As you can see in the below screenshot, I rode 53 miles, and averaged 20.0 mph. The wind was negligible, but I did have the advantage of drafting since it was a group ride. Prior to this ride, my previous average speed record for a 50+ mile ride was 19.9 mph, but it was aided both by drafting and by a 15 mph tailwind for half the ride. Anecdotally, on all previous rides with this group on this route, I've been dropped. I was not dropped on Sunday. The spin classes have strengthened my legs and my tolerance for speed surges. But actually, my improvement was even better than this overview indicates.
How was it better? The table below shows a breakdown of the ride by 5 mile segments. Here's the quick analysis:
I rode alone from my home to the group ride start, and in complete darkness. 18.5 mph...not too shabby, but nothing spectacular. These miles obviously drag down the average a little, but they're not garbage miles, as I was riding alone.
A lot of time riding very slowly in the Burger King parking lot waiting on the ride start, followed by group warm up. A little garbage, a little easy riding.
Here we go...riding faster, averaging 20 mph.
Hammerfest, baby. Single paceline, rolling echelon, intentionally creating and chasing small breakaways to push our speeds and hone our teamwork and paceline skills. Each 5 mile group average was in the 22-24 mph range, with maximum speeds often above 30 mph.
Warm down alone on my way home, feeling great about the ride.
I'll keep attending spin class, although I brought the bike to Austin this week and will be out on at least one short road ride. Maybe I'll find a nice, hilly route and see if spin class has made a difference to my hill skills.