Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: minneapolis, mn
My two cents:
Maybe it's the kind of riding you're doing - you need variety and to shake it up a bit and
sometimes the body doesn't want to go all out, it needs a recovery ride just poking along.
I did some looking at my own ride logs and my peak average speed was a one month burst
between May 11 and June 11th. It peaked at a point where I did a 16 mile ride in 59 minutes
and then it quickly dropped off. Part of it was new flat resistant tires that don't roll as nice
as my race tires did, the other part of it was me being not so smart - I tend to ride too much
at as fast a pace as my body will let me and I was avoiding recovery rides.
Consulting my ride logs, I see I was going from doing time trial like rides to doing longer
distance rides at a not-quite-so-fast pace - by May 27 I did 34 miles in 2:31 (13.4
average) and by July 11 I was doing 55 miles in 4 hours which dropped the average
speed to 13 mph or so.
I noticed when I went back to doing a bit shorter rides my average speed had only
increased one mile per hour. Even so...I figure I was doing stupid things like going
for long endurance rides one day and then fast time trial like rides the next. My body
was in "fight or flight" mode, I probably wasn't eating enough and I was not losing an
ounce because of it.
Part of it is, I wasn't letting myself recover enough - just about every ride I did was
in excess of 15 miles and probably at the same pace. I was commuting in on the bike
with my wife to her work and back to the house and then going to work and probably
going too slow on the way in and too fast on the way back and wearing myself out.
After doing some changes I was able to increase the distance and the speed a bit -
recovery rides are hard to do because some people have a hard time just trundling
along slowly on a race bike but if you don't do it you just grind yourself into the
On September 16th I did 45.34 miles in 3:24 which is 13.3 average (a bit faster)
and on the 22nd with a friend 27 in 2:26 (blustery headwind that day I can tell
you). Some guys do hundreds of miles in the 20 mph average range but I'm a
lot older and heavier than some of those guys.
The trick is to not beat yourself up and keep riding. We can't always be a tour
de france racer every day, the trick is to hydrate, eat right, get enough sleep
(can't emphasize that enough) and just keep getting out there and riding.