Fifty Plus (50+) - For just a moment.........
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Okay, just wanted to share a few recent "cycling moments" with my cycling friends.
I was riding in the 10 mile Time Trials at the Speedway this week and was on my 3 or 4th lap of 7 laps. At that point it's about half-way and I really start to feel the exertion of going all out for 20-25 minutes. My heads down--thinking about my form-trying just to settle in a rythym I can keep up for a good bit longer. As I was coming around the frontstretch 2 young ladies in their late 20's start yelling their lungs out with words of encouragement. Wow! There 2 young ladies are yelling for me! What a rush of energy! I was even able to pick up the pace for a bit.
After another 50 yards or so I notice a young lady in her twenties pulling up beside me to pass........Oh...now I get it, they were yelling for their cycling friend and not ME!! Oh well, little did they know they helped me out for a few seconds. By the way, the young lady trying to pass never quite made it completely around me.
Yesterday I did a 70 mile ride in the mountains on a brand new set of wheels. They're lighter weight than my previous wheels plus I had put some lighter weight tires and tubes on them and Boy, did they feel great! However, as I was riding, I noticed the shifting of the gears in the cassette were not as smooth as they usually were. In fact, it seemed that when I was shifting into an easier gear, it was actually harder to pedal.
Well, after about 30 miles into my 70 mile ride and a good bit of shifting, it dawned on me maybe I didn't put the gears back on in the correct order. Sure enough, I looked down and it was obvious I had reversed two of the gears after I'd degreased them and had then nice and shiny for the new wheel. Fortunatly the ones I had reversed were in the harder to pedal region so I was able to work around them without much of a problem.
Not sure if I can blame this stuff on being 50+ but hey, it beats saying I'm just a little slow!!!! Life just wouldn't be the same without the bike!!!!
07-03-05, 03:44 PM
Funny how those little words of encouragement always help. I no longer race, but I used to enter just a local clubs races, just to boost numbers, and give the others someone else to beat. My "Competitive riding" is now the enduro mountain biking and still participate in the long off road events that take place in our part of the world
Now lets get onto the "Reverse" encouragement. A friend and I decided we were going to do a 100mile ride, offroad in 1 day- believe it or not- just for fun. 6 am start and we had been going for 4 hours when we had a group catch us up on one of the hills. Must have been about 10 of them.First one to catch us started talking, and mentioned that he was doing the same ride as us, then another couple caught up with us and a general discussion started, about the ride. Eventually it got round to what sort of riding do we normally do, and we said that we do longer distance XC as our main riding. Started to go quiet, and one asked "Where did you start from"? Eastbourne was our reply. "Where will you finish"? Winchester was our reply-( in other words the start and finish of this 100miler) and "What time did you start"? Then they all seemed to go backwards from us.
Next thing that happened was that one very attractive-ultra fit girl caught us up laughing her head off- she was the leader of the group behind us and Yes the group behind us were doing the same ride as us- but over 3 days. They had just left their overnight stop point and were full of the achievements that they had managed the day before. Then they came across a couple of "Older" riders on Fully rigid bikes, that were obviously not the latest models, That were doing the ride as it should be done- 1 hit in 1 day, so you can guess where their enthusiam and bravado went.
As a Post script to this, 3 years later we did the ride as an organised ride, and that Girl leader was also there. One of the lads on that ride enjoyed it so much that he had taken up Long distance trekking and she kept in touch with him. Last she heard of him he was in India, en route to Singapore, By bike.
Wow-can't imagine that much mileage off road.........I'd like to hear more about how you folks do this, equipment etc.
Okay-hazards for road riding are other vehicles, dogs (?), etc. What is the biggest hazards for this stuff-mechanical problems?
07-05-05, 12:55 PM
Try to keep this down to the basics. This is about My big one each year- 100 miles offroad on the South Downs Way-95% offroad and 10,000 ft of climbing, I also do several 60 milers and the occasional 65 or 100 mile road rides
Why do it? Its a challenge. Preparation is the key word- both for the bike and for the rider. You don't need the latest full off road, cost-a-lot, full suspension bike and you don't need to be a mountain goat type of rider, but you do have to be fit, and the bike has to be in good condition. I do it on the Tandem nowadays- which adds a problem in cost of setting up, and I do prepare myself by plenty of Gym work.
The bike. Any good Mountain bike will do, but wheels, drivetrain and saddle must be in A.1. condition. On the tandem this meant that I had to buy Full downhill spec wheels to take the weight of the thing, new tyres for virtually every event, and I do run through sprockets cassettes and chain at an alarming rate. The tyres do not wear out but the casing takes a great deal of damage, so I also carry a folding tyre as a spare, along with two extra tubes and a full toolkit for any repairs necessary. The "T" is also modified to very effective Downhill spec Forks and Brakes. Allup weight of it is around 400lbs, so it takes a lot of knocks on the trail, hence the forks, wheels and tyre damage, and the brakes are necessary due to the speed of the thing downhill. You do not need to go to this extent on a solo and in 94 I did it on my Kona Explosif in standard form- standard brakes, wheels tyres and rigid forks, and my mate did it on his Univega that was similarly set up. Last year there were people with very basic bikes that I would not dream of riding, that put up some good times.
The big problem is body resources. After 6 hours riding you run out of carbohydrates and the body fails. I carbo load for two weeks before the event, but still run out at 6 hours unless I eat on the ride. Plenty of cereal bars, cake, Creamed rice, in fact anything I can eat whilst riding. We also keep up an average of 1 litre of liquid per hour to ensure we do not dehydrate. We ride with heart monitors, and we do exceed our age related limits, and we do not take it slow on the ride. I have an age limit of 165, Last year I reached 174 at some point on the ride, and I averaged out 143 for the whole ride.
The problems you have on a long ride is concentration. The terrain has hidden dangers like holes in the track, loose scree on the downhill, and Hawthorn bushes that suddenly jump out in front of you. Weather can be a problem, so clothing is a concern. I always start the ride in shorts, short sleeve top and Top. the top may be pertex for windproofing or the full Gore tex for rain. Warmth is not a problem after a couple of miles, but both these tops breath so don't cause a problem until full sun starts warming things up. If its raining and were hot- off comes the goretex and we just ride wet.
I missed my 100 mile in June as my co-rider fell ill 3 days before the event. We were planning to do it at the end of July but that may have changed now. In October there will be an organised ride fot the South Downs Way, Never done it this late in the year so weather may be a problem, but I think the bigger problem is "How can we get the lights to last for 10 hours?" as This event will be Starting at 6pm, and ride through the night-- Any Suggestions?
The attachment is of 2004 when 2 Tandems took part out of the 400 starters, We did not ride with the other one as we lost a chain at the start and had to chase from then on, we lost 30 minutes and caught the other "T" in the last 200 yards of the last downhill.
Facts from last year, 100 miles in 12 hours, average of 9.1 mph, 400 starters les than 50% finished, 25 litres of water drunk, 2lbs of fruit cake, 20 cereal bars, 6x400gram packs of dried fruit, and as much more food as the pair of us could throw down our throats
Why do it, Couple of medical problems- bypass and Cancer meant I could have given up. Set myself to do this ride in 2003 with my co-rider. I am 58 and he is 42 and 2003 was his first attempt and my 7th. Well we did it and that started us off on the Enduro type of riding
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