I'm pretty new to this site and after having been an avid reader for a while thought it was about time I contributed to the forum.
For starters, I'm a 24 year old aussie that has been cycling on and off since forever. I've always considered myself a "big fella", and after I finished high school about 8 years ago I started to put on more and more weight, finally peaking at about 135kg towards the beginning of last year. Since then I've made some big changes to my attitude about exercise, slowly increasing the frequency, duration and variation of the exercises I undertake. I've now lost about 18kg and I've got about 35kg to go (I won't convert to lbs, because they mean nothing to me).
In this time I've felt fitter than I have for years and the improvements in my endurance and overall performance have been measuarable and positive. This is great when I compare my current abilities to the "old me", however, looking at others I meet out on the track, I sometimes wonder what sort of levels of achievment I should be reaching.
I ride an Avanti Montari XC bike, 24 speed with Geax 26x1.5" Roadster tyres. My regular rides are usually in the order of 25 - 40km and I average in the order of 22.5 - 25km/h depending on terrain. Now, as I've been watching this site, I've been seeing some people reporting what I'd think as unachiveable average speeds over ridiculous distances, at least, from the perspective of my current weight and ability. I'm fully aware that I'm obese, not the fittest guy around and that it would be stupid to try and compare what I can do with what I'll be *able* to do one day or what other people can do now.
That said, I'd still like to know what I can expect down the track. As your body adapts to more and more cycling, do you start working harder or does the body just become more efficient? What sort of performance gains over time have you experienced? Any tips ? Also, how much difference in performance do you guys find between jumping on a mountain bike compared to a road bike (I've noticed that I've been overtaking some weekend roadie groups up the hills on my regular sunday ride, but they slaughter me on the flat)?