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  1. #1
    Junior Member Mikey Likes It's Avatar
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    21 days to a half century - Help!!

    First..my situation. 53 years old. Former runner but ruptered my left quadricep in 98. Leg works okay now but won't let me run. Weight is 202lbs on a 5'8" frame. Retired from the Army in 97 and it's time to get back in shape. Recently bought a Trek 2.3 and started to ride again for the first time in 30 years. I am in a cycle camp and am learning group riding skills, basic bike maintenance and going on 2X weekly group rides of 12 - 16 miles (flat, rolling hills and just plain hills-if you get my drift) I am doing great, loving the bike and am looking toward longer rides, touring and racing eventually. Now my question: My trainer is encouraging me to ride a half century that is coming up in 3 weeks. She has told me that based on the rides we have done so far, I can do it. I have almost no time to train other than just slip in 3 long slow rides each Sunday and then go for the Half Century. My plan is to do 20 miles; 30 miles and 40 miles on consecutive Sundays then the next Saturday (June14th) do the ride.

    Am I crazy? Anyone have a suggestion for taking an out of shape 53 yr old and training to ride 50 miles in 21 days?

  2. #2
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey Likes It View Post
    She has told me that based on the rides we have done so far, I can do it.
    She's right. You could do it tomorrow if you wanted. Your plan is sound.
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    My other car is a bike TruF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey Likes It View Post
    ...I am in a cycle camp and am learning group riding skills, basic bike maintenance and going on 2X weekly group rides of 12 - 16 miles (flat, rolling hills and just plain hills-if you get my drift)...
    This 53 year old wants to hear more about cycle camp! Sounds like fun. Where is it? Day camp or do you go someplace to train and stay for awhile?
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    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I am 53, am a half-inch shorter and 10 pounds heavier than you, am less athletic, and ride lower performance bikes. Yet last summer, I rode over 50 miles. 4 weeks before I made that ride, my longest ride ever had been about 20 miles. I first broke 30 miles a few days before I rode 64. Therefore I think your odds are better than you suspect.

    Is cycle camp where 50+'ers go for a week by the lake, where they sleep in male & female barracks, sneak off in their cars to go have pie, and fool around with each other in the woods?
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    Yeah, you can do it. Don't try to set any speed records, stay hydrated, and have fun. It'll be great.

  6. #6
    DoubleTrouble cgallagh's Avatar
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    You have nothing to lose. Organized rides have all the help you need, if you need it. It sounds like you have the training, ability and desire to do it so go ahead and sign up. The worst that could happen is you have to sag in. The best is you make it and get to post the story, pics and get lots of cheers and encouragement from everyone here.

    Go for it.
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  7. #7
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    I think it's well within your reach. The only thing I would add is to make sure you're getting some exercise at least 5 of the 7 days in the next 3 weeks. If you don't have time to ride your bike, at least take a vigorous 30-minute walk (if your leg will allow you).

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    You should be fine if you listen to your trainer. Don't be afraid to ask her lots of questions. Sounds like you have the right attitude, you're having fun, which is a huge factor.

    I've known former runners who seemed to confuse running miles with cycling miles when they first converted to biking. There's a big difference (duh)...50 miles of cycling is not all that tough if you pace yourself.

    Oh, and welcome to the 50+ clubhouse.

  9. #9
    Senior Member skiph's Avatar
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    Mikey:

    Living in Albany, 3 weeks to a half-century ride on June 14, must be the Strawberry over in Lebanon.

    I rode most of the 72 mile route last year, about half of it in a monsoon. We got lost in the rain and cut a few miles off. We decided against the 100 mile route as it was sprinlking when we started. This year we hope to do the full route.

    If I remember correctly, the 53 mile route is pretty flat. They had really good lunch at the park out at the end of Foster Lake.

    The 72 mile route has a couple of moderate hills just south-west of Sweet Home before Holley. After that it was fairly flat.

    The route maps are here:

    http://www.santiamspokes.org/STRAWBE...routesmap.html

    with additional maps of each route. The 52 and 72 share quite a bit, the 100 mile one heads off to the north of Lebanon before re-joining the 72 mile one.

    If I were you, I'd take your bike over to the high school in Lebanon and do some pre-riding. I think you will find it to be fairly easy.

    On June 22 there's a big ride put on by the Salem club that starts over in Rickreall. They have a 50 mile route ( and 100, 125 and 200 mile ones). Info here:

    http://www.salembicycleclub.org/cont...?page=majrides

    Keep getting in shape and you can do the Covered Bridge Tour in early August, starts out at the fairgrounds on the other side of the freeway from Albany. Great ride last year.

    Then there's our club's ride over here in Newport on August 17th, see link in my signature.

    FYI, when I took up 'serious' cycling (had a hybrid for years, put maybe 300 miles a year on it), I bought a Trek 1000 in early July 2006, put about 425 miles on it and then did our Century (full 100 miles) over here in Newport in mid August. Wasn't the fastest, but I made it. Then did it again 2 weeks later with some other club members, then did one out of Salem in late September.

    I was 57 at the time, 5'-7" about 160#. Now I'm 59, bounce between 143 and 150#, and will have well over 10,000 miles on 3 bikes by the time my 2 year aniversary rolls around.

    Let us know how the rest of your training goes.

  10. #10
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    50 miles will not be a problem providing you go at a sensible pace. Get some miles in for the next two weeks and when you get to 30- mentally you can do the 50. Or at least the body will. The butt might not if you don't get saddle time in.

    Eat and drink are the two main tips. Pint of water or energy drink- or more- each hour and you will be fine and start eating 5 days before the ride. Pasta and Carbo hydrates for energy- Protein for muscle and sticky buns for enjoyment and a bit of body fat. And on the ride eat something about every 30 minutes or so.

    50 miles is not a problem on a bike providing you get a bit more training in. Remember that you have an old injury and don't strain anything and if you have to walk uphill--walk. I am doing a 54 mile ride in a couple of weeks and there will be lots of riders out there that have dusted off the bike from their last ride-- The same ride last year.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Shouldn't be a problem. Learn to spin and don't ride any distance for a few days before the 50.

  12. #12
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I just got back from a 2.5-hour 40 mi/65 km road ride on my mountain bike. Since my biggest problem as I approach the 2-hour mark is bonking, I strongly urge you to carry food and water on your 50-mile ride. If you get to where you can knock off 20-25 miles fairly easily, you are ready for that half-century. Best wishes to you. Pace yourself -- you can do it!
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  13. #13
    Senior Member brewer45's Avatar
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    slow steady pace (13 to 15 mph) at a reasonable cadence (65 to 90 depending on your habit and strength)
    about a quart of liquid (water or sports drink or combinatin) per hour
    about 250 calories (fruit, energy bars, food that looks like food) per hour

    i think you'll be surprised at how quickly and easily you can get that half-cent under your wheels.

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  14. #14
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    No Problem, you will do fine and have fun.
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  15. #15
    My other car is a bike TruF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    Is cycle camp where 50+'ers go for a week by the lake, where they sleep in male & female barracks, sneak off in their cars to go have pie, and fool around with each other in the woods?
    Mikey, we want more details about cycle camp, please. Are there campfires every night with s'mores for dessert? Swimming? Poison oak/ivy? Seriously, the whole idea sounds like fun. If there are knitting camps (yes there are) cycling camp sounds great for getting in shape and learning more about the sport. My husband goes to Tai Chi camp every year.
    Embrace diversity: hug a conservative.

  16. #16
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I think you'll be able to do it pretty easily. 50 miles isn't that far for a one-day ride. I'm 57 and have ridden many centuries; the last was this past September. The key for me is riding a lot prior to the event. For me that means 3 or 4 times a week. I can't always do that, but I try. Some of the rides are after work and are only 10 miles, but even that really seems to help me maintain my fitness level. I try to ride one "long" ride each week. Maybe I can only get in 10 or 15 miles a couple times during the week, but on the weekend I try to get a long ride, starting at 30 miles and going up to 60 or 70.

    I don't think your training rides need to be as long as the target. 60 or 70% seems to be plenty for me. Then I don't ride for 2 or 3 days prior to the big ride. That seems to let my body rest and replenish without losing my fitness level. When I can follow this plan, centuries aren't all that bad. They're still tough and arduous, but doable.

    For real fitness, try touring someday. Riding a loaded bike, day after day really gets you into shape. The second and third day are usually the toughest for me. The first day is relatively easy, but getting up and doing it a second day, and then a third really is a test. But after a week or so I can ride an average of 50 miles a day for weeks. The longest tour I've taken so far lasted four weeks and I ended up averaging 55 miles per day.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruF View Post
    Mikey, we want more details about cycle camp, please. Are there campfires every night with s'mores for dessert? Swimming? Poison oak/ivy? Seriously, the whole idea sounds like fun. If there are knitting camps (yes there are) cycling camp sounds great for getting in shape and learning more about the sport. My husband goes to Tai Chi camp every year.
    TruF,

    This is the only cycling camp that I know of -- and it's right in your neighborhood.

    http://www.bikecamp.com/index.htm

  18. #18
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    Yep, you can do it. Ride all you can between now and then (not too hard, just do something every day you can) and train with your group, find out what works best for you in terms of hydration and nutrition. 50 miles isn't that far.... we jumped to 50 in February and our longest ride before that was around 30, so you don't need to ride 40 to be able to ride 50. Practice on hills, practice shifting, and take it easy at first to conserve energy to the end.
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  19. #19
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Let's see -

    50 miles = 264,000 feet = 3,168,000 inches.

    As the old saying goes, inch by inch - all 3 million of them - it's a cinch!

    Go for it.

    What's the worst that could happen?

    Wait - don't answer that question.

    Have fun.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  20. #20
    My other car is a bike TruF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    TruF,

    This is the only cycling camp that I know of -- and it's right in your neighborhood.

    http://www.bikecamp.com/index.htm
    Thanks, BengeBoy! Sounds like fun.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    50 miles will not be a problem providing you go at a sensible pace. Get some miles in for the next two weeks and when you get to 30- mentally you can do the 50. Or at least the body will. The butt might not if you don't get saddle time in.
    I sure hope that you're right.

    My wife and I are scheduled for a bicycling vacation starting June 14. We feel like we're under trained and we're having thunderstorms here again today so another weekend looks to be lost. We've done some 30 milers this year, we have all day to complete our 50 mile rides, and the presence of other people on the ride adds to the enjoyment so hopefully we'll run out of miles before it stops being fun.

  22. #22
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    I sure hope that you're right.

    My wife and I are scheduled for a bicycling vacation starting June 14. We feel like we're under trained and we're having thunderstorms here again today so another weekend looks to be lost. We've done some 30 milers this year, we have all day to complete our 50 mile rides, and the presence of other people on the ride adds to the enjoyment so hopefully we'll run out of miles before it stops being fun.
    Where are you doing this?

    Sounds like fun. BUt, 50 miles per day is a bit more than most bicycling vacations I have read about!
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Where are you doing this?

    Sounds like fun. BUt, 50 miles per day is a bit more than most bicycling vacations I have read about!
    It's Bombadil country - Wisconsin. Might as well ride 50 miles a day because I doubt there's much for a non-beer drinker to do in Mauston or Tomah.

  24. #24
    Senior Member one_beatnik's Avatar
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    Just relax with this. 50 miles is less than a half century so count it that way! My longest ride so far this year has been about 31 miles, 24 was my commute and another 7+ was the Ride of Silence Wednesday. In about 45 minutes I'm leaving on a 45 mile ride through lots of hills and pulling my loaded BOB. (I use that daily anyway to take my clothes, lunch etc to work...I have a bunch of other stuff in it just for the weight since I'm planning on an 800 mile ride to Memphis this summer and will be using the trailer.) You'll be fine. Drink before you're thirsty, eat whenever you feel like it, take a break for 10 minutes every 15 to 20 miles and enjoy the scenery!

  25. #25
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    I just looked at our calendar on which we record our rides (time and distance). I counted the rides leading up to the 50-mile ride in February. There are a handful of 10, 15, and 20-mile rides scattered about since the beginning of January until mid-February. The ride was on Feb. 19. It was mostly flat except for a stiff climb at the end. Otherwise, the ride was VERY easy. Again, it was on our heavy hybrids and we are not in tip-top shape.
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