I took three solo rides this week, 25,40 & 50 miles. My riding buddies were all sick or out of town. I decided to do every mile in the Big Ring. While the 25 miler is pretty flat, the hills on the other two rides were such that I normally would take them in a moderate to low gear. The lowest gear I used was 52/24. And to my surprise, my overall average speed might have actually been a little faster than usual. I'm trying to build up the hill climbing muscles and feel pretty good about this accomplishment.