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Old 09-25-10, 07:40 PM   #1
xizangstan
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How has your riding style changed over the past 20 years ???

I'm thinking about my mountain bike riding. Back 20 years ago when I was in my early 40s, I was riding everywhere - including steep mountain trails in Colorado. My son was in his early 20s and I was keeping up with him.

Now that I'm 63, I feel more like taking it easier, riding paved roads and trails, and sitting more upright. In fact, I recently switched out my stem and bars for riser stem and bars on my mountain bike. Now, I'm looking to do some touring with it, rack, panniers and all.

Have you gone thru any changes in your types of bicycle riding over the past 10, 20, 30 or 40 years? How?
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Old 09-25-10, 08:17 PM   #2
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20 years ago I was still racing (USCF Cat3 / Masters). I've since realized that it's easier to go far than fast, so now I'm a randonneur. I find rides that last all day and then some much more rewarding 45 minute crits.

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Old 09-25-10, 08:26 PM   #3
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Twenty yrs ago I was a fair sprinter, now at 53 I can still punch a hole into the wind but my fast twitch fibers don't work as fast and my max cadence is less. I couldn't climb well at 33 so at 53 still struggling up steep hills.
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Old 09-25-10, 09:43 PM   #4
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we're about the same age, and I live in the Sierra west of Reno, with 8,000 foot passes all around. I got back into cycling in the late '80s on a mountain bike after a long post-college layoff, and we climbed everything. I had an undemanding job, and I rode whenever I could, in the Tahoe and Toiyabe National Forests, until I was in my mid-50s. Then, gradually, the hills got steeper and longer, and most of my cycling friends turned to road bikes. I hung on as long as I could, but these days I'm pretty much a road rider. I'd love to get out on the MB again, and I'm going to do a few rides this fall, but the days of climbing to the fire lookout (8300 feet, visible from my kitchen window at 4905 ft) are probably over.
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Old 09-25-10, 09:52 PM   #5
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At 68, I find myself gravitating more toward riding my touring bike (LHT) with full fenders, front bag and saddle bag. It is slow and weighs as much as a small ox but...so what! So am I, and so do I.
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Old 09-25-10, 09:54 PM   #6
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Still riding drop handlebar road bikes. I upgraded from friction to Ergo but not 11 speed. I prefer the peace of trails or low traffic roads.
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Old 09-25-10, 11:11 PM   #7
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45 years no bicycle riding until last year. So you might say i was having fun blasting down the highway in my 1969 Dodge Super Bee with a 383 Magnum, Mopar 4 speed (70 mph in 1st gear) with Hurst pro shifter. 6 mpg when i put my foot into it, which i did often. Sold it in the early 80s. Now twin turbos are the ticket.
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Old 09-26-10, 12:02 AM   #8
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45 years no bicycle riding until last year. So you might say i was having fun blasting down the highway in my 1969 Dodge Super Bee with a 383 Magnum, Mopar 4 speed (70 mph in 1st gear) with Hurst pro shifter. 6 mpg when i put my foot into it, which i did often. Sold it in the early 80s. Now twin turbos are the ticket.
What is a Mopar?
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Old 09-26-10, 12:41 AM   #9
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Similar story. Started mountain biking in 1990 and that was due to the mate that got me cycling was into them. But if you saw the range of hills that are only 6 miles from my door- then it was a no-brainer. 10 years later and a couple of serious medical problems did not stop me but that Bike(s) did everything. Offroad XC and I had got into Long distance Enduros- Trail riding up what are now Mups but at that time were just Muddy Paths- Road century rides with just a change to slick tyres. You name it and that bike did the lot.

But in 2006 I bought my first road bike. I had started the downward slope and quite enjoyed riding on the black stuff. Still had to find the Hills though and 1 year after getting the OCR3 went to the Alpes to climb a few slopes. That proved that I needed a decent road bike so got one. 6 months later and I walked into the LBS and they tried to sell me a Decent MTB at a very special price. I said that if I was going to buy another bike it was going to be another road bike to replace the OCR. 2 weeks later and I was back in the shop building up my new TCR-C. That was when i realised I was now a roadie.

Still get out on the MTB occasionally but it is hard. Can't attack the hills as I used to and downhills are taken at a far slower speed than I should be. Wonder how fit I would be on the road if I had kept the mountain biking up.
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Old 09-26-10, 02:07 AM   #10
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What is a Mopar?
I know Mopar is related to Chrysler Corp products, but I have always wondered at the word's etymology.

I've never been into Detroit iron; too much risk that the car was built on a Monday or Friday. In a different universe I would be blasting down the road in an open Lotus Super 7 I had built myself. I'd always wanted to be like the Patrick McGoohan character in The Prisoner.

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Old 09-26-10, 04:58 AM   #11
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15 years ago I went mountain bikeing with a group of friends EVERY Saturday morning. Rain, snow and zero degree temps did not constitute an excused absence. I gave that up after enduring a lecture from my 20 year old son when I broke my collar bone for the second time. All of my riding became low key touring type road rides.

August 8, 2009 was the next date of infamy. One second I was riding comfortably with my 9 year old grandson, the very next I was (trying) to pick myself up off of the Katy Trail. I'm not sure how I fell or landed, but I broke both of my elbows. How suddenly life can change.

Now I'm a recumbent rider.

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Old 09-26-10, 05:15 AM   #12
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Before there were mountain bikes, I was an avid road cyclist/racer. I joined the MTB crowd and was passionate about it into my 40's. I still enjoy the mtb riding but mainly for the environment and more carefree fun but am once again passionate about road cycling and cyclocross. I am only 50 so that focus on road riding will only get stronger I am sure. Mtb rides are starting to take their toll.
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Old 09-26-10, 06:42 AM   #13
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I flirted with mountain biking some in the late 80's - early '90. I determined that mountain biking is simply not for me. I embraced fixed gear riding ten years ago, and haven't looked back.
Can't explain that either, but I believe fixed gear cyclists know what I'm talking about.

But,, I can't say I've given up on multi-gears. Not at all. I just may look for a pre-85 Trek, back when Treks were really something special. Drat, why didn't I buy one back then?
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Old 09-26-10, 07:25 AM   #14
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Trackhub - My guess is that if you're persistent and look deeply enough in enough different places, you will find your ideal pre-85 Trek that you've been dreaming of.

I'm thinking that though our seasons of life slowly change, and we morph from one sort of outdoor enthusiast to another, our need to get out and go remains a constant.

Retro Grouch, whatever you do, BE CAREFUL!

As for me, bicycle riding is sort of like sex - once acquainted, we're addicted for life. And we never forget how.
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Old 09-26-10, 07:33 AM   #15
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Up until 5 years ago, I had a road bike and a mountain bike. I rode either depending on the type of riding I was to do.

Five years ago I bought a recumbent. The road bike never was ridden again, and I sold it. While I still have the mountain bike it really hasnt turned a wheel.

On the recumbent I ride further faster and more often. The safety, comfort and the upright position really makes you want to ride more.
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Old 09-26-10, 07:41 AM   #16
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Mopar - MOtor PARts ??

Can't answer the question as I have been riding only 12 years (started at 58), but can say in that 12 years now have absolutely no interest in group rides, centuries and the like. I have found my niche, and am extremely happy with it.
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Old 09-26-10, 07:56 AM   #17
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20 years ago when I lived in OK I had an opportunity to ride steep hills. I really enjoyed climbing. I miss the hills here in Houston.

I migrated from a hybrid with an upright position to a road bike. I am much faster now. My legs are stronger now. I can max out the weight on the seated leg press machine at the gym.

I used to ride longer rides more frequently in OK, but I had never done a century. I did my first century this year. My work travel schedule seems to limit my mileage.
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Old 09-26-10, 08:09 AM   #18
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Mopar - MOtor PARts ??
That's it. It's the part of Chyrsler Corp that sells auto parts.

I brought a road bike 35 years ago and roade with my wife. I gave riding up for 15 years or so and got the orginal bike (Motobecane) out of the basement, cleaned it up, and ride it for another five years before getting an entry level racer (Specialized with down tube shifters and six speed hub). That got me hooked and I've ridden ever since. I haven't raced in a few years but still enjoy riding on raod most every day, weather permitting.

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Old 09-26-10, 08:11 AM   #19
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How age has changed my bicycling

xizangstan, I started as a roadie, after buying a couple of good, but not-quite-right-for-me mountain bikes finally found the one I have owned for 13 years. With tires suitable for hard pack it's fine for both road and dirt by changing air pressure, but not perfect for either. If I could only have one bike, it'd be that old Trek.

With age I've learned that I'm mortal and can actually break bones, but I still have my 20 something year old moments. Not every ride is a training ride anymore nor does it always involve some goal I need to surpass. I think I've regained something I learned at ~11 years old... I was one of the very few people I knew that rode just for the sake of the ride, not just to school, to a friend's house or working the paper route. My sister and I were talking a few weeks ago about taking a ride together. She's not as avid a rider as I, but she commented that she couldn't imagine not having a bicycle in her life.

I've stopped using the heart rate monitor, removed the aerobars on two of my bikes and the cyclo computer on one of those. Time to just enjoy the ride.

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Old 09-26-10, 08:54 AM   #20
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I was an avid off road rider. Worked with the local forest officials to get trails through the state forest etc. Now I utility ride my Big Dummy more than anything, just changed the handlebars from H-bars to the new Surly open bar cause my neck was getting stiff on long rides. I have a sticker on the front rack that says "style over speed". Considering changing the handlebars on the LHT too. My Cannondale jekyl is sitting up at the bike store for sale.
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Old 09-26-10, 09:02 AM   #21
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Well, I'm a bit like Denver in that I haven't been "riding for 20 consecitive years", rode as a kid of course, then put a lot miles on an Itailian Olmo 10 speed as a teen, then didn't ride again till the mid-80's, did both road and was a Novice Level NORBA Mountain bike racer. Quite riding in 1987, got into Motorcycles for the next 30 years. Got back on a comfort bicycle in 2005 rode for 2 years, ran into financial problems and quite riding till 2009, bought hardtail MTB's, was only going to do, Off-Road". Found out the Mrs. and I like road/path riding more so we converted the MTB's to "road touring hybrids", did our first unsupported tour in July of 2010, now do utility, recreational/touring riding so the biggest change would be from "dirt to road".
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Old 09-26-10, 09:41 AM   #22
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I started out as a recreational rider in the early 1970s and moved on to longer, faster club rides when I traded in my $80 "ten-speed' for a real road bike (Gitane TdF). Got the racing bug around 1977 and raced Senior IV for a year. Went back to club riding then got back into club racing ("outlaw" road races and time trials) in the early 80s. Quit riding in the early 1990s. Started riding my old Ciocc road bike again in April 2009 for fitness/recreation. At 55, I'm not as fast as I was in the late 1980s and I don't ride "impromptu" centuries and double-metrics like I did back then. These days my Ciocc is set up with 47-41 chainrings and a 13-23 freewheel ("lazy man's crossover" shift pattern) - I don't need lower or higher gearing here in flat to gently rolling south Louisiana.
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Old 09-27-10, 08:28 PM   #23
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I guess that just about all of us started out as young kids on bicycles. I can recall going everywhere and doing all sorts of crazy stuff on a big, heavy, gas pipe Schwinn. Remember the balloon tires with the big coil spring up front of the head tube? That thing must have weighed half as much as I did back then!

I love riding. Some days it takes a lot of taking to myself just to get out on the bike. But once underway, I really don't want to stop. I'm finding my limits these days are the kinds of things I never dreamed of years ago: Lower back ache, neck pain, elbows and wrists hurting. I suppose some of you have suggestions how to minimize those old age problems. Anyway, I realize my body's changing, and I need to change the kinds of riding I do, and the stance on the bike.

Yet, I'm still as addicted to being out on the bike, feeling the wind in my face and the freedom under my feet. May God grant me many more years in the saddle of my beloved GT Xizang.

Have you had to adjust due to aging?

Last edited by xizangstan; 09-27-10 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 09-28-10, 10:03 AM   #24
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Four years ago I took up riding again after a couple of decades off the bike. My doctor had me on hypertension meds, cholesterol meds, pre-diabetes meds, and a few others I cannot recall right now. I was 70 lbs overweight and at 49-years old, knew I was going down the wrong path. At that weight, running was out of the question, so I bought a recumbent and started riding. I lost the 70 lbs in less than a year and am off all of the meds. Riding is now my passion although a do jog a couple of days each week for the cross-training benefits.

I now ride 10K to 12K miles per year and try to do a century ride every weekend. My wife and I just bought a tandem and now she is joining me on my riding escapades. She is planning to do the 200K and 300K brevets with me early next year. Hopefully I can convince her to also do the 400K and 600K rides on the tandem. if not, I will do them on my recumbent.

Needless to say, as I age, my riding has only been getting better!!
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Old 09-28-10, 10:09 AM   #25
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What is a Mopar?
a transmission
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