Said no one. I was out riding recently with a few friends. They made a few comments about how slow they were compared to me and how fast I was now. Keyword: was.
I write a lot about my training here. But the time I spend writing is a mere drop in the bucket in comparison to how much time I actually spend on my bike.
What many people may not realize, even those who ride, is how hard I and other racers like me push ourselves. "Feeling like I'm going to throw up" is a very familiar feeling. Almost falling off the bike after hitting a climb as hard as I can is typical.
I did a hard ride Saturday and spent 24 minutes with my heart rate above 170bpm. That is about where my heart rate is if I'm running a 5k all out. So 24 minutes above 5k heart rate. It was incredibly painful. But, I saw improvements, and I will feel more improvements from that ride in a few days.
You don't simply become fast. I didn't inherit speed one day. It comes like a tiny trickle of water that is fed by your beating your body in training again and again.
Am I faster now? Sure. But it definitely didn't come with ease.