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  1. #1
    Senior Member bboseley's Avatar
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    Need Report Card !

    I would like a few observations as to “how I’m riding.” Go ahead and dish it out, I can take it. First a few fast facts so we know what we are talking about. Age 64, retired for 9 years. Most of working life was pushing a pencil behind a desk. Took up golf after retirement and saw that I was not going to get ANY exercise from that. Bought my bike about 18 months ago. Live in Florida and ride the flats, but in some pretty extreme summer heat and humidity. Rides are about 90% paved trails, and 10% roads. The bike is a very good quality road bike, very light, so I can’t blame anything on it.

    My standard ride, which I don’t get to do nearly as often as I want due to weather, other commitments, etc. – but I try hard to get out 2 or 3 times a week.

    The trail I ride is 60 miles round trip, two or three intersections calling for very slow if not stopped briefly. The best I have done speed wise for the round trip is exactly 15mph, actual measured average speed.

    I tend to not ride at a very steady pace. I know I start out too fast. I do a sprint or two up to 25-27 mph, but these are short lived. I also tend to “chase” faster riders – not to catch their wheel obviously – but just to see if I can keep their pace. Lots of expended energy for no really good reason?

    So, should I be going lots faster? I do continue to improve slowly, and by summer’s end I think I can do the 60 at perhaps 17mph.

    Go ahead and shoot me down. I would also like any suggestions for learning to maintain a more constant pace. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    OK, you asked for it... You're retired and only get out 2 or 3 times a week? Where are your priorities? Good grief. You should be out there at least 6 out of 7 days. (Just kidding.) If I can ride like you ride when I'm 64 on 2 or 3 days a week, I'll be mighty happy. Individual fitness and individual potential vary a great deal between each person. You really should be setting goals based on where you are now and measure progress against that as a baseline. You may never reach some of the performance levels of some of the monster riders on this fourm, or you may well find that you can exceed them. But never compare yourself to others. It's a no win situation. I think it's good to ride with faster riders once in a while. It pushes your anerobic threshold, but I wouldn't use it as a regular thing.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  3. #3
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I'm curious as to why you feel you need some feedback?

    My questions would be:

    1. Are you having fun and enjoying yourself?

    2. Are you improving at a rate that you are happy with?

    3. What is the purpose(s) of your bicycling?

    Generally, if you are doing 60 mile round trips 2 or 3 times per week that is a pretty high level of bicycling. There is absolutely nothing wrong with varying your speed. In fact, varying speed is one technique of training.

    Chasing other riders is half of the fun. It also improves your riding ability if you choose riders that are faster than you are.

    You are doing great. Keep it up.

    If you have very specific goals, you might want to read Will Dehne's(rode across the country in 25 riding days) or jppe's(successfully assaulted Mt. Mitchell) accounts of their training for their recent epic events.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  4. #4
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Bicycles must be ridden to maximize the FPM (Fun Per Mile). Don't worry about the numbers. Maximize the fun and everything else will fall in line.

  5. #5
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    I'm 12 years younger than you are, and if you're riding 60 miles at 17mph, please wave as you blow by me.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  6. #6
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Good try guys but let's try and help Mr Boseley out here. He's a lot like a number folks out there. It doesn't matter if your 20, 40, 60 or 80, there's a flicker of competitive fire inside that needs fueling. Mr Boseley's flame is burning and he needs advice on how to get this thing burning brighter and hotter. He's not about if he's faster than anyone else but can he push himself to move up a notch or two.

    The first big step is that you have to want to get faster or have an overall faster time or average speed. It sounds to me like from your question and post that you really want to know if you can go faster. You can go faster and have a faster average over 60 miles.

    I will offer that I'm not that familiar with the paved trail that you're riding on but that could somewhat limit your speed. I could imagine that if it's not too wide or if there is limited visibility there would be a natural tendency to not to go too fast just to make sure your riding safely. You could very well already be at the maximum just based on the riding environment. However, let's assume that is not a factor just for discussion.

    Since you're already have the endurance to ride 60 miles, the quickest thing for you to do to get faster is to do some intervals. It's probably best to do these in 3-5 mile stretches where you concentrate on spinning faster and concentrating on keeping your speed above a certain speed......like 20 mph. Do sets of those during your ride where you're doing a fast stretch for 3-5 miles and then slow down to a more moderate pace for 2-4 miles......then push it back up again. If you did 3-5 sets of these in a ride you'll see your overall performance improve faster.

    If you rode with others you should see your overall speed pick up as well......just a natural thing that usually happens.

    You might consider only riding 30 miles or so when doing these intervals as they could take a good bit of additional energy. You can play it by ear and see how it goes. Also, speeds are all relative. If you have either a tailwind or headwind, especially in a flat route, it can really create some exaggerated speeds.

    Good to see you on the bike!!

    I'm still trying to ride and golf.......and I'm NOT retired!!

  7. #7
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    Good try guys but let's try and help Mr Boseley out here. He's a lot like a number folks out there. It doesn't matter if your 20, 40, 60 or 80, there's a flicker of competitive fire inside that needs fueling.
    Maybe we need two subforums on the 50+

    1. We enjoy our ride forum

    2. We NEED to get faster and ride farther forum.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    My reaction to your comments is that you seem to be feeling that you should become somehow dramatically better than you are now. At 64 I think you are doing really well getting out and doing 60 mile rides with a 17mph avg.
    However if you want to move faster, jppe had good comments as did those who suggest you ride with some others who perform slightly higher than your typical level. You will improve.
    In this forum though the big questions are; Do you enjoy it? Are you having fun? Is there a spot along the way to stop for pie?

  9. #9
    Senior Member bboseley's Avatar
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    I hear ya....

    I hear you DnvrFox. It's obviously all about personal satisfaction. However, as a FORMER golfer, there was always the card comparison at round's end. In biking, particularly if riding solo, there is not a whole lot to measure against. Guess it's that male thing. Just want to know if I'm keeping up with others of my advanced years.

  10. #10
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bboseley
    I hear you DnvrFox. It's obviously all about personal satisfaction. However, as a FORMER golfer, there was always the card comparison at round's end. In biking, particularly if riding solo, there is not a whole lot to measure against. Guess it's that male thing. Just want to know if I'm keeping up with others of my advanced years.
    Well, I am 66 and you are beating me up! (At least as far as speed goes. I wouldn't know about your enjoyment factor. I rate "Excellent" in that category)

    Also, check out the Rogue's Gallery for some comparisons.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  11. #11
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bboseley
    I hear you DnvrFox. It's obviously all about personal satisfaction. However, as a FORMER golfer, there was always the card comparison at round's end. In biking, particularly if riding solo, there is not a whole lot to measure against. Guess it's that male thing. Just want to know if I'm keeping up with others of my advanced years.

    I quit playing golf. The compare cards at the end of the round thing was too bogus. I mean it was just too easy to cheat or take a "Mulligan".... what's that about? When you ride, there aren't any shortcuts and unless you're part of the cycling doping scandal crowd, it's pretty hard to cheat.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    what ippe said...but I would add a couple of shorter rides each week for the intervals. you'll be up to 18 in no time. I to like to chase young fast riders. The nice ones let you suck wheel for a while. I did 25 for about 10 miles the other day until I reached down to get a drink....they were GONE!

  13. #13
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bboseley
    I hear you DnvrFox. It's obviously all about personal satisfaction. However, as a FORMER golfer, there was always the card comparison at round's end. In biking, particularly if riding solo, there is not a whole lot to measure against. Guess it's that male thing. Just want to know if I'm keeping up with others of my advanced years.
    Cycling is so much more than a round of flog. It can be anything you wish it to be at anytime you straddle the machina. If you need a yardstick or a report card, well that fits in also - do organized rides, get a race license, faithfully note your ride times for the common routes you do.
    Are you keeping up with the other codgers your age?
    I like to think of the hours I'm not spending in the waiting rooms of physicians offices. I like to note the number of times I go to the Local Rite-Aid for a 1/2 gallon of ice cream as opposed to getting a prescription filled.
    its all pretty obvious, if your 'machine' seems to be thinking and working better that the classmates you see around you.
    Maybe go do a few 'touring club' group rides - the very cool thing about them is that you can jam a little, lag a little, daydream a little and try to hold the wheel of a stronger rider... a little, chat up someone you've never met before and then all end up finishing the ride at the same time, in the same place, and nobody ever asks 'whatz your score'.
    If you're still curious and need to know, Joe Friel's book, 'Cycling Past 50' wil help guide and set benchmarks. Lurk in the Road Racing Subforum of Road Riding, or hang in 'Training & Nutrition'. If you wanna become a track rat or dirtbag, hang in those specific forums.
    If you're wanting to compare strictly yourself, then and now and upcoming, then prepare to never be quite satisfied or contented - which is as it should be.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Maybe we need two subforums on the 50+

    1. We enjoy our ride forum

    2. We NEED to get faster and ride farther forum.
    Face it, we are all a bunch of old farts
    begging for compliments. :O)

    While I suspect that is what the nature
    of this post was about, the performance
    is admirable. Enough said.

    Live to Ride. Ride to Live.
    Ned Goudy, Glendora, CA USA
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  15. #15
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    I think that you should work on your endurance, so that one day soon you could ride your age in one day.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
    2012 Masi Evoluzione
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  16. #16
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    My 2 daughters live in Orlando I visit often tell me were you find 60 miles of pave trail and Next time I am in area would love to ride with you.

  17. #17
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    +1 for what jppe says.

    What you are doing riding-wise is fine and is probably better than most of the people you see on your rides, but I also detect this desire to get faster/fitter. This can be done, but it is not the most enjoyable endeavor! The key to getting faster is interval training and it is not a pleasant experience. It is one of those things in life where if it doesn't kill you (and it will feel like it is killing you!), then it will make you stronger.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  18. #18
    Senior Member bboseley's Avatar
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    Florida trails

    Partbug .......The trail I ride most is the Van Fleet trail which is 29 miles one way. By adding a brief sidetrack on one of the old roads in the area - you can easily make it 60. Also there is the West Orange Trail which is closer to 80 miles for the full round trip. It has more traffic than Van Fleet

    I many times will ride the VF out, then jump over to state route 33 for the return.

    See you in Florida !

  19. #19
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    Thanks I am going to look up the Van Fleet trail on the internet it sounds good

  20. #20
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    There is a State trail near the Van Fleet Trail. Withlacooche State Trail in North Central Florida. It is 92 miles round trip. I spend a training vacation there doing the 92 miles every day for 10 days.
    The Van Fleet has fewer cross roads but is much less scenic and does not offer as many places to eat and drink.
    Now to speed: I trained at 16.5 MPH because that is what the tour required which I trained for.
    IMHO, a 17 MPH average as measured by a Cateye, is a pretty good speed for a 60+ guy. I can do 20 MPH average under ideal conditions. I remember some nasty headwind in Florida. It can sap all your energy. Going 100 miles/day creates issues with nutrition, hydration and saddle sores. I go along with the idea to bike more. How about 50 miles/day on average? That means some days 100 miles to make up for a non biking day? Now try to do 100 miles in under 6 hours and you got a goal to shoot for. (lots of bikers do it under 5 hours. I did it only one time)
    BTW, I will go to Withlacooche again. I really liked Inverness. Charming place.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Gary W. Graley's Avatar
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    Good for you sir!
    What I'd suggest is to section your ride and try to get to points in faster times
    make that part of your training, say an intersection in under 20minutes and work
    to beat that time, partly like the sprints you're doing but with a longer goal in mind
    so not looking to beat the overall time, which you'll end up doing anyways, but to
    break it up in to bite size chunks and press yourself to make those individual goals.

    Mine right now is a particular nasty hill/mountain/cliff that I include in my daily ride
    each day I see how much further I can climb that beasty, then I turn and continue on
    my circuit around town which is fairly flat with few exceptions, and I also check my
    time as I ride to do my errands.

    Good luck!
    G2
    "The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions!"
    Take the time to read your Bible Now, don't be left behind...

    Psalm 1

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