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Thread: Life after 50?

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    Life after 50?

    Are we old timers doomed to keeping the decline rate at a minimum or do we have another crack at coming back?
    I took up racing, once again, after some 30 years inactivity. My build-up rate seems much slower than when I was younger and I fear I'll never get the old snap back.
    Anyone with similar or contrary experiences.

    it's all in the head.

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    I've never attempted a comeback but I do know for absoulute certain that it takes longer to attain whatever your max. fitness might be. What took 10 weeks before now takes .................................... err, I'm not sure, but too long.

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    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Well, Skydive69 seems to have found the "Fountain of Youth" right there in Florida, where it is supposed to be. I believe he is a personal friend of Ponce De Leon. You might check out some of his comeback racing posts:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=936058
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 04-14-05 at 09:01 AM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    At 60 I don't worry about comebacks -- other than coming back to the same level of fitness (or very close to it) that I was at last season.

    I wish my kids worried about their fitness. I'm in better shape than any of them.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

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    I'm w/RonH--I'm happy to hold my own from year to year. I worked much harder in my 50s than I ever did in my 20s and 30s (I was a runner then, only a casual cyclist), and I was better at 58 than at, say, 55, but nowhere near what I was at 25.
    You can do a lot, though. Last summer, at 59, I committed early and worked pretty hard all year. I improved quite a bit--lost weight, probably tripled my endurance and felt great. But I didn't actually get much faster, partly because I didn't train for speed (I'm done with intervals), but mostly because I'm just older now.
    The real tough part, though, is getting BACK into shape at our ages. I had a lot of things going on over the winter, plus the worst snowfall in 85 years, so I was off the bike and pretty much out of the gym from December until mid-March. It's REALLY hard to regain fitness at this point.

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    What RonH said word for word; except my age is 62.

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    I spend just enough time to maintain a reasonable, but not fully satisfying, level of fitness. I have already decided that my next career change will be to something less financially rewarding, but also less demanding of my time.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    It's a struggle. However, much smaller achievements seem more significant now than when I was 20.
    Just Peddlin' Around

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    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berts
    Are we old timers doomed to keeping the decline rate at a minimum or do we have another crack at coming back?
    I took up racing, once again, after some 30 years inactivity. My build-up rate seems much slower than when I was younger and I fear I'll never get the old snap back.
    Anyone with similar or contrary experiences.

    it's all in the head.

    That decline rate is a fact of nature. What you have to find is that particular part of riding where experience counts. Have you ever wondered why most of the Longer distance riders are older-- They have experience. I know that for me, a 65 or 100 miler is where I excell. Can't do sprints so don't, but on those longer rides, I have the experience to know how fast to push myself in the early part of the ride. This did not come overnight and there were quite a few rides initially where I "Abandoned" as I "Bonked". (Ran out of body resources). Gradually I gained pace experience and there is nothing more satisfying than catching all the younger riders and letting them know that there is only another 25 miles to go and 5 more hills.
    Only problem is, this does take some degree of fitness to go with the experience so extra training and gym work has a bit to play in this aswell. Even down at the gym I have a reputation amongst the younger riders that I have encouraged to come out with me for a few rides. I may be slow, but don't go for a gentle 50 mile ride with me. All my routes seem to be uphill, but for the few Downhills on the ride, don't try and stay with Doug.---- If only they knew that the experience I have will make them use all their energy on the first two climbs, while I stay back to encourage the slower riders up the hills.

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    Seems like we are far to concerned with "numbers"

    62 gotta retire

    65 Gotta slo down cause I'm gettin old

    70 its all over so get the white shoes , white pants, bridge deck and now I'm OLD

    80 forget every thing, its the end

    I'm 60 plus and my cardiologist told me this old bod has the characteristics and resilience of a man 15 years younger...........so Voila........I now consider myself 45
    and am acting accordingly. Did 10 weeks on my bike last year in Europe. climbed a mountain, (well it was only 11K feet), but am scheduled to go to Africa in September to climb Kilimanjaro, and in January to Argentina to do Aconcauga
    I was up at 5AM this AM rode to Key Biscayne

    A pox on all those who quit cause someone sez they have to "act their age"

    BRAVO to those many on here who give reason to read these forums and give delight from reading their exploits

    My grandmother rode horses and drove carriages into her eigthies, my mother did the same till she slipped on some ice broke a hip bone and the doctor told her no more rideing on but riding in was fine

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    Well, at age 66 I've just learned to ride a unicycle. I was initially encouraged to be told that anyone can do it. All you need is persistence. So I bought one and got into it. I'll spare you the details except to say that persistence will get you there AND NOTHING ELSE WILL. If you can learn to walk then you can learn to unicycle because it's no more difficult (or easy). The feeling of accomplishment is like nothing else I've ever done. Wonderful fun and exercise. Complements the use of my road bike. No brakes, no chains, no handlebars, no Shimano, no shoe cleats. I'm presently learning to ride backwards - try doing that on a bike.

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    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Well, Skydive69 seems to have found the "Fountain of Youth" right there in Florida, where it is supposed to be. I believe he is a personal friend of Ponce De Leon. You might check out some of his comeback racing posts:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=936058
    Yes, the Fountain of Youth is certainly alive and well here in the St. Petersburg, FL area. One of the toughest groups to hang with in this area is the 60-70 year old group, the members of which regularly drop the young studs on group rides. I have a difficult time buying into the "whoa is me, I am getting older mentality." I personally started riding around June first, and my progress was very quick (I started at the age of 65). On Thursday, we rode with one Pro, and one Masters national triathlete champion in town for the St. Anthony's triathlon. The pro took a pull at over 30 mph, and three of us geriatrics were right on his butt. He hit a max of 33.4 mph on that pull BTW. I love the atmosphere around here because we have a plethora of state and national class athletes, and one of our group, Earl Henry, won the world 500 meter sprint championships in the UK last year. He is a favorite to win this year in Canada.

    Come on down - we'll share the elixir of our fountain of youth and give you encouragement and inspiration. BTW Fox, I guess I am aiming most of this towards berts. Mental outlook is vital - we can do it!!

    I wanted to add one more thing. At a recent local senior games championships (age 50 and up), there were two riders in the 90-94 age group. One was my hero, John Sinabaldi - two-time olympian ('32 & '36), 10 time United States Champion, and member of the cyling hall of fame. I love when I see him riding along with the group at 20 some odd miles an hour at the age of 91. I am going to train hard in my attempt to be like him when I grow up! Oh, and yes, the top time in the time trials came from the 65-69 age group even though there were two ex pros and three who had done the race across America in the competition. Aged athletes rule!!

    I hope I didn't bore some of you in that I have spoke of John before, but I want to encourage berts with what can be accomplished by us alleged geriatrics!
    Last edited by skydive69; 04-23-05 at 03:35 PM.
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    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    A guy in our club that's over 60 does seem to have slowed down a little lately. It may be because he turned 79 this year and also because he didn't ride his usual 10,000+ miles last year due to health problems... his wife's.
    Dennis T

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    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Great to hear of folks in their 90's riding 20 mph!

    I am just a bit addicted to the mountains. ANy of those in Florida?

    As I remember my geography it is flat?
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tedward
    Well, at age 66 I've just learned to ride a unicycle.
    All you need is persistence.
    So I bought one and got into it. I'll spare you the details except to say that persistence will get you there AND NOTHING ELSE WILL. The feeling of accomplishment is like nothing else I've ever done. I'm presently learning to ride backwards - try doing that on a bike.
    ALLRIGHT tedward!
    My wife bought me one last week for my birthday coming up (58th). I was really pleased!
    Any hints tips appreciated, but already figured persistence is the key. Just learning and It sure is tricky!!!!!!!

    And travelingman - sure liked your post.

    Ditto for DF!
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

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    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Great to hear of folks in their 90's riding 20 mph!

    I am just a bit addicted to the mountains. ANy of those in Florida?

    As I remember my geography it is flat?
    That is one thing we unfortunately miss out on in Florida. There are lots of areas with nice rolling country, but I would kill to ride in the mountains. We are usually relegated to doing bridge repeats.

    Yes, one day we were in the warm-up stage of our club ride. We were doing 22 mph, and I found my self on the wheel of John Sinibaldi. I sort of just savored the moment to be riding on the wheel of an ex olympian/national champion who is 91. I found it very stimulating! He still uses his clip pedals, and thinks it is a bad thing to drink water while riding. I am amazed at the misconceptions from his time.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

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    Kinda think maybe Dnvrfox should be the recipient of the First Annual Award for Motivation for Fifty+ers.... shall we take a poll or just award it by acclimation?

    And since I finally conquered rollerblades I just may give a unicycle a chance to humble me

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    [QUOTE=Travelinguyrt]Kinda think maybe Dnvrfox should be the recipient of the First Annual Award for Motivation for Fifty+ers.... shall we take a poll or just award it by acclimation?

    He's sure got my Vote!!!!!!!!
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Baron
    ALLRIGHT tedward!
    My wife bought me one last week for my birthday coming up (58th). I was really pleased!
    Any hints tips appreciated, but already figured persistence is the key. Just learning and It sure is tricky!!!!!!!

    And travelingman - sure liked your post.

    Ditto for DF!
    Hi, Red Baron.
    I'm a mere novice and not qualified to instruct, but I am certain that you will master your unicycle if you practice regularly.
    At present your brain has no control software to handle the task, but it will synthesise its own software from the data that you regularly supply through practice.
    One day you will be aware that something "just clicked". That's when your software program becomes operational. You have a conditioned reflex on tap which thereafter makes active thought unnecessary. You just "do it".
    There is no preferred method of learning as it is all grist to the mill enabling the brain to produce a method of simultaneously controlling pitch, roll and yaw in airplane parlance. That miraculous brain that enabled you to walk has to go through the same basic procedures that it did in your childood to enable you to unicycle. It won't happen overnight. It took me a month. But you (or anyone else) can get there.
    It's worth it.

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    People like Travelinguyrt and Skydive69 are true inspiration.
    the optimistism and eternal youth reflected in their responses serves as real motivation. Thanks for your moral support.
    Since writing the first "LIfe after 50?" i took 3rd, 1st and 2nd in three early season events here in israel. Still don't have the sprint (probably never did) but i hope to take the championships in june.
    As stapfam wrote - "What you have to find is that particular part of riding where experience counts." I'll add endurance since that is one parameter apprently less affected by age.

    It's all in the head

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    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berts
    People like Travelinguyrt and Skydive69 are true inspiration.
    the optimistism and eternal youth reflected in their responses serves as real motivation. Thanks for your moral support.
    Since writing the first "LIfe after 50?" i took 3rd, 1st and 2nd in three early season events here in israel. Still don't have the sprint (probably never did) but i hope to take the championships in june.
    As stapfam wrote - "What you have to find is that particular part of riding where experience counts." I'll add endurance since that is one parameter apprently less affected by age.

    It's all in the head
    Super berts!! Sprinting, unfortunately, is something we are born with. You either have those natural fast twitch muscles or you don't. I work on my sprinting, but a sprinter I will never be. I do manage to win some of the club sprints, but it is more from strategic wheel sucking, and jumping at an opportune moment.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

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    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travelinguyrt
    Kinda think maybe Dnvrfox should be the recipient of the First Annual Award for Motivation for Fifty+ers.... shall we take a poll or just award it by acclimation?

    And since I finally conquered rollerblades I just may give a unicycle a chance to humble me
    Add my vote. I don't think I could ever master the unicycle - I am still working hard on mastering my standard cycle skills.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

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    www.getafolder.com wpflem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydive69
    I wanted to add one more thing. At a recent local senior games championships (age 50 and up), there were two riders in the 90-94 age group. One was my hero, John Sinabaldi - two-time olympian ('32 & '36), 10 time United States Champion, and member of the cyling hall of fame. I love when I see him riding along with the group at 20 some odd miles an hour at the age of 91. I am going to train hard in my attempt to be like him when I grow up! Oh, and yes, the top time in the time trials came from the 65-69 age group even though there were two ex pros and three who had done the race across America in the competition. Aged athletes rule!!
    Sure would be nice to see a recent action photo of John Sinabaldi on his bike.
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    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wpflem
    Sure would be nice to see a recent action photo of John Sinabaldi on his bike.
    Ask and ye shall receive. Here is a picture of John finishing a time trial competiton last month at the Senior Games. He will be at the Nationals in Utah this year.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by berts
    People like Travelinguyrt and Skydive69 are true inspiration.
    the optimistism and eternal youth reflected in their responses serves as real motivation. Thanks for your moral support.
    Since writing the first "LIfe after 50?" i took 3rd, 1st and 2nd in three early season events here in israel. Still don't have the sprint (probably never did) but i hope to take the championships in june.
    As stapfam wrote - "What you have to find is that particular part of riding where experience counts." I'll add endurance since that is one parameter apprently less affected by age.

    It's all in the head
    Maybe you can also take some inspiration from this:

    The average age of participants in the 1200km Paris-Brest-Paris randonnee in 2003 was 49 years. It doesn't take much in the way of mathematics to understand that *almost* most were over the age of 50. The oldest was a famous English character Jack Eason who was, IIRC, 78. He is a true ancien*, and although he didn't finish in 2003 through injury, he finished quite a few PBPs beforehand (remembering that PBP is held every four years). * ancien is a word to describe finishers of PBP and I am proud to be one of them.

    Randonnees are tough events, even more so at the higher level. That 1200km must be finished within 90 hours. The older riders have a real advantage -- their mental and emotional tenacity are outstanding, and their ability to plan and stick to a plan is vital. Yes, 18-year-olds complete the course, but they are like hen's teeth out there. In fact, it is a rare under-30 who can go the distance within the time limit.

    And, off on a tangent or two...

    A touring friend of mine won countless road and track titles in his day. He just potters now, being in his mid-60s, but he and his wife (who has battled and won against breast cancer with two mastectomies) organise various tours that have left unwitting, cocky and younger participants in tears because of their ruggedness (well, not rugged for Tasmanians -- that's what we do for a ride).

    Even at his age, his calves are something to behold. I sat at a cafe and couldn't help nudge the person next to me to look at these "things" on the lower half of Tony's legs. Amazing.

    If someone starts to get too frisky, say up a hill, Tony just goes up a gear (*literally* and loaded, of course!!!) gets up beside the errant rider and asks a question that requires an answer much, much longer than a simple "yes". Have you ever tried to hold a conversation with someone breathing normally while you're panting like a dog in the middle of the desert with an empty water bowl?

    Oh yes, he's also caught out a few youngsters with the simple question: "What's that wrong with your chain?" as he draws alongside. It's an old racing trick for novices, but works just as effectively on tour too keep order in the group.

    Yes, age definitely has its advantages.

    Oh, and we've just awarded what is known as the Legends Awards to a couple, John and Grace, who have been organising rides for a particuar Thursday group for as long as anyone can remember -- probably 30 years or more. He has had two hip replacements, and various other ailments, but still keeps bouncing back. He is in his mid-80s now.

    One of the winners of the inaugural award the previous year (2004) was a guy, universally known as Squizzy, who was a Commonwealth Games and Australian champion rower way, way back, and who had a large softball-sized cancer removed from his abdomen two years ago. He almost died and when I saw him after the surgery, he was almost a skeleton because of the post-surgery treatment. The surgeons and specialists all agreed that his fitness through cycling not only saved his life, but also allowed him to recover to return to riding, touring and a bit of vets racing. When I saw him at this year's Legends presentation, he was back to the old Squizzy.

    The other winner of that award? A woman, Margaret, in her mid-60s who decided to cycle from Hobart to visit her children. One lived in New South Wales... and one lived on the other side of the continent in one of the remotest locations your could find -- Broome on the far north-west coast of Western Australia. Her 13,000km trip was done solo. She then upped the ante after that one with another 16,000 tour last year, also to visit children and relatives.

    I've got more, if you're interested...

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