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Old 03-16-05, 02:20 PM   #1
HiYoSilver
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What do you do/say when you see an old dude struggling?

It must be spring. Yeah I know it was 35F this morning, but still new riders are out there.

What do you say, or do, when you see an old dude, you know someone over 50, struggling along with an old bike and looking like he's hurting?

This morning, I was so surprised to see this guy struggling and barely going 5 or 6 or 7 mph max, that I just safely passed and continued on. But I'm wondering if maybe there might be a better approach. On the one hand you have to admire the old guy for just being out there and pedaling. But on the other hand, you get concerned that his example might discourage others from giving biking a try.

If happens again, expect I'll at least say good morning. Any ideas of anything else that might be more encouraging?
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Old 03-16-05, 03:23 PM   #2
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He knows what he looks like. But he's proud to be out there.
He may have health problems that make it painful to ride, so just in case, I would say something encouraging, let him know he's still part of the fraternity.
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Old 03-16-05, 03:47 PM   #3
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What do you do/say when you see an old dude struggling?
I say, "I wish this mirror wasn't always in front of me!"
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Old 03-16-05, 04:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
It must be spring. Yeah I know it was 35F this morning, but still new riders are out there.

What do you say, or do, when you see an old dude, you know someone over 50, struggling along with an old bike and looking like he's hurting?

This morning, I was so surprised to see this guy struggling and barely going 5 or 6 or 7 mph max, that I just safely passed and continued on. But I'm wondering if maybe there might be a better approach. On the one hand you have to admire the old guy for just being out there and pedaling. But on the other hand, you get concerned that his example might discourage others from giving biking a try.

If happens again, expect I'll at least say good morning. Any ideas of anything else that might be more encouraging?
In this area (West coast of Florida), the only old dudes you see struggling are old dudes struggling (successfully) as they kick young butt on our group rides. We have the most incredible collection of over age 60 athletes I have ever seen. Many of them have had, or are still enjoying very successful racing careers. Of course part of it is due to the number of retirees with ample training time, and weather that allows all year, high quality training.
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Old 03-16-05, 04:06 PM   #5
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What do you do/say when you see an old dude struggling?
I don't see "old" dudes struggling that often. It's usually the younger ones trying to show off too early in the season.
When I do see someone (any age) struggling, I say, "nice day for riding" or something pleasant and cheerful.
Sometimes it's me that's struggling. Then I say, "get your fat @$$ moving!"
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Old 03-16-05, 05:20 PM   #6
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Simply say "good day!" Any day that you can get out and ride a bike is a good day for me.
One time I came up on this nice lady that was in the wrong gear and looking like she was about to go backwards. I simply said that she would do better in lower gear in front and the big gear in the back. Then I find that she did not know how to change the gears and once done she simply said that she had the bike for 2 years and never changed the gears. Keep in mind that some of the cyclists are making another try at something we do all the time. The Bikes now are not the same as they new before.
Sometimes I ask if they are okay. You never know if they are lost or disoriented. I am not shy to ask.

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Old 03-16-05, 05:29 PM   #7
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You must have met a twin of my wife. She can't do gears. Her bike has a ring she twists from 1 to 7 and that is about all she can handle right now.

I bet he was having gearing problems, duh. Thanks for the hint.
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Old 03-16-05, 07:28 PM   #8
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I was going up a steep hill last year - sweating like crazy, a older guy pulled up beside me and said "Buddy- you OK?" . I said "Yes- thank you" It surely surprised me.

I musta looked pretty bad, but felt good. Made me 'stroke harder'
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Old 03-16-05, 07:53 PM   #9
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I always say hello to any cyclist I see. Older cyclists almost always reply. Young cyclists usually reply too, but often seem surprised that I'd speak to them. If I see anyone on an interesting bike, I often ask them about their bicycle (given an opportunity). They're usually eager to share their opinions, and I find the information helpful. It is also good (in general) to be able to strike up conversations at will - a useful skill to have in business and in life.
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Old 03-16-05, 08:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
when you see an old dude, you know someone over 50,
Uh - 50 isn't nearly as old as it used to be. Actually, I'm not sure that it's even legal to use the number 50 as an age and the word "old" in the same sentence on this forum. Please be more sensitive to this in the future or we'll have to relagate you to a newly formed "Whippersnapper" forum.
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Old 03-16-05, 09:16 PM   #11
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I say "Good Morning!"or "Aloha!", and I smile and nod to the people accross the street going the other way.
We need to radiate the joy of riding and model it for everyone to see.
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Old 03-17-05, 10:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Uh - 50 isn't nearly as old as it used to be. Actually, I'm not sure that it's even legal to use the number 50 as an age and the word "old" in the same sentence on this forum.
Interesting, you are trying to live up to your last name. But doesn't sound retro to me. Sounds more like just crossed over the hill, or having a hard time dealing with being on the downhill run. 50 is 50 is 50. 40 somethings tend to pretend they are in the late 30's, but still have same calendar age. As a society we have done better in having a life expectancy age being younger than chronological ages.

Even more interesting Webster has "old" as "been in existence a long time, but the phrase "middle age" means "between the years of about 40 to about 65". So "old age" is "when strength and vigor decline". Old is relative, like a 5 year old calling the 40 year old grandparent, OLD.

In this case the dude was old: 1. old bike, 2. old style clothing, i.e. grandparent clothing, and 3. struggling to move.

The assumption he used to hae more strength and vigor may not be true, but assume it is as he was working to get to better shape. The real problem is not with the word "old" but with the common association of "old" with words like "decrepit, doddering, senile, wasted, outdated, passe, relic, feeble, rusty. and old coot." Most everyone on this forum may be old, i.e over 50, but is fighting not to have any of the above words associated with them any sooner then necessary. In fact, don't we all want to set a new example that shouts "old" is not feeble?

Please be more IN-sensitive to this in the future or we'll have to automatically redirect your posts to the newly formed "Antediluvian" forum.
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Old 03-18-05, 01:14 PM   #13
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When I started with this bike bit I was on the down side of loosing my wife and had ballooned well past 250...grief makes sitting and eating easy. I bought the bike, assembled it, and proceeded to dodder down the neighborhood roads as one of the more decrepit examples on two wheels. One fat slob git (my age) standing in his front yard nudged his equally fat git wife and they had a good laugh at my expense. That was then...he is still a fat git with a fat git wife standing in his yard with his hose in one hand and a beer in the other. Me? I'm riding my bike. There's 50# less of me. He ain't laughing but I am. He who laughs last.....
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Old 03-19-05, 07:54 AM   #14
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I noticed yesterday, some younger riders almost drop their bike when you simply say good morning. Maybe it's time to set an example and greet fellow riders regularly.
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Old 03-19-05, 09:47 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by RonH
When I do see someone (any age) struggling, I say, "nice day for riding" or something pleasant and cheerful.
Sometimes it's me that's struggling. Then I say, "get your fat @$$ moving!"
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Old 03-21-05, 01:15 PM   #16
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I think a salutation or pleasantry is really helpful. I appreciated the positive vibes from the more able bodied and maybe tried harder as a result. I try to do the same for others because this is a sport that can accommodate many different abilities and physiques and ultimately, improve all of us. I do not generally get invasive as far as making suggestions as I figure that my knowledge base isn't anything to write home about. If a person wants my help/opinion, I expect them to ask for it. The thing that is bugging me is the lifestyles that I see so commonly in my age group. There is going to be a health care crisis that is largely self-induced! That is why I am jazzed everytime I see someone "struggling"...beats sitting in front of the TV with a sack of potato chips.
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Old 03-24-05, 10:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
It must be spring. Yeah I know it was 35F this morning, but still new riders are out there.

What do you say, or do, when you see an old dude, you know someone over 50, struggling along with an old bike and looking like he's hurting?

This morning, I was so surprised to see this guy struggling and barely going 5 or 6 or 7 mph max, that I just safely passed and continued on. But I'm wondering if maybe there might be a better approach. On the one hand you have to admire the old guy for just being out there and pedaling. But on the other hand, you get concerned that his example might discourage others from giving biking a try.

If happens again, expect I'll at least say good morning. Any ideas of anything else that might be more encouraging?
Your thoughts reminded me of something that really uplifted my mood one day. I'm 53 years old. Two years ago, I was about 3 1/2 weeks into my self-contained tour (about 50 lbs of cargo), in Kentucky, pedaling HARD to get up a very long, steep hill. Worse, I had been injured a few days earlier, and it was really bothering me.

On the other side of the road, a young teen boy followed by a man in his thirties were jogging, and they had no trouble passing me by. They eventually reached the top of the hill, and I lost sight of them. Although a little embarrassed about that, I put my nose to the handlebars and pushed on.

Further up, but not yet at the top of the hill, I suddenly saw the two males now joggin toward me, but now on my side of the road. The boy passed me first, and then the man came towards me. He yelled, "Way to go!!!" For a moment, I thought maybe he was being a wise guy. But no--his facial expression told me otherwise. He seemed genuinely supportive and impressed of my physical exertion--especially for an oldster. In fact, he may have been the young boy's coach, because he sure was dressed like one.

Anyway, his words resounded in my mind and heart, and that was what I needed to keep me going until I reach the top of the hill.

Words are quite powerful. Even from a stranger.

Wolfy
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Old 03-24-05, 11:17 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
What do you say, or do, when you see an old dude, you know someone over 50, struggling along with an old bike and looking like he's hurting?
I say "Huf Huf Huf. . . Hey buddy, wait for me! . . . Huf Huf Huf"
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Old 03-24-05, 11:31 AM   #19
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I hope I am never in such a hurry that I don't have time to chat for awhile with those I meet along the way. We encourage each other when we slow down enough and say a few words that make it quite certain that we are both just human beings doing something we enjoy. I've struggled along (well before I got old) and had some hammerheads come by and offer their encouragement. Now 20 years later when I can average almost double what I averaged as a youngster of 40 I have a duty to humanity and to cycling to pass on words of encouragement whenever the opportunity arises.
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Old 03-24-05, 12:53 PM   #20
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...We encourage each other when we slow down enough and say a few words that make it quite certain that we are both just human beings doing something we enjoy...
Well said, Ja!
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Old 03-24-05, 01:27 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Baron
I was going up a steep hill last year - sweating like crazy, a older guy pulled up beside me and said "Buddy- you OK?" . I said "Yes- thank you" It surely surprised me.

I musta looked pretty bad, but felt good. Made me 'stroke harder'
Don't very often get older riders out on our hills, but when you do see them they are quite happy cycling along at their pace. Major problem is that I am the Old Dude being asked by the 25 year olds if I am OK. What they don't realise is that I have a Plan-- The sooner I can get to the top of that Hill, The sooner I can start the Downhill bit where I do Excel.- Until that next bit of uphill where courtesy allows them to catch me up again.
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Old 03-28-05, 08:33 PM   #22
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Almost every day I ride by an older dude. He's wearing a reflective vest and riding an old mountain bike with a milk crate mounted on the back. He always smiles at me and moves his fist in circles like a crank. I think this should be the universal greeting or salute for cyclists. Sometimes he says, "Faster, faster, faster," even though I'm going probably 7mph quicker than him. Funny thing is, whenever I see him, I start cranking a little faster--and a lot happier!
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