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Old 03-29-12, 11:11 AM   #1
JMdV
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How can I convince my ol' dad to stop jogging and start cycling?

Hi!

My dad just turned 66 and wants to get back in shape. Problem is he wants to do it by jogging, even though he has not exercised for several years now, and back when he did he was constantly injuring his achilles heel while he did it. I think he'd be much less likely to hurt himself if he got into cycling because it's a low-impact sport (I also happen to love biking and would like to share that passion with him).

Does anybody have any links to good articles on the negative effects of cycling versus running for the 50+ age group? I'd like to convince him once and for all that he'd be better off on two wheels.

Thanks!
Jonathan

PS. He's a retired organic chemist, so he always demands scientific proof for everything
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Old 03-29-12, 11:40 AM   #2
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You can lead a horse to water but...... Good luck.
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Old 03-29-12, 11:47 AM   #3
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Go jogging with him a few times, and casually invite him to join you on bikes. He will notice right away the heel/knee pain is less. Let him do both for a while without arguing about it, and if he has a good place to bike he will most likely prefer it. It took my father years of grieving for his lost marathon running years after knee surgury to pick up biking again and he loves it at 81. Let him come up with his own science for why he prefers one or the other.
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Old 03-29-12, 12:03 PM   #4
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No need for scientific proof. Look at the number of replacement knee and hip joint necessary for the older generation.

I did have a knee injury 45 years ago but I kept active with running till I was 34 when I had to give up. Had a 10 year break and in that time the knees got worse. Took up cycling at 44 as I could no longer run. I still can't run and even walking causes some discomfort. But cycling is fine. Even up the hills we have in this area. Cycling is a non-impact sport for the joints and is invaluable for keeping the joints in a relatively good condition. Even if they are already Knackered from too much use in your younger days.
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Old 03-29-12, 01:31 PM   #5
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The next time he complains about his knees bothering him...

Then he say's, "but those seats are uncomfortable". Ask him if he'd rather have constant knee pain or a sore butt for one week.
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Old 03-29-12, 03:12 PM   #6
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I sympathize --with him. I had to give up running and now love biking. But if I could choose just one, it'd be running again in-a-heartbeat. I miss it.

But, to your issue, I would suggest challenging him to train (maybe with you) for a long-ish bike ride as a goal. The self satisfaction of completing a 50 or 75 or even 100 mile ride goes a long way to stimulating more biking.
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Old 03-29-12, 03:43 PM   #7
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Ride your bike along side of him as he does his jogging. Let jealousy etch it's poison. Bwahahahaha!
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Old 03-29-12, 05:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JMdV View Post
I think he'd be much less likely to hurt himself if he got into cycling because it's a low-impact sport.
I might not be the best example for proving your point.
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Old 03-29-12, 05:41 PM   #9
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Why don't you just swap cycling stories and jogging stories with him as his routine gets into full swing and let him sort out what suits him best? Whike you're at it be sure to count your blessings that you two have a civil relationship and that he's anxious to get back into shape. Don't forget to support which ever route he eventually takes.

It wouldn't hurt to have a spare bike just laying about collecting dust for an occasional ride together. Of course it might mean you have to go for a couple of runs together also.
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Old 03-29-12, 05:59 PM   #10
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Tell him you're glad he's running instead of cycling, that you see these old guys out riding their bikes in lycra and you'd be embarrassed if he was one of them, and you'd be afraid he'd fall off at the first sign of trouble, that newer bikes are really complicated to shift. Leave a copy of "It's Not About the Bike" at his house in a small pile of books you bring him.

Then next year you can have his old Fuji when he upgrades to a Colnago.
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Old 03-29-12, 06:06 PM   #11
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I could send him a video with sound of my knee's as I walk up and down some stairs. My knee's make some interesting sounds! My ortho doc said the years of running and martial arts killed my knee's replacement is not a question of if, but when! The doc said switching to cycling has helped slow the progression and helped a lot with the pain!
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Old 03-29-12, 06:15 PM   #12
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Father knows best . . . so let him run.
When he has tendon issues he may reconsider.
Then offer to run with him to the coffee shop; the next time ask him to join you on a bike ride to the same coffee shop.
Heck, you guys may end of riding a tandem!!!
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Old 03-29-12, 06:22 PM   #13
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Father knows best . . . so let him run.
When he has tendon issues he may reconsider.
Then offer to run with him to the coffee shop; the next time ask him to join you on a bike ride to the same coffee shop.
Heck, you guys may end of riding a tandem!!!
Let him run and decide on his own. He's 21 and of age and can make his own decisions and suffer the pain if it occurs.

Tell him you love bicycling and why, and would be glad to ride with him, if he so chooses.

Last edited by DnvrFox; 03-29-12 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 03-29-12, 06:42 PM   #14
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Tell him you're glad he's running instead of cycling, that you see these old guys out riding their bikes in lycra and you'd be embarrassed if he was one of them, and you'd be afraid he'd fall off at the first sign of trouble, that newer bikes are really complicated to shift. Leave a copy of "It's Not About the Bike" at his house in a small pile of books you bring him.

Then next year you can have his old Fuji when he upgrades to a Colnago.
This could work depending on his personality but someone else said something about leading a horse to water...
it could be just mind your own business and let him come to his own conclusions.
Good luck
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Old 03-29-12, 08:34 PM   #15
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Right now your dad is posting on a running forum asking how to get his fool kid to grow up and quit playing on a bike and start running like real adults do.
He never worries about traffic, potholes, just has to buy a new pair of running shoes and gets a good workout in 20 minutes.

I don't know that the issues for over 50 novice cyclists are that much different than other novices.
Start slow and easy, increase duration/intensity/frequency gradually, learn the rules and best practices, have fun/don't fall.
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Old 03-29-12, 10:14 PM   #16
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Sadly, some people will never get on a bike.

Let him do his own thing, and when he finds he can no longer run then he may or may not consider the bike.

I'm 65 and I can't walk very long distances without pain and running or jogging is out of the question.

I can ride a bike though without any pain at all, and 20 to 30 miles is no problem at all.

It has given me a considerable amount of my health back, and I've lost 30 pounds since I started riding again, and I have plenty of energy, and my hip and leg pain is now more manageable as long as I don't walk too far or try to run.
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Old 03-29-12, 10:20 PM   #17
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You could also print out some of these replies and let him read what others have written about the benefits of biking.
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Old 03-29-12, 10:37 PM   #18
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You ride, Let him run. If he has a problem, he'll figure it out on his own. Pressure others, and they usually just dig in their heels.
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Old 03-29-12, 11:25 PM   #19
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I dunno...I'm his age, and I was a fierce runner until my mid-40s, when my knees gave out. I've been riding pretty seriously, off and on, for two decades, and I enjoy it, but when I think of exercise, I still see myself running through the forest.
Running is tough on the body--I think most of my aches and pains come from that--but it has benefits, too, in things like increased bone density. You might think about getting him to ride two or three times a week in place of some of his runs, but if he's exercising, don't discourage him. It's not as easy to get up and out there at our age as at yours.
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Old 03-30-12, 01:04 AM   #20
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Lotsa good advice. You love your Dad, so be gentle on him. Let me continue ...
Velo's last post has more of the same good advice.

I am now 64ish and bike because of a smashed and now-fused ankle. Still going, but temporarily at rest because of foot surgery. Your Dad will find that injuries DO take a lot longer to heal now than "when he was a kid" so PLEASE encourage him to change to the bike, but be gentle with him
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Old 03-30-12, 01:29 AM   #21
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He may be right. Like Velo Dog says, running is good for the bone density. Cycling isn't, which is a good reason for taking up some weight-bearing exercise - like running - as one gets older, and not spending all one's time on the bike.

Anyway, shouldn't it be about what he wants, rather than what you want?
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Old 03-30-12, 01:58 AM   #22
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Wow, lots of responses!

I don't think I've ever gotten so many replies to a topic before!
Then again, I haven't posted much on Bike Forums, so I didn't know what to expect.

Anyway, I guess I'll provide a little more background...
My dad used to be a wrestler, marathon runner and spandex-wearing cyclist until he moved to Switzerland 20 years ago. At that point he ditched the race bike and started commuting 22km a day on a really heavy 1989 Trek mountain bike with knobby tires. At 60, he stopped biking because of work related stress (I guess).

Nowadays he's retired and has the time to go on long bike rides, yet he choses to spend a lot of it surfing the web and forwarding me angry Huffington Post links about Republicans. I don't think he's very happy. That's another reason why I thought biking could be good for him: it lets you go out for long relaxing rides out in the fresh air, especially in the beautiful Swiss lowlands. Correct me if I'm being a young whippersnapper, but I think that at 66, it's easier to turn cycling into a lifestyle hobby/sport than it is to do so with running.

I've tried many times to ease him into the sport by offering to lend him one of my bikes to ride with me. He's very dismissive though and considers me to be a biased bike fanatic (which is true, I biked 18'000km as a courier last year).

I guess I posted on this forum because I had exhausted all the reasons I could find to try and convince him and needed some new talking points. There are quite a few, so I'll post again after I try em out. Thanks!
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Old 03-30-12, 02:25 AM   #23
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Why don't you let him lead his own life, and make his own decisions?

It's a point biased fanatics in any sphere have real trouble accepting.
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Old 03-30-12, 02:59 AM   #24
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Why don't you let him lead his own life, and make his own decisions?

It's a point biased fanatics in any sphere have real trouble accepting.
Because recently he's had abusive outbursts towards my mom and 13-year old sister and I don't feel that it's responsible to ignore this situation. Sorry to bring up a delicate subject on such a public forum, but I hope you understand.
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Old 03-30-12, 03:15 AM   #25
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Because recently he's had abusive outbursts towards my mom and 13-year old sister and I don't feel that it's responsible to ignore this situation. Sorry to bring up a delicate subject on such a public forum, but I hope you understand.
Whoa. Your first reason for wanting him to cycle was you were worried about his Achilles tendon. Now it's that he abuses your mother and younger sister? You have problems cycling won't solve.
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