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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.

View Poll Results: Vote to indicate your current or past racing
I am or have been a serious, competitive racer / time trialist 14 17.95%
I have participated in occasional racing events & enjoy a bit of competition 15 19.23%
I've ridden in timed events, but more for the enjoyment of the ride 5 6.41%
I ride for recreation / leisure / fitness 36 46.15%
Other (leave a comment below) 8 10.26%
Voters: 78. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-14-07, 04:19 PM   #1
Tom Bombadil
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How many racers souls are there in our 50+ bodies?

Looking to get an idea of how many of us have or had a racing mentality. Have you raced on a team? Entered into races or competitions as an individual. Ridden in time trials where times were ranked and posted? Or even joined in on multiple group rides for the purpose of riding in that lead pack and caring a lot about where you finished?

I've sure there are several variations that I'm not covering, please feel free to add more to the thread.

I'm not restricting this to road racing - mountain bike, track, long distance, whatever.
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Old 08-14-07, 04:27 PM   #2
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Nope. Though I used to street race in my 20's. That was just spur of the moment aggression.
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Old 08-14-07, 04:29 PM   #3
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Looking to get an idea of how many of us have or had a racing mentality. Have you raced on a team? Entered into races or competitions as an individual. Ridden in time trials where times were ranked and posted? Or even joined in on multiple group rides for the purpose of riding in that lead pack and caring a lot about where you finished?

I've sure there are several variations that I'm not covering, please feel free to add more to the thread.

I'm not restricting this to road racing - mountain bike, track, long distance, whatever.
I'll be 50 in January. Can I be the first to cast a vote? (j/k)

Whoops! Too late!
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Old 08-14-07, 04:45 PM   #4
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I was giving racing some serious thought til I read the following in a book called Bike Racing 101: "If you race, you will crash." And thus ended my career before it started.
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Old 08-14-07, 04:50 PM   #5
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Nope.
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Old 08-14-07, 04:53 PM   #6
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I could have been a contender!
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Old 08-14-07, 05:16 PM   #7
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Its funny because, racing is only now just becoming interesting to me. I will probably have to try it at some point, redriders comments of how going fast was fun, will probably inspire me to at least try a local event sometime. But, then I read Jet Travis's comment about crashing, and I immediately chicken back out and say no, so time will tell. Basically I think my competitive streak has laid down, but it has not died!
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Old 08-14-07, 05:17 PM   #8
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I was giving racing some serious thought til I read the following in a book called Bike Racing 101: "If you race, you will crash." And thus ended my career before it started.


The expense of fixing my bike and myself kept me from racing. I'm not bothered when people pass me. So I don't have the competitive drive.
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Old 08-14-07, 05:25 PM   #9
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Rode the 24 hrs of Canaan mtn bike team race to celebrate turning 50


Never before never since

Glad I did it ONCE
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Old 08-14-07, 05:25 PM   #10
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I find it much more enjoyable to imagine I could have been Lance Armstrong - than to actually have been him.
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Old 08-14-07, 05:45 PM   #11
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Its funny because, racing is only now just becoming interesting to me. I will probably have to try it at some point, redriders comments of how going fast was fun, will probably inspire me to at least try a local event sometime. But, then I read Jet Travis's comment about crashing, and I immediately chicken back out and say no, so time will tell. Basically I think my competitive streak has laid down, but it has not died!
RedRder may have the right idea. Time trials seem like a good way to enter the fray.
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Old 08-14-07, 06:06 PM   #12
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I trained for the Missouri Senior Games in 2006, had expected to ride in the TT but a change at work caused me to miss the event. I didn't particularly like the few races I competed in for preparation.
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Old 08-14-07, 06:10 PM   #13
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Only against myself. I ride for the challenges of the distances, times, climbs, etc. To be able to go back this year & take almost an hour off my time from 15yrs. ago riding in the RAIN ride last month is race enough. Next goal is to be able to ride Mt. Mitchell & Bridge to Bridge like jppe does. That comes next year.
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Old 08-14-07, 06:14 PM   #14
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No how no way. I respect and admire the racing crowd from a distance.
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Old 08-14-07, 06:23 PM   #15
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Well, today, while cruising along on my roadie on the little traveled MUP at 17 mph, a young guy on a mtn bike with knobbies passed me. Choosing my spot carefully, I then zoomed past him at 27 mph. Does that count?
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Old 08-14-07, 06:39 PM   #16
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At age 20 you have all your faculties and can actually do the things the racers do. They can do interval training, etc. But at age 50 + its a far different thing. Just imagine how much time it would take to race competitively, how much work it would take to do the interval workouts, the hill climbs, the individual time trials. There's a lot of preparation to get an athlete to racing condition.

Not only do you have to carve out time to do all this but you also have to figure out if your body can take the punishment, the mileage and tough workouts ahead. Those of you who ever were in competitive sports know what I'm talking about.

Otherwise we would be like those silly bowflex commercials, all claiming to be grandparents and buff.
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Old 08-14-07, 06:58 PM   #17
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What a bunch of whimps.
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Old 08-14-07, 07:02 PM   #18
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What a bunch of whimps.
We're mountain bikers?

http://whimpsmtb.com/history.htm
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Old 08-14-07, 07:27 PM   #19
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We're mountain bikers?

http://whimpsmtb.com/history.htm

There ya go. x 6
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Old 08-14-07, 07:42 PM   #20
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At age 20 you have all your faculties and can actually do the things the racers do. They can do interval training, etc. But at age 50 + its a far different thing. Just imagine how much time it would take to race competitively, how much work it would take to do the interval workouts, the hill climbs, the individual time trials. There's a lot of preparation to get an athlete to racing condition.

Not only do you have to carve out time to do all this but you also have to figure out if your body can take the punishment, the mileage and tough workouts ahead. Those of you who ever were in competitive sports know what I'm talking about.

Otherwise we would be like those silly bowflex commercials, all claiming to be grandparents and buff.
At age 20 I wasn't smart enough or disciplined enough or confident enough to race a bike. I rode for fun, for transportation, but never saw myself racing. (H*ll, in those days I rode an orange 10-speed from K-Mart wearing my Dr. Scholl's and painter pants with one leg rolled up and halter tops made from two bandanas -- Frederique, that was me.)

Now, I already have a grueling workout schedule. What I needed was a goal -- and Velodiva offered me that, and now I'm taking it on. I look forward to riding because I have a purpose.

I'm not looking to make my living riding a bike. I just want to ride fast and have fun. I don't even want to ride crits and road races -- I just want to time trial. That doesn't seem to be such a big commitment to me. I'll let my body be my guide. The days I hobble to the kitchen are the days I'll know are for rest.

Not only do we not own a Bowflex, we can't claim to be grandparents, either. I will, however, admit to being buff.
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Old 08-14-07, 07:45 PM   #21
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RedRder may have the right idea. Time trials seem like a good way to enter the fray.
Thanks, JT. That's just what I thought. It's clean and uncomplicated. It's also far safer (to me, anyway) than crits or road races.

Funny how my idea of having fun has morphed over the years...
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Old 08-14-07, 08:05 PM   #22
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I raced from 1984 through 1991 and was a Cat 2 for the last five seasons, finally retiring at age 40. FWIW, I placed 12th in my last Pro, 1, 2 race and was in the money. Seriously, though, fifty races a year, broken bones, tendonitis and expenses finally just wore me down. I've only raced one race, a 100 mile UMCA race last year, since 1991 and really have no interest in doing more.
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Old 08-14-07, 08:07 PM   #23
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I've never done any racing but I am slightly competitive and have considered doing some Senior Olympics time trails. I think it would be fun and might look into it for next year.
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Old 08-14-07, 08:30 PM   #24
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Only against myself. I ride for the challenges of the distances, times, climbs, etc.

This pretty much describes my current situation, although this past January, I *did* sign up to do a June sprint triathlon. It was a noble goal that helped focus my training for several months before reality (and the overwhelming desire to avoid embarrassment) set in.

I haven't given up completely, however. Among other things, I need to develop more endurance, speed, stamina, strength, and tolerance for pain. I also need to get some experience in group riding and in local 5K road races. I need to figure out how to breathe in water while splashing alot. I need to practice doing all three activities in one 2 hour span. And I need to decide whether or not feeding my competitive spirit is the best way to maintain mental health.

I'm shooting for 2009.

I did get all jazzed about RedRider's time trial report though! I just wish I didn't live 4 hours away from the Lowes Motor Speedway!
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Old 08-14-07, 08:54 PM   #25
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The closest I've come to racing is fast club rides, pace lines, etc., and I grew tired of that after awhile.

I've said this before. Cycling can easily become a microcosm of the things we're trying to escape through cycling, if we let it.

I feel no urge to compete on a bicycle. My bicycle has a harmonic relationship with nature and all things good when I'm riding. A force I don't want to mess with.

But, hey, that's just me.
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