Sunday, August 27, 2006

SO WHAT'S THE SECRET?? To getting faster on the bike, I mean. I am trying not to get down or discouraged about this, but from year to year, I don't seem to gain much speed on the bike. In fact, I'm probably getting slower. Its not for lack of trying, that's for sure. And its not for lack of putting in miles, although I have to say I don't do that many rides over 2.5 hours. Today's bike ride was a practice ride for the tri I am doing in 2 weeks. I wanted to bike the course to remember how badly I did in certain parts (hills of course) and see if I could improve my overall time from the race time last year. I didn't exactly do the course, just parts of it, but also added in some other hills and then did the worst hill twice. Can't say that it helped. It did seem shorter mentally than last week's bike course, and maybe not as hard, but I was still just about the same speed as last year.

Do I bike faster, longer, more often, need a better bike, or what? I suspect it is all of these things. I tend to not ride with others because I am embarrassed by my slowness. I am always last. Always.

It reminds me of when I was a kid and used to bke with a bunch of friends after school a lot of days. We biked everywhere within our allowed zone and then some, not something too many 13 year old girls did then, since it wasn't cool. There too, I was always way behind everyone else. Always. My excuse/reason then was simple though: I had the oldest, heaviest bike of anyone (like now!) and while I probably worked twice as hard to keep up, I just couldn't cut it with that bike. One day, one of my friends said she was sick of hearing me complain about getting left behind and let me ride her bike and she took mine. Guess who was last this time? Hint: it wasn't me.

So maybe there is something there. I don't want to rely on that thought alone to push me to get a new bike and then have the same problem. Then I would be discouraged. After all, I've heard it said its not the bike but the engine. If that's true, just how much faster can I get over the next 10 days??

I don't know what the answer is. Maybe someone can enlighten me.


Fe-lady said...

I always blame the bike!
Hills wil help. Group riding will help. Hours and hours (and hours) on the bike will help!)
But unfortunately, most people, like usdon't have the hours to spend training!) Do you have a stationary trainer? Spinning on those helps too. Don't get frustrated. Things will get better (and faster!) :-)

21st Century Mom said...

I think we are twins! I am trying so hard to get faster. When I first started biking with my friends last fall I had the heaviest, clunkiest bike. I was always last but I sort of kept up. While marathon training I quit biking because I always felt like I was on the brink of injury and after the marathon I would be so far behind my friends (who did tons of biking while I ran) that I would lose them. Then one of them went on a trip and lent me her nice, light bike. I was still way behind.

Bold gave me a quote from Merckx that goes something like "Don't upgrade - ride up grades" I think that's about it. More time in the saddle and more hills - hard hills. That's what does it.

A lighter bike helps, though. Keep working on that!