Cyclists often, almost down the line, want to ride just a little faster. It’s a rare day you get one who is completely happy with where they’re at. I have a few tricks I use to keep improving:
Train on inferior equipment. Seriously. I ride an older Trek as a rain bike and its wheels are in great condition, they’re just slow, painfully slow. By riding with my friends on training rides using the Trek, I have to work harder to keep the pace. When I switch to the Venge with the superior wheels, I’m noticeably quicker and don’t have to work as hard to go faster. Try it, you’ll like it. Just remember to switch back to the good stuff for the big rides.
Spend time at the front of the group. Spending extraordinary amounts of time at the front of a slower group will absolutely help you hang better with a faster group… providing you cut back the time you spend pulling to reasonable levels. Such has been my experience. Try it.
When at the very back ride out of the draft. Only at the back, though. I don’t necessarily like this one too much but I know a couple of guys who employ this simple trick. Just make sure that when others come to the back you get back into like properly. It’s not cool to mess up someone else’s draft for your selfishness.
Sprint up hills during training rides (more the speed bumps than actual climbs). The perfect interval training session. I use this regularly in during springtime training sessions. It also helps on hill climbing all season long. I even started to view climbing hills differently as I went along. Most advanced groups will have a few people who attack on the hills. If you’re already used to training fast on the hills, it won’t quite suck as bad when someone attacks.
Push yourself away from the dinner table when you’re full. The biggest enemy of speed is fat. If you want to be fast, be lean and mean.
My personal favorite: Ride A LOT! My friends, the best way to get fast is to ride a lot. The more miles you ride, the stronger you become, the stronger you are… My buddy Mike can get fast in the Springtime by sheer volume. Of course, he’s retired.
Ride fast. Train fast, ride fast. How does one know what that is? Start by slightly puking in your mouth… that’s training fast. It tastes gnarly, for sure, but it works.
Ride fast… and hard, my friends.