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  1. #1
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    When would you know to give up 2-wheels?

    I'm not quite 43, but I'd like to know when one can know or predict, based on loss of vision, balance, based on some testing procedure, when there is an increased risk of a fall from a 2-wheeler as one ages.

    My Mom has been making noises about cycling, she's 78, and this talk scares me to death. She hasn't cycled as long as I can remember.

    My personal plan is to keep on cycling until I die, but I don't want to have an incapacitating fall at age 75 for example when my bones are brittle, when there may've been ample warning signs before to give it up and go to a cycle with at least one more wheel.

    What would those ample warning signs be? Any gerontologists out there?
    Peter Wang, LCI
    Houston, TX USA

  2. #2
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    My dad rode at least occasionally until he was in the late stages of prostate cancer at 83. He started cycling just before WWII because he couldn't afford a car, but found that he enjoyed it and, after the war, used to ride from our house on the east side of the San Francisco peninsula over to the ocean on the west side--only about 25 miles, but in those days, on a single-speed Raleigh, that was a long way. He quit for several years in his 40s and 50s, but picked it up again at about 60, after all his kids moved out. At about 75 he began to have inner ear problems that affected his balance, and he refused to wear a helmet until he took a pretty bad fall. Then he switched to an adult tricycle, but it was such a heavy and clumsy POS that he hated it. He was looking at one of those "feet-flat-on-the-floor" bikes (I forget what they're called--like the Electra Townie) when his cancer was diagnosed, but still rode the trike up until about six months before he died. He enjoyed the exercise, and since he'd pretty much quit driving, it gave him at least a feeling of freedom, if not really much actual freedom. I used to worry about safety, but by that point, he said, "The best thing that can happen is that I get hit by a car."

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I would give up riding when I stopped enjoying it.

    Some of you may realise that I ride a Tandem. I took this up after some pressure from my riding group after a couple of severe illness's and this was for the wrong reason. The real reason I got the Tandem, was that I have fancied one for years, but the reality of a possible reoccurence of a heart problem on a ride, made me take the step of getting one. Since getting the damn thing, I have really got back into riding, and fitness and health has progressed greatly as the skill of riding it with my regular Pilot has progressed.

    I did a ride last sunday and met two other tandem teams. One was an older couple that are still riding at age 70. They were pretty fast and boy could they go up hills. Similar thoughts to me as they are not in the best of health but have confidence in having a permanent partner on the tandem. The other pair were a pilot that I have known for about 10 years. Didn't realise he rode tandem, but one of his regular riding partners lost his sight after a stroke, so he is now finding out what 4 leg riding is about.

    Just putting my cents worth in for tandems, but if riding a solo is getting to be a problem through ill health, then a Tandem is certainly worth a thought if you want to keep riding

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    I think I'll keep doing it until I can't anymore, but would probably not mix it up with traffic so much once my sight and hearing start to go.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Borrow a bike and a helmet and take her to a rail to trail site. A few of short rides with you will help her decide if she wants to continue. If she has balance problems a trike may be the solution. Mabe borrow the trike for the first rides. She doesn't have to train for races. You can help her make the correct decision on continuing to ride. You may find this kind of exercise is most benificial to her health.

    How many would give a lot if their mother was still around and they could go riding with her? What mother's day present that would be. You only have 7 days to put that together.
    Phil

  6. #6
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Buy a tandem!
    Mom can be the stoker (rear rider) and you'll be the captain (front rider) with all responsibilities for shifting /braking/balance! You'll be in control and mom will be out having a good time riding with you!

    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem ( . . .and yes, we are in our 70s!)

  7. #7
    scofflaw
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    How can one answer this question? I see many older people riding their bikes, I think that's what keeps them young. Several years ago, I saw a woman in her late 70's on a mixie or step thru bike, with a little
    straw basket on the handlebars, just tooling along at about 5 miles per hour, (oh by the way she was wearing a skirt, impeccably attired and made up.) I turned to my husband and said "I want to be her when I'm her age. " I've never forgotten her. Yes, as you age you probabaly aren't going to race, or
    climb big hills, but why would you give you your bike?

  8. #8
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Some folks in the senior riding group that I lead are 76 and have no problems with balance, etc.

    There is no correct or possible answer to your question. I guess if I worried at age 65 about an "incapacitating fall" then I would need to stop driving, stop walking, pretty much stop living and sit on the couch. Oops, that won't work either because it would hurt my overall health not to have exercise. I can't win on this one, so I just won't worry!

    Bicycling is no more dangerous than driving in or riding in a car, or walking down the street or crossing an intersection. You going to give them up, also?

    When I can't find my bike is when I will give it up.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    Friend of mine's dad was an olympic rider long ago, He was telling me they had to take his bike away from him in his late 80's cause he outran anyone who rode with him and then he would get lost (dementia). He's sense passed away. I told my wife if i get that old, technology surely would have a cheap locating device.
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

  10. #10
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Met a guy and his wife yesterday at the motel we are staying in at Taos. Would have guessed him to be my age - 65. His wife was with him. They had just finished a 59 mile ride on the Santa Fe Trail the day before. Although they do car touring this time, they also do self-contained touring. He was tall and strong. His real age - 81yo. They also do a lot of walking because they know the dangers of osteoporosis from bicycling exclusively. He was a forner PE teacher.

    I guess no one told them what "signs" to look for as to when they should give up bicycling.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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