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Old 10-05-10, 07:26 PM   #1
xizangstan
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How frequently should an older guy go out riding - and how far???

Okay, I'm age 63 - until December. I love riding my bike. Sometimes it's a short ride to my girlfriend's and back. And sometimes, it's riding someplace I've never been before and I keep going way too far before I decide it's time to turn around and start heading back. I try to ride at least every single day. Sometimes, it's more than one ride per day.

I don't seem to be able to ride too fast, unless it's going downhill. Mostly, I'm just cranking along enjoying the ride.

But here's the question that comes to mind: I keep seeing all the younger guys in these threads bragging about how many miles they can grind out in a single day, and how many hills they can climb. I realize my age but still, I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't try to kick it up a notch.

Because this section is aimed at mature guys and gals age 50+, I wonder: What is your motivation, and what are your daily goals? What's your bicycle style???
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Old 10-05-10, 07:30 PM   #2
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Ok, I'm 62 until December, have been riding 2 years after a 26 year hiatus. The more I ride the more I can ride. Let's face it, we really can't keep up with the young bucks anymore but it is great to see our own improvement
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Old 10-05-10, 07:42 PM   #3
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There are two things I know: You can always get better, and there is always someone better than you.The reason I do this (and, I expect, most of the folks on this forum) is to make the rest of life better. I think you should ride as much as you need to so as to improve the other things you do.
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Old 10-05-10, 08:40 PM   #4
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Your goals are your goals and they needn't change because others are doing more, unless you find that inspiring. I know a bunch of people (and I'm pretty sure that there are people on this board who are similar), who are cranking out brisk metric centuries and more at your age. I don't know your overall health and ambition, but if you want to work up to more miles and faster miles, age alone is not a limitation. If that's not your cup of tea, don't let peer pressure affect your enjoyment of what you're doing now.
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Old 10-05-10, 08:41 PM   #5
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This forum is for those who ride at least fifty miles every day, isn't it? That's how far and how often.
Any more questions?

You are allowed to take a rest day, as needed.
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Old 10-05-10, 08:52 PM   #6
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I'll be 63 in Jan. Started riding in March of 09. Ride 3 or 4 days a week, 40 mi at a pop. I've done numerous "Metrics" and several centuries" Average 17.5 here in flat fla.

Ride as much as you can, and as often as you can. I ride any chance I get: errands, pick up the grandson at school, etc.

The thing that helped me the most was wind sprints. Go out for a ride, warm up for 10 min at a good pace, then hammer as fast and as hard for as long as you can, all out. Maybe for 2 or 3 min. Then ride show and recover for 5 - 8 min and repeat. Do that 3x for the first week, 4x for the 2nd, etc. Work up to about 6 reps.

You will be amazed how quick you will improve. Check with your Dr first if you have any health issues or have not been check out recently.
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Old 10-05-10, 09:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by xizangstan View Post
Okay, I'm age 63 - until December. I love riding my bike. Sometimes it's a short ride to my girlfriend's and back. And sometimes, it's riding someplace I've never been before and I keep going way too far before I decide it's time to turn around and start heading back. I try to ride at least every single day. Sometimes, it's more than one ride per day.

I don't seem to be able to ride too fast, unless it's going downhill. Mostly, I'm just cranking along enjoying the ride.

But here's the question that comes to mind: I keep seeing all the younger guys in these threads bragging about how many miles they can grind out in a single day, and how many hills they can climb. I realize my age but still, I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't try to kick it up a notch.

Because this section is aimed at mature guys and gals age 50+, I wonder: What is your motivation, and what are your daily goals? What's your bicycle style???
News flash!!! YOU set how often and how far you ride based on how you feel that day and your doctors advice so don't let anybody tell you otherwise.

I'm 64 3/4 years of age and I ride when and where I want to letting my body tell when it's time to go home. I also wear a helmet and carry a cell phone everytime I ride. I'm riding for my health and enjoyment and for no other reason. Are you?
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Old 10-05-10, 09:34 PM   #8
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Bicycling is not a competitive sport unless you make it one. I ride as often and as fast or slow as I feel like riding. No goals, no mileage or average speed. It's like walking, which I also love. I go for a walk when I feel like going and walk for as long as I feel like walking. I'm almost 63 and feel healthy and strong.
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Old 10-05-10, 09:38 PM   #9
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Okay, I'm age 63 - until December. I love riding my bike. Sometimes it's a short ride to my girlfriend's and back. ?
Wondering what your wife thinks of that.
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Old 10-05-10, 09:39 PM   #10
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Seeing as you say you are from CO maybe this will have some meaning:
Both rides in the Denver area.
Yesterday: Platte River trail from C470 to a couple miles north of Confluence Park and return; 34 miles.
Today: C470 trail from the Carson Nature Center to Morrison and return; 35 miles.

I will be 74 next month.

Got it?



(Just in case: Age is not a criteria. Desire and fitness are. Note: No comments about speed or bicycle or anything else. They don't matter except as a temporary motivator by me to me and are soon shed)

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Old 10-05-10, 09:43 PM   #11
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68 here. 610 miles past 6 days.
812 miles total past 10 days.
Get pedalling........
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Old 10-06-10, 06:59 AM   #12
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I'll be 66 in December. I ride the hills and rolling terrain in the Atlanta burbs (east side). Joe Friel says in his book, Cycling Past 50, that older riders need a rest day between hard rides. Thus, every other day for me. Usually 30-40 miles, except yesterday. There was a strong headwind during the ride out and I was getting whipped. Had a crosswind on the ride home. Only managed 26 miles.
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Old 10-06-10, 07:19 AM   #13
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Wondering what your wife thinks of that.
Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. She's obviously checking the odometer on his car so he shouldn't get a bike computer.
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Old 10-06-10, 07:39 AM   #14
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xizangstan, Short answer is to ride whenever you feel like it, whatever distance you're comfortable with and when there's time to do so. You can improve on your speed and distance as subtly or as aggressively as you feel capable medically to do so.

Cycling should be fun, but to improve any skill set in any physical activity there is going to be some hard work. Faster and further relies mainly on faster. All out intervals as mentioned above are my favorite. Learning how to spin at a higher cadence and practicing it helps me for when my bum knee isn't very happy on a ride as I'm more of a masher.

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Old 10-06-10, 08:02 AM   #15
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Older folks are doing all sorts athletic things from summiting the great mountains to long cycling tours of thousands of miles. I'm 72 and typically ride 30 to 50 miles but I'm working up to a century for next year. I like to ride as fast as I can but that is not as fast as what a lad of 50 will call fast. Do as much as you can when you can - don't worry, be happy.
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Old 10-06-10, 08:16 AM   #16
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I'm 69 and live in very hilly part of PA, have been doing a training ride of 15 mi 4-5 times a week. Feel I'm ready to do distance now that I can ride average of 18 mph and end with ease.
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Old 10-06-10, 09:18 AM   #17
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Xizangstan, it's all a matter of personal preference, and what your personal schedule permits. At the present, most of my riding is in the evening, and a ride is typically 20 miles. I don't use a cycling computer, so I'm really not certain. I ride a fixed gear, and I don't follow any particular route or schedule. My motivation: I just like riding. It does seem to clear my head, and and does seem somewhat physically addictive. I'm sure most folks here agree on that.
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Old 10-06-10, 09:25 AM   #18
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65 going on 66, been riding since August after a twenty plus year layoff. I agree most with what Latitude65 states -- it is fitness and desire that are the issues. Fellows younger than myself are riding faster and more often or slower and less often .... some older than me are riding super fast and very often or just poking along. For me, about four time a week and working on carving out the time for 5-6 days a week, sometimes it is a quick fifteen miles around a local lake and other times it is 30-40 miles on the bike trails and streets. Desire, fitness, and the time are key issues for me in determining how much, how far, and how hard I ride .... plus I really need a new bike to make any real progress!
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Old 10-06-10, 09:34 AM   #19
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Wondering what your wife thinks of that.
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Old 10-06-10, 09:50 AM   #20
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You will get peer pressure both ways, from "don't push the speed or distance, just take it easy and smell the roses" to "get off your butt and HTFU". Just decide what is best for you.

I started commuting to work in March of '09. After a year of that, and getting an inkling of what cycling could do for me, I bought a road bike and started pushing things a bit, and then started joining a club on their Sat morning rides. The first question from a club member was "Are you retired? You can't really get fit until you retire." I am getting fitter every week, but am not yet anywhere close to what these guys can do. Several of them are in the "Century Hall of Fame" for riding more than 50 centuries. Many do double centuries. The fast group averages 22-23mph on a ride. The slower group cruises on the flats at 20, and averages 18 or so.

I've gradually lengthened my commute to where the round trip is about 25 miles, which I do 4 days per week. I then do a weekend club ride of about 50 at as fast a pace as I can handle. For me, cycling has been the lever to improve my life in many ways, leading me to develop goals for everything from my weight, to my nutrition, to how I affect those around me on a daily basis.
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Old 10-06-10, 10:37 AM   #21
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I ride for fun, for exercise, to stay in shape or just because I feel like it. On Saturdays, I ride 50 miles. On weekdays I work out in the gym on a spin bike early in the morning. I used to ride with lights in the predawn but after getting hit head on by a traffic safety instructor, my wife put an end to that practice. I do a few centuries a year.

I used to ride considerably more but my schedule has changed.

The thing is that a cyclist can ride just about as far as they feel like riding. It is a great endurance sport. Because it is low impact, you can keep it up for inordinant periods of time.

You can even ride each and every day. The thing is that if you do that, you have to do easy rides at least every now and then.

Something to think about though, any exercise that you actually do, does you a whole bunch more good than the "best" exerise that you don't do.
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Old 10-06-10, 10:38 AM   #22
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I'm a youngster here @ 51.

I was in a motorcycle wreck about 15 years ago,
the Dr said I may never walk again. I guess he was mistaken.

It took a LONG time, but I have been able to ride a bike for the last 4 months.
I'll never ride like I use to, (75 a day, every day) .
But I ride about 25 a day now. Even if it is a bit slow.!7-18mph.

I ride because I love it, and I missed it, when I couldn't.
Ride as much as you want, or as little as you want.
JUST RIDE!
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Old 10-06-10, 11:15 AM   #23
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Perenial problem that rears its head occasionally.

Warning on that 1st. distance ride.

And the distance some of these youngers get in- I used to do 100 milers- Offroad. That was hard but the last one I attempted was in 2006 and even then I failed. That was when I was 59. Got more sense now as the training for this event took most of the year and included plenty of Road 100 milers- Plenty of gym work and plenty of chasing the fit 20 year olds up the hills.

South Downs Way failure

It does depend on where you want to get. Just enjoy riding with the occasional longer ride- then just ride. Want to get to the Metric century- then start longer rides- tackle a few hills and get the speed up a bit. Doesn't take long if you work at it but do you want to work that hard? (Not hard but it could feel it at the time)

Now if you want to join the local Club and get out on the "A" group rides- then you are too late- about 20 years too late.
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Old 10-06-10, 11:22 AM   #24
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My best friend's father is 92 and he rides every other day about 20 miles. That's my goal... to be able to do that when I am 92!

Right now don't ride as often as I should but I can still crank out some miles (did a century in August). I have a "been there done that" attitude and now like to ride just because I enjoy cycling - either road or trail. I look 15 years younger than I am, I feel younger and act younger (I'm 60) all because of my love of being outdoors. Staying active, long ride or short, keeps me living...
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Old 10-06-10, 11:24 AM   #25
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But I ride about 25 a day now. Even if it is a bit slow. 17-18mph.

!
Slow? Slow for Lance maybe... slow is like 5 mph. Come out for some of the "newbie" rides I organize, now those are slow!!!!
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