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  1. #1
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    How many of you compete?

    I just got back into cycling after a 25 year hiatus, and at 56 years old, I'm trying to get back into some semblence of shape. I bought a Lemond Poprad CX bike so I could do both road and smooth trail riding. But I am interested in looking at some local age-group competitions. I was wondering how many of you participate in competitions and what your intensity level is. Do any of you cyclocross, road race, or do time trials? What might be the best/easiest/least embarassing type of competition to start with?

    Thanks,

    Dean

  2. #2
    Senior Member Gustav's Avatar
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    I don't know where you live, but in Wiscsonsin we have an organization called WISport which sponsors a citizens racing series throught the spring and summer. There are a variety of road races and time trials at various locations throughout the state. The road races are usually a mass start with result standings by age brackets (I'm in the 50-54 group). Some are fast, and there is a regular group of experienced, serious racers, some young people new to cycling, and a bunch of us over 50 guys that do our best. It's a non-threatening way to put yourself in a situation where you can see what kind of legs you've got, and to work toward improvement year by year.
    "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." (Abraham Lincoln)

  3. #3
    bici accumulatori pinerider's Avatar
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    Last year I was mostly road riding, had no desire to get involved in competition. This year has been split about 50/50 road and MTB, have entered 3 MTB races and 1 adventure race had lots of fun at each. 2 of the races were great social events as well as races, I finished 32 of 85 in my age group (50-59) in the 1 race where I didn't have problems with flat tires.
    I expect to enter more events next year!
    ...!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lost Coyote's Avatar
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    I only train on my road bike, but I race my mountain bike in endurance events (24 hr or 100 mile) and compete in Adventure Races at least 3 or 4 times a year. Seems like I'm losing speed with age but gaining endurance.
    Gravity kills.

  5. #5
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    I'm 61 and have recently gotten into mtb'ing. Motivation was primarily for fitness, but way back yonder, I did a bit of motocross and enduro and always loved riding/racing in the dirt/mountains. I find that the compeitive juices still flow and still love getting offroad, even though the physical capabilities have diminished (a cardiac event, pacemaker, and a knee replacement). Have started a fitness program that will get me in (better) shape for the several mtb races that I hope to do next season. Looking for the fun of competing again and perhaps more importantly, the satisfaction of the journey, not necessarily the destination. ("Winning isn't everything, but making the effort to win, is." - Vince Lomardi)

  6. #6
    Jubalayo Unogwaja! Bokkie's Avatar
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    I tired competing in a 24hr race, had a minor heart attack, and I've now been banned by two cardiologists from competing. A brilliant career brought to an end, at 50!
    If your bollocks ain't sore, yer ain't on yer boike!

  7. #7
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I love cycling, but I do not compete because I lack the time, the inclination, and the talent to do so. I might make an exception for a time trial style hill climb, such as Fargo Street in Los Angeles, but I avoid riding in tight formations or pushing through corners at the adhesion limits of my tyres. I lead a very full, balanced, reasonably healthful life, and successful competition training would squeeze out something else.

    I did complete a 12-hour double century in 1972, but that was at a gentlemanly pace of 16-17 mph / 26-27 kph.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    In my youth, I used to compete in various sports and was good at the sports I participated in. When I took up biking, I participated in various competitions, but felt that all I was doing was boosting the entrants. I had benefitted from the "also rans" before, and felt that by boosting the numbers, someone else would gain by yet another person they could beat. That was until I took part in a longer "Enduro" mountain bike event. It was very uplifting to see all those 25 year olds beginning to flake out at the 65 mile mark, and need that little bit of encouragement and help to keep going, while I was still able to keep going to the 100 mile end.
    I may not have the speed that I used to have when I was younger, but with training and mental attitude, I do now now the stamina to complete these longer events, that even I would not have contemplated in my youth. By the way, I still cannot beat the 25 year olds, well not all of them, but it is surprising how many of them cannot compete with the modicum of sense that means that I start these events with one object in mind. That is to finish what I have started.

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bokkie
    I tired competing in a 24hr race, had a minor heart attack, and I've now been banned by two cardiologists from competing. A brilliant career brought to an end, at 50!
    Only just read this after I have posted another reply, but take it from me, Heart problems do not end Bike riding. Of course you have to listen to the doctors, but there is always a reason for a heart problem, Find out what it is, Find out how to get rid of that problem, and work to cure it.
    I had a bypass 5 years ago, and I was almost back to full cycling strength 12 weeks later. Whilst I was in hospital, I met a marathon runner that had a bigger problem than me, and 12 months later, he was back in full training. He ran a Marathan 2 years after he was told to stop running, and although he says it is harder now to put in the training, he now does about 6 1/2 marathons a year and only the London Marathon to keep his hand in.

  10. #10
    Recovering Retro-grouch CRUM's Avatar
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    I competed in Mountain and road bike races intensly up to 12 years ago. Didn't compete again until 4 years ago and entered a 32 mile mountain bike race and finished, barely. Since then I have competed in one or two mtnbike races a season. This past season I found the racing I want to do more of. 24 hour racing. What a blast. Next year I hope to enter more of them. There's something cool about pushing my body beyond what it should be capable of.
    Keep it 'tween the ditches

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  11. #11
    Senior Member hockey's Avatar
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    I continue to compete in one or two Olympic Triathlons each year. I find it provides a good incentive to stay in shape and it gives me a very realistic measure of my conditioning from year to year.
    Hockey

  12. #12
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    I was racing crits at the age of 53 untill I took a couple of years off to get fat. That was in SoCal. If you want to pick a type of racing to get started in Crits are not it. I've had races where I was of the back in the first couple of laps. Criteriums can be very brutal, with riders at or above their anaerobic threshold for most of the race.
    I plan to start racing again this Spring, but I'm about 20 lbs overweight and it's just not coming off.

  13. #13
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    I used to race cat 3 a few years back, loved doing the roadracing and time trials but would not reccommend crits for starters, lots of high speed tight formation riding best left for the younger set with good insurance policies. I found 3 to be a quantum leap up from 4 and most of the riders a little harder to talk to so after a few years I no longer renewed my license and went back to citizen racing. No pressure to be cool and was a lot more fun. Try out a few bandit races, stay on the front and feel the satisfaction of dusting a few youngsters. I still compete at any race that's close to where I live and still enjoy the competition even at 51.

  14. #14
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    I am incompetent.

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