I've been appreciating all of the advice and expert opinion on these forums, so I thought I'd toss out another problem that's been pestering me.
After riding about 30 miles daily for a couple of years, I got to the point were I could average 19-20 mph over the 30 mile stretch (it's extremely flat). It wasn't quite fast enough to keep up with some of the LBS rides, but I was happy with my progress and wanted to keep improving.
Then, I met a young woman who had an interest in biking for fitness, as well. However, she hadn't been at it as long, and was averaging more in the 15-16 mph range over the same stretch of pavement.
We'd like to train together, but unfortunately I either see myself being held back, or her keeling over in the grass. Two ideas came to mind that I'd like your input on, or other suggestions, as well:
1). The ride is broken up by intersections, and I've heard that sprints are quite good for increasing speed over long distances. I thought that perhaps I might sprint from intersection to intersection, waiting for her to catch up and join me. I'd end up with a lot of mini-breaks, I suppose, but I'd be going faster per individual segment.
2). Get a tandem (?) do tandems even work like that? Can she set a different cadence or gearing than me?
Is there any decent way to solve this problem? Ideally, I'd like to train to increase my fitness and speed, but also spend time with her.
Let me know what you think!