The Truth

davebelushi
davebelushi Posts: 41
edited June 2013 in Road beginners
Cycling is bloody hard work. Bought a bike (genesis volant) a couple of months ago. I'm not that old or that fat but smoke and drink a little too much wine.

It's flat round here and I can't get my average up beyond approx. 14 mph. My distances are going up v. slowly though. I don't believe a word of all the bravado bull on this forum. You know the type...'started cycling seriously 20 mins ago and my avg speed is 26 mph up hill into a headwind'.... (I can't get to that down hill with a tailwind)

I honestly think my bike is trying to kill me. Like that book about that car, what was it called......

Maybe I'm just lazy........
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Comments

  • shadow4532
    shadow4532 Posts: 133
    i think it was cristine. but dont worry it does get easier you just have to keep plugging away at it and most importantly enjoy yourself. :D
    GIANT PROPEL SL1 for racing and posing
    TREK 2.5 training and commuting
    GIANT REVEL 1 LTD for when it gets all snowy
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    You see he was right. Load of Bull on this forum.

    It never gets easier you just get faster. :-)

    If it does somehow get easier - you are not trying.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • elderone
    elderone Posts: 1,410
    There is a bit of willy waving on here but you soon learn that a lot of the riders on here,are actually,very good.
    Distance will come with effort,as will speed.Just keep at it.
    Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori
  • declan1
    declan1 Posts: 2,470
    elderone wrote:
    There is a bit of willy waving on here but you soon learn that a lot of the riders on here,are actually,very good.
    Distance will come with effort,as will speed.Just keep at it.

    Why, thanks! :lol:

    Seriously though, as said above it doesn't get any easier. You just get faster.

    Road - Dolan Preffisio
    MTB - On-One Inbred

    I have no idea what's going on here.
  • I went out for a ride after posting that. Managed to go slower and shorter distance. I am, most definitely, lazy.

    (I don't think the heady days of the late 80's and early 90's in the Hacienda have actually helped my core fitness).

    Thinking about it though. Hacienda, Cycling, both involve drugs in one way or another.....

    Seriously though (I actually quite enjoy it).
  • marylogic
    marylogic Posts: 355

    (I don't think the heady days of the late 80's and early 90's in the Hacienda have actually helped my core fitness).

    Thinking about it though. Hacienda, Cycling, both involve drugs in one way or another.....

    and trips to balearic islands :D

    You know you've crossed over when you fancy a trip to Majorca rather than Ibiza

    Seriously though, there's loads of us on here who aren't that fast, it's just we don't post our average speed very often (for obvious reasons)
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Yup my all time average is just creeping up over 12.5 in two years and nearly 7000 miles. Can do 14s 15s and 16s now on the right days and if im up for it. But I am an asthmatic pensioner and live in Cornwall! It takes a long while to get the body conditioned and to get competent and confident. Chapeau to you that you are out there and doing it...
  • Jon_1976
    Jon_1976 Posts: 690
    I don't know how you cycle at all being a smoker :D I'd have been knackered after about 100 yards if I was still smoking (gave up a few years ago). The average speed thing, don't worry about it. It'll increase as you cycle more. When I started cycling, a 12mph average was the norm. 6 months later, 15-16mph seems to the norm when I ride at a pace I can sustain for longer periods or 18mph for really short rides (1 hour).

    I'd say 14mph is good. Just let the speed build up over time and just get out as much as possible. There's no point going out and flogging yourself to death just to get a nice looking average.
  • velvetytoast
    velvetytoast Posts: 161
    I once read something on here along the lines of if you want to ride fast you have to ride fast( :?: )

    After thinking about this quite a lot (for about a year) I think the point is, you won't get faster unless you put some (I hate this word) 'intervals' in. It won't help your averages to start with but say you work hard for a minute and give yourself time to recover. Do it a few times on each ride. Then after a couple of weeks work at the same level but try to hold it for a couple of minutes. Repeat for a few months and you end up riding a bit faster for quite a long time :D While your doing this the recovery in between the intervals get easier so you tend to ride a bit faster and your average goes up.

    Having said this my averages have been about the same for the last three years because Im lazy :D
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    You don't need intervals to get faster, you just need to ride more. Try to join a club as riding with others (especially those faster than yourself) goes a long way to improve your riding.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • chrisaonabike
    chrisaonabike Posts: 1,914
    elderone wrote:
    you soon learn that a lot of the riders on here,are actually,very good.
    The great thing is, that even being nearly the slowest doesn't take any enjoyment away.

    Nearly everyone overtakes me, some at a truly amazing relative speed, especially up the hills. If it didn't happen so often, I'd think I was hallucinating.

    But little by little, I'm getting faster and further, and each increment feels like a real achievement.

    All that said, though, it will p1ss me off when my OH is faster than me (her Canyon is supposed to be arriving this week). Delaying that awful day really is quite motivating.
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • Grill wrote:
    You don't need intervals to get faster, you just need to ride more. Try to join a club as riding with others (especially those faster than yourself) goes a long way to improve your riding.

    I've just done some intervals. 1/2 a bottle of red, piece of dark chocolate, cig, another gass of red, chocolate.....

    I'm not doing the prep right am I?.....
  • Wirral_paul
    Wirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    declan1 wrote:
    elderone wrote:
    There is a bit of willy waving on here but you soon learn that a lot of the riders on here,are actually,very good.
    Distance will come with effort,as will speed.Just keep at it.

    Why, thanks! :lol:

    Seriously though, as said above it doesn't get any easier. You just get faster.

    I'd say it actually gets harder - as you learn to suffer more and not slow down (so much) when it hurts! :)
  • If you join Strava and check the average speeds (for the year) of some of the guys posting KoM times you'll see that many of them average speeds of between 15-18 mph.
  • Neil_aky
    Neil_aky Posts: 211
    I'd say don't worry about speed - 14mph is a good average speed, just work on increasing distance and enjoying your cycling. If you go out trying to improve speed all the time, you'll not enjoy it; however, by managing to go further, discovering new roads and feeling the freedom of cycling will encourage you to do more cycling. In the process your speed will increase and it WILL become easier.

    It depends what you want, if you want to get fit and enjoy cycling then it can get easier, if you want to keep getting faster then it won't get easier because you will always be pushing hard.
  • tlw1
    tlw1 Posts: 21,862
    just keep plugging away, speed will eventually come!
  • RiderUk
    RiderUk Posts: 71
    Cycling is bloody hard work. Bought a bike (genesis volant) a couple of months ago. I'm not that old or that fat but smoke and drink a little too much wine.

    It's flat round here and I can't get my average up beyond approx. 14 mph. My distances are going up v. slowly though. I don't believe a word of all the bravado bull on this forum. You know the type...'started cycling seriously 20 mins ago and my avg speed is 26 mph up hill into a headwind'.... (I can't get to that down hill with a tailwind)

    I honestly think my bike is trying to kill me. Like that book about that car, what was it called......

    Maybe I'm just lazy........

    Surely you weren’t expecting to suddenly jump on a bike having crowbarred yourself off the couch with a fag in one hand and glass of booze in the other, thinking it was going to be easy :-)
    In time, your fitness will increase and you will reap the rewards.
    The book about the car was a Steven King novel called Christine I believe.
    Good luck.
  • Schoie81
    Schoie81 Posts: 749
    If you join Strava and check the average speeds (for the year) of some of the guys posting KoM times you'll see that many of them average speeds of between 15-18 mph.

    I've just done this! There's a guy around us on Strava who has KoM on the vast majority of segments in the area and I can't get all that close to his times. His average speed though for this year is 17.8mph - my last ride (14miles 1,100ft of climb) I averaged 16.9mph - so i'm not too far behind him!!
    "I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated"
  • dai_t75
    dai_t75 Posts: 189
    I am fairly young (26), skinny, don't smoke and only drink every couple of weeks... and I am happy if my average goes over 13 mph! But the great thing is, it doesn't bother me in the slightest that most people on here are faster than me. That to me is one of the great things about this activity, it doesn't matter that I am slow compared to most people - I still love it. Suppose it just means I have got a big target to aim for in the long run. Keep at it!
  • jgsi
    jgsi Posts: 5,062
    Schoie81 wrote:
    If you join Strava and check the average speeds (for the year) of some of the guys posting KoM times you'll see that many of them average speeds of between 15-18 mph.

    I've just done this! There's a guy around us on Strava who has KoM on the vast majority of segments in the area and I can't get all that close to his times. His average speed though for this year is 17.8mph - my last ride (14miles 1,100ft of climb) I averaged 16.9mph - so i'm not too far behind him!!

    Don't be so surprised at this ...
    training is sometimes done 'offline' and most of my Strava rides are well under 20 mph...
    Those rides that are specifically over, I will have had a reason to have done so.
  • iPete
    iPete Posts: 6,076
    Cycling is hard and one of those sports you have to put time into. I'm pretty sure if I did 15 hours running a week I'd be absolutely unstoppable (or needing crutches).
    JGSI wrote:
    Schoie81 wrote:
    If you join Strava and check the average speeds (for the year) of some of the guys posting KoM times you'll see that many of them average speeds of between 15-18 mph.

    I've just done this! There's a guy around us on Strava who has KoM on the vast majority of segments in the area and I can't get all that close to his times. His average speed though for this year is 17.8mph - my last ride (14miles 1,100ft of climb) I averaged 16.9mph - so i'm not too far behind him!!

    Don't be so surprised at this ...
    training is sometimes done 'offline' and most of my Strava rides are well under 20 mph...
    Those rides that are specifically over, I will have had a reason to have done so.

    What he said, my strava average is 17mph but if you think that's what I'm capable of, best of luck ;)
    Take everything on there with a pinch of salt and enjoy doing your own thing.
  • suzyb
    suzyb Posts: 3,449
    dai_t75 wrote:
    I am fairly young (26), skinny, don't smoke and only drink every couple of weeks... and I am happy if my average goes over 13 mph! But the great thing is, it doesn't bother me in the slightest that most people on here are faster than me. That to me is one of the great things about this activity, it doesn't matter that I am slow compared to most people - I still love it. Suppose it just means I have got a big target to aim for in the long run. Keep at it!
    Finally someone one here that actually sounds like me :wink:
  • simonhead
    simonhead Posts: 1,399
    Just keep plugging away, I am a smoker (although have massively cut down) weigh too much and drink too much. Took up cycling to keep fit out of the rugby season and love it.

    Set yourself small goals and record what you have done, make sure your goals are achievable by a set date and when you have completed it set a new one. Give yourself 1 big goal (mine is RL100) to work towards understanding that by achieving the small goals you will be working towards the big goal. Above all make sure at least 1 ride a weak is one that puts a smile on your face.
    Life isnt like a box of chocolates, its like a bag of pic n mix.
  • TheSmithers
    TheSmithers Posts: 291
    Hi OP

    First off, You say you got your road bike 2 months ago. Give yourself a chance dude! It's not going to happen overnight. I started cycling again just over 2 years ago, commuting to work. The first 6 months were brutal. I remember my other half actually dropping me up a slight incline! :lol: It's physically demanding and uses specific muscle groups that will take time to develop. But you will get there.

    Second, give up the fags! I gave up smoking nearly 4 weeks ago, before which I smoked between 10 and 15 roll ups a day. Whilst it is possible to progress while smoking, you will ultimately reach a plateau in your fitness. It's early days yet, but already I feel I have more energy and stamina. I don't fatigue as quickly as I did before, and generally I just feel a bit more punchier on the bike. Whether that's psychological or actual physical improvement I don't know, but either way, it's a positive and I don't dread going out on the bike like I used to.

    Finally, as has been pointed out, join a club, or at the very least find others to ride with, friends, whatever. I personally hate riding on my own. Lots of riders like riding on their own, but for me, I find it a boost to have company. I mainly ride with my mate who does triathlons. Being much quicker then me is a bonus, because it motivates me to push harder.

    Good luck and stick with it. :)
  • velvetytoast
    velvetytoast Posts: 161
    I'm probably like quite a lot of people here - I enjoy riding but am never going to race, I've ridden with clubs but I don't like the 9:00 start and 13:00 finish on a Sunday (Other clubs may be different), I ride with mates when I can, I have a load of work commitments that play havoc with a structured plan etc so if you are in the same boat I'll stick to what I said earlier....

    You have to ride fast to get faster - I don't think about intervals (too emotive a term) - I think about incremental conditioning

    You wont be able to push hard all the time and improve (you'll end up knackered and hating riding) but you could do one of two things:

    1) Some sort of structured training plan (Plenty out there choose one and stick with it)
    2) Incremental conditioning (Thats regular riding e.g. every couple of days, pushing yourself at points but allowing recovery)

    I'd agree with what lots of people say - ride more - but that may not be possible, so make sure the time you do have is put to good use. The other things are also lifestyle choices smoking, drinking, diet - you need to choose how much commitment you are prepared to make.

    One final point - your speed is directly proportional to the amount of money you have spent on your kit :wink:
  • fatsmoker
    fatsmoker Posts: 585
    Quit smoking about 2 months ago. Feel a bit better on a ride, but not massively. And I really miss a half way point fag.
  • fatsmoker wrote:
    Quit smoking about 2 months ago. Feel a bit better on a ride, but not massively. And I really miss a half way point fag.
    You should change your name to just Fat in that case.....

  • One final point - your speed is directly proportional to the amount of money you have spent on your kit :wink:
    I knew it!.....
    Right, shopping tomorrow, that'll learn em....
  • Schoie81
    Schoie81 Posts: 749

    One final point - your speed is directly proportional to the amount of money you have spent on your kit :wink:
    I knew it!.....
    Right, shopping tomorrow, that'll learn em....

    Take no notice!! All the inspiration I need to go faster comes from trying (and succeeding) to show my boss that my £500 bike is every bit as quick as his £1700 bike!! :wink:
    "I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated"
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    Schoie81 wrote:

    One final point - your speed is directly proportional to the amount of money you have spent on your kit :wink:
    I knew it!.....
    Right, shopping tomorrow, that'll learn em....

    Take no notice!! All the inspiration I need to go faster comes from trying (and succeeding) to show my boss that my £500 bike is every bit as quick as his £1700 bike!! :wink:

    Your boss needs a more expensive bike :P
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg