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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 05-09-07, 11:04 PM   #1
SaiKaiTai
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There is so much inspiration here

I mean, really. I found this place 6 months into my current journey. To know you are not alone -truly not alone- really helps to keep the motivation high. It proves that just because we're over 50, we ain't dead. Not by a long shot. We are share the common ups and downs of pursuing a physical dream -to ride- at a "certain age". Some -many? most?- here do some pretty wonderous things and we constantly push to be better. And if you push, you WILL get better. Isn't it a wonderous thing?
And when I read of people who have never climbed before and try just because they haven't.
And when I read of people who do climb who work to make harder climbs, longer climbs... climbs beyond their abilities, maybe. For now anyway.

It makes me try harder. And I win. Like tonight. As I've mentioned a few times, there's no way out of Pacifica that doesn't involve a 600+ climb. I've tried a couple with varying degrees of success. They're hard. Climbing with asthma is just going to be. OK, fine. But there's one way out that I've sized up a number of times and it has always convinced me I wasn't ready. But I've never tried any of the climbs with the LeMond and certainlt not this one. Until tonight. I've never actually analyzed the geography of my rides in toto. Tonight I did and it was revelatory.

I live at 202' above sea level.
From here it's a pretty rapid drop and by the time I get to my central jumping off point, I'm at 89'
So, I head for this beast of a climb and I go 3/4 of a mile to get back to 202' - a 3% climb.
From here, I broke it into segments where I would stop, more to mentally collect myself before moving on.
1096' at 7.8% followed by 660' at 13.5%. Then things get easier: 750' at 11.8% but after that comes 495 ' at 16%. I'm somewhere in the vacinity of 500' above sea level. At no time did my HR get over 167bpm. That's a first. I worked at timing my breathing and taking "belly breaths". Wow, it really works.

So, now I'm riding pretty much level for a mile, mile and a half, then I drop down considerably.
I'm ready to drop back down toward home. But I see another climb and I know what's at the end of that climb. What the heck... I climb 1460' of a 13.2% grade and just below the top I see a side road drop down. I take it; spirit of discovery, right? And find that know I have to climb 1287' at 5.8%.

And I made it. So, where am I and what's waiting for me? I'm at 685' above sea level and I get to drop back down to 202' (lower actually and then I have the last climb home. That one I did all out of the saddle). The 483 feet drop first down a 17% grade -the sign says so- followed by a 19% drop.

Believe me this is an accomplishment. I just cannot believe I did this. And except for a few ocassions where I wanted to give myself a break, I didn't use my granny. OK, I'm convinced: road bikes really are different. Now I know, I'm free.

I never would have tried this but for all of you and for that, I thank you.

Pictured to follow
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Old 05-09-07, 11:10 PM   #2
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I found the same thing you found. It is a great place to share your ups and downs (pun intended). There are so many people who to share with that will not judge you but take you like you are, warts and all. I am lucky to have the Red Rider with me on the hard rides. She is more than just the stoker. When the hill gets steep and we are at the end of a long long ride, I know that with her energy we can conquer anything. Congratulations on your courage and your victory.
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Old 05-10-07, 07:14 AM   #3
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That's just great Ken, we are getting better, together.
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Old 05-10-07, 07:57 AM   #4
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Y'know, to your worldwide readers (!) an important question occurs -

congratulations on the new bike and the fun you're having with it, I love every thing about Lemond bikes....and-

Is it you, is it the bike, what leads who or who leads what into all this hill climbing, distance exceeding, heartbeat measuring, achievement motivation?

I mean, its all great - but is it new metal or new spirit? I think we should be told!
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Old 05-10-07, 08:11 AM   #5
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Way to go, SaiKaiTai. This is, indeed, an inspiring place.
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Old 05-10-07, 08:47 AM   #6
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Well said. I love "hanging out" here and reading about everyone's accomplishments, new bikes, new gizmos they have tried for their bikes. I love my wife dearly, but she has no interest at all in biking. When I start to talk about my bike, a ride I took, or want to take, her eyes glaze over, and I've lost her. I love this place.
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Old 05-10-07, 08:53 AM   #7
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Well said. I love "hanging out" here and reading about everyone's accomplishments, new bikes, new gizmos they have tried for their bikes. I love my wife dearly, but she has no interest at all in biking. When I start to talk about my bike, a ride I took, or want to take, her eyes glaze over, and I've lost her. I love this place.
I know what you mean. I try to share my enthusiasm with my daughters, and they adopt a patient, "how long will this story last?" attitude. Sigh.
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Old 05-10-07, 09:03 AM   #8
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Ahh, expanding yopur limits and finding out that your limits were nothing but your own fears holding you back. Great ride!
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Old 05-10-07, 09:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
I know what you mean. I try to share my enthusiasm with my daughters, and they adopt a patient, "how long will this story last?" attitude. Sigh.
Yep, same here. My wife rides but does not want to talk about/hear about/look at bikes when not riding. Heck last year I just about had to drag her to our LBS to buy her a new road bike and get her off that 10 year old hybrid. She is one of those people that uses something until it literally falls apart. She is a finance person and I am an engineer. It makes for some interesting conversations.

Finance person - "How much does it cost and what's the matter with your old bike"
Engineer - "This one has a wammer-jammer fork for greater responsiveness"
Finance person - "How much does it cost and what's the matter with your old bike"
Engineer - "It's a full 1.5 lbs lighter than the xx model"
Finance person - "How much does it cost and what's the matter with your old bike"
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Old 05-10-07, 09:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
I know what you mean. I try to share my enthusiasm with my daughters, and they adopt a patient, "how long will this story last?" attitude. Sigh.
Yup. My lovely daughter Lucy (probably the planet's most wonderful female, but your experience may differ!)

Age 13, tandem trip around the Isle of Wight, her as stoker, me as captain, family's highest mileage and computer logged speed ( 70? miles, 45+ mph on a long straight downhill with no road junctions) - "wow Dad, that was wonderful" ( just before she fell asleep over the hotel dinner table, narrowly avoiding drowning in the soup)

Now - " So, are you still dithering around on bikes?"

Heh, whaddya do? She's still lovely, and she only does it to tease!
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Old 05-10-07, 09:38 AM   #11
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- greetings from Flatland!

- what is this 'climbing' thing you talk about?

- sounds like too much New Math to me...

:-)

- down here at sea level, we have a thing called 'headwinds,' along with foggy smoke forecasts... the physical hurdle is also mental: ride farther for a longer time...

- and the only way to keep cool in 95F+ is to ride faster!
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Old 05-10-07, 10:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrierman
That's just great Ken, we are getting better, together.
My maternal grandfather always insisted he was like fine wine, steadily improving with age.
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Old 05-10-07, 11:07 AM   #13
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Very well said, this is a marvelous place!
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Old 05-10-07, 11:16 AM   #14
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So how's the lycra coming on then?

Great to think what you can achieve with a bit of effort, a bit of training and a lot of willpower.

Keep going upwards but from where you live- Thats all you can do.
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Old 05-10-07, 01:25 PM   #15
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"There is so much inspiration here". Yep, people often say that juuuust about when the cult gets their hooks in them!

Going out for my cult meeting in a few hours...all bow before the skinny tired god!
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Old 05-10-07, 02:38 PM   #16
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What a bunch of hammerheads. Doesn't anyone just ride anymore, for Pete's Sake?

Just kidding. I know how SKT felt a few weeks ago. I'm about ready to wet my pants waiting for my new steed. BTW, if you wet your pants but they are bib shorts, they dry really pretty fast as long as your moving along.
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