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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 03-22-12, 10:22 PM   #1
BikeArkansas
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Enjoy the good days

I doubt that anyone would disagree with the fact that as we get older (62 here) we find there are good days and there are not so good days. I find this very true when applied to my days on a bike. Enjoying a good day is a must.

On a recent metric century ride I had a very good day. A friend of mine, a number of years younger, and I traveled to a neighboring state for a club ride with some riders he knows. There were no "racers", just the normal riders in a club. After a few miles the lead group was about 20 riders. I was just hanging around the back to see what happened.

After 20 something miles a few of the riders started falling off our 22 MPH pace. For some reason, I felt as though I was barely putting forward any effort. Then we turned into a wind and the front riders started falling off the pace quickly. After 25 miles my friend and I found ourselves out front. He told me he would need to stay on my wheel, which was OK as I felt good.

We stopped at the 30 mile rest stop for water. Then we wound through a few stop signs and lights to get out of a small town and back into the hilly countryside. The wind was directly into our faces and would stay that way for the next 20 miles. By this time my partner said he was falling back and wanted me to go on if I felt OK. Surprisingly, I did feel very strong. I actually had some "kick" for the last couple miles.
My legs felt good and my breathing was under control.

Not only was I the first finisher, but it was 14 minutes until the next rider came in. Where this performance came from I do not have the least idea. No this was not a race, but I had never finished this strong before, and probably will not again. Therefore, I enjoyed the good day VERY MUCH. Just forget the bad days.
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Old 03-23-12, 06:19 AM   #2
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Even if you never out perform this day or match it again, you will look back on this memory with great fondness. Excellent job!
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Old 03-23-12, 07:13 AM   #3
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My first MS ride I signed up for the 75 miler the first day. I had never ridden that far at one time in my life, I was 62. At the halfway point I arrived and no other riders were there, I asked where everyone was and they replied I was the first one. At the end two other riders caught up with me at a stop light and we rode in together. They were almost as old as I was.
This was in the Black Hills and there was about 6,000 ft of climbing.
Granted not a race but I just set my own regular pace and stuck to it.
Believe me I was pleasantly surprised at myself and still look back on that ride with satisfaction. I have since ridden a total of 4 MS rides and ride my age at least once a year.
I agree, enjoy and savor the good days.
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Old 03-23-12, 09:23 AM   #4
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Any day that I wake up I consider a good day in my book, any improvement after that makes it a great day. Sounds like you guys had GREAT days.
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Old 03-23-12, 08:23 PM   #5
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Every day above ground is a good day.
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Old 03-23-12, 08:39 PM   #6
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Bike Ark, that was a monster good day! Glad you experienced it!

Though I don't do mileage like that, or set any PR's anymore, my quality days seem to mostly revolve around riding with my kids. (Though we get along wonderfully, my 17-y-o nephew, whom I raised as my son, is 'pulling away' a bit, doesn't seem to want to ride with us so much anymore. My 9-y-o nephew, also a son in my heart, has a drive within him that sometimes makes him difficult to ride with, but also produces some of the most joyous rides we have. My 14-y-o daughter is a little BEAST, she can make me WORK!) I will ride solo, for errands or for the pure exploratory fun, but the best rides anymore are with the yunguns.

So far, though, in the last year, I've had less than 5 BAD days on the bike. That's out of 6 & 7 a week. (Car-free)
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Old 03-23-12, 08:48 PM   #7
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Congrats guys on your "Best Days Ever" great accomplishments for you and quit inspiring for us.
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Old 03-23-12, 08:57 PM   #8
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Last night I went for a night ride out in the country on my 3-speed commuter. Somewhere around 12 or 13 mph the tires started to sing; a bit faster and the wind in my ears would drown out their song. A few times, with the lights from the city off in the distance, the tires singing, the air flowing across my arms and legs and face... a few times it was damn near perfect. Cycling has taken me to some pretty interesting places from rural New Zealand to the alleys of Soweto; last night was about as good as it gets.
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Old 03-24-12, 05:42 AM   #9
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Every day above ground is a good day.
Get up in the morning, check the obits, if your not in them, it will be a good day.

A bad day riding is still better then a good day at work.
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Old 03-24-12, 05:43 AM   #10
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OP thanks for sharing. I know the feeling. sometimes out of nowhere you have a ride or something, maybe a run or a swim where you perform like no other time. it's wild and maybe can't be explained. but I always liked referring to those days to counterbalance the flip side when you can't explain poor performance. it also helps me work through down times knowing that someday out of nowhere I will have an amazing session. when I was running regularly I remember occasionally having an amazing run and wondering whose legs I was on. almost made me giddy enough to giggle. it must be a combination of rest, nutrition timing, and regular fitness training. on that day you must have been in the middle of regular training routine, have rested, and ate perfectly that morning. can you remember if any of those factors were true?
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Old 03-24-12, 04:48 PM   #11
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I like when kids say "dam, you ride a long way" or something like that.
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Old 03-24-12, 07:21 PM   #12
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Every day above ground is a good day.
Oh I don't know. I've spent some great days exploring some incredibly beautiful caves here in Australia, one last Christmas in South Australia. And I've spent some great days in underground mines getting to understand just how tough the guys who work there can be -- in the middle of last year we did a historic mine tour in Bendigo that was really enlightening as to the old days (circa 19th Century) of mining.
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Old 03-24-12, 07:25 PM   #13
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One of my best recent outings was a century on our tandem last year, when the winds and flat route were perfect for almost the entire ride. We had been making our way back from some physical and emotional setbacks, and this ride reminded us what we were working towards.
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Old 03-24-12, 08:37 PM   #14
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Great ride report BikeArkansas. Don't you just love it when the planets align?
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Old 03-25-12, 05:04 AM   #15
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Great ride report BikeArkansas. Don't you just love it when the planets align?
So long as the asteroids don't align as well.
That could be sketchy .
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Old 03-25-12, 07:46 PM   #16
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OP thanks for sharing. I know the feeling. sometimes out of nowhere you have a ride or something, maybe a run or a swim where you perform like no other time. it's wild and maybe can't be explained. but I always liked referring to those days to counterbalance the flip side when you can't explain poor performance. it also helps me work through down times knowing that someday out of nowhere I will have an amazing session. when I was running regularly I remember occasionally having an amazing run and wondering whose legs I was on. almost made me giddy enough to giggle. it must be a combination of rest, nutrition timing, and regular fitness training. on that day you must have been in the middle of regular training routine, have rested, and ate perfectly that morning. can you remember if any of those factors were true?
Good question, and yes I have tried to exam what happened. Little or no success. The only PED I use is GU. I think I had three on the ride. We spent the night in our travel trailer since we were out of state for the ride. We ate at a restaurant where I had chicken and pasta the evening before the ride. The morning of the ride I had some cereal with a little honey and milk. Nothing out of the ordinary.

During the ride I actually held back expecting the "down" to occur. Did not happen. I could have gone even harder.

Today, a little over a week later, I rode with a group that is too fast for me. This brought me crashing back into reality.
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Old 03-25-12, 07:55 PM   #17
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I doubt that anyone would disagree with the fact that as we get older (62 here) we find there are good days and there are not so good days.
I disagree.
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Old 03-25-12, 08:08 PM   #18
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A golden day for sure. It helps to have one of these once in a while - to recharge the "I'm not so old" spirit within.
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Old 03-25-12, 08:10 PM   #19
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I did a 100k charity ride not too long after I got my current bike, and averaged 19 mph on the ride. I've never done that before or since. The route went east and west, the wind seemed to be out of the north. As best I can figure, it must have been a quartering tailwind both directions, though.

I did a 600k ride and averaged 18 mph on it. But there, we had tailwind out, no wind back on one day, and no wind out, and tailwind back the other day, plus I was well back in a large group.

On a related note, based on the title, I have known people that seemed like they spent their whole lives waiting until they could retire and have fun. Then I've known other people that, by the time they got to retirement age, were too crippled up from back issues, obesity, arthritis, or other ailments to actually have any fun. So one lesson I've tried to apply is to have fun as I go along. If I hit 65 or 75 or 85 and can still do things, great. And if not, I'll be glad I made some hay while the sun shone.
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