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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 03-05-07, 12:08 AM   #1
CrossChain
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There but for all those early mornings go you and I....

Out riding this beautiful Sunday afternoon with some of the regulars. Just a pleasant, early season get the kinks out roller to the next town for a Starbucks...with the occasional surge to see how bad things had gotten mostly riding in the garage and how we compare to each other. Someone brought a new guy on a borrowed but not bad fitting bike. He was 47 and self-admittedly sedentary. I stayed back with him to talk about gears, dogs, cars, etc. We putzed along for a few miles until I noticed this new rider was huffing and puffing. He and I slowed further. We'd gone about 4 miles when we met the others waiting. New guy borrowed the offered HRM watch and his pulse was at 166. He was fried. One of us rode slowly with him back home.

There but for some dedication, time, and lotsa road miles could have gone any of us. New guy had been a well recognized local athlete in h.s. and junior college in his day. Humbly said, there is a difference over the years between those who sit and those who stay active.
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Old 03-05-07, 06:05 AM   #2
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So who in your group is going to encourage this guy to keep riding once the soreness, discouragement, sense of not being able to 'keep up' sets in? When my wife & I first started riding, if we hadn't had each other to complain to and urge to get back out there, I doubt we'd be riding as much as we are today.

Good work, CC, to ride with him and keep him motivated and 'part of the group'...
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Old 03-05-07, 06:26 AM   #3
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So who in your group is going to encourage this guy to keep riding once the soreness, discouragement, sense of not being able to 'keep up' sets in? When my wife & I first started riding, if we hadn't had each other to complain to and urge to get back out there, I doubt we'd be riding as much as we are today.

Good work, CC, to ride with him and keep him motivated and 'part of the group'...
OK, but if the guy has any "real stuff" he can self-motivate, as many on this group have. How much responsibility does one have towards someone else's fitness?

Good for you, CC, for staying with him.
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Old 03-05-07, 08:53 AM   #4
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Have him do what I did -- join the 50+ Forum! Plenty of folks to give him encouragment! He can always fib about his age for three years.

Way to go, CC!
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Old 03-05-07, 09:21 AM   #5
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He'll might just turn out the way we've seen some of the guys evolve around here. Give 'em six months (okay maybe a little longer for 50+) and they turn into rockets!! Just depends on the motivation.

Good for you CC for helping to show him the ropes.
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Old 03-05-07, 09:42 AM   #6
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A little encouragement, help, and patience from faster, fitter riders helped me a lot after years of sitting on my butt. Now I'm planning on doing my first century this summer. I have and enjoy a fixed gear bike, a road bike, and a hybrid. A few short years ago all that would have seemed like crazy talk.
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Old 03-05-07, 09:49 AM   #7
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Telling people how fast they will make progress is a great thing to do. It is really amazing how fast our bodies respond to activity. You can go from coach potato to century fiend in six months if you work at it. It truly is wonderful.

I personally can't believe the hills I climb and the riding I do compared to a few years ago.
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Old 03-05-07, 09:51 AM   #8
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Recommend Kelly Ferrin's great little book, "What's Age Got to Do With It?"

http://www.ageangel.com/index.htm
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Old 03-05-07, 10:12 AM   #9
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Telling people how fast they will make progress is a great thing to do. It is really amazing how fast our bodies respond to activity. You can go from coach potato to century fiend in six months if you work at it. It truly is wonderful.

I personally can't believe the hills I climb and the riding I do compared to a few years ago.
+1

I seem to remember going from thinking five miles was a LONG ride, to doing my first metric in about four or five months, and this on a MTB with knobbies.
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Old 03-05-07, 11:00 AM   #10
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When I was 50, I had never run more than 5 miles at once in my life. By 52 I had run my first marathon, in addition to a number of other long distances. Within the past year, when I turned 60, I set lifetime personal bests for 10K, 10 miles, and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances. It's really cool now to consider that I can go out and run a half-marathon without any special training -- just "do it". So yeah, it's never to late to get back in shape (or in shape for the first time!), and you'd be surprised what you're capable of in your old age. I also got my first road bike last June, and in October "rode my age" in a local event.
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Old 03-05-07, 11:32 AM   #11
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It does not matter how fit they look- how good their bike is or how much we want to show them how hard the hills are. Any newcomer to our group rides with me at the back. I look older than most so they are with me to keep me company. I recognise the signs of out of energy in other riders and I do not push it if they are feeling the strain. If they are a lot slower- then when we re-group I just let the others know it to get them to take the pace out, or if they seem ok- we will be up with the others in any case

One ride and we had a "New" rider with us. One of the groups girlfriends and she had an old bike. Kept her with me and she was not too bad. Then we hit the offroad hills, and I made her stay back with me. I kept the pace way down and she was fine. Half way up and the group had waited at a gate, and I told her- "If you feel fine keep riding" She kept riding and I closed the gate- Turned round to see she now had a 20 yard start on me, and the rest of the group. By the time we got moving it was 40 yards. In the half mile left of that hill- 2 riders tried to catch her. They were the fit ones. They never gave her a lead on any hill after that. Our only saving grace was that she could not descend.
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