Not as fit as i thought i was

johnnyb47

Veteran
Location
Wales
Hi again,
This year has been a funny old year for all of us, and with plenty of time on our hands during the spring / summer lock down cycling really took off for me. At present I've covered just under 6000 miles for the year on the bike, which for me is record breaking territory.
It's been mostly done on my light weight modern road bike and felt somewhat pleased to the average speeds I've achieved over the long rides I've done.
Obviously I'm no spring chicken anymore but I've generally managed to average 17/18 mph over any distances of up to 60 miles.
As the dark colder wet winter nights have come along the skittish road bike has gone into hibernation and has been replaced by the chunky MTB.
It's got fat slick road tyre's and spongy suspension and seems well suited to riding down the quiet lanes which I much prefer this time of year. Each to there own, but i do feel somewhat vulnerable cycling along busy A roads in the dark on my road bike after work ....
My ex brother in law has been suffering from some long term health problems for the last couple of year's where its had quite an impact on his life. He's always been a very keen cyclist, but the last couple of years he's virtually done nothing due to his health. He was the guy though that inspired me to take up cycling when i was going through a particularly bad patch of a marriage breakdown, and in all honesty I dread to think where I would be now if it wasn't for his support and encouragement.
He kind of somehow took the time and deeply worked out who and what made me "tick", and gently pushed me back onto life's highway again thankfully.(I'll always be in his debt for friendship)
Anyway I'm rambling on a bit now and should get back to the point.
The last few years of cycling after virtually doing nothing before, I've seen my fitness gain monumentally and lost around 25/30kgs. Before all of this i would of been embarrassed to be seen with my t shirt off in the summer exposing my man boobs and fat belly and not forgetting my 3 chins.
My work mates would often take the pee about my shape too, but it was only work place banter which i accepted.
When the weight fell off though, the table had turned to which i would rib them about there weight :=)).
Sorry I'm harping on again,,,,,,
Back to the Ex brother in law, his health problems have started to improve lately and his passion for cycling is reemerging.
He's bought a very nice expensive frame and cobbled it together with some quality components resulting in a very nice light weight hybrid bike.
As he's not feeling too confident about his health and ability, he's asked if we could go out together at night for a few gentle miles together.
I was thrilled to see him wanting to do this after being dormant for so long and quickly accepted.
We've done a few 15 mile loops, and im supprised at how quick he was. There's me with 6k under my belt this year, and there was this guy who's hardly turned a wheel for 2 years putting down a really good pace.
I've started to question as to how much progress I've achieved, but in reality does it really matter. I think it's not about how much faster or how much weight you've lost.
It's more about the great memory's you've gained and the personal goals and friends you've made along the way. Cycling is a great way to lose weight and gain fitness, but more importantly its a great way to striking up some amazing friendships and memories. Seeing things you would never see in car to meeting random people all adds to the amazing experience of cycling.
Even though you may travel many miles less on a bicycle compared to a car, i can guarantee you will see and meet many more people on your travels.
If your new or thinking of getting into cycling i hope this helps. Even in the depths of winter, cycling is a wonderful way to travel
 

Joffey

Veteran
Location
Yorkshire
You are doing alright, don't worry what the other guy is doing.
 

bikingdad90

Veteran
I’m in my thirties and my average is around 16-17mph so you are doing great. ^_^

I echo your sentiment it’s not about the numbers it’s about the sights, smells and memories. Unfortunately my other half is not into cycling and the club runs don’t work for me at the moment due to having young children who wake up early everyday so I usually end up riding on my own which is nice in its own way but does get lonely sometimes.

A returning person will retain alot of their muscle memory from before but if you did a 30mile loop you may find the tables turn and your brother in law slows down as his cardiovascular endurance isn’t there.
 

Lovacott

Senior Member
If your new or thinking of getting into cycling i hope this helps. Even in the depths of winter, cycling is a wonderful way to travel
It's important to not let the fact that others overtake you get you down.

The only person you should be worried about overtaking is the person that you were six months ago.

I will be thinking "I'm doing a great job of this hill" when all of a sudden, some girl on a bike whizzes past me, says good evening (without a hint of breathlessness) and disappears into the sunset while I continue to puff, pant and strain my way up the last 60 yards.

It can be demoralising, but the simple solution is to think about how badly you did on that same hill only a few months before. How you had to get off and walk a third of the way up. How when you first rode all the way up, your lungs and heart nearly exploded.

To measure self improvement, you can only use yourself as the benchmark.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
Some people are predisposed by genetics, lifestyle, or pure simple luck, to be naturally better at athletic endeavours than others.

All power to them, but don't get hung up on it - your own cycling achievments are something you can hold your head up high for, and is more than 99% of the population can manage.
 

Lovacott

Senior Member
Some people are predisposed by genetics, lifestyle, or pure simple luck, to be naturally better at athletic endeavours than others.
There is one guy I know of my age, who breaks into a sweat just standing up.

There is another who does ten marathons a year (and costs me £50 a year in fecking sponsorship money).

I'm quite happy to be neither of those people.
 
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