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  1. #1
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    Senior Olympics?

    As a little background since I'm new to this forum, I turn 62 this month. As a kid in the 50's I rode quite a lot and had several paper routes. Quit riding when I became motorized and returned to cycling only 9 years ago. Our company needed a 50+ geezer to race a bike in the Corporate Challenge. That was fun so I started participating in a some local time trials. Two years ago a friend pointed me to our state's Senior Olympics. Four cycling events are offered, 5K & 10K time trials, 20K & 40K road races. The first year I participated in the time trials, had so much fun that I returned last year and competed in all four events, and the wife took gold in the two time trials. The competetion is divided by gender and age graded into 5 year brackets beginning with age 50. The competition was fun but even better was meeting a group of really great people with common interests who enjoy exchanging ideas, helping each other improve, and talking about high performance equipment.
    I'm qualified in 3 events for the Nationals but so far I'm really not quite fast enough to be competetive at the national level. In local time trials I have been able to improve my speed slightly each year since I returned to cycling 9 years ago.
    So now I'm wondering how many of this elite group of 50+ forum members have participated in the Senior Olympics. How about it? It is definitely fun.

    Al

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    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    I've heard a few peole here mention it. But I don't think I've heard anything about it in my area - is it nationwide, or only in specific regions?

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    Here is a link that I found at the national web site with links to the participating states:

    http://www.nsga.com/Merchant2/mercha...tegory_Code=SG

    Note that cycling is just one of many athletic activities. It looks as if all 50 states plus DC participate in the summer Senior Olympics.

    Al

  4. #4
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943
    As a little background since I'm new to this forum, I turn 62 this month. As a kid in the 50's I rode quite a lot and had several paper routes. Quit riding when I became motorized and returned to cycling only 9 years ago. Our company needed a 50+ geezer to race a bike in the Corporate Challenge. That was fun so I started participating in a some local time trials. Two years ago a friend pointed me to our state's Senior Olympics. Four cycling events are offered, 5K & 10K time trials, 20K & 40K road races. The first year I participated in the time trials, had so much fun that I returned last year and competed in all four events, and the wife took gold in the two time trials. The competetion is divided by gender and age graded into 5 year brackets beginning with age 50. The competition was fun but even better was meeting a group of really great people with common interests who enjoy exchanging ideas, helping each other improve, and talking about high performance equipment.
    I'm qualified in 3 events for the Nationals but so far I'm really not quite fast enough to be competetive at the national level. In local time trials I have been able to improve my speed slightly each year since I returned to cycling 9 years ago.
    So now I'm wondering how many of this elite group of 50+ forum members have participated in the Senior Olympics. How about it? It is definitely fun.

    Al
    I'd love some input from you. I started riding only last June, but I seem to have a natural knack for cycling, and have progressed quite rapidly (I was a national masters running champion a quarter of a century ago). I have been able to wheel suck at speeds over 30 mph for reasonable periods of times, and just hit a new record of 35.9 mph on the flats. I ride at least 5 days a week. I just entered my first two events at the Good Life Games in St. Pete which are qualifying events for the State Senior Games. I entered the 5 and 10K time trials. I will be in the 65 year age group, and wonder what kind of times I will have to turn in to be competitive. I don't have a clue as to how to proceed, other then in the 5K, I am just going to put the hammer down. I just started interval training and did 6 x 1 minute intervals at proposed race pace plus 10%.

    Any input will be appreciated, and I would be interested in what kind of times to expect in my age group. I'm not sure I can do as well in a time trial as a road race in that my personality makes me chase down everyone in front of me, and I always love the sprints on the club rides which I have been winning a fair share of lately.

    I unfortunately will not have a time trial bike, but if I show any promise in March, I will look into getting the appropriate gear.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  5. #5
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    St. Pete? Where's that?
    You should be able to find previous national and state Senior Olympic results on the net. The search engines usually find them. It sounds as if you are plenty fast enough to be competitive. In my state at least 50% of the competitors use road bikes in the time trials. I just throw on some aerobars and deep profile aero wheels for the time trials. I suspect that there is a larger percentage of time trial specific bikes at the nationals. We race Monday and Tuesday mornings, the last week of September. On Monday we race the 10K TT followed by the 20K RR. Tuesday we race the 5K TT followed by the 40K RR. There is enough time between events to make equipment changes.

    Al

  6. #6
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943
    St. Pete? Where's that?
    You should be able to find previous national and state Senior Olympic results on the net. The search engines usually find them. It sounds as if you are plenty fast enough to be competitive. In my state at least 50% of the competitors use road bikes in the time trials. I just throw on some aerobars and deep profile aero wheels for the time trials. I suspect that there is a larger percentage of time trial specific bikes at the nationals. We race Monday and Tuesday mornings, the last week of September. On Monday we race the 10K TT followed by the 20K RR. Tuesday we race the 5K TT followed by the 40K RR. There is enough time between events to make equipment changes.

    Al
    Al: I have done some rather extensive searching, but usually can only find places and names rather than times. For example, I looked up the results of the same event for last year, and it simply showed the various names and their places. What kind of times do you turn for 5 & 10K?

    St. Petersburg, Florida. A very active biking community with daily club rides for every level of rider.
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    I was afraid someone would ask me that. I keep records of average speeds not times. I now average about 22.3 mph on 5 and 10K time trials, maybe a few tenths more under ideal conditions, we have lots of wind. The speeds I've seen for the nationals have been more like 26+ mph in my age group. I would go to the nationals if I could get up around 25, but I've never seen 23.

    Here is a link to the 2003 national results, the nationals are held on odd numbers years:

    http://www.nsga.com/Merchant2/graphi.../03cycling.pdf

    The winning 10K average speed was 26.44 mph in my age group (60-64).

    Al
    Last edited by Al1943; 02-17-05 at 06:54 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943
    I was afraid someone would ask me that. I keep records of average speeds not times. I now average about 22.3 mph on 5 and 10K time trials, maybe a few tenths more under ideal conditions, we have lots of wind. The speeds I've seen for the nationals have been more like 26+ mph in my age group. I would go to the nationals if I could get up around 25, but I've never seen 23.

    Here is a link to the 2003 national results, the nationals are held on odd numbers years:

    http://www.nsga.com/Merchant2/graphi.../03cycling.pdf

    The winning 10K average speed was 26.44 mph in my age group (60-64).

    Al
    Thanks for that URL - that makes an interesting reference source. It is interesting to note that the winning times in the 5K races were worse than the 10K times. For example, the winning speed in your age group in the 5K was only 24 mph, considerably slower than the winning speed in the 10K. Of course it might have been considerably more windy when the 5K was run. I have been doing my one minute intervals at 26-28 mph with the goal of running about 24 mph in the 5K - assuming that it is not a windy day. The course however, runs along the water, and one can always count on a breeze in that area it seems. My race goal will be to break 8 minutes.
    Last edited by skydive69; 02-18-05 at 03:16 AM.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    Interesting. I found the link to my state (Massachusetts). Several of the winners listed only a gold, as opposed to a gold and silver, so it sounds like these races may have fairly sparse attendance. The other way to look at it is that maybe I wouldn't embarass myself too badly

  10. #10
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    It is interesting that 10K times (and speeds) are often better than the 5K times. Actually I think my 10K speed was 0.1 mph faster than my 5K speed. In my case I think I started out a little to hard in the 5K, thinking it is a sprint, it's not.
    I found the road races to be even more fun than the time trials. Going in I was nervous about having wrecks, there were non at our state games. I'd like to think that people in our age group are wiser and more cautious but I know better than that.

    Al

  11. #11
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I'll offer some local 10 mile time trial results if that helps any. I'm in the 50-55 age group and the winner in our age bracket usually averages 25.5-26 mph. This is on a flat, loop course and under pretty decent conditions (minimal wind and no rain). Our local time trial probably has 20-25 people in our age group. The state senior games is not always well attended but the fellow who wins our local events usually wins or places in the top 2-3 on the state level. My best time trial locally has been around 24.6 mph and it got me 3rd in my age group. I've been looking at upgrading my equipment (wheels) and will probably be making a purchase or two pretty soon.

    My good friend in another age bracket said "he bought his PR" this past year by buying a disc rear wheel and Zipp TT front wheel. He still beat me by about 10 seconds so I've got to look at better technology!! It's interesting how it gets the competitive juices flowing.......

    Good luck with your TT's! My experience is that I continue to get a little faster every year and I wish you the same.

  12. #12
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    I'll offer some local 10 mile time trial results if that helps any. I'm in the 50-55 age group and the winner in our age bracket usually averages 25.5-26 mph. This is on a flat, loop course and under pretty decent conditions (minimal wind and no rain). Our local time trial probably has 20-25 people in our age group. The state senior games is not always well attended but the fellow who wins our local events usually wins or places in the top 2-3 on the state level. My best time trial locally has been around 24.6 mph and it got me 3rd in my age group. I've been looking at upgrading my equipment (wheels) and will probably be making a purchase or two pretty soon.

    My good friend in another age bracket said "he bought his PR" this past year by buying a disc rear wheel and Zipp TT front wheel. He still beat me by about 10 seconds so I've got to look at better technology!! It's interesting how it gets the competitive juices flowing.......

    Good luck with your TT's! My experience is that I continue to get a little faster every year and I wish you the same.
    Thanks for the input - interesting info! The new Zipps look pretty good. The combo of a 900 series front with a disc rear wheel looks like a killer TT setup. If I show any promise in my first event, I will probably look seriously into at least a set of Zipps if not a complete TT bike. My TT is exactly a month from today, and I am very excited about the prospect of returning to competition after a 23 year abscence (running).

    Around here, BTW, their are a bunch of ex Pros in the upper fifty through 60's age categories. I might have mentioned it earlier, but a friend of mine who is 68, and an incredible athlete (ran a 2:47 marathon at the age of 55), entered a time trial event, and amazingly took 6th. He would have made the podium in the two fifties age groups and the 60-65 age group. Lots of ringers around here in the upper age groups, which is not surprising for a state like FL.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  13. #13
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I bet your area is well stocked with competition but that will just make your showing that much more gratifying. We have similar situations around here where a few of the 60+ folks are faster than most of the 50's crowd. That's encouraging!

    I'd love to have the Zipp Disc rear wheel but with 3 in college will have to hold off on that-a little pricey for me at this stage. I am looking at the Renn Disc rear wheel which is a good bit heavier but about 40% the price.......I'll probably wind up with a HED 3 front wheel.

    Let me know if you find any great deals in 700c wheels!

    I'm not that good but I'd love to see what I could do with a more aero set-up-frame, bars, etc. Heck the first TT's I did was on my mountain bike with inverts......

  14. #14
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    I bet your area is well stocked with competition but that will just make your showing that much more gratifying. We have similar situations around here where a few of the 60+ folks are faster than most of the 50's crowd. That's encouraging!

    I'd love to have the Zipp Disc rear wheel but with 3 in college will have to hold off on that-a little pricey for me at this stage. I am looking at the Renn Disc rear wheel which is a good bit heavier but about 40% the price.......I'll probably wind up with a HED 3 front wheel.

    Let me know if you find any great deals in 700c wheels!

    I'm not that good but I'd love to see what I could do with a more aero set-up-frame, bars, etc. Heck the first TT's I did was on my mountain bike with inverts......
    I am very excited about the prospect of going up against the best that the area has to offer. One of the things that encourages me is that I know a lot of the long time racers in my age group are at the stage of very slow regression in their times, where I should be improving each year for a few more. I remember when I had been running for two years, I was invited to an invitational master's mile competition. It was my first mile competition since high school. I took second, and the competition was covered in the local newspaper. I was a co-pilot at the time and the winner coincidentally happened to be a pilot also. He made the statement that, "I won because he is a co-pilot and I am a Captain," in his interview. I found it funny, but what I really enjoyed was starting the next year, he ate my dust at all distances. I constantly set new PR's every year through the year that I finally stopped competition.

    I had not planned to compete until I had at least a year and a half of training under my butt, but it was difficult to turn my back on a senior games qualifying event being held right in my area. I know that I will be hurt by the lack of proper equipment, lack of racing experience (none), and lack of an adequate training base. The only thing I have going for me is tons of heart and the willingness to suffer unspeakable pain in order to do my best!

    Being retired, the Zipps are a bit out of my budget, but I have never been one to deny myself toys! I want to earn them though!
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  15. #15
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Great story there Skydive and it sounds like you've got the most important element already.

    I have a daughter who is a terrific example of a lot of heart/motivation. She was never blessed with extraordinary talent but has worked/willed her way onto running cross country and track at a Division I school. Dangle a little medal on a ribbon in front of that kid and she hits another level.......Now if her younger sister with all the talent had 1/2 her older sister's heart no telling what she could do!!! Great kids and wouldn't take them any other way though.

    Let us know how the games go. Should be some excellent training weather! Our TT's don't crank back up until April.

  16. #16
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    Great story there Skydive and it sounds like you've got the most important element already.

    I have a daughter who is a terrific example of a lot of heart/motivation. She was never blessed with extraordinary talent but has worked/willed her way onto running cross country and track at a Division I school. Dangle a little medal on a ribbon in front of that kid and she hits another level.......Now if her younger sister with all the talent had 1/2 her older sister's heart no telling what she could do!!! Great kids and wouldn't take them any other way though.

    Let us know how the games go. Should be some excellent training weather! Our TT's don't crank back up until April.
    I love people with the attitude of your daughter. I used to train with some great runners, and people that could make me suffer in training would wind up standing on a lower level of the podium at the end of a race. Dangle that trophy in front of me, and there is no stopping me! The most excitement I have ever had was in a 5K road race when I was 40. Vince Cartier lived in my town. He had broken Jim Ryan's world high school indoor mile record, and at the time was training with Frank Shorter in Gainsville with the hope of making the '84 olympics as a 5K runner. There were two great runners among about 300 plus participants in this particular race - one was constantly winning road races in the NE and Cartier. I was running in third place running the race of my life with Cartier in site. With about a half mile to go, I found myself in the absolute "zone," and started closing on Cartier. I started to pass him, and I thought that would inspire him to go into another gear. I used to watch him run intervals and he had awesome speed. He did not respond, and the 40 year old fart beat a national class open runner!!
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigring867
    A great number of these folks who can hammer to the extreme are ex-something or others..Olympians-World Champs-Ex Pros or all of the above. From what I have seen at these events...few have just fallen into cycling recently. Its not specific training-equiptment or diet that will ever get you to their level. They have always swam in the deepest parts of the gene pool while the rest of us have been splashing each other in the wadding section of forementioned said pool.
    That may be true in your area but not in mine. And I've met riders at my performance level who have participated at the nationals just for the experience. After all, the truly fast athletes need someone to beat up on.

    Al

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    Call me surprised! I read with amazement that I was in a road race with Skydive69 while I was training with Frank Shorter, preparing for the 1984 Olympics. At the time this 40 year old, ran me down like the dog I must have been to finish 2nd... "I started to pass him, and I thought that would inspire him to go into another gear. I used to watch him run intervals and he had awesome speed. He did not respond, and the 40 year old fart beat a national class open runner!!"... Trying to motivate me by passing me, I guess he was suprised when I did not respond to his breakaway. Well, I am not sure what road race this was. Was it in NJ? I am curious what race it was and where. I don't believe I ever ran any road races in the Northeast from 1977-1987. I was home in NJ usually for just a few days during the Christmas Holidays. As for racing, none that I remember, were run in NJ, as I lived out of state. I did run a couple of races in the spring and fall of 1987. I was running some road races down south, during the 1981-1987 period. Can't say I can remember all of them.. In 1984, I think, if I am not mistaken, I ran but a few races if any and all were local. None were run in Colorado, where Frank, lived at the time. I have to admit, I did train with Frank, at his home in Boulder in the summer of 1975, prior to his Brief European tour. I also visited him there on buisness in 1986 for three days to discuss a proposed road race series. Other than that time, I only really trained with Frank for a few months in Gainesville, in the spring of 1974. I am happy that by by passing me in the last 800 meters and finishing ahead of me, was one of the highlights of Skydive69's life.

  19. #19
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njgator77
    Call me surprised! I read with amazement that I was in a road race with Skydive69 while I was training with Frank Shorter, preparing for the 1984 Olympics. At the time this 40 year old, ran me down like the dog I must have been to finish 2nd... "I started to pass him, and I thought that would inspire him to go into another gear. I used to watch him run intervals and he had awesome speed. He did not respond, and the 40 year old fart beat a national class open runner!!"... Trying to motivate me by passing me, I guess he was suprised when I did not respond to his breakaway. Well, I am not sure what road race this was. Was it in NJ? I am curious what race it was and where. I don't believe I ever ran any road races in the Northeast from 1977-1987. I was home in NJ usually for just a few days during the Christmas Holidays. As for racing, none that I remember, were run in NJ, as I lived out of state. I did run a couple of races in the spring and fall of 1987. I was running some road races down south, during the 1981-1987 period. Can't say I can remember all of them.. In 1984, I think, if I am not mistaken, I ran but a few races if any and all were local. None were run in Colorado, where Frank, lived at the time. I have to admit, I did train with Frank, at his home in Boulder in the summer of 1975, prior to his Brief European tour. I also visited him there on buisness in 1986 for three days to discuss a proposed road race series. Other than that time, I only really trained with Frank for a few months in Gainesville, in the spring of 1974. I am happy that by by passing me in the last 800 meters and finishing ahead of me, was one of the highlights of Skydive69's life.
    Hey Vince:

    The race was the Westfield distance run. I believe it was 1980 or 1981 - I can find it in one of my old log books if you are interested. I was hoping to take first overall as a master's runner, but you and (I cannot remember his name, but he was a constant road race winner in NJ) another ringer showed up. You were perhaps injured or was just having a bad day, but I was running in third place behind you when you started to slow towards the end. I passed you, and having watched your career, including your amazing breaking of Jim Ryan's indoor highschool mile record (I lived in Scotch Plains were you attended school), it was quite a thrill for me to pass you. My theory is that if you come to the line, and someone else crosses the finish line before you - for whatever reason if done fairly, then that person beat you. Hence, I beat you! You and I once had a conversation at the Larson Invitational Track Meet where you were running the open mile, and I was competing in the Master's Mile. I also crossed paths with you ocassionally in Tamaques Park where I have a few thousand miles of training under my belt. The first time I saw you running intervals there, I was amazed at your speed and acceleration.

    BTW, if you are cycling with your aerobic engine and speed, you must be a killer on two wheels!
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

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