Thursday, 14 February 2008


I may be setting myself too many different goals to do with distance, but I don't have one yet for speed. During this evening's ride I've been giving it some thought.

Maximum speed is not of great interest to me. I know I've exceeded 30 mph on at least one occasion, because the cycle computer told me so, but that's just the result of a long downhill stretch, a following wind, and a bit of over-enthusiasm.

I find the challenge of covering longer distances more motivating than the challenge of covering them faster, and I'm certainly not interested in racing. But without increasing my speed, longer distances are just going to take more and more time, so I have an incentive to increase my average speed over decent distances. On a ride of twenty-odd miles or more, I think I'm doing about six or seven miles an hour, including breaks. Not very impressive, but then I've not even measured it properly. So I need to start measuring the time I take for a longer outing. That way, I can give my family a more reliable idea of how long I am going to be out, as well as establishing a baseline that I can work on.

In the short-term it's more useful to know that, if I push it a bit, I can cover my standard circuit of the 'burbs in half an hour. So I reckon that a sensible short-term goal is to get that down to a consistent 30 minutes (which works out at about 11 mph).

However, today it took me nearly 35 minutes to do the standard circuit. I could blame traffic, or the cold wind, but perhaps it was really because my mind was turning over all this stuff, instead of concentrating on keeping things moving on.

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