I have logged nearly 1,600 miles on my bike commuting since May 18th (30 mile round trip...you do the math) and I have lost weight...about 29 pounds to be exact....but I haven't seen huge gains in terms of my speed on the commute. I can usually make it in to the office between 56 and 65 minutes depending on how hard I ride and how many lights I hit. On the way home I once made it home in about 60 minutes door to door (more uphills on the return trip). I average about 75 minutes. But I still have a hard time keeping up with some folks who ride infrequently with me. One is a really strong rider and there is no way I will catch up with him anytime soon. I have about 115 pounds on him and he's a strong cyclist. But I also have trouble keeping up with some infrequent cyclists who aren't seasoned at all. They have road bikes mostly which is more efficient than my old MTB with road slicks (front chain ring is still pretty big so that isn't really a factor). I doubt it's the equipment. Probably has to do with the huge amount of weight I am carrying. But could it also be that since I ride practically everyday while they usually ride 2, maybe 3 times a week, I am just wearing myself down? I'm not really "training" for anything, but I think this may fall under the category of "overtraining." Thoughts?
Also, I know this is just supposed to be about commuting to work...but I usually find myself trying to ride as hard as I can (usually 90-95% of max effort on most days). I don't know if it's the competitive streak in me, or I just think I am wasting my time and loafing it if I don't pick up the pace, but I usually put in a good effort each time out. Do others usually do this or do you just enjoy the ride in and leave the "time trials" for the weekends or for the other cyclists on the road. Just curious. Thanks.