I thought I was doing prettty good. I rode a lot back in the 1989-1991 when I was stationed in Turkey and a bike was my only transportaion and for various reasons I stopped when I got back. I bought a Trek Multitrack in 1998 and rode it twice until about 6 weeks ago. I got it back out, had a tune up done and started riding on the local fitness trails and the Katy trail. I've ridden an 18 mile ride in about 2 hours that nearly killed me due to not eating before I started. I've been averaging about 10 -11 MPH on 10 -12 mile rides 4 to 5 times a week. Saturday I went out on the road for the first time. The route was kind of rolling and had a lot hills. The weren't big hills but a lot more than I get on the trails. It was only 7.5 miles but I was happy that I averaged 12.5 MPH and felt like I could have easily gone farther. On all of these rides my legs feel tired to very tired and my butt is certainly ready to get off the sadle. I do not feel out of breath or that my cardio-vascular system has been worked that hard. I'm not using tall gears all the time. I understand my gearing and use it. I will down shift when I start feeling burn. My cadence is usually between 90 and 95 RPM. That's just what I naturally fall into. By the way, I am a 43 year old male and was about 75-100 pounds over weight. In March I started eating right and walking and to date I have lost 47 lbs.
Saturday afternoon I went to the library and picked up a book on bicycle fitness. I believe it was written by Carmichael. I started looking at his fitness levels and what he called a beginner workout. I think I'd have serious trouble with the easiest. Maybe I'm better off than I think since I'm riding on gravel instead of pavement but I really don't think I could maintain 15 MPH for 10 miles. Am I just a slug? Is there any hope? I had been thinking I was really making progress and then it seems that I'm not even up to what a normal beginner would be. Maybe my expectations were too high but I just found it a bit discouraging.
Here are my goals: 1. I want to get into better shape. 2. I would like to ride a century some day, hopefully next year. 3. I want to be able to keep up with a group.