The title should really read; the need for high average speed, but it's less catchy. This is the way I measure my improvement in fitness; can I increase the overall pace at which I ride?
Highest speed if it's just the peak attained at one point of the ride doesn't mean a lot, it could be downhill, or for a short period that leaves you completely exhausted and unable to continue.
If I were racing it may be different. Another measure could be power output, that would mean buying a power meter. It would be interesting to see how much I could produce and for how long. But they are very expensive, so that bit of info will have to remain a mystery.
Strava helps a little, I can see times for climbs and sections I ride regularly.
I'm not sure what the ultimate aim is; compete in races, or just keep it interesting. Am I being sucked into the cycling scene a little too far? Maybe I need to forget the techy stuff and just enjoy riding.
I have noticed that when riding with the club in a faster group ride than before I can now keep up and even overtake on hills. The first time I rode with the this group it was tough, now it's not so bad. It is still a social ride, with a cafe stop, which is more important. Then meeting Matt on Sunday is purely social.
Face to face chats are so important, even if we have to sit at opposite ends of an outdoors bench. Hopefully the weather will continue to improve to make this possible every time.
The work is paying off, I was just going to ride to where I grew up, Greenwich Park in particular. Instead of riding straight home I detoured out to Biggin Hill. Two uncles had stables in the area when I was young. I'd spent a lot of weekends there in my teens when I shared ownership of a pony with my brother. We would ride our bikes down on Saturday, sleep in the hay loft and come back Sunday in time for dinner. As I rode past the Hurricane and Spitfire they have on display I realised it had been over thirty years since I'd last seen them. Where did all that time go?