On the school run this morning, master15 asked me a question. “What’s the fastest 5km that you can do on the bike Dad?”
Me: “Dunno… its all about distance for me. If I go too fast, I find that I don’t see or feel things on my ride that I like to experience. Like nature and the weather and stuff you can’t appreciate when you’re in a car”.
Master15: “I did 5km in 11minutes yesterday in the gym. That’s my best so far”.
Me: “Well done, that’s a pretty good time! I guess on an average ride and I’m not busting my gut you understand but averaging 21km/hr with the up and down, the wind and slowing down in the town at lights in traffic etc that is a shade under 15minutes for 5km”.
Master15: ” oh, you can adjust the resistance to simulate climbing…”
Me: (thinking I could ask you to work out a formula to simulate the wind and the rhythm of riding the up and downs, and in the traffic but I won’t, you have too much testosterone and I don’t want an angry teenager this morning. Besides, he probably would come up with one-he’s clever like that…”you know what, I’ll see if I can go faster today on my way to work and get back to you. It probably won’t be as quick because of the traffic and lights thing…”
So I parked up at my usual supermarket park and ride venue and steeled myself for the pain of a quick one. Strava told me that I covered about 15.4km in a shade under 39 minutes. I didn’t exactly put the hammer down fully but I wasn’t hanging around enjoying the countryside either. My first 10km was 24 min 20 sec, the fastest 5km split (6.8-11.8km) was 11min 20 sec. All of it was into a 10mph headwind. On the 29er on roads in traffic. Not bad and it felt great not to plod it slowly into work for a change.
I know who is faster and I sense a bit of healthy competition. Another way-marker in the slow decline of my alpha status I guess, but it did make me think about my speeds. I’ve been lazy for a while now, just content about getting from A-B. It was an opportunistic kick up the butt to reinvigorate my riding routine. I must remember to thank Master15 when I get home this evening…
It won’t be easy and it won’t be pretty and nor will it be every ride. But it will now be a regular goal to get faster. As one of the people that I follow on here says,”if you want to get fast, you have to go faster“.