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Old 10-21-09, 01:26 PM   #1
unixpro
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More older riders in the winter?

While riding home last night, and again on the way in this morning, I was noticing that there just don't seem to be as many of the kids riding as there were a month ago. I'd say that at least 70% of the riders I saw last night and this morning were gray-haired (and bearded, but that's another thread).

The weather has changed. It's cooler and the rains have started. Overall commute ridership is maybe 25% of what it is in the summer, but the percentage of oldsters seems higher.

Has anyone else noticed this?
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Old 10-21-09, 02:18 PM   #2
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I am surprised by the number of riders first of all and the number of "senior" riders in the south valley of Vegas. I think that Lance Armstrong has had a very positive influence via Livestrong. The yellow bracelets are still evident.
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Old 10-21-09, 02:28 PM   #3
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Where I ride the weekend warriors are all pretty much starting to drift away for the season. This leaves the year rounders who include a wide age range, but it does seem as if the average age creeps up just a bit. I'll have to try and remember to do some head counting the next week or so and see if this impression is accurate. Now the question is, can I really guage age accurately. Last week I was introduced to a young woman and thought she was in her teens only to find out that she was in her late 20s with kids.
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Old 10-21-09, 03:16 PM   #4
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Right the way through the summer and I have seen plenty of riders out doing plenty of milage at a pace that I envy. Most of them young and most on top rate bikes. Only thing I worry about is where do they find the time to ride in the week? Most of these individual riders were seen two or three times a week so they were obviously training for something. But cool and wet weather and they have obviously done their racing- or Epic ride so training has stopped for the year.

The only ones I see now are the older rider. Perhaps they were about in the summer but got lost in the Shine of the new lycra that was on the younger riders. But one local group that I see rides on wednesdays. They are an older group but I often see them about 30 or 40 miles from their Base town. Rather them than me as I went out with them once and all they kept talking about was Cafe stops. I felt hungry all the time I was riding with them.
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Old 10-22-09, 12:09 AM   #5
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Unixpro, I've noticed the same thing here as you do (I'm pretty sure Unixpro commutes on the "East Side" of Seattle; I commute from the Eastside to downtown) -- the fall/winter riders are in general older than the summer riders. I've also noticed they appear to be pretty experienced and fast.

It's also my impression so far -- though we've only a few rainy days, and it isn't really cold yet -- that there are more commuters out than last fall. Less than summer, of course, but more than fall.

The other news (to me) this fall is that everyone has upgraded their headlights. Lots more riders seem to be riding w/truly bright lights; as LED technology advances, I'm seeing fewer little lights and more really serious headlights.

My impression, anyway...
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Old 10-22-09, 12:19 AM   #6
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Yes, I have. Moreso in urban areas as well. Another factor.
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Old 10-22-09, 04:46 AM   #7
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The pretty boys have their bikes on trainers already... Us old geezers are much tougher

I rode to the Dr's office yesterday. They thought I was nuts. When he went at my chest with the stethoscope and hit my HR monitor he thought it was great tho. He's in his mid 50's like me and a runner..
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Old 10-22-09, 06:24 AM   #8
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I dunno about age. Around here it's just me and the homeless out on bikes. The other morning instead of the lycra set, it was the parka set--and me.
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Old 10-22-09, 07:34 AM   #9
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I dunno about age. Around here it's just me and the homeless out on bikes. The other morning instead of the lycra set, it was the parka set--and me.
I've never understood why homeless people stay in place like NY, Chicago, Detroit, etc. They know winter comes every year.

I also think that the young lions don't like winter riding because the speeds are generally slower (due to weather conditions and clothing) and the fact that if we know that if we get out of shape it will be halfway thru July before we are back in good condition. They ride for 2 weeks and are back in 'century form'.
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Old 10-22-09, 09:06 AM   #10
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I also think that the young lions don't like winter riding because the speeds are generally slower (due to weather conditions and clothing) ....
This is at least part of it. I just had this conversation with a couple of guys I see often in summer. They're pretty fast and VERY aware of how flashy they look in their superhero cycling outfits, and they were moaning about how winter was coming and they had to go back into the gym to work out.
I hate the gym--I cut back on cycling in winter, but I ride enough year-round to tell myself I'm maintaining. Our winters aren't that bad--occasional cold snaps, but temps generally at least in the 30s, with frequent warmer days and not much ice. We talked about clothing and bikes and tires, and the upshot of it was that they just aren't interested in doing the stuff you have to do to ride comfortably in winter. They want to be seen in Lycra and their bikes don't have room for real tires, so they're consigned to the machines in the gym.
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Old 10-22-09, 10:08 AM   #11
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I notice less riders as weather gets cooler and the cycling "season" is over. IMO, age has nothing to do with ability or desire to ride in inclement weather. Maybe "older" riders are one trick ponies.

As far as performance / racing cyclists or those who want to improve the engine are concerned, September is typically a rest month to fully recover and October begins the serious strength building or the beginning of a new training cycle. Mileage is reduced and weight training and some cross training added. Here in the bay area it is cycle cross season so many are focusing on that. Many of our elite road and track cyclists are running, swimming and mountain biking. Some are planning ski trips. Our guys have varied interests and it is all good. Next year we will be stronger and more competitive than before.
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Old 10-22-09, 11:29 AM   #12
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Yes, you will definitely see fewer racers out, since this is the season's downtime, unless you are heading into the indoor track season. Typically what happens in Vancouver, BC is the number of riders at the Burnaby Velodrome Wednesday night training sessions suddenly goes up, and a lot of riders show up for the Friday night training racing. So the young guys are still riding.
I'm still out on the road because it's not that cold yet, and I'm not doing any racing. Although I am thinking about it... my racing age in 2010 is 60, the bottom of the next group, and I've had a couple of years to recover.

As far as the commuter cyclists, there are definitely fewer bikes in the bike room. We (BC government consumer tax auditors) share the room with employees of the Vancouver Public Library, and it is certainly less crowded than in the summer, although there are still quite a few bikes in there by the time I leave. There are a few librarians who are pretty tough, but most are wimps, heh, heh. (There are probably four or five accountants who ride in, but I'm probably the most regular, and usually the only one in the winter, so I guess accountants tend to wimp out, too. But my excuse is that I have an IT background, which accounts for my greater toughness.) The federal government has a bike room across the loading dock area, and it has fewer bikes in there as well.

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Old 10-22-09, 11:54 AM   #13
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One of the other things I like to see this time of year in Seattle is the "rain bikes" that the serious roadies are using. Some folks just put temporary fenders, like Race Blades, on their bikes, but plenty of other people have dedicated rain bikes with permanent fenders and super-long mud flaps in the back for group rides.

Some are 3 to 5 year old race bikes have been relegated to winter-bike status. Others are 'cross bikes with smooth tires and permanent fenders. On the way home one night last week in the rain I got passed by a guy on a beautiful Moots ti race bike with permanent fenders and long mud flaps.

I never thought fenders were cool until I moved to Seattle...now I see them as signs of a rider who's ready to go all year.
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Old 10-22-09, 04:12 PM   #14
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I never thought fenders were cool until I moved to Seattle...now I see them as signs of a rider who's ready to go all year.
Yes, agree. I started learning the craft of cycling in Berkeley, CA in 1972 before moving to Canada. Nobody in the East Bay used fenders, and they would look askance when I would show up every now and then with a fixed gear bike with fenders for winter training. Berkeley Wheelmen (that's what the club was called at the time) training rides would be cancelled if there was a 40% chance of rain. And then if it did rain in the middle of a ride, everybody just got really wet. When I moved to Canada and started using fenders, I was absolutely amazed by how dry you could stay. Now I just use the temporary clip-on Race Blades because you can use them with short-reach brakes, and I'm not concerned with getting the guy behind me wet. As I recall, Alex Stieda was one of the first guys back in the 80's to start using the super-long mudflaps as a courtesy on winter training rides.

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