The Road & I


New Member
Dec 1, 2004
Hi guys,

I'm not sure if I count for this forum because I'm 21 and maybe too much of an old man but the cycling division usually comes at 23, right?

I started cycling a little bit on and off for the past few months but I haven't been doing very much and haven't been very consistent. SO I haven't really made any progress. This week Im getting a little bit committed and have worked and bit harder and said to myself Im going out despite the weather etc. Freezing or raining I get out there...

I started last week and Monday riding just 6.3 miles and average a speed of 10mph. The roads I ride are not flat surfaces at all but a mix of somewhat hilly roads and pretty damn steep climbs for, say, a continuous mile. The surfaces range from good to mostly OK, to one section mile of pretty rough. I'm currently riding my old mountain bike but plan on buying a proper road bike pretty soon if I keep up the work.

Anyway, I realised riding 6.3 miles every so often wasn't getting me anywhere and it also wasn't very fufilling. I want to improve just to please myself (Im too old to start racing now :) ) So yesterday I rode 9.6 miles and found I could average 10mph. It was just as easy as doing 6.3. Again today I did 9.6 miles and averaged 10mph.

However, 10mph is a pretty crappy speed, right? I'd be happy if I could average 12 and then average it on a longer distance. All I can say in my defence is that only about 1.5 miles of the 9.6 is flat, good road.
I intend on riding every weekday for the next few weeks if possible. I enjoy just getting out on the road and the challenge but I really want/need to improve!

Well, I just had to get this off my chest. None of my friends cycle so I have to tell you guys.

Sounds like you're going well to me. Try to get out about 4 or 5 times a week doing your 6 miles (monday friday off or every second day). Once you start feeling fresher once you've got home try increasing to around 10 miles for the next week or so. Once you can get up to around 15 miles I'd consider getting a road bike, completely different and much more enjoyable. Don't worry about average speeds and all that because as yopu get fitter your speeds will naturally go up. Consistency is the key, going out and doing 15 miles on one day and nothing on the others is worse than doing 2 miles every day over seven days. The main thing is just to enjoy it. If going 8 mile an hour makes you come back home happy and ten makes you come home wondering why the hell you just went out go at 8 mile an hour. Sorry if some of these things seem basic but a lot of people tend to forget them. Good luck with it.
Thanks for the tips.

Today I did my lesser distance 6.3 but I did it in the opposite direction. Still holding up fine though my speed dropped a little bit.

riding once a week will do nothing! You have to go out at least 5 times a week, even if they're just small rides.Start doing 5miles a day, then 10miles, then 20miles and so on. Also, go find a local cycling club, they'll give you some good advice on how to get started and if you dont want to race most clubs have social bunch rides a couple of times a week which can be great fun, and a good way to push youself further.
Also, winter, and I don't think anyone performs as well in the winter as they do in the summer. One year, a few years back, I could ride my neighborhood (very hilly 2.5 miles) and average 15 miles per hour in the summer, but when winter came and the high temps dropped into the 30s and 40s (or between 0 and 10 degrees for all the metric people) I could only average 9 miles an hour. I've improved a lot since then and it doesn't bother me as badly anymore but I'm still nowhere near as good during the winter as I am the summer.