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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 07-17-10, 09:59 PM   #1
bgary
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My first month after long layoff

Hi guys. This is my first post, and I thought I would put up some personal results in case anybody is curious about what to expect when starting out at 50+. Below is a brief summary of my progress this year on my mountain bike. I’ll be 52 in a couple of months, and I am significantly overweight. I started a weight-loss program in January and my goal is to lose 50 pounds this year, though I would like to continue until I have lost 70 pounds, which would bring me to my former “fighting weight”. I am currently down about 25 pounds.

I used to ride quite a bit (1000s of miles per year) from the mid ‘80s up until '97 or so, then did not ride at all until June of this year. My best years were when I was car-free, but after I bought a pickup truck, I gained too much weight over the winters, and it wasn’t as much fun riding anymore. Ironically, right now I am 25-30 pounds over that “too fat” point and I am having a blast riding. If I can continue my weight loss successfully, I am going to be one happy camper.

My first ride this year was a very gentle 1 1/2 mile ride just to see how things felt. Below, I list the significant rides I have finished, there were also some short, easy rides mixed in. I used to maintain over 20 mph for 15 miles on my Trek 750 when I was in my early 30’s -- I am curious to see what I can do now.


Mid-June...several very easy, very short rides
June 25... 12 mi... 2 hours... Thought I would die
July 1... 12 mi... 59:54... Sore for 3 days
July 5... 12 mi... 53:45... Sore next day
July 15... 15 mi... 63:04... Sore for rest of day
July 17... 18 mi... untimed... Ready for more after shower

I am hoping for more good improvement, and I will update any news over the next month or two.
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Old 07-17-10, 10:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by bgary View Post
Hi guys. This is my first post, and I thought I would put up some personal results in case anybody is curious about what to expect when starting out at 50+. Below is a brief summary of my progress this year on my mountain bike. I’ll be 52 in a couple of months, and I am significantly overweight. I started a weight-loss program in January and my goal is to lose 50 pounds this year, though I would like to continue until I have lost 70 pounds, which would bring me to my former “fighting weight”. I am currently down about 25 pounds.

I used to ride quite a bit (1000s of miles per year) from the mid ‘80s up until '97 or so, then did not ride at all until June of this year. My best years were when I was car-free, but after I bought a pickup truck, I gained too much weight over the winters, and it wasn’t as much fun riding anymore. Ironically, right now I am 25-30 pounds over that “too fat” point and I am having a blast riding. If I can continue my weight loss successfully, I am going to be one happy camper.

My first ride this year was a very gentle 1 1/2 mile ride just to see how things felt. Below, I list the significant rides I have finished, there were also some short, easy rides mixed in. I used to maintain over 20 mph for 15 miles on my Trek 750 when I was in my early 30’s -- I am curious to see what I can do now.


Mid-June...several very easy, very short rides
June 25... 12 mi... 2 hours... Thought I would die
July 1... 12 mi... 59:54... Sore for 3 days
July 5... 12 mi... 53:45... Sore next day
July 15... 15 mi... 63:04... Sore for rest of day
July 17... 18 mi... untimed... Ready for more after shower

I am hoping for more good improvement, and I will update any news over the next month or two.
Welcome and congratulations on your weight loss to date. With your attitude and regular exercise, you should reach your goal. Most importantly, if you make permanent changes to your eating habits and continue to exercise regularly, you'll be able to keep it off for the rest of your life. Getting weight off and keeping it off is one of the best ways to stay healthy as you age. You're doing great. Keep it up and I hope to hear that you've lost all 70 pounds by some point next year.
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Old 07-17-10, 10:56 PM   #3
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bgary, welcome and congratulations on your progress so far.

I'ld say you're sufficiently trained for the Great Annual 50+ Pie Ride!
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ther)-Pie-Ride

...just be careful not to ruin your weight loss progress in the process!!
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Old 07-18-10, 12:30 AM   #4
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Take it as you have a mountain bike- You are getting offroad. I started riding on a mountain bike- the first time that I used a bike since the mid 60's.

If you lived where I do and you had the masochistic mates that I have- you would not have contemplated a road bike. The hills are too good.

Downsview..JPG


First ride was a flat ride on the road for 28 miles to see if I had the fitness on a bike that was more suited to road use with the gearing. Second ride was a rtoad ride taking in a few lumpy bits and I think I walked up most of them---but from then on it was offroad. Took me a year before I did a ride without walking the slopes on a bike that still was not suitable with the gearing.

But suddenly it all came together. Those 30 mile offroad rides were made without walking- the new bike with offroad gearing may have had something to do with that though. Them milage went up- the hills got steeper and ride speed went up.

Never lost a great deal of weight but I did not have a great deal to lose. In fact over the last 20 years I have put on 10lbs that may increase to 15 whenever I have a layoff.

But have to admit that I am getting into training for the Pie ride in September. That does involve a lot more ride training to stop the weight gain but it is worth it.
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Old 07-18-10, 01:29 AM   #5
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Thanks for the kind words and encouragement, everybody. I am definitely going to start training for the Pie Ride.

stapfam -- I'm on a Cannondale Delta V now, but have been riding on pavement. I suppose I will get a road bike eventually. I used to live near a large stretch of forest preserve. The main feature for MB purposes was a ridge that peaked at 90 feet of hair-raising plunge. There was a loop we rode that had a steep climb at the end, and a sadistic grade at the very end. We called it heart attack hill. Standing on the pedals in your lowest gear as your eyeballs popped out of your skull.

My buddy Kevin (riding a Klein) was always pulling some fantastic stunt like not quite bunny-hopping that log, or catching a pedal on a stump. One time he was nearly decapitated by a Whitetail buck.

Then they made it illegal to ride the single tracks. That was another reason I quit riding -- man was I pissed. So I guess I'll go skinny tire. There is a fairly robust cycle club out this way, I'll have to check it out once I can pass somebody not a granny or a toddler.
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Old 07-18-10, 09:32 AM   #6
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Might I ask: what region do you hail from? What is your typical terrain? Have you considered doping yet?

The last question was just a joke.
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Old 07-18-10, 11:04 AM   #7
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if you hit any roadblocks along the way, these guys can help you out.
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Old 07-18-10, 04:11 PM   #8
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Might I ask: what region do you hail from? What is your typical terrain? Have you considered doping yet?

The last question was just a joke.
Chicago 'burbs. I used to ride very hilly terrain in the SW forest preserves. Now in the NW near O'Hare, it is very flat. Doping? Sure, waddya got?
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Old 07-18-10, 04:21 PM   #9
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Congrats to returning to the good side with some very healthy goals. Why did you step away from riding completely?
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Old 07-18-10, 09:11 PM   #10
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Congrats to returning to the good side with some very healthy goals. Why did you step away from riding completely?
They closed all the trails around where I lived. I started gaining too much weight. The guy I did most of my trail blazing with had a second kid and disappeared off the face of the earth. He had what you might call a controlling wife. Riding just wasn't as much fun anymore, and other things took its place.

I was in pretty good shape for 40 years, now I've been a lard-*** for 10 and enough is enough. I used to bike for transportation and recreation, but even though it was a big part of my life, it wasn't a key part of my life. I'm seeing cycling as something essential now, rather than just a fun activity.
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Old 07-19-10, 07:38 PM   #11
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Welcome and good luck. I started last year at age 64, lost 25 pounds, HR lower, BP lower and feel better. Hope you enjoy the rode bike as much as you enjoyed the mountain bike. Ride Safe.
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Old 07-19-10, 08:08 PM   #12
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I remember starting to ride again about 20 years ago after a long layoff. I was about 40 and also overweight. I started with 5 mi. I kept increasing mileage and was ready for Freewheel in OK after a few months. I suspect that you can ride easy most every day of the week and then increase your mileage once a week. I think you will find that your normal mileage gets easy and the only hard rides are those where you increase mileage. I think a 5 mi per week increase ought to be a reasonable increase for you.

I was also riding a mountain bike at the time.

If you can get your mileage up your weight loss should accelerate.
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Old 07-20-10, 08:53 AM   #13
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Chicago 'burbs. I used to ride very hilly terrain in the SW forest preserves. Now in the NW near O'Hare, it is very flat. Doping? Sure, waddya got?
Maybe someday you'll encounter my son up there. He's a student at Moody and loves his SS/FG.
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Old 07-20-10, 03:07 PM   #14
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Great stuff, bgary! Keep posting your progress. Try to work in a few more rides if you can, even if they're short.
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Old 07-20-10, 05:18 PM   #15
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bgary, I started riding again 8 years ago. At age 44 I had a heart attack, and knew that I needed to change some things about my life. I have dropped 40 lbs, feel much better and ride pretty much every day now (I commute to/from work on a bike). It gets a little easier every day. 6 weeks ago, I fell and broke my hand, yesterday was the first day back on the bike - I can't believe how much I missed it, and how now, I can't imagine life without the bike. Keep it up, the pounds will come off (not fast or easily, but they will come off if you stay on the bike), and you will feel much much better for it.
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Old 07-29-10, 07:44 PM   #16
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Update:

Just returned from my regular "once around the bike trail and back" ride.

12 miles, 49:25 (includes warmup and down)

Only 4:20 off my time from 24 days ago, I was kinda hoping for better. Evidently the taco and Budweiser I had before leaving helped little, if at all. It has been pretty hot and muggy around here of late and I haven't been riding as often as I'd like. I am still only losing about a pound per week. My spinning is still pretty sloppy, but my bike handling is improving. I was hoping to be up to 18 mph by the end of August, looks like maybe not. Maybe next time I go for a timed run, I'll eat and drink a little better. Maybe put a little air in the knobbies, I'm sure they are shy of 50 psi.

Could somebody give me an idea what kind of speed increase I could expect from a decent road bike that actually fit me properly? I have 26 x 2.0's on my MTB and they are a bit on the squishy side. Plus the bike is really too small for road work.

Man, am I rambling. Can you tell I'm tired?
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