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Masters Racing (All Disciplines) Race on the track or road or on your mountainbike in the Masters Category? Want to talk tactics, strategy and training with your peers?

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Old 01-04-16, 06:11 PM   #1
Bandera 
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Emeritus: Retired Racers Still Riding

Cycling can be a Lifetime sport.
Adaptation to the machine, bike handling skills, endurance, power and speed hard earned for competition can carry on as a solid basis for still moving right smartly along with some dignity and style as we continue to turn the cranks when racing is long done.

The New Season has started as always with base miles on the fixed gear.
Why mess with tradition?

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Old 01-10-16, 08:28 PM   #2
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Just saw this. I retired last year due to medical complications. I had a lot of unfinished business, thus it has been a very, very difficult transition. I miss racing so much. But that's where life's road has taken me, and there's no need to ruin the rest of it obsessing about something I cannot have.

I do my best to ride or work out in the gym 5x/week. I'm enjoying riding with the club and online on Zwift.

Ride on.
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Old 01-10-16, 08:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
I had a lot of unfinished business
Isn't that how it is: One more bite at the apple that just doesn't happen?
Let it go: Done is Done w/ competition certainly does not mean that one gives up the routine of getting out on the bike and moving right smartly along because that's what we did/still do with some style.

There must be lots of us who have lined up and had at it in ABL of A, USCF and NORBA competition who are still riding today because we enjoy being on the bike.
Retired from racing is not an End to cycling but a good solid base for more miles/years on the bike as we please/health allows.

Ride on indeed.

-Bandera
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Last edited by Bandera; 01-10-16 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 01-11-16, 12:12 AM   #4
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Shovel, you accomplished more than most folks who take up this sport. Talent helps, but you also did the work ferociously and used your brain. You certainly walk away with your head held high.

I retired from motorcycle racing twice. Like cycling, you climb one mountain and see the other one off in the distance. There is always another mountain. The first retirement was the hardest, I had a good program put together for a national championship run and they changed the class just before the start of the season. 6 months of work building the bike, working sponsors and fabricators for freebies...gone. No time to start over.

I had enough at that point of eating out of generic food boxes and working the equivalent of 3 full-time jobs. At 26 I was "too old" for the factory teams without that title to knock open a few checkbooks. So I walked away from a dream I had since I was 9. Couldn't go to a race or watch on TV for years.

Farted around with it in my late 30's and early 40's. Won a couple of regional half ass championships and decided the hours:race ratio wasn't worth it. Much easier to leave on my terms that time.
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Old 01-11-16, 04:10 AM   #5
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It's interesting to ask oneself, as a non-racer, whether one still has goals in cycling and if so, what they are? Obviously enjoying being on the bike, but is that enough or do you need something more specific?

I've said in other threads that the data doesn't grab my attention in itself, so I'm not about to buy a PM and set a target of maintaining 90% of my peak w/kg or whatever. I can easily see why others would do that, though. Quite apart from anything else, it would be a good way of ensuring one retained a very high level of fitness, and there's a pretty good correlation, I believe, between keeping the VO2max and staying healthy into old age.

So staying really fit is high on my agenda, and the bike is my favourite form of exercise. It's also a big source of pleasure for me in terms of my mental health and well-being. Long days on the bike have been highly meditative for me. A lot of the time I am riding along acutely aware of my surroundings, and myself, but with my conscious mind largely out of the way. And there's a big link between the two, for me: mens sana in corpore sano, and all that.

So my goals these days, while not strictly quantifiable, are essentially about health and fitness and pure pleasure. I need to stay fit enough to have no problem with five or six hours a day on the bike when loaded touring, and to relish, rather than merely endure, riding in even the most challenging terrain. That'll do.
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Old 01-11-16, 06:25 AM   #6
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I think where Bandera was going with this thread is that we can be competitors in one phase of life, and when that phase passes, we can still do the same things we always did, just out of competition.

I get that, and it's true. When competing there were times when I obsessed over my numbers. Training with structure can be addicting. You see this all over the 33. I don't do that anymore. I still ride fully instrumented, partly because it makes me honest and it's partly Pavlovian. You ride that way for so long, and the numbers meant so much, that it's become part of riding. I don't have to look at the screen. It doesn't take away the enjoyment of riding. If I was obsessed, it could, but I'm not.

There's no way I could keep the VO2Max I had when racing without being on a program, and it makes no sense for me to be on a program if I'm not. I wasn't born with great genetics, I had to work really hard at this sport, and manage my fitness to peak at the right times in order to race at the level I was racing at. As I aged I found this harder to do on my own, hence having Ex coach me, which worked out better than I ever thought it would. But that was then, and this is now. It is what it is.

Nowadays when we have those little competitions in the group, if I'm tapped out, I've learned to let them ride away. It's ok not to be the rider you once were. Ride within yourself, and make enjoyment the win.
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Old 01-11-16, 09:53 AM   #7
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Interesting responses. I was still competitive locally in Masters and 2's into my early 40's. I left with some unfinished business, seemed like I always had an injury or work complication around Masters Nats and a scheduled trip to Worlds the year I stopped competing (mid season). But overall I was happy with my decision at the time, had no regrets and didn't feel like I had anything left to prove to myself.

A lot of twists and turns since then. Several moves, an awesome son (now in HS and batching it with Dad) and accomplishing most of my career goals. Still rode once or twice a week but nothing regular. Got back on the bike "full time" a couple years ago to regain my bearings while going through a divorce. Thought I could just ride, lol.

Unlike chasm54 I can not resist the seduction of numbers, patterns and structure. And I have to progress, I can not just do. Must be the engineer in me or some form of OCD. Adding a power meter to my ride last year was the final blow, I should have known. 20 lbs shed and a couple bouts with structure later, finds me now revising and digging into old training plans and considering my next move. I may be content to just chase numbers for a while but sooner or later I'll be pinning a number on again.
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Old 01-11-16, 10:11 AM   #8
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@Voodoo76, we are kindred souls. Except for the fact that I have zero prior background in cycling. But I too love numbers, patterns, structure. Interval workouts are right up my alley. I really like to ride my bike, trust me. But I'm never even tempted to ride off schedule. If its not on the schedule, it does not occur to my brain to even want to ride.

@shovelhd, I was riding a double century last summer & got dropped by the guys I was riding with in a section of gnarly headwinds. I came upon this Mexican pace line- it was a group of Hispanic cyclists out of Chula Vista- and I rode with them for 60 miles until I found some friends at a rest stop. They were riding a nice rational double pace line.

The group was called Ride with Javi. Javi (Javier), their mentor, was out on the course with the group (following in a van), I actually thought he was part of the ride organization.

Once I found friends to finish with & was leaving the Mexicans behind, I went over to the group to say goodbye, thank them for including me in their group, and to give them some props on their pace line. Javi was having a meeting with them, they were being reminded about not letting gaps open up in their pace line. I chatted with Javi too, and realized he was doing a very good thing, opening up cycling to the type of people who the USA Cycling system is not designed for.

You hear comments all the time about the lack of whatever type of rider showing up for races. I think it's really hard to fully understand why that happens when you are part of the group the system is designed for. But when you're outside it, you see exactly how it happens, the little differences are all cumulative until the gap is so wide that it's not worth trying to bridge for the outsider.

I know you are a USAC official and your intention is to move up that ladder. And that might actually be the prefect use of your skills, background, experience, personality, etc. I have no idea. But you could also be someone who opens doors. I'm not talking about the training races for people who already want to race. But opening minds that might not have ever considered it and would never show up for a training race. Food for thought. Maybe this is what cycling clubs do or are supposed to do. I have so little experience in this world so far, all the cycling clubs I know are all about trying to advance yourself to ride with somebody stronger or about never ever competing or pushing anyone so as to not make anyone feel bad. No group I know tries to bring people along and show them what's possible. That's what that guy Javi was doing and it was pretty awesome to see quite honestly.

Last edited by Heathpack; 01-11-16 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 01-11-16, 10:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voodoo76 View Post
sooner or later I'll be pinning a number on again.
The Comeback!
It's always in back of the mind isn't it regardless of:

"I'm Done!"
"No, I'm not training for anything just getting out on the bike a little."

@Voodoo76 voices what old warhorses have whispering from the limbic system all the time: "Just One more time....."

-Bandera
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Old 01-11-16, 12:15 PM   #10
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HP thanks for your thoughts. I do belong to a great cycling club with a large variety of members. Most do not race or want to race. I will mentor on group rides. There's always one jerk in every crowd but for the most part my comments are taken the right way. During the high season I sometimes choose to ride with the C group (I am an A). These are always great experiences. Sometimes a little sketchy but I'm ready for that. Riding with them brings me back to why I started riding in the first place, for fresh air, a little exercise, and friendship. They have questions and I'll answer every one of them.

What I equally enjoy is teaching new racers, like when I was an instructor at CDR's Cat5 clinics. Start with the fundamentals, then progress into tactics, training, reading races, and how to win by using your strengths. I would love to be a part of a USAC BRP program.
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