I am 51 yo, started cycling 2 months ago. I do about 80 km per week (in weekends). Currently my average speed over large distances (max distance I've done so far is 90 km) is around 22 km/h. On flat surface, 600 m distance I currently reach on average 33 km/h, but after about 300 m I lose speed. Two months ago I was doing about 30 km/h. My peak speed is about 41 km/h, for very short distances. Do I have any chance to reach an average speed of 40 km/h over 600 m within one year?

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    There's only one way to find out: keep riding and see where you are in a year. And don't worry about how fast you're going - you've only been riding two months. Right now? Just keep riding, enjoy the experience, learn, and let the level of performance take care of itself. Jul 13, 2019 at 14:16
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    Just keep going. Increase the distance steadily to build up stamina. Persevere and speed will be the by-product!
    – Carel
    Jul 13, 2019 at 16:11
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    That's a pretty good pace for an older person who's only been at it for a couple months. You should look for a cycling group in your area. There's usually groups for all levels of bikers from beginners all the way up as high as you want to go. Your speed is going to be affected somewhat by what bike you have, but mostly your fitness level.
    – Kibbee
    Jul 13, 2019 at 16:29

2 Answers 2


Without knowing any more detail, the goal is probably achievable but you won't do it by riding harder, you need to train smart(er).

Given you just started cycling, if you have not had any coaching, you are probably close to fit enough to do it with improved techniques. You should therefore focus on training, not riding. If you train to ride, rather than ride to train, you will become a stronger rider. How much training vs riding is up to you - no point spending all you time training, especially if you don't enjoy it as much.

I suggest getting involved with a local cycle group, and maybe seek advice from a cycling coach. If you don't want to use a coach, look around the internet for training ideas and plans. Be careful not to overdo it.

  • Thanks for advice. I didn't have any coaching, I am just riding by myself and rarely using the exercise bike for sessions of 1 min or 5 min in the evenings.
    – Nick_F
    Jul 14, 2019 at 3:09

Perceptively, its always as hard to ride. So one of the best tools is accurate record keeping to show your improvements over time.

Personally I use Strava on every ride to record my route and times. This lets me compare my times on marked segments for improvement. Strava has an app that works on most fancy-phones. You can also get a chrome plugin called Elevate that shows cumulative graphs for distance/elevation over the year or for the last N days.

Unless you've gone full-MAMIL and bought all the kit, there's a good chance you're still working out what equipment works for you. Keep revising, and don't hesitate to try different ideas for gear.

So how much improvement should you expect? More than you'd get for doing nothing and sitting on the couch all day - and that's all that matters.

  • Thanks for info. I installed Strava on my phone and I selected some nearby short segments where I try to improve my position. So far they have not been visited by KOM hunters and I have some chances at stealing some KOM's. On the shortest segment, 310 m I am currently at equal place with KOM, out of 800 riders, with a time of 31 seconds. On a longer segment, 570m I am on position 3 out of 630, with a time of 1:00. I've been helped by some wind. I am not wearing yet any MAMIL stuff, I don't have yet cycling clothes or clipless shoes. I have a nice, older Giant OCR bike and I am pleased with it,
    – Nick_F
    Jul 14, 2019 at 3:03
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    @Nick_F my point about strava is to ride for personal improvement. In the options, set it to display "My times" rather than the default leaderboard. I can do a climb in 22 minutes, hoping to get under 20, but the locals can do it in under 12. I don't care about them, I care about my improvements only.
    – Criggie
    Jul 14, 2019 at 3:54
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    I understand, I do the same. I took some of the segments over 20 times. I am checking the plot with my results and I check if there is a trend toward improvement. So far is too early to see a clear improvement for me, some days I am faster, some days slower, but the best times are all in recent history. On the longer trips, I get lots of PR (sometimes over 100). But I find the biggest motivation for me is when I have a clear goal (i.e. achieving x time on y segment or having an average speed of x in 20 km), rather than general improvement, which is not defined.
    – Nick_F
    Jul 14, 2019 at 5:33

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