Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: S.E. Pennsylvania, USA
Originally Posted by NoRacer
There's a difference between being elite and being patient. Anyone can be patient enough to finish a long ride, but the elite cyclist will do it at an average power or speed beyond what most of us are capable.
I guess it all depends on where you place the proverbial bar.
I'm not sure I agree that patience is the deciding factor. For a period of about five years I used to hold an annual "Bike, Beer, Bread, Bean Soup and Blues Ride" for people in my wife's and my social circle. We typically had between 25 and 35 people attend. The event started with a 25 mile bike ride followed by beer, a kettle of bean soup, homemeade bread, and blues back at our home. The ride started at 10 a.m. with no time limit for completion. Every year we had people who were four and five hours into the ride and couldn't finish. I was always amazed by this, but there are folks out there who just can't do it. One guy who could never finish was a competitive body builder. He would get about 15 to 20 miles into the ride and experience such severe cramps, that he had to walk the remainder of the route.
Where I place the bar is that many people at 50+ are capable of things that other cyclist can not do. Are they in the top 10% of all cyclist in terms of mileage, vertical feet climbed, etc.? I'm guessing they are. Are they in the top 10% of Cat 1-4 or professional racers? Not likely, but the number or those who race are a pretty small percent of all cyclist.