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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 01-07-06, 07:24 AM   #1
tivoli1
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You're all inspiring...

I'm a newbie here, although I've graduated to a junior member! But, nonetheless, I'm new. I've been reading and reading this forum and others, but just want to say all you 50+ people are very inspiring to me. I'm 51, completely out of shape, as I've stated in my first post and just back to bike riding after years of absence. Biking will be my exercise of choice, right now, 30 minutes a day, that's enough for me not having exercised for years and being overweight.

My long term goals are to ride for exercise, to take recreational rides in NYC (can you believe that?) and MAYBE, if I ever get in shape, to begin doing bike tours. Also, I can see in the short term future to take rides in suburban/rural areas in my area.

In any event, I'm doing it, started this week. I'm going out there, today, at 23 degrees, and riding. I only missed one day due to an appointment. And, partly why I have the will to go out is all you inspiring people. Sure, we may be 50+ but we're not dead yet, I know that. But, still, for me to find this forum, after the bubble I've been in, and open my eyes and see a group of people my age and older who are yakking away about bike riding, doing centuries, racking up thousands of miles, is, again that word, inspiring, and I suppose, a little contagious. So, thanks!

I'm still going SO crazy figuring out what kind of bike to get. Hybrid, commuter (I don't commute), road, suspension/no suspension, triple crank or not, heavier or lighter, WSD, walk thru or not, yadayada. Off to two bike stores today to look around. I think I'll take my Trek 730 with me so the LBS can see what I'm on currently. I do know one thing...I like quality, I work hard for quality, so I do want to be educated. And my research is driving me out of my mind. But, I digress.

Again, I just wanted to say that you are all helping one person out there realize that, well, age just doesn't matter much, it's will that matters. Thanks to you all.
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Old 01-07-06, 07:45 AM   #2
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tivoli1, welcome. I know you'll find the folks on this forum knowledgable and very willing to answer questions. I've been a member since June 05, and like you am motivated by everyone on this forum.

Take your time when selecting a bike - I've been through 4 bikes since March and finally found the one I'll keep. I first bought a Trek 100 with suspension because I was so heavy and thought I needed a sturdy bike. About six weeks later, I upgraded to a Trek7500FX because I wanted a faster bike. Started riding with the local club, and because I was a slow rider, could only ride with the 'pokey' group (which was not a bad thing). Decided to ride my age on my birthday and purchased a Specialized Allez Elite road bike so I could complete the ride in less than a day . Loved the bike - very comfortable and fast.

The fickle finger of fate waved a used Orbea Onix at me, and although I have no business on such a wonderful bike, I couldn't resist the great price and the beautiful orange/black bike, so I sold the Specialized and bought the Orbea. That's my final (I hope) road bike, although I do have a mountain bike from 15 years ago, plus a touring bike (I call this the truck - the Orbea is a sportscar).

Anyway, the moral of this long diatribe is... buy a bike that is beyond your current ability - because when you get more fit and loose weight (if that's your goal), you may well find that the bike that worked for you when you started isn't what you want/need.

And, regarding bikes - the Specialized Allez Elite or woman's Specialized Dolce are terrific bikes - fast, comfortable, and can handle a large rider very well.
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Old 01-07-06, 07:49 AM   #3
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Great post! I just turned 50. I started riding when I was 44 and haven't regretted one dime spent or one mile ridden. Good luck and congrats on your decision.
Now get out from in front of that computer and ride.
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Old 01-07-06, 08:28 AM   #4
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Welcome tivoli1
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Old 01-07-06, 09:06 AM   #5
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Welcome Tivoli1.

You are the exact person we had in mind when we started this 50+ forum.

Some folks stay with the forum, we have had a number move to more specific forums, such as road biking, but who occasionally drop by to say hello. Others just stick around because of the "atmosphere."

Keep at it!
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Old 01-07-06, 09:16 AM   #6
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Your story reminds me of mine, except you're a bit wiser than me. I started riding again last April on rides which I thought were really, really long back then (about 4-5 miles), but I was 54, so you're three years ahead of me.

Less than a year later, my goal for this year is 3-4 thousand miles. Don't know for sure if I'll make it, but I feel pretty confident. I started with an old Schwinn mountain bike, bought a Jamis hybrid (which I still love) and added a Motobecane road bike. My wife tells me that, if I'm a very good boy, next December, she'd be all for me getting a Specialized Roubaix Elite.

Ironically, one of the posters on this thread, LookinUp, provided me with a lot of motivation by coming up with his birthday ride challenge, which invites members to ride their age in mileage on their birthday. Haven't reached my birthday yet, but had the pleasure of riding on his birthday.

So my advise would be:
1. Really take your time looking for a good bike for you. Try all types and make sure it fits and feels just right for you. I've been into audio equipment for decades. One of the most sage pieces of advice I ever received was, "You'll know what speakers to buy because the ones for you will speak to you." In other words, specs didn't matter as the ones which sound reached out and grabbed me. Find a bike which speaks to you. Years ago, I had a Schwinn Super Le Tour road bike. I got rid of it for something that was supposed to be better, but I always regret giving that particular bike away because it just floated my boat. Talk about rambling...sorry.

2. When you start riding, don't push it too hard at first, but make sure you schedule time out with your new pal. It's like me with exercise. If I stop for a week, it gets harder and harder to get back into it. After more time, it just is gone.

Oh, and most of all, have fun!!! That's what it's all about. Fitness is why I started, but is the byproduct now. Fun is what keeps me going. You should have seen me all over the place in (yes in...at least the shallow part) of a creek and trying to keep my balance through all sorts of sludge yesterday. I felt like a kid. Big, big smile going on there.
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Old 01-07-06, 09:18 AM   #7
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Welcome and hold on to that strong motivation!

My journey back to bikes began 4 years ago when I moved to rural and mountainous NH. I was so pitifully out of shape and over weight (70+ lbs.), I ended up pushing my 20+ year old Schwinn 10 speed up the hills--- and the drop bars killed my back. I spent $900 on a Cannondale Comfort with headshock and pogo seatpost. I have looked back on that purchase and wished I had spent less $$$--- BUT that Bike helped me get back in good enough shape by last summer that I started riding the Schwinn out on the roads once again! In the process I've lost 30 lbs since last June. I still have 40 lbs to shed but I'm heading the right direction for the first time in years!

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Old 01-07-06, 09:46 AM   #8
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Bike riding is fun and that fits the bill when health professionals tell us to choose an exercise program that you will enjoy and therfore stay with. I started out with a hybrid with front and seat post suspension. Then as my muscles and cardiovascular system developed, I was able to ride faster, further. That was when I knew I should change to a road bike. So all this takes time but is fun time.
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Old 01-07-06, 09:51 AM   #9
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Hi Tivoli....nice to have you here. You already have the desire and enthusiasm....the rest is the fun part....logging in the miles--and the "posts"(!)
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Old 01-07-06, 11:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
Welcome and hold on to that strong motivation!

My journey back to bikes began 4 years ago when I moved to rural and mountainous NH. I was so pitifully out of shape and over weight (70+ lbs.), I ended up pushing my 20+ year old Schwinn 10 speed up the hills--- and the drop bars killed my back.
Bob
Your 10 year old schwinn reminds me of my first bike of 15 years ago. A 10 speed secondhand Mountain "Type" bike. That did not go up hills either. Stayed with it for 6 months- just in case I did not stay in the hobby. This is the other problem that some newcomers have- are they going to stay in the sport. That motivation they have NOW-- has got to last. I have been offered so many bikes-- Cheap. that I could take my pick. Even a top of the range Klein road bike. These are from people that went into the hobby with full enthusiasm, but 6 months later. and they have given up.

Advice to any newcomer- You will not know what type of bike is suitable for you, untill you have ridden a few. Go to a local bike shop, (LBS), and talk to them. A bike like a 730 is not a bad starter. even if it is old, and rusty and worn out. The bike I mean, not the rider. Talk toyour LBS, and ride the Trek for a few months. Look at what sort of bike you want to get, look at the options and then buy the best your Bank Manager can afford. Failing that, join the rest of us in that impulse buy and get what your head tells you, and keep riding it .
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Old 01-07-06, 12:14 PM   #11
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- good to see another rider... i'm willing to bet that your 30 minutes a day will soon stretch out to longer sessions - keep up with the riding!

- all good advice here... i started riding last April after a long hiatus from bike riding... i was overweight and a smoker... now i'm losing weight on my schedule of 2 lbs. per month, have not touched a cigarette, and regularly do 15-30 miles a day - and feeling great!

- doesn't matter what bike you ride as long as it is comfortable for you, keeps you riding, and works for your type of activity... (i started on a comfort bike, then bought a used [$500] road bike... now i ride either a road bike for longer treks, or a cyclocross bike for loops on the trails)

- keep up with the riding, keep track of your progress, and let us know how things are going!
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Old 01-07-06, 01:54 PM   #12
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Tivoli1, Welcome. Since my teenager years, I have been biking, of various types, on & off. About 4 years ago, I started backed again after about a 7-8 year layoff. It has been a pleasure. Burchase a new bike & my 2 teenage sons now often ride with me.

As for the new bike purchase... All I can offer is: Savour the process. Try to enjoy it even thought it maybe frustrating. Get quality that you desire & can afford & get a comfortable fit. Remember, it is your comfort that is important, not those who are offering the fitting advice.
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Old 01-07-06, 02:13 PM   #13
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Best wishes for a successful purchase, fruitful exercise and enjoyable riding, from somewhere in the Middle East.
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Old 01-07-06, 04:30 PM   #14
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Welcome and congratulations on selecting a terrific activity to participate in!! I suspect just about all of us were at the same place you currently are not too long ago so we can relate and appreciate your enthusiasm.

The advice I'd provide (seems I'm always doing that) is to simply ride as long as you enjoy it. When stops being as much fun, step away, take a break, or change the routine etc.

Also as you futher into it, I'd encourage you to push yourself to do a little more than you feel completely comfortable doing. I think you'll be richly rewarded by the accomplishments.

Be safe out there and enjoy being on the bike!!!
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Old 01-08-06, 08:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tivoli1
I'm a newbie here, although I've graduated to a junior member! But, nonetheless, I'm new. I've been reading and reading this forum and others, but just want to say all you 50+ people are very inspiring to me. I'm 51, completely out of shape, as I've stated in my first post and just back to bike riding after years of absence. Biking will be my exercise of choice, right now, 30 minutes a day, that's enough for me not having exercised for years and being overweight.
tivoli1,
Welcome to the forum. It is, indeed, an inspiring place.

Garfield said it best: riding is such fun that it is one of the easiest fitness plans to stay with. And our bodies have already reminded us that, at our age, having a fitness plan is a very big deal.

It's a wide variety of bikes and cycling habits here. Yours will surely change as you find what best suits you, and as you get more fit. The main thing is to enjoy your riding, and revel in how good it feels to be fit. We look forward to hearing more from you.
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Old 01-08-06, 03:34 PM   #16
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Well, I guess my situation is more typical than I thought! Thank you for the second welcome, I really appreciate it. I've come back from a LBS fact finding mission and will enter a separate post on what I amthinking.
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Old 01-08-06, 05:50 PM   #17
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And a third Welcome.
I rode Bike today, 60's here in KY but Dang(!) was it windy.
Got about a hundred in for 2006, never thought I'd ever do that 1st week (plus a day)of jan. This includes sickness (post on strep) - Throat hurt but it was all smiles when my weight showed 178, BP was 116/68, HR standing was 64. Dr was impressed. Told me "no riding now for next couple of days" and laughed when I said "I want a second opinion".

Goiod luck on your selection of purchase. Lots of good advice here but remember - Its YOUR decision. Do whats best for you.
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Old 01-08-06, 06:55 PM   #18
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Still another welcome. Like you, I had not ridden for a while. Got a deal on a Bianchi road bike in 2003 and in 2005 rode from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the AIDS/LifeCycle. Ended up with 6000 miles in 2005. And I'm 58. Now I have a Giant OCR2 composite with some upgrades. Love it. Having a hobby where you get exercise is better than one where you sit all day.
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Old 01-09-06, 07:32 PM   #19
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I recommend trying a single speed. I built up an old peugeot roadie as a single speed and LOVE it. Of my 12 bikes, that old junker peugeot SS is my favorite ride. Singlespeed is so simple; you get more enjoyment out of the ride. Check it out.
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Old 01-09-06, 09:10 PM   #20
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I recommend trying a single speed. I built up an old peugeot roadie as a single speed and LOVE it. Of my 12 bikes, that old junker peugeot SS is my favorite ride. Singlespeed is so simple; you get more enjoyment out of the ride. Check it out.
I can relate! Love my "new" Univega single speed!
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Old 01-10-06, 11:08 AM   #21
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Good on you Tivoli1. My 50th is not for another 3 months but I too enjoy the wit, the advise, the encouragement and the inspiration of the 50+ group. For myself riding is fairly new sport since a major knee operation in '01 limits my physical activity. Each year the miles are easier and the distances become farther - in '05 racked up 1554 miles (the last 200 in snow) with numerous 1/2 centuries and 1 century - all on a 32 lb Trek 4500 mt bike. I plan to do more this year and am looking for a road bike as the Trek is a little slow on the roads. IMHO you should consider getting measured by your LBS so they can fit a bike frame to your frame - then you need to decide the type of bike but from what I've read and from my own experience there is no such thing as "one" bike, its a progression.
Like Gary says it's 90% mental and youv'e already taken the first step or should I say peddle!
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