Just started riding road in May, which was basically the first time I rode in about a decade. Now can ride 40+ miles regularly and do it in just under 3 hours, so basically averaging 14-15 MPH. No real problems riding road, and my bike is new, light, has tons of speeds.
SO....dug out my old mountain bike, which was a top of the line, fully suspended MTB.......in 1992! Just did an overhaul on it (it's my practice "work on it to figure out how it works" bike as I just finished a bike maintenance class). Started talking to a few of the MTB crazies and they talked me into doing the local MTB race. They have a 50+ beginner class, and the course is supposed to be pretty flat, so I figured I should do OK, after all I'm doing 40 miles.
Didn't feel too good yesterday, and felt less than 100% today, but there are only 4 races left before the season ends, so I went for it!
Ya know sumptin? Off road is a LOT harder than road riding!!! Especially when the race was held in 98 degree temps!!! I'm proud of myself though as I did two complete laps, approximately 6.25 miles in 44 minutes. Even though, I was passed by a rather plump older lady like I was standing still, I didn't finish last in my class, and I was actually faster than about 6 other people who are younger than I, so I guess, especially if I don't feel under the weather, I might actually do better the next races!