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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 03-21-10, 06:59 PM   #26
Tom Bombadil
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Is this a new thread? I guess given the dates. Someone started a thread about a month ago with a near identical original post. When I clicked on this, I thought I was re-joining that thread.
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Old 03-21-10, 07:23 PM   #27
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it actually depends on how I feel, what my body is telling me. there are days I go out and just do an easy type tempo ride,spinning, and other days I will go out and try too hammer until i can taste the bile . I still find it quite exhilarating to go as fast and as long as I can. i also find in another sense how much you actually miss by hammering all of the time, the sights, scenary and just enjoying the ride where in a sense you blend with your bike and just become a fluid type machine. As I have aged though my body doesn't tolerate, nor does my arthritis when it come to constantly trying to be faster per each ride. relaxing, and enjoying the fact that i can still ride is far better than constantly trying to prove I can stay up with everyone or to try and beat everyone
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Old 03-21-10, 07:45 PM   #28
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I ride my bike to get to work and back, and to do errands. When dealing with motorized traffic, there's no relaxing, that I'll do that when I get home to the recliner. I might ease up a notch depending on the mood of the traffic, but normally it's business as usual with my head on a swivel, and the brain in high gear.
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Old 03-21-10, 08:03 PM   #29
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My wife and I just started because we wanted a fun way to exercise. It just so happens that we're relaxed each time we ride too.
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Old 03-22-10, 09:52 PM   #30
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I second the sentiments expressed above in alcanoe and randochap's posts. There is a time for calming down and a time for a little excitement and cycling can provide both on different occasions. I get plenty of relaxation in front of the TV and computer. I am not constantly in need of calming myself down... quite the contrary. Cycling is for me, above all, interesting. Also the motion/movement is inherently satisfying.... kind of like flyfishing with better health benefits. There is much to learn in both pursuits.

I am a little ambitious to get better at cycling but I try to keep that under control. And then there is working on and building bikes... which is interesting too. I guess I think we apply the term "relaxing" too loosely and to too many things. No, it is much more to me than that, but not because I am obsessed with fast riding.

Some people call this "serious leisure". http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Serious_leisure
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Old 03-22-10, 11:07 PM   #31
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There was this Zen moment some years ago when I realized that the only object of riding my bike was riding my bike and that I really liked riding my bike. Now, it does not matter ... I can be trying to climb an 8% grade into a gale force wind in heavy rain (happened two weeks ago going home on my commute) or traffic jamming at rush hour on Kapiolani Blvd. and it just doesn't matter ... I'm riding and enjoying it and I'm relaxed in the sense that I am completely comfortable with my surroundings. I'm not sure if I'm a faster rider since I reached this level, but doing distance riding (centuries +) is much easier than it used to be. What I find strange are the number of cyclists that are really wound up all the time ... yelling at cars and complaining about this and that ... why bicycle if that is what it does for you?
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Old 03-23-10, 09:43 AM   #32
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I'm SLOW, even when I "think" I'm fast, LOL! I just like to ride, the health stuff is a nice bennie but I don't try to go out "Warp 10", just to get fit. Beating myself up to me is NOT FUN, (ymmv), I ride to see what's out there. We went on our first "Club Ride", last Sunday, it was listed as a "Social Ride", at the first stop, we "volunteered" to be the "SWEEP" riders cause it was more like a "Social RACE" to us! Ain't interested in "miles of sucking someone's rear wheel", that would be "hell" in my way of thinking. We will probably stay members of the local club to support their, "local government work for bicycles" but I doubt we will "ride" more than "now and then" as it seems when you get a "group" of bicyclist's together, they have to go into RACE mode no matter what "type" of bicycle they own. Jmho.
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Old 03-23-10, 06:54 PM   #33
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Frankly, this thread is making me nervous.
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Old 03-23-10, 07:26 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akohekohe View Post
There was this Zen moment some years ago when I realized that the only object of riding my bike was riding my bike and that I really liked riding my bike. Now, it does not matter ... I can be trying to climb an 8% grade into a gale force wind in heavy rain (happened two weeks ago going home on my commute) or traffic jamming at rush hour on Kapiolani Blvd. and it just doesn't matter ... I'm riding and enjoying it and I'm relaxed in the sense that I am completely comfortable with my surroundings. I'm not sure if I'm a faster rider since I reached this level, but doing distance riding (centuries +) is much easier than it used to be. What I find strange are the number of cyclists that are really wound up all the time ... yelling at cars and complaining about this and that ... why bicycle if that is what it does for you?
You can relax and be one with the surroundings on the Nimitz, or Al Moana, or on the Windward Coast? Wow!
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Old 03-23-10, 07:51 PM   #35
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I relax when I am in shape. I cannot get in shape watching the scenery go by while casually pedaling down a trail.
Everyone is differnet. I feel great when I know I challenged my body and ability.
It is OK to ride through the park while whistling and watching the birds. I know that. It seems the people that ride while whistling and watching the birds do not understand that some of us relax by challenging our bodies and abilities.
Lighten up while you whistle and watch the birds.
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Old 03-23-10, 09:07 PM   #36
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A few weeks ago: I had this problem that kept nagging me. I thought if I could ride and get tired then I could relax. So that is what I did. It was raining and snowing mixed. I rode hard (for me ) and when I got back I was cold wet and tired. But I wasn't bothered by my former worry. So I ride to relax but sometimes that means I am riding hard.
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Old 03-23-10, 09:12 PM   #37
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I just sort of maintain a given power setting, RPM and breathing rate, changing gears to compensate for terrain, wind, etc.with an occasional burst of speed to pass somebody or make a stoplight. Not real scientific, but it works for me. I will try to avoid traffic if I can- too much stress riding in traffic
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Old 03-24-10, 12:34 PM   #38
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In life generally, I think a lot of people fail to recognise the difference between ambition and competitiveness.

The latter is all about giving the other (guy) a bloody nose, whereas the former is about doing things for your own satisfaction.

I used to be ultra-competitive... but now I've got nothing I need to prove.... 50+ is a great 'place' to be!
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Old 03-24-10, 08:34 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Monkey Face View Post
In life generally, I think a lot of people fail to recognise the difference between ambition and competitiveness.

The latter is all about giving the other (guy) a bloody nose, whereas the former is about doing things for your own satisfaction.

I used to be ultra-competitive... but now I've got nothing I need to prove.... 50+ is a great 'place' to be!
Exactly.
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Old 03-24-10, 09:06 PM   #40
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This thread reminds me of the changes I've gone through over the last five years....

I remember '05 too well; there was a bit of a burn going on in my soul then, a push I couldn't ignore. I was computer-equipped, tracking miles, ET's, and even MHR for a time. It got so I was doing it on commutes, like I was trying to prove something... to whom, I couldn't say. But I noticed that, by early summer, a lot of the joy had evaporated. A buddy had to talk me into going with him to a regional park, where the best singletrack in a 100-mile radius could be found. I'd never been there, but it seemed a bit of an 'off' idea. Nevertheless, I went.

I thought I'd just ride easy to get acquainted with the trail, then burn it up some; my bud, already familiar, took off like a rocket, and was out of sight in the close trees within a mile. So I turned around and left, riding through the local town for a while, then waiting by his car when the sprinkles started. A miserable day.

A month later, I was on my commute home, when I was T-boned by a Corvette coming out of an alley (wrong way on a 1-way). Broke my R wrist on the landing, had to re-rail my saddle... that was the extent of the damage. But the nature of the break was such that the ortho guy at the VA insisted that I wear a full-arm cast for four weeks! Couldn't ride to save my soul at that point. My singletrack bud loaned me his stationary trainer... which I used 2x. Couldn't stand the thing.

When the cast went from full-arm to forearm, I got back on the bike. But I was minus the computer & HRM, I had been off for four weeks, so fitness was off, and I had a hard time gripping and braking with the R hand. So the challenge was to 'just make it' back and forth.

It took about three rides to realize that I was riding to ride, not for some goal, and that the old joy was back.

I gave my daughter the computer, ditched the HRM, and haven't looked back.

I don't like myself when I get competitive; there's a beast that would eat my own children that tries to bust out of my head.

I still ride hard, but now it's because I get into that endorphin zone that way -- it multiplies the joy, and keeps me fit enough.

I have the goal of riding 90 minutes when I turn 90 (I would be the 2nd in my family tree to reach that number); for the 39 years I have until then, I intend to ride for joy, and not for time or achievement. The '90 @90' goal is a motivator for the days I feel like I'm lagging, and a REACHABLE goal on the good days.
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Old 03-26-10, 02:57 PM   #41
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I agree with Bruce.As a long time player and coach (50+yrs) it is so difficult to move away from the competitive aspects into a more relaxed mode. It was a major milestone for me to begin leaving my watch at home! I envy you relaxed riders but I am working away at joining you.
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Old 03-27-10, 10:21 AM   #42
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There are so many reasons to ride. My own focus can vary from ride to ride, minute to minute.

One benefit for me that's on the relaxing scale is where my mind goes during the repetitive nature of pedaling. When I really got into cycling in the 70s, one of the hip things to do was Transcendental Meditation. My contemporaries were spending money to learn how to meditate, being given mantras, all for the purpose of letting their mind wander to a relaxed state without the use of drugs. There were other ways of achieving relaxation - biofeedback machines, etc. I was finding that on my 10 speed I was perfectly capable of riding 20, 30, 40 miles or more without getting overly tired (except my butt - I hadn't started my saddle search yet.) One of the things I discovered on those longer rides was that my mind wandered, seemingly of its own volition, to very interesting and relaxing places. I concluded that I was getting the benefits that the TM people were striving for, while at the same time getting healthy exercise, seeing the countryside in the most enjoyable way, and having a whole lot of fun.

Okay, I've never done TM and I certainly don't know what I'm talking about when I compare it to cycling. But I do know cycling, and I still enjoy how my mind freely wanders while I ride.
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Old 03-27-10, 09:44 PM   #43
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There are so many reasons to ride. My own focus can vary from ride to ride, minute to minute.

....
Okay, I've never done TM and I certainly don't know what I'm talking about when I compare it to cycling. But I do know cycling, and I still enjoy how my mind freely wanders while I ride.
I'm sure we all daydream while riding sometimes, and I do too. But I would never say that is why I ride or the primary source of the "fun" in riding. I am interesed in improving my competence as a cyclist but I would not describe myself as competitive at all. As the title of a recent thread said, "There is much to learn."

I love to ride. It does relax me afterward. But there is much more to my interest in cycling than relaxation.

"Serious leisure is the systematic pursuit of an amateur, hobbyist, or volunteer core activity that is highly substantial, interesting, and fulfilling and where, in the typical case, participants find a career in acquiring and expressing a combination of its special skills, knowledge, and experience."

Last edited by billydonn; 03-27-10 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 03-28-10, 11:54 AM   #44
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Not that there's anything wrong with that but I don't ride to relax. I ride to relieve stress and to see how many young whippersnappers I can hurt. Nothing's more satisfying than dropping the pace line heading up hill, especially after you've already ridden 60 plus miles.

I enjoy riding both clubs rides and solo. The club rides usually break-up into groups after the warm-up and I have to be in the lead group. If I'm up front taking my turn and there's another rider in sight, (rabbit) it's on! I have to catch them.

I have to be first back in the parking lot, no excuses. Sometimes when I'm by myself I'll take it easy to build base but for the most part I enjoying pushing myself, feeling the pain, and just going fast!

I enjoy riding with others at my level where we can push each other to our limits. I like the pain-curve up high with every ride being a suffer-fest and I love the feeling it gives me afterwards.

I can find no reason to go slow.....
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Old 03-28-10, 12:09 PM   #45
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I do my relaxing AFTER the ride, when I'm too tired to do anything else. Watching biker babes would be relaxing.
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