I'm 5'11, 70kgs and fortunate enough to ride good quality, lightweight bikes. I've been cycling a little over 3 years now. I average 100 miles a week. I live in the Cotswolds. Lumpy when I need it to be, or flatish over towards the Malverns.
I ride with two other 'enthusasitc amateurs' on a frequent basis and can hold my own on the climbs, but have always struggled on the downhills (I am very cautious, and sit on the back brake all the way down). No problem so far (I'll never master going fast downhill, and that's fine by me).
Where I seem to fade, or at least, drop back consistenly on my group rides is on flat stretches of road. I just can't figure out what I am doing wrong! It's very frustrating. I am fit, have an FTP of 255w and I can easily hold a cadence of 95/100 for 8-10 minutes.
The guys I pedal with seem to make it look effortless, yet I am pushing threshold just to keep up, having to sprint to catch up and then work hard to keep with them. It's disproportionate in effort compared to climbing. I would be much happier at a permanent 8-13% incline that suffer the misery and embarrasment of 2 miles of 1% open road. I know the segments locally that cost me time. I've gone out solo to try and crack them and just can't get quicker.
Fellow Roaders, please help - your candid views are appreciated (e.g./ man up, pedal harder, do more miles)... but even better would be useful advice about how I can train to be better at this.