragement though guys, I'm 38 years old and currently just over 19stone so I know I've got a long way to go especially to manage those steep bits but I'm getting there slowly.
  • meursault
    meursault Posts: 1,433
    It could have been me writing the original post, same thing happened to me last weekend. Guy absolutely flew passed me with a cheery hello as I reached the top of a 2 mile climb in his Sheffield CC kit.

    I've also lost just over 20 pounds but I'm still 'heavy' in cycling terms. Sometimes I think I'm just not 'suitable' for cycling having come from a body-building background.

    But you know what, I love it. I'm 43, I'm never going to keep up with the skinny young lads. But when I look round at the majority of 40+ year olds in my office, I'm not doing too bad.

    I mentioned in the office last week I'm doing the 'Cat and Fiddle' ride in a couple of weeks. 55 miles. The reaction was, 'what, 55 miles, ON A BIKE!!??'.

    Love this reaction. I went from from Stevenage to Milton Keynes the other week, nothing to pacey. But when I tell non cyclists, their jaws drop. They can't believe it.
    Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them.

    Voltaire
  • Sprool
    Sprool Posts: 1,022
    Don't be demoralised - there will always be people slower than you and faster. You have done a great job, look at all that weight gone and see how much fitter you are now. You are not cycling for time trials, dont be put off by the faster, fitter youngsters.
  • meursault wrote:
    Love this reaction. I went from from Stevenage to Milton Keynes the other week, nothing to pacey. But when I tell non cyclists, their jaws drop. They can't believe it.

    As a cyclist I can't believe you went to Milton Keynes either! :lol:
  • wod1
    wod1 Posts: 61
    I would certainly not be disheartened by being overtaken, There will always be people that cycle at a greater speed than I can manage. I have been out many times thinking I am bombing a long at top speed I could possibly manage and have been left standing. Having moved onto a road bike I felt that was the end of being overtaken but still takes a lot of work to gain speed. I would take encouragement on the reducing your times by 10 mins.

    If you are enjoying cycle dont let someone overtaking you worry you. Cyclists who see a rider ahead work harder to overtake, I know because I do it myself. Far harder to defend from behind. I was left totally for dead by a mountain bike the other day when I thought I was going fast. I just have to let it go down to someone being much fitter, better technique, more momentum etc.

    "meursault wrote:
    Love this reaction. I went from from Stevenage to Milton Keynes the other week, nothing to pacey. But when I tell non cyclists, their jaws drop. They can't believe it."

    Yes I love quoting a nice little cycle and you get the reaction that you have climbed Everest or something. Mentioning a ride to neighbouring counties always is a good one.
  • rc856
    rc856 Posts: 1,144
    Motivate yourself!
    I can be in our club's middle group one week and get told I'm climbing well but the next week I'll try a run with our main bunch and I'll be near the back on the climbs.
    I've learnt to work harder though so it'll help in the long run.

    Keep at it :D
  • RandG
    RandG Posts: 779
    My apologies, I'll sit behind you on that climb next time. Sorry to have made you feel inadequate. :lol:
  • fatdaz
    fatdaz Posts: 348
    extrusion wrote:
    meursault wrote:
    Love this reaction. I went from from Stevenage to Milton Keynes the other week, nothing to pacey. But when I tell non cyclists, their jaws drop. They can't believe it.

    As a cyclist I can't believe you went to Milton Keynes either! :lol:

    +1 - Having done the "Magic Roundabout" on a bike in rush hour i'll second that it's a place to avoid
  • If it helps i got overtook last week by a much older but obviously fitter guy onan old racing bike and wearing wellies..i just blamed my aldi bought leggings...
  • Sprool
    Sprool Posts: 1,022
    i'll bet they were top brand wellies
  • Ive convinced myself they were top quality non aldi overshoe wellies...i think they must have been spd style
  • Bustacapp
    Bustacapp Posts: 971
    OwenB wrote:
    I've been cycling for a few years now but still class myself as a beginner, most of my rides are short between 10 and 30 miles and have only just broken the 50 mile distance a few weeks back, but I have felt that I'm improving slowly.
    Last night though I was passed by a group of 3 cyclists that made me look like I was sat still on the bike which obviously I put down to them riding in a group and benefiting from that, however this morning while I was thinking to myself how much I was improving on a certain hill on my way into work a guy went past me like I was riding through treacle!
    Now I spent the rest of the ride contemplating my "improvements" and I know that I'm slow, I've always known I'm slow but I'm riding more now since I've begun to commute 20 mile round trip 3 times a week and in the last 8 weeks I've lost 21 pounds through this increase in cycling and a change in my eating habits so I'm not going to let myself get down about it. I also looked back through my gps data from my rides to work and noticed that I've managed to take almost ten minutes of my commute home time so I'm pleased with that!

    A friend of mine has invited me to ride with him on the Lakeland Loop http://ridewithgps.com/routes/200810 in April a 70 mile sportive which takes in Whinlatter, Honister, Hardnott and Wrynose passes so I definitely need to improve!
    So I'm going to keep riding, keep eating less and I'm not going to let myself be demoralised, I guess I just have to appreciate that there will always be people faster and I should aim to keep improving and hopefully I will manage the ride in April without too much stress.

    I weigh about 18 stone and suck at climbing. Skinny farts could easily leave me for dust on the hills! However I would probably be a lot closer to them at something like a flat sprint where raw power is more important. It's all swings and roundabouts and I am training hills and getting better at them, but at no point would I ever want to be a skinny rake in order just to be quick up a hill.
  • I had a good one the other week. On my way home there's a set of traffic lights where you really have to battle to keep your place in the road and avoid being hit by motorists (I learnt this the hard - but thankfully non-painful - way). These lights are also on a slight incline. I safely negotiated the lights and was giving it some hammer. I'm puffing and panting.
    Suddenly a woman on a fancy Boardman came gliding past making no effort whatsoever and vanished down the road.
    When I got home, the only conclusion I could make to my wife was that I needed a lighter bike. :)
    Laisse passer!
  • Barrzy257
    Barrzy257 Posts: 411
    Depends what's sort of person you are, there's always someone better than you, in all aspects of life. You can be as good as you want to be, but it all takes work!
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    Good luck with the loop - that looks like hard work!

    If you want to improve speed, the best thing I would suggest is to join a local club. Find one that suits you and you'll pick up fast. Find one that's not too elitist and it'll be a great. Riding in a group a touch faster than you will develop your technique very quickly. I found that riding solo (which I did solely for a while after starting cycling again) is OK for endurance and distance, but when I started going out with the locals from the pub, I was hanging of the back on a short 15 mile loop. Within a few weeks I was keeping up and now doing long runs in decent times.
  • OwenB
    OwenB Posts: 606
    g00se wrote:
    Good luck with the loop - that looks like hard work!

    If you want to improve speed, the best thing I would suggest is to join a local club. Find one that suits you and you'll pick up fast. Find one that's not too elitist and it'll be a great. Riding in a group a touch faster than you will develop your technique very quickly. I found that riding solo (which I did solely for a while after starting cycling again) is OK for endurance and distance, but when I started going out with the locals from the pub, I was hanging of the back on a short 15 mile loop. Within a few weeks I was keeping up and now doing long runs in decent times.

    I've looked at joining the local club (there is only 1) but I'm a bit put off, they only have one group and they tend to go hammer and tongs at it, I just don't feel that I could keep up at the moment. My main incentive at the moment is to continue building my stamina and as weight comes down and I ride more I'm sure I'll be able to keep up on a group ride more.
    I do want to ride more with others though, when I did my 50 miler a few weeks back I was riding with people and it made it much more enjoyable for me and I already love it from riding alone!
  • buzzwold
    buzzwold Posts: 197
    Words of wisdom from my wife when reporting on the same thing. "They were younger than you and probably cycle a lot more" and "perhaps you've forgotten why you started cycling". However after some intraspection I decided that I'd got into a rut and needed to push myself some more to up my game. Sound familiar. We all tend to ride the same routes which we improve on but what was originally a challenge with slopes we thought were mountains becomes a bit too easy. I pushed myself this weekend and enjoyed the achievement.

    Also considering local club, but like yourself wondering whether it could be over the top. Of key consideration of course is I'm not sure that the club colours match the bike. (Joking). Might give it a try though. Got my wife cycling now and quite frankly trundling around a 16 mile rolling course at 12mph is more enjoyable. Gives me a chance to sprint up the inclines which is good training. Watching her enjoyment and helping her improve worth more than my own PB.
    Someone's just passed me again
  • OwenB wrote:
    in the last 8 weeks I've lost 21 pounds

    I think you're up to a winner, just publish your method and spend the rest of your days cycling and collecting royalties
    left the forum March 2023
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    OwenB wrote:
    I've looked at joining the local club (there is only 1) but I'm a bit put off, they only have one group and they tend to go hammer and tongs at it, I just don't feel that I could keep up at the moment.

    Have a chat with a local bike shop - they may know of some 'unofficial' clubs and group rides. I started with some rides sorted out by some of the guys at a local pub.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,471
    OwenB wrote:
    in the last 8 weeks I've lost 21 pounds

    I think you're up to a winner, just publish your method and spend the rest of your days cycling and collecting royalties

    Why? That's not a ridiculous level of weight loss, I lost about 18lbs in the same timescale at the start of the year. OK, it wasn't solely by cycling but the main reason was the upsurge in exercise whilst not increasing my food intake.
  • OwenB
    OwenB Posts: 606
    Pross wrote:
    OwenB wrote:
    in the last 8 weeks I've lost 21 pounds

    I think you're up to a winner, just publish your method and spend the rest of your days cycling and collecting royalties

    Why? That's not a ridiculous level of weight loss, I lost about 18lbs in the same timescale at the start of the year. OK, it wasn't solely by cycling but the main reason was the upsurge in exercise whilst not increasing my food intake.

    I've purely cut back on what I was eating previously, I've cut out breads and sweets, cut back on rice and pasta and genereally cut down my portion sizes. I was also well over 20stone so little changes from there make a massive difference initially.