Cycling in different parts of the country

In August I traveled to Iowa and was able to bring my TT bike.  I was able to ride between Coralville, Oxford and Tiffin and put in over 100 miles.  What was a surprise to me was the speed I was able to sustain.  When I train here in MA I have been able to sustain around 20 MPH but in IA I could only average 18+ MPH.

When I was living in Champaign and riding with the WC folks (before WC was formed) we occasionally had some visitors join us for a ride from other parts of the country.  What they always said was they were surprised how strong we were as a group.  We would average around 20+ MPH for the rides.

What I think an explanation for what is happening is the environment we are riding in.  A typical ride in the Midwest are very open fields on pea gravel and tar farm roads.  Both the wind and the rolling resistance of the roads both contribute to the slower speeds.  The roads I ride in MA are tree lined on asphalt roads.  I regularly do not ride with sun glasses as I can’t see road impediments in the shade if I do.

I do feel that my skills riding into the wind has fallen off since I have moved.  I used to be very a good draft into the wind.