the average speed ride

the average speed ride by rOcKeTdOgUk
the average speed ride, a photo by rOcKeTdOgUk on Flickr.

my old Garmin 205 finally gave up the ghost and kept turning itself off which is not ideal when the whole idea of having it was to record mileage, so i had to bite the bullet and purchase a new one. The shiny new model has the same functions as the old one but the display differs as it shows average speed on the display, this is very dangerous. I’d never taken much notice of average speeds before as the data was hidden away and accessed by pressing a few buttons in a certain sequence on my old unit and as i was all about the distance covered frankly i couldn’t be bothered.
Halfway through this ride i noticed i was averaging over 14mph, now I’m sure to a lot of the athletes out there this is the sort of speed they do to warm up before or down after a ride but it sounded pretty good to me, especially as when calculating calories burned i surmised i was travelling 10-12mph. So 14, not bad i thought to myself, I’d like to keep that up for the whole ride, it was currently 14.4mph so 0.4 to play with, should be a breeze!
What i then realised was that the first half of the ride is predominantly either flat or slightly downhill, so logically to get back the the same point there would have to be some up hill involved, this is where maintaining the average gets a bit sticky, it’s hard, it’s full on, you have to attack every little rise which at 3/4 distance i’d have just been pootling up, sat down enjoying the scenery. But no, now i was out of the saddle, on the drops trying to maintain my cadence and speed paying more attention to the little unit on my bars which was now mocking me with a reading of 14.3mph. I was giving it a lot of effort and still losing time! there was some “help” to the cause when, and it’s probably not often you can say this, but a horse and rider pulled out from a side road and nearly T-Boned me (or whatever the horse equivalent is), how the didn’t see me wearing those socks i’ll never know! its sort of like when a motor vehicle does it but with less brakes and a more attractive operator. However even with this adrenalin rush i was down to 14.2mph.
the final 6 miles are all uphill, i knew this but just pushed it to the back of my mind, pretended to be one of Mark Cavendish’s lead out train and went as hard as i could (14.1 now!!!), if i blew up and had to crawl home, so be it.
I’ve heard the pros say they go “full gas” and “empty the tank over the line” and i’m sure at what ever fitness level you are on the pain is pro-rata with the effort but i am happy to report as i pulled up outside home i was spent, couldn’t have given more and had to have a little rest before attempting to climb off the bike.
the final average? 14.09mph I’d done it!
now to warm down on the turbo outside the team bus and get a massage from my soigneur
ride 143
27 miles
total 2958
commute 1387

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