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Old 02-12-08, 07:34 AM   #1
BSLeVan
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The elite cyclist

As I was reading Jim's post (My thighs hurt.) about turning 70 and going out to do the obligatory 70 birthday miles, it occured to me that the term "elite cyclist" could apply to many of the folks here at 50+. Think about it. How many 70 year olds could ride 20 miles let alone 70? How many cyclist of any age can ride 70 miles?

We've got quite a few folks on this fourm that continue to show that they are an "elite cyclist" by the feats they accomplish. We've got our distance riders, our racers, our climbers, our multi-century riders, our "I'll ride even in the cold and snow" people, I'm recovering from a major illness or surgery folks.... we've got some pretty impressive cyclists here.
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Old 02-12-08, 07:40 AM   #2
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We do have some pretty impressive cyclists- but the ones you have to admire are those that are not built for physical acticity- Sit at a desk all day-spent too many years getting overweight and then go and do something stupid like Buying a white Roubaix. Perhaps admiration is not quite the right word.
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Old 02-12-08, 07:47 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by BSLeVan View Post
As I was reading Jim's post (My thighs hurt.) about turning 70 and going out to do the obligatory 70 birthday miles, it occured to me that the term "elite cyclist" could apply to many of the folks here at 50+. Think about it. How many 70 year olds could ride 20 miles let alone 70? How many cyclist of any age can ride 70 miles?

We've got quite a few folks on this fourm that continue to show that they are an "elite cyclist" by the feats they accomplish. We've got our distance riders, our racers, our climbers, our multi-century riders, our "I'll ride even in the cold and snow" people, I'm recovering from a major illness or surgery folks.... we've got some pretty impressive cyclists here.
I think that you have left out the most important word "FUN".

Absent the fun I don't care how beneficial cycling, or anything else for that matter, is to me. Absent the fun it just becomes another job.
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Old 02-12-08, 07:57 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 02-12-08, 08:16 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 02-12-08, 08:24 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by NoRacer View Post
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.
Naw. You just have a narrower definition of "elite" than some of the rest of us. I'd say your definition of "elite" is a synonym for "competitive". I'm sure there are planty of people who would agree with you but I think that a more broad definition is more accurate.

Last edited by Retro Grouch; 02-12-08 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 02-12-08, 08:26 AM   #7
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Best you can

An old piece of advice I had was, "...do the best you can with what you have." The experience of older bicyclists might help them do some things better than they did when younger. I know that I have a better understanding of where my limits are now. Most of us seem to want affirmation for what we do, whatever it is that we do. The recognition I receive for my cycling is enough to make me keep trying to do my best. A tee shirt I saw in Colorado, while skiing, said it best... "If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space."
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