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  1. #1
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    Age, Exercise, performance

    This is meant to be a happy story for older folks. A message of that what is possible.
    I have been able to winter for 4 months in Florida on a 46 mile bike trail.
    I did 70 miles biking at top speed every second day for exercise and 60 miles with a tandem bike and wife on the other days.
    We eat well and neither of us lost weight.
    Speeds are measured with Cat-eye Computer Average speed. There are 25 intersections and you need to stop at a few of them.
    Three years ago, Age 64, I had trouble averaging 16.5 MPH. Why this target speed? It was required for a CC Tour.
    I am now able to do repeated 19.2 MPH for the round trip regardless of wind conditions.
    We are doing 16 MPH with the tandem.
    -----------------
    My HR is below 150 doing that (Age 67.5).
    I need to use Aero Bars for the 70 miles, all the time. Bike is a Trek Madone.
    Nutrition is 4 Hammer or GU Gel plus 1 Energy bar. Preceded that by Triple oatmeal, fruit for BF and Omelette for Lunch. Dinner is a balanced meal with fish, veggies, starch, wine.
    ----------------------
    I am pleased to see an increase in average speed over three years regardless of aging on this same bike path.
    It will be interesting to see when increasing average speed will no longer be possible.
    ---------------------
    BTW, I have been racing guys here at top speeds of 25 MPH for shorter distances.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    I know two things about cycling: (1) You can always get better; and (2) there is always someone better than you. I get confirmation of the second point regularly. It's good to get confirmation of the first point once in a while.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Terex's Avatar
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    Great stuff! I'm all about the integration of cycling and lifestyle too. Using something fun (cycling) to gage your performance makes a whole lot more sense than just looking at BP, cholesterol, etc.

    If you're getting faster, you know that all of the other parameters are probably getting better too.
    "It could be anything. Scrap booking, high-stakes poker, or the Santa Fe lifestyle. Just pick a dead-end and chill out 'till you die."

  4. #4
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Congrats on your speed improvement. I hope I can do as well this summer at the "ripe old age" of 64.

    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne View Post
    I have been able to winter for 4 months in Florida on a 46 mile bike trail.
    Sounds like the Withlacoochee Bike Trail. Great place to ride.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  5. #5
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Congratulations, Will. Nice to hear from you again.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  6. #6
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    That is good information, thanks! Younger Next Year!
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  7. #7
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
    I know two things about cycling: (1) You can always get better; and (2) there is always someone better than you. I get confirmation of the second point regularly. It's good to get confirmation of the first point once in a while.
    Amen to that! I must hear more of this place in Florida! Pics available?

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
    My Cycling Blogspot

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
    I know two things about cycling: (1) You can always get better; and (2) there is always someone better than you. I get confirmation of the second point regularly. It's good to get confirmation of the first point once in a while.

    You are correct that there is someone faster, always.
    Meet Don of Floral City FL. He lives on this trail and bikes it every day as I do. Except he is 52. He owns a high speed Recumbent with feet up as high as his head and a Trek Madone. He does 35 miles per day at about 25 MPH and I can not do that.
    There are also some Military types. I have tried to keep up but they do over 25 MPH.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terex View Post
    Great stuff! I'm all about the integration of cycling and lifestyle too. Using something fun (cycling) to gage your performance makes a whole lot more sense than just looking at BP, cholesterol, etc.

    If you're getting faster, you know that all of the other parameters are probably getting better too.
    That is what I do.
    I also play Computer Chess. It is great to measure if your brain still works. It has a rating system were top rating is 2600. I am muddling around 1700 and try like hell to get better.
    Biking is easier.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post
    Congrats on your speed improvement. I hope I can do as well this summer at the "ripe old age" of 64.


    Sounds like the Withlacoochee Bike Trail. Great place to ride.
    Yes it is. The best trail in winter months. We will return North to do the Ohio Trails and Wisconsin and perhaps Minnesota.
    OH, I forgot, there is the 50+ meeting in Colorado.

  11. #11
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    At 69.5, I can do more weighted dips than I ever could in years past. I can do more than anyone anywhere near my age who works out in the gym. In fact, no one near my age can do any at all. I can follow those weighted dips immediately with 20 pushups - most of the other guys my age can't do 20 pushups, period.

    I know there are guys who can do more than I can - I am certain of that, but, heck, they don't hang out at my gym!!

    Like a good wine, yes, one CAN improve with age.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dvr Fox View Post
    Congratulations, Will. Nice to hear from you again.
    Hi Denver.
    It is great to fine tune the engine and get more speed out of it. However it is boring to others to report it too often. There are very few people who prioritize health as I do. But as they say, it is my life.
    I will try to do 100 miles at that top speed tomorrow which is the last day here for us.
    It is funny that I am all nervous and keyed up for that challenge.
    After that we will rest on the beach in Mexico Beach, FL for a few days hoping the weather will warm up in Illinois.
    ----------------
    Helga and I are looking forward to our meeting in August.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
    Amen to that! I must hear more of this place in Florida! Pics available?
    This trail is very good to train for a fast 100 miles. There are intersections but you may be happy to relax a little if you push hard. The link below shows some pictures. The trail goes through a state park. There is never a crowd. That means you can go as hard as you can.
    It is Florida. So it is nearly flat. But it has wind. It was 15 to 25 MPH gust yesterday. That is a challenge.

    http://www.traillink.com/ViewTrailPh...AcctID=6015678

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    At 69.5, I can do more weighted dips than I ever could in years past. I can do more than anyone anywhere near my age who works out in the gym. In fact, no one near my age can do any at all. I can follow those weighted dips immediately with 20 pushups - most of the other guys my age can't do 20 pushups, period.

    I know there are guys who can do more than I can - I am certain of that, but, heck, they don't hang out at my gym!!

    Like a good wine, yes, one CAN improve with age.
    A buddy of mine wants me to join a club to do weight lifting and rowing.
    He says it would be good for me.
    Alas, I am hooked on biking. It is the great Outdoors. There is nothing like slicing through a storm at 20 MPH on Aero Bars. It is unbelievable what feeling that creates.

  15. #15
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne View Post
    I had trouble averaging 16.5 MPH. Why this target speed? It was required for a CC Tour.
    I am now able to do repeated 19.2 MPH for the round trip regardless of wind conditions.
    We are doing 16 MPH with the tandem.
    Must be nice to not have hills

  16. #16
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    Must be nice to not have hills
    No hills, but unrelenting wind. It hasn't stopped since February.With a hill, at least you know when it will end.

  17. #17
    Pat
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    The Withalacoochie Trail is excellent. A couple of groups have organized centuries on it. It makes for a superb century with good support.

    The wind is never much of a deal on the trail because it tends to have trees on either side that serve as wind breaks. Plus, the trail runs north and south and usually our winds are from the east or west but not always.

  18. #18
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Will, good stuff! What will next year bring? Probably not the anticipated decline.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    Must be nice to not have hills
    You are right of course BUT, yes there is wind. Always. Someone says that it is often from the side but 15 to 25 MPH wind from the side and somewhat from the front is work for 46 miles one way.
    I struggled to get 18 MPH against that wind. Payback was the return with top speed as high as 26 MPH. Now that is fun.
    I love this trail.

  20. #20
    Senior Member PatrickJIV's Avatar
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    For me the speed isn't a factor in my cycling. At 72 the physical fitness is the total goal, maybe speed will come later. However I've only been at this for going on 3 weeks. Yesterday my miles were 7.4 at a local park. I'm diabetic on 3 types of oral medication. Have had problems keeping blood sugar down any lower that 140, creeps to 160 at times. Last week sugar has been well within normal limits of 80-120, even got to 85 yesterday, so the pedal power is working wonders....and LOVING it. EVERY DAY, IN EVERY WAY, I'M GETTING BETTER AND BETTER!
    Old in AGE, young @ HEART!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    The Withalacoochie Trail is excellent. A couple of groups have organized centuries on it. It makes for a superb century with good support.

    The wind is never much of a deal on the trail because it tends to have trees on either side that serve as wind breaks. Plus, the trail runs north and south and usually our winds are from the east or west but not always.
    I am just a recreational biker trying to stay healthy. I did the 100 miles yesterday and achieved 19.5 MPH average as measured by my Cateye Astrale 8 computer. As you know there are many intersections. I did not count them but there are about 40 each way. I did notice that these intersections lower my average.
    The Wind.
    A gusty wind with 15 to 25 MPH will slow you down. Yes there are trees and they help but there are open exposed undulating hills like by I-75. It was difficult to maintain that 19.5 MPH average at times.
    Doing a round trip will average things out but not quite. I get a higher average with light wind as opposed to gusty strong wind regardless where the wind blows from.
    I also noticed a few aggressive bikers doing 25 MPH regardless of conditions. I can not do that or I will blow a fuse. My HR is up to 150 as it is. This is about my maximum.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    Will, good stuff! What will next year bring? Probably not the anticipated decline.
    God willing I will try for 20 MPH average on this trail next year.
    I got close yesterday with 19.5 MPH. My HR was up to 150 and I had to cool it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickJIV View Post
    For me the speed isn't a factor in my cycling. At 72 the physical fitness is the total goal, maybe speed will come later. However I've only been at this for going on 3 weeks. Yesterday my miles were 7.4 at a local park. I'm diabetic on 3 types of oral medication. Have had problems keeping blood sugar down any lower that 140, creeps to 160 at times. Last week sugar has been well within normal limits of 80-120, even got to 85 yesterday, so the pedal power is working wonders....and LOVING it. EVERY DAY, IN EVERY WAY, I'M GETTING BETTER AND BETTER!
    I understand you. I also did this type of biking for over 10 years. I biked 100 miles at average speed of 10 MPH and that is all I could do and said I wanted to do.
    I found out much later that you can go much further with less effort and much more comfort if you get your biking fine tuned.
    For instance. Most bikers sit vertical on the saddle. That means that the full weight is on your rear end. Depending on weight that will hurt eventually. Distributing the weight over hands, legs and saddle is much better. Using Aero Bars will lower your wind resistance a lot and require less energy.
    Having a fine CF Bike properly fitted is heaven compared to a poorly fitted rental bike.
    Proper shoes, shorts, gloves, helmet, saddle all will add to your biking enjoyment.
    It is a lot of fun to slice through gusty wind at 20 MPH and pass these typical bikers struggling at 7 or 10 MPH with the same effort because they do not have the proper equipment and skills.

  24. #24
    "older but not dead yet" abelisle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    At 69.5, I can do more weighted dips than I ever could in years past. I can do more than anyone anywhere near my age who works out in the gym. In fact, no one near my age can do any at all. I can follow those weighted dips immediately with 20 pushups - most of the other guys my age can't do 20 pushups, period.

    I know there are guys who can do more than I can - I am certain of that, but, heck, they don't hang out at my gym!!

    Like a good wine, yes, one CAN improve with age.
    Nice going! You never told us what other exercises you've done to get to this point? Have you been working out all your life? I'm only 60 and this would be hard for me to do!

    Alex

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    At 69.5, I can do more weighted dips than I ever could in years past.
    .................................................................................................... ...................
    ...........................................

    Like a good wine, yes, one CAN improve with age.
    I was hoping to get this message across. You said it better then I could.
    Do not give up but it does take effort.
    Too many give up.

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