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Got dropped today, still had fun. You guys are good!

Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Got dropped today, still had fun. You guys are good!

Old 08-29-18, 12:08 PM
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CoogansBluff
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Got dropped today, still had fun. You guys are good!

I'm new to road biking and did my first group rides last week. Did 4 of them, in fact. So I'm jumping right in. What got me to this point was riding a hybrid on flat greenways for 4-hour rides, but going slowly (13 mph).

Today, I did a group ride that was 46 miles for 15-17 mph riders. I had done a 42-mile group ride last week with another group and averaged 16 mph, or so I was told by another participant. I don't have any devices yet. (Keep in mind that I'm now on a road bike,not the old hybrid, so I'm getting speed from that.)

Today's group was going about 17 (again, second-hand reporting), and I started losing a little speed at the 25-mile mark, and soon I was on my own, lucky to have a cue sheet and iPhone. There was a slower group behind, so I wasn't worried about getting lost. I made it to the finish eventually. Was probably going 14 mph by then.

My reaction to all this is to say that you folks who can ride 45 miles and maintain speeds of 17 mph are damn good! Especially the middle-aged crowd like myself. But I don't care who you are. Most of these people I've met are very modest about it. They tell me there are much better/faster riders than them out there, and I realize that's true. But it's takes some work and dedication and some other good qualities to get to that 'modest' level. So I'm giving those folks a tip of my helmet. Inspires me to keep at it so I can hang in there a little longer next time and the time after that.
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Old 08-29-18, 12:31 PM
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I'd say being middle aged, and being able to hold 15mph+ for extended distance is doing pretty darn good relative to the rest of the population (especially middle aged population. And I'm basically there at 39). I think most people in their 30s and 40s would struggle to sustain more than 10mph for an hour, or even pedal constantly period for an hour. 15mph represents a pretty elevated level of fitness.

And congrats on getting into road riding. I think you'll find you will get considerably faster over the next couple years. I started working seriously at getting faster about 2 years ago, and started doing group rides with a pretty similar level of fitness as you. Comfortable at 15mph for extended distances, much faster than that would tax me pretty hard. I'm much faster now, but again, there are PLENTY of people that are way faster than I am. I never cease to be amazed when I'm doing 20 on a local route I ride a lot, and someone just blows by me, without looking like they're breaking a sweat.
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Old 08-29-18, 12:51 PM
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Good job! You're doing great.
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Old 08-29-18, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by CoogansBluff View Post
I'm new to road biking and did my first group rides last week. Did 4 of them, in fact. So I'm jumping right in. What got me to this point was riding a hybrid on flat greenways for 4-hour rides, but going slowly (13 mph).

Today, I did a group ride that was 46 miles for 15-17 mph riders. I had done a 42-mile group ride last week with another group and averaged 16 mph, or so I was told by another participant. I don't have any devices yet. (Keep in mind that I'm now on a road bike,not the old hybrid, so I'm getting speed from that.)

Today's group was going about 17 (again, second-hand reporting), and I started losing a little speed at the 25-mile mark, and soon I was on my own, lucky to have a cue sheet and iPhone. There was a slower group behind, so I wasn't worried about getting lost. I made it to the finish eventually. Was probably going 14 mph by then.

My reaction to all this is to say that you folks who can ride 45 miles and maintain speeds of 17 mph are damn good! Especially the middle-aged crowd like myself. But I don't care who you are. Most of these people I've met are very modest about it. They tell me there are much better/faster riders than them out there, and I realize that's true. But it's takes some work and dedication and some other good qualities to get to that 'modest' level. So I'm giving those folks a tip of my helmet. Inspires me to keep at it so I can hang in there a little longer next time and the time after that.
There will always be a group that you hang on to as long as you can and then get dropped.

I'm only 450 miles into the year (sidelined for a couple of back surgeries) but have been hell bent on riding with my friends (sooner than I should be).

They average 20-21 mph as a group and I've been dropped 10 miles in, 20 miles in, and hung on for 37 once. It doesn't bother me.

I'm also fully aware there are a couple in the group who could ride off of the front and average 25 solo if they wanted to.

You've got a great attitude and as long as you keep riding and pushing yourself, you'll look back at this thread and wonder why 17 seemed so hard, because you're riding centuries at 18-20.
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Old 08-29-18, 01:17 PM
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Welcome and awesome to hear! Group riding is a great way to learn and also to maintain pace as you get more familiar with drafting and such to let you hold on and take a break which of course then allows you to ride longer.

I ride with a group about 3 days a week and 1-2 days solo. The solo rides are great strength builders since I can't draft. At least one to two days a week I try to ride with people stronger than me to work on my strength and speed but then leave myself the option of either riding home myself or dropping back to my normal riding friends!

FWIW I'm 49 and maintain pace with about 70% of our groups but then again most of our groups are in the 45+ range!
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Old 08-29-18, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
I'd say being middle aged, and being able to hold 15mph+ for extended distance is doing pretty darn good relative to the rest of the population (especially middle aged population. And I'm basically there at 39). I think most people in their 30s and 40s would struggle to sustain more than 10mph for an hour, or even pedal constantly period for an hour. 15mph represents a pretty elevated level of fitness.

And congrats on getting into road riding. I think you'll find you will get considerably faster over the next couple years. I started working seriously at getting faster about 2 years ago, and started doing group rides with a pretty similar level of fitness as you. Comfortable at 15mph for extended distances, much faster than that would tax me pretty hard. I'm much faster now, but again, there are PLENTY of people that are way faster than I am. I never cease to be amazed when I'm doing 20 on a local route I ride a lot, and someone just blows by me, without looking like they're breaking a sweat.
Good perspective. Enjoyed reading that.
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Old 08-29-18, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Good job! You're doing great.
Thanks!
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Old 08-29-18, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by robbyville View Post
FWIW I'm 49 and maintain pace with about 70% of our groups but then again most of our groups are in the 45+ range!
I should've said middle-aged and above. Today's group might've averaged 55, which is about where I am. One thing I worried about was whether I might reach my max in the sport quickly because of my age, but based on what I've seen from some older riders, that clearly doesn't have to be the case.
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Old 08-29-18, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by CoogansBluff View Post
Good perspective. Enjoyed reading that.
Yup. Anytime you feel slow, just remember that you're comparing yourself to about the 1% of the population that rides group rides. You're already in the 99th percentile. You're just working on getting to the 99.5th percentile
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Old 08-29-18, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by CoogansBluff View Post
I should've said middle-aged and above. Today's group might've averaged 55, which is about where I am. One thing I worried about was whether I might reach my max in the sport quickly because of my age, but based on what I've seen from some older riders, that clearly doesn't have to be the case.
Some of those guys are faster in their 50s than they were in their 30s. I know I am. \

Keep riding.
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Old 08-29-18, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
I'd say being middle aged, and being able to hold 15mph+ for extended distance is doing pretty darn good relative to the rest of the population (especially middle aged population. And I'm basically there at 39). I think most people in their 30s and 40s would struggle to sustain more than 10mph for an hour, or even pedal constantly period for an hour. 15mph represents a pretty elevated level of fitness.

And congrats on getting into road riding. I think you'll find you will get considerably faster over the next couple years. I started working seriously at getting faster about 2 years ago, and started doing group rides with a pretty similar level of fitness as you. Comfortable at 15mph for extended distances, much faster than that would tax me pretty hard. I'm much faster now, but again, there are PLENTY of people that are way faster than I am. I never cease to be amazed when I'm doing 20 on a local route I ride a lot, and someone just blows by me, without looking like they're breaking a sweat.
Funny that you mention that. We have two weekly rides billed as "Fast and Furious" and another "Fast and Flat", sometimes the group gets up to 27mph+ and holds it for quite a while like 5-8 miles. I'm always amazed by this since so many of them are 50yrs and beyond.
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Old 08-29-18, 01:49 PM
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Glad I read this. I just bought my first road bike this past Sat. Sunday I only road it for 10 miles. We don't have very good bike routes in this area. I avg about 16 mph for the whole ride, the only issue was the wind. We had a good 15-20 mph headwind that was killing me - live in Corpus Christi. I had been riding that same route with my mountain bike over the last few weeks but it's a whole lot different being on a road bike.
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Old 08-29-18, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by CoogansBluff View Post
I should've said middle-aged and above. Today's group might've averaged 55, which is about where I am. One thing I worried about was whether I might reach my max in the sport quickly because of my age, but based on what I've seen from some older riders, that clearly doesn't have to be the case.
Raw power, max-sprint type capacity diminishes with age. Aerobic capacity (and capacity for capacity) stay high for quite a long time, so you'll have quite a lot of improvement available if you keep doing 2-3 hour rides multiple times per week. Keep at it, and if you're not recording GPS, take notes of at least some rides in terms of where you rode and how you felt and estimated speed. You'll enjoy looking back in a year.
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Old 08-29-18, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by CoogansBluff View Post
I should've said middle-aged and above. Today's group might've averaged 55, which is about where I am. One thing I worried about was whether I might reach my max in the sport quickly because of my age, but based on what I've seen from some older riders, that clearly doesn't have to be the case.
Definitely not! Most of the regular I ride with are retired and ride almost every day getting well over 7000 miles per year and kick my ass regularly. In fact at least 5 of them including two women are in their early 70's and average over 150-200 miles per week at paces that I can't even begin to hold onto (ok maybe I can hold on at the warm up )
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Old 08-29-18, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by robbyville View Post
Funny that you mention that. We have two weekly rides billed as "Fast and Furious" and another "Fast and Flat", sometimes the group gets up to 27mph+ and holds it for quite a while like 5-8 miles. I'm always amazed by this since so many of them are 50yrs and beyond.
Yea that's about the fastest I've been able to pull off, 27-28 in a group ride on flat ground. I have the legs for it, but I'm realizing that I think my fitness is sort of outpacing my joint health. Going on those kind of rides that are well over 20+ for 50 miles just destroys my knees. I'd rather not really test the limits of what my joints can handle right now, so I've gone to doing shorter duration interval training of an hour or less, and then just long, easy, see the scenery type rides of 40-50 miles on the weekend.
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Old 08-29-18, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
Raw power, max-sprint type capacity diminishes with age. Aerobic capacity (and capacity for capacity) stay high for quite a long time, so you'll have quite a lot of improvement available if you keep doing 2-3 hour rides multiple times per week. Keep at it, and if you're not recording GPS, take notes of at least some rides in terms of where you rode and how you felt and estimated speed. You'll enjoy looking back in a year.
I was on a group ride last year with a guy well into his sixties. There were 3 sprints, with an unofficial winner at the end of the ride for the sprints, who got a free water bottle from the shop owner who ran the rides. The senior citizen got it.....passed me like I was standing still a couple times. He was flying, and was fast for any rider at any age.

There's no doubt that age is an impediment to athletic performance, and significantly lowers the ceiling of what you're capable of. However, if you're not a pro, and working full time at getting faster, you're never going to get within a country mile of what you body is actually capable of doing. Your training and time commitment is always going to the limiting factor. At least until you're well into retirement age.
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Old 08-29-18, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by CoogansBluff View Post
So I'm giving those folks a tip of my helmet. Inspires me to keep at it so I can hang in there a little longer next time and the time after that.
I love your post and would ride with you any day.


-Tim-
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Old 08-29-18, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
I was on a group ride last year with a guy well into his sixties. There were 3 sprints, with an unofficial winner at the end of the ride for the sprints, who got a free water bottle from the shop owner who ran the rides. The senior citizen got it.....passed me like I was standing still a couple times. He was flying, and was fast for any rider at any age.

There's no doubt that age is an impediment to athletic performance, and significantly lowers the ceiling of what you're capable of. However, if you're not a pro, and working full time at getting faster, you're never going to get within a country mile of what you body is actually capable of doing. Your training and time commitment is always going to the limiting factor. At least until you're well into retirement age.
And he would have been even faster when young. I never said you can't be fast-fast when older, only that you lose much more of that than endurance speed.
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Old 08-29-18, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
And he would have been even faster when young. I never said you can't be fast-fast when older, only that you lose much more of that than endurance speed.
Wasn't meant to contradict, I agree with you. Just pointing out that even 'reduced' you can still be fast as **** when older. But yea I'm sure this guy was a faster sprinter earlier in his life, I think he was a track racer of some sort.
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Old 08-29-18, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
Wasn't meant to contradict, I agree with you. Just pointing out that even 'reduced' you can still be fast as **** when older. But yea I'm sure this guy was a faster sprinter earlier in his life, I think he was a track racer of some sort.
Ah, well that'll do it! Like the owner of my LBS who was a track runner at UT and can still put the hurt on me.
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Old 08-29-18, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by robbyville View Post
Funny that you mention that. We have two weekly rides billed as "Fast and Furious" and another "Fast and Flat", sometimes the group gets up to 27mph+ and holds it for quite a while like 5-8 miles. I'm always amazed by this since so many of them are 50yrs and beyond.
50 year olds holding 27mph / 400 watts for 5-8 miles assuming all flat. Pretty insane. Almost unbelievable unless you have a nice tailwind or good down hill section.
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Old 08-29-18, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by MyTi View Post
50 year olds holding 27mph / 400 watts for 5-8 miles assuming all flat. Pretty insane. Almost unbelievable unless you have a nice tailwind or good down hill section.


But it doesn't take 400w to sit in. Golden State M45+ Circuit Race, 27.5mph for an hour: 245w NP, 223w AP https://www.strava.com/activities/1555946893/overview
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Old 08-29-18, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by MyTi View Post
50 year olds holding 27mph / 400 watts for 5-8 miles assuming all flat. Pretty insane. Almost unbelievable unless you have a nice tailwind or good down hill section.
hmmm well I donít know about that. I can tell you that I was able to hold on yesterday for about a mile and a half between 26-30mph I donít think that my Watts were above 280 while sitting in but I could be wrong. I also know my ftp is 237 and the only time I hit 300-400 Watts is when standing or sprinting!
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Old 08-29-18, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post


But it doesn't take 400w to sit in. Golden State M45+ Circuit Race, 27.5mph for an hour: 245w NP, 223w AP https://www.strava.com/activities/1555946893/overview
Yea. I noticed in a paceline 27 really isnt all that tough. IF I'm consistently right on the wheel in front of me. If I fall back even a couple feet....I REALLY had to work to make up every inch. A couple times on my last ride, the person in front of me would falter, and I'd be 10 feet back before I realized them, and everyone behind(me) was getting dropped as well. Nearly killed me to pass and get back to the next wheel. The accumulated effort of that just left me shattered at the end of the ride.
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Old 08-29-18, 08:12 PM
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The bunch you ride with can make a big difference to the enjoyment - or otherwise - of your bunch riding. If you've found a good one, your fitness, skills and experience will improve in no time and you'll have a great time, to boot!

cheers
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