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  1. #1
    Senior Member trmcgeehan's Avatar
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    At Age 67, I Am Slowing!

    Last year, I cycled 1,700 miles. My goal for this year is 2,000, but I am way off pace. I only have 600 miles in the books, and here it is May 21. My average speed is also down. Last year, I averaged 13.5 mph over hilly Kentucky terrain. This year, my average so far is 12.75, using the same bike (a 1980 Univega 12 speed). At age 67, is this the way it's supposed to go? Slower and less mileage every year? Depressing!
    "I am a true laborer. I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my harm." As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 2. Shakespeare.
    "Deep down, I'm pretty superficial." Ava Gardner.

  2. #2
    Coastal NC oneradtec's Avatar
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    I guess that the results will certainly decline if the 'effort' remains constant. You have to compensate for the natural decline by putting out a little more effort each year. Things don't come as easy as the years go by. That goes for a 40 year old as well you know. Perhaps the 40 year old could average 18 before...and now he slips a bit to 17.5. We all begin losing a certain percentage of our lean muscle mass each year...at some point in our 30's. The declines are subtle at first...but eventually the impact on our results becomes more obvious over time.

    Just know that what you do at your age is amazing! I work in healthcare...so I see people your age(and even younger than you) every day that don't even want to get out of bed each day. Many of them are sedentary individuals and suffer from a wide spectrum of ills...from poorly controlled diabetes to heart disease to advanced lung diseases etc etc. Many of these people carry around a their own pharmacy in a bag. It never ceases to amaze me to see some of these folks carrying around these bags that contain sometimes 10-20 different bottles of pills. It must take them a half hour each day to take these chemicals. If the disease doesn't kill them...then certainly the medicines will eventually.

    So you see...you are an american athlete.....a warrior! I suggest that you not get so depressed about losing a half mile/hour on your average speed. get out there and ride. Enjoy those beautiful views from the bike. Breathe that fresh air and bathe in the warm sunshine. Get out there and ride your bike man. Get inspired and push just a little harder this year. Ride more miles than you did last year. Don't try.....do it! Just do it!

  3. #3
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trmcgeehan
    Last year, I cycled 1,700 miles. My goal for this year is 2,000, but I am way off pace. I only have 600 miles in the books, and here it is May 21. My average speed is also down. Last year, I averaged 13.5 mph over hilly Kentucky terrain. This year, my average so far is 12.75, using the same bike (a 1980 Univega 12 speed). At age 67, is this the way it's supposed to go? Slower and less mileage every year? Depressing!

    It probably has nothing to do with age, and everything to do with attitude and training. I started cycling just one year ago. I finished my first year with 6700 miles. Two weeks ago, I broke the Florida State record for the 5K Time Trial running a 7:27 against the old record of 7:29. BTW, it also exceed the younger age group 60-64 record which happens to be 7:32. I was the only racer out of over 100 to go sub 16 minutes in the 10K time trial immediately after the 5K event. I train hard, and have a positive mental outlook. My hero is a 91 year old ex Olympian in our club who was still winning sprints in our club ride sprint zones while still in his 70's. He still cranks along in the low twenties every day. I am not trying to blow my own horn, but I think my story makes a good point about what can be done inspite of age.

    No, that is not the way it is supposed to go. Get on that bike and pump. Have a positive outlook, and know that it is possible to improve faster than the natural decrease that aging brings.

    Oh, and yes, some of the fastest riders in our rather large club is the 60-70 year olds. Among that group we have two current world champions, a national champion, and an array of state champions. We 60 year olds are the dropers not the dropees in club hammerfests! Now get a positive attitude, smile, and get some mileage under your belt!
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  4. #4
    Coastal NC oneradtec's Avatar
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    Skydive.....

    I seem to remember an artice somewhere featuring that rider in his 90's? Perhaps it was Bicycling magazine? Can't remember. Certainly is an inspiring individual!

  5. #5
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trmcgeehan
    Last year, I cycled 1,700 miles. My goal for this year is 2,000, but I am way off pace. I only have 600 miles in the books, and here it is May 21. My average speed is also down. Last year, I averaged 13.5 mph over hilly Kentucky terrain. This year, my average so far is 12.75, using the same bike (a 1980 Univega 12 speed). At age 67, is this the way it's supposed to go? Slower and less mileage every year? Depressing!

    Average of only 12.75 at age 67, and on an old bike at that? I give you 9 years and if I was on a bike like that I would be happy to keep up that speed.
    All of us like to think that if we train hard enough and long enough, we will not lose the fitness that we used to have. It doesn't work like that, as you are now realising. Those hills do get longer and steeper, we want lower gears, and if the weather isn't right or the dog wants a walk, we don't get out on the bike quite so often.
    I realise that I only have a few years in which I will be able to enjoy the type of riding I do, so I am lucky in that I am out there doing it now. Regretfully there will come a time when I will be too slow for the group I ride with. Its about time I looked for an older group to ride with and found an easier form of riding. Any one got a trike I can borrow for that inevitable day?

    Look up. We all get slower as we get older, Just keep riding and enjoy what you can do. Never know, perhaps you will have a friend that wants to get fit so you will have to slow down to his pace, just to show him hows its done.

  6. #6
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    I am also 67 and just finished an 800 mile tour. Average speed on an 16 year old "Giant Iguana" mountain bike was around 10 - some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you.

    It ain't the speed - its the desire!

    Tom

  7. #7
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    As we get older, don't we learn to slow down and enjoy life more? Maybe that's what you're doing. It sounds like you're finding other things to do besides ride.

  8. #8
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
    As we get older, don't we learn to slow down and enjoy life more? Maybe that's what you're doing. It sounds like you're finding other things to do besides ride.
    Enjoy life more? A resounding YES! Slow down? Hell NO!!
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  9. #9
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trmcgeehan
    Last year, I cycled 1,700 miles. My goal for this year is 2,000, but I am way off pace. I only have 600 miles in the books, and here it is May 21. My average speed is also down. Last year, I averaged 13.5 mph over hilly Kentucky terrain. This year, my average so far is 12.75, using the same bike (a 1980 Univega 12 speed). At age 67, is this the way it's supposed to go? Slower and less mileage every year? Depressing!
    My guess is that cycling in Somerset is a pretty lonely affair, if it is still like it was when I visited Somerset and Science Hill a few years back. In fact, I would think any form of exercise besides walking to and from the car and into the restaurant would be unusual.

    Given that, you are to be commended for doing ANY cycling.

    I know that even though I cycled over 4,000 miles last year, that my current body condition (see my voluminous posts elsewhere ) has slowed me down.

    Those that continuously brag about their "success" have just been fortunate in that certain things have not caught up with them. Genetics? Luck? Lack of stress? Who knows, but for sure we are all different.

    So, commendations on whatever you do in the environment in which you find yourself.

    Keep trekking!
    Almost gone from the 50+ forum. - Email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for another fun new group of 50+ folks

  10. #10
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    My guess is that cycling in Somerset is a pretty lonely affair, if it is still like it was when I visited Somerset and Science Hill a few years back. In fact, I would think any form of exercise besides walking to and from the car and into the restaurant would be unusual.

    Given that, you are to be commended for doing ANY cycling.

    I know that even though I cycled over 4,000 miles last year, that my current body condition (see my voluminous posts elsewhere ) has slowed me down.

    Those that continuously brag about their "success" have just been fortunate in that certain things have not caught up with them. Genetics? Luck? Lack of stress? Who knows, but for sure we are all different.

    So, commendations on whatever you do in the environment in which you find yourself.

    Keep trekking!
    I agree. We seniors (I hate that word) aren't interested in those who "continuosly brag about their success." We want to moan and whine, and would much rather compare our infirmities, and discuss the reasons for our rapid decline. We don't want to listen to effusive, enthusiastic people who are full of life, who forget that it is fruitless to share said enthusiasm with the walking dead. I'm out of here - it is too goddamn depressing!
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  11. #11
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydive69
    I agree. We seniors (I hate that word) aren't interested in those who "continuosly brag about their success." We want to moan and whine, and would much rather compare our infirmities, and discuss the reasons for our rapid decline. We don't want to listen to effusive, enthusiastic people who are full of life, who forget that it is fruitless to share said enthusiasm with the walking dead. I'm out of here - it is too goddamn depressing!
    Bravo for you, truly!

    I can't wait to get back into great shape and do all the things I used to do. Soon, I hope and pray.

    Good luck.
    Almost gone from the 50+ forum. - Email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for another fun new group of 50+ folks

  12. #12
    Lets Ride Trekke's Avatar
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    "a 1980 Univega 12 speed"

    Its not you its the bike. As the bike gets older it becomes less responsive. Bury it, buy a new one and chase that pack down.

    Just kidding (sort of). I have noticed my average has gone down this yr also. But my rides are longer. I tackle more hills and the wind has just never let up all spring and in Frankfort it blows in your face all the time (lol). Hang in there. We are all pulling for ya.
    Phil

  13. #13
    Senior Member trmcgeehan's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the encouragement! I did have a positive experience yesterday when I took a 22 mile ride over hilly terrain. I was going down a steep hill at 37 mph approaching a long, tight sweeping left turn. I didn't go for the brakes and got through it fine. It was a real high for me. One twitch and I would have been into the trees.
    "I am a true laborer. I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my harm." As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 2. Shakespeare.
    "Deep down, I'm pretty superficial." Ava Gardner.

  14. #14
    Senior Member trmcgeehan's Avatar
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    Fox: Somerset hasn't changed. The main form of exercise is to park your Lincoln in the Ponderosa parking lot and walk into the restaurant for an all you can eat feast. Somerset has tobe the fat capital of the world.
    "I am a true laborer. I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my harm." As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 2. Shakespeare.
    "Deep down, I'm pretty superficial." Ava Gardner.

  15. #15
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trmcgeehan
    Fox: Somerset hasn't changed. The main form of exercise is to park your Lincoln in the Ponderosa parking lot and walk into the restaurant for an all you can eat feast. Somerset has tobe the fat capital of the world.
    I ate at that Ponderosa - I would describe it as grease coated with just a bit of food!
    Almost gone from the 50+ forum. - Email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for another fun new group of 50+ folks

  16. #16
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Hey skydive69

    Sorry I came across so negative yesterday.

    I have been fighting excruciating pain the last two days. Everytime I shave, chew, sneeze or touch my nose it feels as if I am in the territorial prison just starting the electric chair execution. Then i take the $%#^@ drugs to stop the pain, and it makes me feel awful, tired and grumpy.

    I take an anti-seizure drug, as basically what I have is a "short-circuit" of the trigeminal nerve, where any stimulation on the right side of my head sends terrible shocks through my head.

    I feel better today. You might say I am just a bit jealous of your exploits as, between the 70% heart output with the atrial fibrillation and the trigeminal neuralgia, I can no longer do what I used to do and it is very frustrating, to say the least.

    Keep up the good work and win those races. Just don't be surprised if I am just a bit frustrated because I can no longer do what I used to do.

    However, I will still ride about 4,000 miles this year, and I will enjoy every single one of those miles.

    Have a great day. Things on the pain side are just a bit better today.

    From a motel in the wind-blown Wyoming plains - headed to Yellowstone!
    Almost gone from the 50+ forum. - Email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for another fun new group of 50+ folks

  17. #17
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Thanks Fox. I didn't realize that this was posted here - I received your email message, and I certainly appreciate it. Enjoy that vacation - I always wanted to go to Yellowstone, but never had the opportunity.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  18. #18
    Da Big Kahuna
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    I don't think there is any way of getting around the fact that age will get us all. Some will work their butts off to compensate as long as they can and some have definite genetic advantages most of us can't match, but I understand your situation and I'm 56.

    I improved pretty well for my first three years - though never had the speed to match with many others. Over an 11 mile course - some hills in the first 3.5 miles - I never did better than 19.19 mph for an average. My highest speed on flats is maybe close to 24 with a max effort for short distances.

    My first year I did 4200 miles (I can ride year round in Hawaii). My second was about 6500. Last year I did almost 7600 and over the last 3 months I was really doing much more than my norm - typically 190 miles/week in four rides.

    Towards the end of that year, I was really tiring out so since then I have backed off (3 days and usually about 30 miles each day). What does bother me is that I'm slower than I was when doing those bigger rides earlier (until near the end). I think some of the problem is that I haven't been doing much to push my limits so little by little, the muscles are getting weaker than they were.

    In fact, I noticed that once I was able to average 15 mph for my normal rides over that first 11 miles without killing myself, I had less motivation to push hard. But it was the periodic stronger efforts that made that possible. Now I have to push more to make that average. Time to do some more strong efforts.

    Maybe that is part of what you are dealing with?

  19. #19
    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trmcgeehan
    Last year, I cycled 1,700 miles. My goal for this year is 2,000, but I am way off pace. I only have 600 miles in the books, and here it is May 21. My average speed is also down. Last year, I averaged 13.5 mph over hilly Kentucky terrain. This year, my average so far is 12.75, using the same bike (a 1980 Univega 12 speed). At age 67, is this the way it's supposed to go? Slower and less mileage every year? Depressing!
    Hang in there trmcgeehan, I too seem to be slowing down - I'm at 750 miles YTD, about 300 behind last years pace. Must be in the water here in KY GRIN.

    I find that just getting on the bike is sometimes the hardest part, but once I'm on- I really enjoy it.

    Again, HANG IN THERE!!!!!!!!!
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

  20. #20
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    I ride as many days as I can, sometimes for 2- 3 hours, sometimes only 1 hour. My 30 - 45 minute rides have increased in number. Some days I feel like 2 shorter rides rather than 1 longer one. I ditched the cycle computer years ago and enjoy my cycling just as much. Like someone else said, breathe the fresh air, enjoy the sunshine -- revel in the pleasure of spinning up a hill and coasting the other side, find a new trail, ride with a friend, who cares about speed, who cares about distance. If you are worried about performance subscribe to the premium site at www.roadbikerider.com.

    Enjoy.

  21. #21
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    I love your attitude, Dnvr Fox...reminds me of another "Fox"..Ed "Foxy Grandpa" Delano who started riding a bike at the age of 65, and a year later rode across the US from California to Massachusetts. At the time I met him, I was doing the Davis Double Century for the first time. It took me 13 hours...I think Foxy spent 24 hours out on the road. I respected his accomplishment because I don't think I could spend 24 hours doing a ride. Foxy always had a smile on his face and a kind word for everyone. It took me 25 years to understand his attitude. Some people are Do-Have-Be, others are Have-Do-Be...but people like you are Be-Do-Have....You're happy within, and it reflects in what you do and what you have.

    I was fortunate to have good health when I was younger and had some amazing results in racing. But I'll never forget those who never had a chance to finish at the top, yet always showed up at the races. What motivated them to get on the starting line? I think it's the love of the sport and the opportunity to paricipate.

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    Long time no see, OneRAdTec...and still as optimistic as ever! Your response reminded me of a poem by Cavafy as follows. Take care!

    Ithaka

    When you set out for Ithaka
    Ask that your way be long,
    Full of adventure, full of instruction.
    The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
    Angry Poseidon -- do not fear them;
    Such as these you will never find
    As long as your thought is lofty,
    As long as a rare emotion
    Touch your spirit and your body.
    The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
    Angry Poseidon -- you will not meet them
    Unless you carry them in your soul,
    Unless your soul raise them up before you.

    Ask that your way be long,
    At many a summer dawn to enter --
    With what gratitude, what joy!
    Ports seen for the first time;
    To stop at Phoenician trading centers,
    And to buy good merchandise.
    Mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
    And sensuous perfumes of every kind.
    Buy as many sensuous perfumes as you can,
    Visit many Egyptian cities
    To learn and learn from those who have knowledge.

    Always keep Ithaka fixed in your mind;
    Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
    But do not in the least hurry the journey.
    Better that it last for years
    So that when you reach the island you are old,
    Rich with all that you have gained on the way,
    Not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth.
    Ithaka has given you the splendid voyage.
    Without her you would never have set out,
    But she has nothing more to give you.
    And if you find her poor,
    Ithaka has not deceived you.
    So wise have you become, of such experience,
    That already you will have understood
    What these Ithakas mean.

    - C. P. Cavafy (1868-1933)

  23. #23
    Coastal NC oneradtec's Avatar
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    Leonard! AKA 'The Flyin' Hawaiian'....how the hell are ya? Great to see you around here. You were one of my favorites from an old cycling board(may she rest in peace)!

    And what a great writer you are. I hope that you are still writing. Maybe you could post some of those stories right here....and tell me more about Merckx sometime. Something tells me that many of the fine folks here would enjoy your writing talents. Leonard...you are an icon!

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