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Old 07-29-08, 12:47 PM   #1
westsam
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73 year old would like to try some road trips

I am 73 years old. work out every day at the ymca [swim, ride bicycle, lift weights and other exercises] for about 1 hour and forty five minutes. rid my trek 7200 every day to the y. 4 miles round trip. i would like to try some road trips. some in the 25 to 30 mile range. some of you that have road experience do you think this would be possible for a 73 year old and if so what would you suggest as training to get to that point and how long will it take?
thanks
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Old 07-29-08, 12:57 PM   #2
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You're already riding 4 miles round trip to the Y, try skipping the worrkout and riding another 4-5 miles in addition. If this works OK increase the distance by 1-2 miles every week . Just use common sense and continue as long as it feel OK. Ride 2-3 times a week and continue to do other exercises on the off days. Let us know in a couple of weeks what you are doing. By the way do you have any ideas where you will ride as your mileage increases?
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Old 07-29-08, 12:59 PM   #3
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Though I'm 15 years your junior the way I added to my range was to ride
loops around my neighborhood. Each week or two I'ld expand the loop a little
farther and before I knew it I was riding 30 to 40 miles at a time. The beauty
of loops for a solo rider is that you're never really very far from home, so if
on any given ride you decide that you are getting too tired, home is just a
few short miles away.

I'ld guess that you're already in excellent condition from the sound of your
daily workout routine. As with anything, expand in small incriments and enjoy.

NOTE: I'm just a lay person and this is all just my opinion.

Happy Trails
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Old 07-29-08, 01:17 PM   #4
westsam
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thanks for the reply. been riding bikes five or six years and have always wanted to ride a long distance and could never get up the nerve. there is a small town near by that is 10 miles one way and another 30 miles one way and would like to get to the point that i could ride to these towns.
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Old 07-29-08, 01:18 PM   #5
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Oh yes, you can do it for sure, and it will be fun! Build up to it, and there'll you be.
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Old 07-29-08, 01:18 PM   #6
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Go for it, Westsam. I am very close to 73 yrs. (another month or so), and started bike touring this May with a friend on my hybrid Rocky Mountain Whistler 10. I exercise a lot, but probably not as much as you, but I try to do some biking most days, generally errands or to fitness classes. Our preparation was just to ride as much as possible and do lots of hills. I had absolutely no problem with touring, and had a great time. However, we didn't camp, but went to B&Bs. Even the weather was no problem although we had some really cold days and heavy rain, almost sleet at times. For an old lady, with a fairly new knee replacement, I felt very good about the whole trip. Doing a similar trip in early October and adding more mileage this time
I learned I needed to adjust the weight distribution for the panniers, as the front end was squirrelly. Now I have changed the front fork (got rid of the suspension), added a front rack, and will lighten the load down to about 25 lbs. from 30. I took too many clothes and way too much food!
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Old 07-29-08, 01:36 PM   #7
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This morning I did a 25 mile ride with four other gentlemen:

Me - 68

Jerry - 72

Wayne - 73

Phil - 66

Ron - 66

and we could have easily (well at least 3 of us could have) gone on for another 25+ miles.

Go for it.
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Old 07-29-08, 03:01 PM   #8
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Stapfam gave great advise on a related thread: set out a short loop near home and see how many you can do comfortably before you set out for the great open road.
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Old 07-29-08, 03:14 PM   #9
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You can do it. Just work up to the longer distances slowly. Good luck.
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Old 07-29-08, 03:22 PM   #10
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There is a 74 yo guy in my bike club that does 50-60 mile rides at about a 15mph average speed with the groups. Of course he has been riding all of his life. It sounds if you work into it it shouldn't be a problem. Sometimes it it neck or back issues that get in the way not conditioning . I am only 60 but I did a century last year and expect to do another in 3 weeks.
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Old 07-29-08, 03:58 PM   #11
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The more you go the better you'll like it. Just keep it fun, if you can.
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Old 07-29-08, 04:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
Though I'm 15 years your junior the way I added to my range was to ride
loops around my neighborhood. Each week or two I'ld expand the loop a little
farther and before I knew it I was riding 30 to 40 miles at a time.....

Happy Trails
+1
IF I need a "pleasure ride", I have a 5 mile & 10 mile route near/around my neighborhood.
On my 5 mile ride, I'm seldom more than a mile from home in case of mechanical/other problems. I can push the bike home if needed.
I also don't need to carry water tools etc. I'll ride 5 miles, stop by the house for a drink and repeat if the mood strikes.
My 10 mile ride is more "daring". I can conceivably break down 5 miles from home. I am however, within 2 miles of public transit, so I always make sure I have bus fare on me.
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Old 07-29-08, 05:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsam View Post
I am 73 years old. work out every day at the ymca [swim, ride bicycle, lift weights and other exercises] for about 1 hour and forty five minutes. rid my trek 7200 every day to the y. 4 miles round trip. i would like to try some road trips. some in the 25 to 30 mile range. some of you that have road experience do you think this would be possible for a 73 year old and if so what would you suggest as training to get to that point and how long will it take?
thanks
Absolutely. My mom and dad were still riding centuries once in a while well past that age and 25-30 mile rides were just normal rides for them.
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Old 07-29-08, 06:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsam View Post
I am 73 years old. i would like to try some road trips. some in the 25 to 30 mile range. some of you that have road experience do you think this would be possible for a 73 year old and if so what would you suggest as training to get to that point and how long will it take?
thanks
Just do it.

When I'm not working I ride on Friday mornings with a group of folks who are mostly in the +50 age range. The last time I took off with a fellow who is planning to celebrate his 81st birthday by riding 81 miles. I took off with him but, though I tried, I couldn't finish with him. 73 has nothing to do with it. You're plenty fit enough right now to complete a 25 to 30 mile ride. Just do it.
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Old 07-29-08, 07:41 PM   #15
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On our annual weeklong club loop tour last week (300 miles in NW Oregon), the oldest guy was 72 (age range of the group 43-72). On most days, he was among the fastest riders. He was also the one up the earliest and had coffee and hot water ready for all the others in camp. Wish I would have his energy and vigor a dozen years from now.

On our weekend club rides ranging from 35-60 miles, we have a couple of ride leaders in their late-70s and early-80s. So what you can do at your age is very much a mental thing. Just do it.
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Old 07-29-08, 09:33 PM   #16
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Go for it yougster!
We are 75/73 and get in 100 miles a week on our tandem plus get out once a week on my single.
So go for it. Go pedal to that other town; have a coffee break and ride back.
Yup, you can do it!
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Old 07-30-08, 05:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsam View Post
I am 73 years old. work out every day at the ymca [swim, ride bicycle, lift weights and other exercises] for about 1 hour and forty five minutes. rid my trek 7200 every day to the y. 4 miles round trip. i would like to try some road trips. some in the 25 to 30 mile range. some of you that have road experience do you think this would be possible for a 73 year old and if so what would you suggest as training to get to that point and how long will it take?
thanks
If one is as fit as you appear to be, you lose only a percent or two capability (max speed/endurance) per year, so extrapolating to 73 from my 69, I'd say you should be able to build up to it with no problem at all.

Presently I do 95% mountain biking, but a 40 mile road ride is little effort. It was only a couple of years ago I was doing 60 to 70 mile road rides once a week. They got to be boring, so now it's mostly 12 to 20 mile rides on trails in the mountains. Long, steep climbs with out breaks are little problem. Since you are only 4 years older, you'd only be slightly less capable given all other things equal which of course they never are.

As you know, it takes a lot longer to recover at "our" age, so it's easy to over-train. Therefore, it'll take as long as it will take and it will take a lot longer than for these young "50" guys.

I would suggest just slowly extend your distance, say 10% to 15 % every few days and see how it goes. If you start feeling too tired, skip a day and rest. If you build up too quickly, you'll lose condition and go backwards making it take longer. It's easy to build up too quickly because as you build distance, you'll feel better and have more energy. That leads one to over do it.

Don't back off on your weight training while increasing your cycling. It's now known that it keeps out balance and reflexes from decaying with age. Very important to avoid falls/crashes. However, a good session with relatively heavy weights two days a week is sufficient.

An interesting book which goes into thriving vice just surviving through the 80's is Younger Next Year. There are folks mentioned who are doing pretty aggressive down-hill skiing in their late 70's. The doctor who wrote the book is an avid biker.

Good luck.

Al

Last edited by alcanoe; 07-30-08 at 05:16 AM.
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Old 07-30-08, 12:08 PM   #18
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I know there are plenty of guys your age and older who do centuries, go on cross-country tours, etc.

The first thing would be to check with your doctor.

After that, I'd say just build up slowly. Add a few miles to your regular ride and see how you feel. When you can ride that distance comfortably, add a few more miles.

Ride regularly, because if you have a long period off the bike you'll have to lower your mileage again and build it back up.

I don't worry about routes so much when I'm building up mileage in training for something (like a century or a tour.) I simply set a target for the day. If my target is 40 miles, I ride along a nice route until my computer says 20 miles. Then I turn around and ride home.

It's nice to find scenic loops that are the right distance, but if you can't, a simple out-and-back is fine.

One more thing: my experience has been that the only way to train for bicycling is to bicycle. Running, lifting weights, playing beach volleyball, etc. are all helpful, but not so much. I can't get stronger on my bicycle unless I ride a lot.
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Old 07-30-08, 02:09 PM   #19
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You can do the 10 mile town ride anytime.
Take a bottle of water or Gatorade.
Enjoy the ride.
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