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  1. #1
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    OLD NOOB DOWN ( and out )

    So I've been 'bringing along' a noob riding partner for once a week relaxed rides, 20-40 miles. He talks like he's been avoiding athletic activities his entire life, he's 60ish now. I've been encouraging him, suggesting to him he could develop a real talent for distance rides; and he needs to stay off the damn couch and get control of his fitness level. Several months of riding, no drama, great attitude, great conversations, and I've been watching his gut shrink and him having fun.

    Sigh, the other day he rides up along side me, bounces off like he's doing a track shove, crashes and falls hard at 8mph. The verdict is broken hip, surgery, he's using a walker. He's says he's done riding bicycles, ...forever. And, he means it.

    My thought afterwards is some people are naturally drawn to athletic activities, some just aren't..and there may be a good reason why that's so. You can push, you can encourage, you can try to protect them, but the day is going to come when you just are left thinking... really, what the eff was that all about? And, then you feel quilty for the carnage they do to themselves. Sigh.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Any idea why he lost control?
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  3. #3
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Who knows, I guess he just lost control - maybe he seized the brakes, ...my best guess. The right brake seems cable seemed stretched when I give the bike a once over, like it had been pulled thru the hanger bolt.

    I've bounced off riders while cruising, talking, fooling around; no big deal. Of course, you don't tell that to someone who's just fallen, no one wants to hear their big crash was unnecessary.

  4. #4
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    So sorry to hear about his crash and injuries.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  5. #5
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    My dad did something similar about age 70. Bought a new hybrid and broke his wrist riding it on the second day. The bike sat in his garage for two years, until he said "What should I do with my bike?" "I'll take it" was my quick reply.
    Swapped all the new parts onto my heavily used 10 year old hybrid. Rebuilt the "new" bike with all the used parts. Gave the "new" bike to my son to take to university. He got through the year riding it around campus, then had it stolen about exam time. Not a big loss. He now rides the "old" hybrid with the new parts and is very happy with it. And I have 2 really new bikes.

    If your noob buddy doesn't know what to do with his bike, pass it on to some pennyless student. And good luck on the broken hip. They are no fun.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  6. #6
    Roadkill byte_speed's Avatar
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    When I hit a dog and wound up in the hospital, a few of the doctors & nurses said I should give up biking. I told them they were probably right, but I was thinking "I wonder how long I'll be off the bike?"

    Hope he is OK and changes his mind.

  7. #7
    Senior Member loneviking61's Avatar
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    Although I hate to see someone give up on riding bikes, if you can break a hip at a slow speed like that--what will he break the next time he goes down? He likely has osteoporesis and that's not reversible.

  8. #8
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    There are some hot-looking trikes or, possibly, a recumbent. Hope he heals up quickly.
    Rick T
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  9. #9
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    My thought afterwards is some people are naturally drawn to athletic activities, some just aren't..and there may be a good reason why that's so. You can push, you can encourage, you can try to protect them, but the day is going to come when you just are left thinking... really, what the eff was that all about? And, then you feel quilty for the carnage they do to themselves.
    I think you have presented a very clear analysis of the situation. This individual's heart just truly was not into cycling that much. I understand that a broken hip is fairly serious, but if he had a deep-seated love of cycling like many on the 50+ sub-forum, he would be already planning his return to the bike.

    Also, there is nothing for you to feel guilty about. He ran into you, after all. It sounds like this individual's fitness needs would be best met by "water-walking" in the pool at his neighborhood Y.

  10. #10
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    There is no shame in not being a natual athelete, or an athelete at all. I know a guy who is a superfit rider, used to ride road. He had a heart event, and real or imagined, got too spooked to ride the roads, thinking he'd have the big grabber and no one would be there to save him. So he got a high end indoor trainer, with a video screen and rides you can program in. He rides a couple hours every day at home. Not for me, but once a year he is fit enough to ride the Seattle to Portland 200 miler. Its his one ride every year. Maybe your friend can just ride at home. Anything over an hour a day doesnt help your cardio fitness an more than riding all day, anyway.

  11. #11
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    So I've been 'bringing along' a noob riding partner for once a week relaxed rides, 20-40 miles. He talks like he's been avoiding athletic activities his entire life, he's 60ish now. I've been encouraging him, suggesting to him he could develop a real talent for distance rides; and he needs to stay off the damn couch and get control of his fitness level. Several months of riding, no drama, great attitude, great conversations, and I've been watching his gut shrink and him having fun.

    Sigh, the other day he rides up along side me, bounces off like he's doing a track shove, crashes and falls hard at 8mph. The verdict is broken hip, surgery, he's using a walker. He's says he's done riding bicycles, ...forever. And, he means it.

    My thought afterwards is some people are naturally drawn to athletic activities, some just aren't..and there may be a good reason why that's so. You can push, you can encourage, you can try to protect them, but the day is going to come when you just are left thinking... really, what the eff was that all about? And, then you feel quilty for the carnage they do to themselves. Sigh.
    Fear of falling is a very valid reason for many seniors to avoid bicycles. It can , and does, happen all to often.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    Fear of falling is a very valid reason for many seniors to avoid bicycles. It can , and does, happen all to often.
    Get a trike or bent 3 wheeler.

  13. #13
    Has opinion, will express
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    So I've been 'bringing along' a noob riding partner for once a week relaxed rides, 20-40 miles. He talks like he's been avoiding athletic activities his entire life, he's 60ish now. I've been encouraging him, suggesting to him he could develop a real talent for distance rides; and he needs to stay off the damn couch and get control of his fitness level. Several months of riding, no drama, great attitude, great conversations, and I've been watching his gut shrink and him having fun.

    Sigh, the other day he rides up along side me, bounces off like he's doing a track shove, crashes and falls hard at 8mph. The verdict is broken hip, surgery, he's using a walker. He's says he's done riding bicycles, ...forever. And, he means it.

    My thought afterwards is some people are naturally drawn to athletic activities, some just aren't..and there may be a good reason why that's so. You can push, you can encourage, you can try to protect them, but the day is going to come when you just are left thinking... really, what the eff was that all about? And, then you feel quilty for the carnage they do to themselves. Sigh.
    This is the critical comment. There's no point in discussing getting the guy back, and there is no point in the guilt trip.

    At his age, that broken hip is likely to take a long time to heal, and there is a chance he could die of the inactivity with lowered immunity and the onset of pneumonia.

    I've been through the process of running learn-to-ride and more advanced courses for senior adults and have been where you are on two occasions. Yes, you are going to ask yourself why, and what the eff happened, and have a good dose of the guilts because you ask if there was something else you could have done to prevent it.

    But the feeling will pass. You can't protect anyone 100% of the time from hurting themselves.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  14. #14
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Thanks for the nice comments.

    Bike: It was mine, of course - not his Wal-Mart monstrosity - he was riding my custom built from frame up TriCross, Neuvation wheelset. Only a scratch on one lever, wheels are true. I was riding my tourer, another reason why he just bounced. Gag, a week earlier I let him ride my full carbon Roubaix, I can just imagine ...

    His Family: Conservative, protective. I suspect they are glad to see him off the bike and back onto the couch - and have me be more of a pizza buddy.

    Guilt: None, really. As suggested, I sense this is a early warning event - and perhaps he's smart to find something safer for him - like swimming.

    Regret: Yes, I think this is my rant, something along the lines of letting sleeping dogs lie and not trying to be someone's life coach or cheerleader.

  15. #15
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Bikey Mikey said it first, but I'll include a picture! Your friend may be predisposed to quit anyway; but if it's because he doesn't want to fall a second time, GET THE TRIKE!


  16. #16
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    Fear of falling is a very valid reason for many seniors to avoid bicycles. It can , and does, happen all to often.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikey Mikey View Post
    Get a trike or bent 3 wheeler.
    I have a Worksman PAV trike that is my main ride today.

    Every now and then I still want to ride a bike so I bought a Worksman bike for that.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  17. #17
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    Bikey Mikey said it first, but I'll include a picture! Your friend may be predisposed to quit anyway; but if it's because he doesn't want to fall a second time, GET THE TRIKE!

    For many seniors this trike is way,way to low to the ground. That's why I chose the Worksman PAV which built with the seat to be "chair" high.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    This is the critical comment. There's no point in discussing getting the guy back, and there is no point in the guilt trip.

    At his age, that broken hip is likely to take a long time to heal, and there is a chance he could die of the inactivity with lowered immunity and the onset of pneumonia.

    I've been through the process of running learn-to-ride and more advanced courses for senior adults and have been where you are on two occasions. Yes, you are going to ask yourself why, and what the eff happened, and have a good dose of the guilts because you ask if there was something else you could have done to prevent it.

    But the feeling will pass. You can't protect anyone 100% of the time from hurting themselves.
    I agree with this, and the teacher does have to become able to go on and help those who can be helped.

    One thing I saw in my dad as he aged was progressive losses in physical capability, that proved to be irreversible. When he finally moved to my town and we tried some outdoor walks, I saw how far he had gone, degraded prioperception (hope I got that one right, proprioception?) that prevented him from directing his motion and from maintaining his balance on a surface with any unevenness, even with a walker. I had actually hoped to get him on a trike or maybe a pedals-forward bike of some sort and do some gentle MUP riding. As it was he wasn't even safe doing the famous daily 20 minute walk.

    I can see where a spontaneous loss of balance or orientation of the gent we're discussing put him out of control. And if I were him, one of my first reactions would be fear of repetition. I think he KNOWS how badly off he is, and now may not see a chance of saving himself.
    Last edited by Road Fan; 07-15-12 at 10:12 PM.

  19. #19
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    "So I've been 'bringing along' a noob riding partner for once a week relaxed rides, 20-40 miles. He talks like he's been avoiding athletic activities his entire life, he's 60ish now."
    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    At his age, that broken hip is likely to take a long time to heal, and there is a chance he could die of the inactivity with lowered immunity and the onset of pneumonia.


    Man, am I feeling old!!
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  20. #20
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    For many seniors this trike is way,way to low to the ground. That's why I chose the Worksman PAV which built with the seat to be "chair" high.
    Too low for a senior? This guy's only 60-ish, not 90. At 57, *I* could be considered '60-ish' fer cryin' out loud! And I'm still out gunning for the kids!

    I know you like yours, but I have a hard time recommending a bike that has ashtabula cranks. Or that comes in your choice of 1 or 3 speeds. If seat height is an issue, then almost any delta trike will sit higher.


  21. #21
    Senior Member CrankyFranky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    Fear of falling is a very valid reason for many seniors to avoid bicycles. It can , and does, happen all to often.
    After separating my shoulder twice, and dislocating my elbow, I've wished for shoulder and hip protection... a self-inflating sort of device maybe. Call for retired engineers!
    69 Raleigh Sports, '7 Atala Record, '82 Stan Pike

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Man, am I feeling old!!
    No need to feel old. Just count your age from the expected end of a normal life for someone of your activity level and ancestry. I would wager the crash victim is likely much closer to his last day than you are.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    Too low for a senior? This guy's only 60-ish, not 90. At 57, *I* could be considered '60-ish' fer cryin' out loud! And I'm still out gunning for the kids!

    I know you like yours, but I have a hard time recommending a bike that has ashtabula cranks. Or that comes in your choice of 1 or 3 speeds. If seat height is an issue, then almost any delta trike will sit higher.

    I didn't see that comment as a generalization. I think most of us here understand that the body's capability is largely built through activity, not inherently limited by age. But, I do think it's true that many people my age (I'm slightly more sixty-ish than you are) do not feel comfortable with the kinds of motions needed to mount a drop-bar single or to get in a low 'bent. I'm not saying they're making a correct self-assessment or that with some conditioning (perhaps yoga) they could not build back some basic capability - I believe most could. I also have seen that some loss of capabiity with aging can progress to the point where it is not reversible. Some of this may be in the mind, but some it might not be. But a serious blockage in the mind can be as debilitating as loss of nerve function.

    What's clear for you and at least the other 50+ers on the last OHR is that if you don't lose it, you'll still have it when sixty-ish or older, and can even build capability. As you know, a lot of those kids cannot do what you can.

  24. #24
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Man, am I feeling old!!
    You still have 50 years to go before you set a record there junior.

  25. #25
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    For many seniors this trike is way,way to low to the ground. That's why I chose the Worksman PAV which built with the seat to be "chair" high.
    Very true. Poor visibility for someone whose eyes may no longer be as good as they used to be, and hard to get down that low to get on the trike in the first place.

    Something more upright might be more like it.
    Zero gallons to the mile

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