Newbie with first race questions
I'm a 40 year old, 195 pound ex-powerlifter in fairly decent shape. I haven't really ridden much since I was ~ 15 or so, but one of my neighbors who has been riding for eight years got me interested...
We've been riding twice a week now for seven weeks. We worked our way up until I could handle 20 miles, then we started trying to increase the pace every other time. My current best is an average speed of 17.3 MPH, riding a 38 pound Mongoose mountain bike with the wide tires.
A few newbie questions to help me understand things:
1) If I can continue making gains and get the pace up to say 18 MPH on the Mongoose, how much speed could I realistically expect to gain by switching to a nice lightweight bike, with no other changes? I've heard 2 or 3 MPH average - is this accurate?
2) Once I'm on a lighter, better bike with smaller tires, if my neighbor and I start alternating drafting each other, how much speed should we expect to pick up then?
3) For a typical 20-mile race, what average speed is required to be fairly competitive? And just out of curiosity what average speed would the first place winner be doing?
Hoping to learn a lot here!