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Average riding speed and body weight

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I've lost a lot of weight over the past year - about 4 stones (25 kg). This has been deliberate. However, yesterday I went out for my first >40 mile ride for about 2 years and, somewhat to my disappointment, my average speed over the entire ride was about 8.6mph. This is hardly any different from previous rides when I was a great deal lardier than I am now. I have been on beta blockers for the past year, which I wasn't before, but I don't know how much difference they are likely to make.

One of my motivational factors in losing weight has been to promise myself some sort of treat when I reach a particular milestone, and I was thinking of getting myself a bike of a rather faster style than my trusty old Thorn for me to ride a bit quicker - I might even take up audax, I thought...

But if the 67-year-old me, even without the unwanted half-hundredweight of extra lard just isn't going to be up to the job, then I might as well save my money.

As ever, thoughts from the panel would be very welcome.

'You don't go any faster, it just gets easier' :)

Over the last few years I've gone from almost 90kg to low-60s, with most of that happening over the course of 2020.  My 'audax' riding pace hasn't changed noticably.  I think climbing's got a bit easier, and I'm certainly noticing the effect of wind in a way that I previously wasn't.  My resting heart rate's gone down a bit.  My 'flat out racing' pace seems slightly better, but I think that's more to do with fitness than weight.

Given the pandemic, I assume most of your riding has been close to home, and therefore lacking in the serious climbing where lower weight really makes a difference.

Paul H:
Your first >40 mile ride in two years? Think how slow it would have been if you hadn't lost weight!
Otherwise what Kim says, it get easier and that's most noticeable both on the hills and the recovery time. If you want to go faster, you need to train to go faster, the weight loss will have greatly improved the chances of that being successful.


and how much climbing was in that 65kph?

Without more data it's hard to say.


I'd expect riding solo with no time goal is probably going to tend to the same speed number whatever your fitness level.

One of the things I like about group cycling, club cycling (and Zwift) is you get to find out "how well can I keep up with these people who are much faster than me". I don't know what options you have open to you to test yourself in this vein.


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