This is a serious question, in that I am NOT looking for an excuse to buy a new bike (although I would love one). I am 58, just returning to biking after 17 years. I am still 20 lbs. over ideal weight. I am making progress with my training and completed a 50.75 mile ride yesterday with no extreme pain or discomfort. I think with my present progress, I should be able to make a 200K by the end of July.
My Disc Trucker is really my only functioning bike right now. I have a '92 R500 Cannondale I could get back into shape, but it would take some money and significant amount of time, both of which are not plentiful to me right now.
The problem is with my average speed. I live in a very hilly area, so there is that, BUT I'm not getting any faster. I'm averaging 10.1 MPH like clockwork. I went for a 30 mile last week and really pushed it and averaged 10.5 mph. This of course is very slow. The weird thing is, I average 10.1 whether I'm going for a 20 mile or a 50 mile like yesterday.
I would be in danger of not even finishing in the 13.5 hour time limit. The average is taken from my bike computer and is only actual riding time.
I think some of you must have experience with riding a heavy touring type bike. Some of you probably know how much of a difference this makes in a longish ride like a century or a 200K.
So my questions:
1. How much is the Disc Trucker slowing me down compared to a typical road bike with much lighter wheels and tires?
2. Are there any thoughts on why I haven't become faster in the past month and what are some suggestions for working on increasing average speed?
3. Given that I've been completely out of condition for years, is it realistic to increase my average speed within the next two months 2 mph?
I think an average speed of 12 mph would give me a very comfortable 200K. Heck, even 11 mph would work. That gives me almost 2.5 hours for eating and breaks. That's all I want for my first 200K - to be able to finish without stressing whether I'm going to make it on time or not. I would also greatly prefer to finish during daylight.
So how much of it is the motor and how much the bike? I really want to do this. Some info and advice would be appreciated.