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  1. #1
    Senior Member cantdrv55's Avatar
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    Are they too old to ride?

    I'm referring to my parents. My Mom is 70 and my stepdad is 67. They are both still quite active. They go to the gym and lift weights, ride the exercise bike, use the elliptical trainer and walk on the treadmill. Last summer, we went kayaking and they rented a tandem sit-on-top kayak and paddled for an hour or so. They used to go hiking with me but my Mom has had foot surgery a few times in the past couple of years so I don't think her feet can take the stress and trauma anymore. I'd like to get them into biking but was wondering if they are too old for this activity.

    My fear is that if they crash and break something, their bones won't heal for a long time and may accelerate the aging process. They are both young at heart but that may change if they get laid up for an extended period. Should I encourage them to ride? I'm thinking just around town, on flats and rolling hills on a comfort bike.

    What do you think? Am I being paranoid for them? If anything does happen to them, my siblings would blame me. By the way, my parents like the idea of biking but I wonder if that's because I talk about how fun it is all the time.

  2. #2
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cantdrv55
    Am I being paranoid for them? If anything does happen to them, my siblings would blame me. By the way, my parents like the idea of biking but I wonder if that's because I talk about how fun it is all the time.
    Good Lord, man!

    Yes, you are being paranoid, and are over-emphasizing the dangers of bicycling, which are few and far between. Bicycling is safer than driving to the gym.

    67 and 70 is YOUNG!

    I am 67 and ride about 4,500 miles per year. Bones DO heal, believe it or not, and it doesn't take all that long. My wife is 69 and rides about 1,500 miles per year. We have folks on BFN who are in the 80's and ride like crazy.

    Maybe you asked in the wrong forum?
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 01-08-07 at 12:14 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member cantdrv55's Avatar
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    No, I asked in the right forum. You folks are exactly the people I need to hear from. My siblings thought I was crazy and irresponsible for taking my parents kayaking last year, especially when their boat capsized and they had to be fished out.

    I hope no one finds this thread offensive as that is not my intent.

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    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cantdrv55
    No, I asked in the right forum. You folks are exactly the people I need to hear from. My siblings thought I was crazy and irresponsible for taking my parents kayaking last year, especially when their boat capsized and they had to be fished out.
    Your siblings need to get out of the dark ages. Good for you and the kayaking. Life needs to be full of zest and excitement, even when you are 70.

    A little water never hurt anyone, IMHO. Hey, everyone takes a shower (hopefully), right?

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    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Show your siblings our Rogue's Gallery - email them this link.

    http://members.aol.com/bfn50gallery/

    Have them read this thread:

    Special Thread For 50+yo Bicyclists

  6. #6
    Senior Member cantdrv55's Avatar
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    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    According to what I have read, the most DANGEROUS thing for your parents is to be sedentary (your siblings too). Physical activity creates muscles and puts force on bones, which makes your bones stronger, and keeps you able to keep moving. Nothing kills you like not being able to move.

    Look at Christopher Reed - when you can't move, your days are numbered. Okay, becoming a bit of an old geezer now, I got to tell a story..

    I was sitting at a soda (small outdoor restaurant) waiting for my business partner. He pulls up and a man jumps out of the back, sprints across the road, hitches another ride, jumps in the back of another pickup and off they go.

    My eyes nearly jumped out of my head too. You see, he had completely white hair and beard which is pretty uncommon until a person is pretty old down here.

    Hector noticed my expression and thought it was about him giving rides with a company vehicle and said that it was a friend of this GRANDFATHER. I asked, "how old is he?" Hector thought for a bit and said, I think he is about 100...

    I see people all the time in the 70s on bikes here, and older.

  8. #8
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cantdrv55
    What do you think? Am I being paranoid for them? If anything does happen to them, my siblings would blame me. By the way, my parents like the idea of biking but I wonder if that's because I talk about how fun it is all the time.
    It's better to wear out than rust. I think you are just afraid of what your sibs will say. Send your parents here so they can explore the idea for themselves.

    I don't see how you are to blame. Your parents like the idea. If they get hurt, it's their fault. They may start out with comfort bikes, but who knows, if they get talking to DenverFox too much they may want to do a cross country trip.

  9. #9
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    one of my neighbours is over 90 and rides a trike...has a rear basket carrier that she fills at the lawn sales each summer

    You're never too old...I'd check out their driving skills, though

  10. #10
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    On my 400 mile ride down the Pacific Coast Highway, the leader of the group was 75 years old and was hurting the rest of us.

  11. #11
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    No way is 67 and 70 too old to ride a bike! That is without a doubt the most silly thing that I've ever heard. Just remember, children are never too old to be spanked, either, for wishing to put their parents to pasture!
    Dennis T

  12. #12
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    If they're interested in cycling by all means encourage them to try it. At almost 64 I'm one of the youngest riders in our group

    I wouldn't worry too much about falling. If they're like most of us they'll realize the dangers of falling and will be extra cautious. I have osteoporosis and have taken a few tumbles off the bike without any harm (knock on wood). My doctor used to mention that biking probably wasn't the safest form of exercise for someone with brittle bones but after 6 years he's given up on getting me to give up the bike.
    =============================================================
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    Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    Of course they are not too old to ride. Might want to make sure neither of them has any balance issues though. Right now I am suffering a big time head cold and I can barely stand, don;t think riding would be a good idea, even if the weather was decent enough to ride here. I can still ride the trainer though
    Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse and Repair
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    "Toes"

  14. #14
    Senior Member Paydirt's Avatar
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    My Mom rides about 7-10 miles every day. She's 77.

  15. #15
    Senior Member lubers's Avatar
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    My father in law will turn 78 in two weeks and he's looking forward to a tour this summer again. Last year he had some heart problems but still managed to get in 1000 miles.
    Jeff

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  16. #16
    Banned wagathon's Avatar
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    I wish I had their knees. I'm not sure mine will make it to that age.

  17. #17
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    First century I ever finished a guy in his 70's beat me by hours. No, age isn't the issue here. Folks older than you parents put on many, many miles each year. In terms of safety, your parents are more likely to be seriously injured in their own home than on a bike.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  18. #18
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    The parents should be deciding whether or not they should ride. And, they should also be figuring out whether the child should ride. Plus, none of them should be driving in automobiles. It's too dangerous!

  19. #19
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    I'm 72. Got back into biking again last summer when still only 71. I used to ride a lot in-town when in my 40s-50s but a back injury caused me grief on the upright Schwinn I was then using. The last couple of years I've used the Y stationary bike and found I could tolerate it IF I leaned forward quite a ways. This goes against all advice I've ever seen on any bike forum. WHATEVER is wrong in my low back, it won't tolerate an upright biking position. On the other hand it can't tolerate a leaned-forward position all that great either - our local bike path is 20 miles and my back will 'take a set' in that angle and make it hard to stand back up straight. This is fairly dangerous crossing streets, when you have to put a foot down and then stand up erect to get going again.

    In July I bought a Giant mtn bike. In Oct I bought a Specialized Allez Triple road bike. In Nov I got my foot tangled in the pedal cages and took quite a bad fall. I was lucky, only a big hematoma on hip.The toe clips remain, the pedal cages got ripped off. I think any oldster with brittle bones should RUN away from any system to lock your foot in.

    I found it MUCH more difficult to ride in the street, as my neck doesn't turn as far as it did when I biked before. Bike mirrors are about 10% as helpful as car mirrors. Also since I find it MUCH more difficult to balance no-hands, my balance has probably deteriorated a fair amount.

    I now wear bifocal glasses, I didn't wear any when I biked in the 80s. These are not much of a disadvantage I don't think.

    I now wear hearing aids. Hearing aids are only 10% as helpful as corrective lenses for your eyes are. Loss of hearing DOES increase street-danger quite a bit. You can't tell where a sound comes from. Also the wind-noise in the aids is maddening.

    I read the 50's thread where everybody was bragging how they haven't slowed down. Anybody in their 70s who wants to think that way is being dishonest with themselves. And courting trouble safety and health-wise. IMHO. By this age we have already experienced enough slow-healing injuries and loss of athleticism to know to be cautious about something like bike riding, without our children having to 'mother' us.

    I avoid street-riding as much as I possibly can (though it severely limits my bike-range in this town). I'm not a trusting person. Being surrounded by hundreds of strangers with weapons less selective than guns frighten the hell out of me. I think all oldsters would do well to avoid the streets as well.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    My mother is 78 and loves to ride a Greenspeed GT3 trike.
    Helped her pick it out a couple of years ago (she picked the "arrest me Red" color).
    Talked her into it a few months after she had hip surgery; she was rusting away.
    Worked with her to adjust it to fit her and show her how to work the brakes,
    shifting; easiest way to get in and out of it. While she may not be a long distance
    deamon, she very much enjoys the ride. My father use to ride once in a while, just
    to show us all that he still could- well into his 80s. Help them select a bike that
    fits them well and is a simple pragmatic ride. They will take it from there.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Your siblings are all wussies!

    Got any kids? Better keep them playing things like Madden Football because if they play real sports, they might get injured.

    If your parents go bicycling they may fall or get hurt by an auto. Those are certainly risks. If they don't bicycle, they may attrophy and become senile. Those are equally real risks. There is a whole universe of bad things that could happen. Most of them won't.

    My kids know better than to even suggest that my wife and I should cancel or reconsider our bicycling trip to Wisconsin this summer.

  22. #22
    Happy B-Day To Me! Pamestique's Avatar
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    I ride with one of the largest road clubs in Orange County, CA - Bike Club of Irvine... of the 600+ members I would say 30% are in thrie sixties and many in their 70's! Even a few in their 80's. We did sadly just last year lose our oldest member (86) and 2 70+ year olds this year. One died climbing mountains in Italy the other flying down Newport Coast. That's what I want to do... go out on a bike!

    PS - those 60 and 70 year olds are strong - retired, they get to ride everyday!!!

  23. #23
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Last year at the Avita Water Black Bear race, a 70+ rider got a 4:33. That's for a 100 mile course, folks! No way is 70 too old to ride.

  24. #24
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cantdrv55
    My siblings thought I was crazy and irresponsible for taking my parents kayaking last year, especially when their boat capsized and they had to be fished out.
    Uh, in case your sibs haven't noticed, your folks are adults. I have a sneaking suspicion that, if they did not want to go kayaking, they could have said so. Ditto hiking. Ditto ditto cycling. Ditto hang gliding, if it ever came up. Unless and until their brains turn to mush, their lives are their responsibilities, not your siblings'. Good for you to encourage them to do stuff you think they'll enjoy, even better for you that you do stuff like that with them. Believe me, you will treasure the memories more than you can imagine when they are gone.
    "I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney

  25. #25
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Keep those old fogies off the road!

    It is embarrassing when they roar past me!

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