"Fifty Plus" seems too broad - I would love to have the strength and resilience I had when I was 50! Or even 55, although that's when I was forced to start the process of ceasing to run. I'm a novice (started 6/1) but I'm doing lots of riding, and lots of group rides - 1500 miles so far. I push myself pretty hard.
I didn't have very specific goals when I started cycling, but I generally hoped I'd be able to ride with a group without slowing them down and that I would hopefully be able to do a century at a slow pace. Both of these are coming true, much earlier that I would have imagined.
- Speed - I don't ride with the fast boys on groups but I also don't ride with the stragglers (any more - I sure did in my first weeks). I've been averaging 16.0-16.4 for my 40-60 mile rides for a couple of weeks and feeling decent at the end. Yesterday I was able (barely) to stay close to the lead pack on a small fitness ride - 17.1 average over an 18-mile hilly course. My highest average speed yet.
- Distance - I've done several 60-mile or up rides, with the longest of 83 on a hot day in July on a big-deal ride (Climb to the Clouds, 700 riders).
- Heart Rate - It wasn't really a goal, but as I started riding I realized I should be careful I don't blow up. So I got a heart rate monitor computer. My average heart beat is typically 124-130 (138 for yesterday's fast ride, 143 doing flat-out intervals). The highest HR I remember is 152.
- Drafting & Pace-Lines - This wasn't a goal - I didn't think this could happen for a year or two. But I've recently begun to draft people occasionally (I'm 6/2" 230# - I get drafted all the time). I even did some sort-of pace-line type riding with one other rider last weekend - i.e., he was staying 6" directly behind me, I rode 12-24" behind him.
The above is bragging - I'm proud of how well it's going. And I know I will get faster, although I don't know if I'll get much faster - I suspect the rate of improvement will drop dramatically.
But I wonder about how fast most cyclists are, especially older people. I read postings that make it sound like 20 MPH is pretty common on typical terrain (40-50 vertical feet per mile?). I don't ride with the fast boys on my group rides, so I don't know how fast they ride, if they do pace-lines, or how many of them are old (50+? 60+? 70+?).
Any comments? I'm not even sure what I'm asking, but sometimes responders seem to divine the question.