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Turned 60

Old 01-24-17, 12:21 PM
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jlstrat
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Turned 60

I turned 60 in 2016, and I noticed a few things. I don't like to ride in rain when it's under 50 (Fahrenheit), I don't respond as well to single digit temps (greater danger of upper respiratory problems), and I actually felt afraid when I rode on the ice last year. The last one was because there's so much more traffic and drivers are so careless, but some of it is a worry that if I fall, I'm not going to bounce back was easily as I did a few years ago. I used to ride no matter what the weather conditions, and I still got in more than 5000 miles, but I wonder if I'm just getting to be an old age wuss.
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Old 01-24-17, 12:38 PM
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I turned 50 on crutches from slipping on ice (in coastal CA no less), and all the rest you describe as wussification had set in even before that. So you are doing great.
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Old 01-24-17, 12:40 PM
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It has been said that wisdom is something you aquire right after you need it. It seems you have gotten this bit of wisdom right way around. I'm now nearly 80. I generally have not minded cold too much but this year I'm seeing a change. But as long as I can ride I'm satisfied even when conditions are a bit more trying.

Last edited by berner; 01-25-17 at 11:20 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-24-17, 12:44 PM
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At 55 I do not ride with anything near ice on pavement. Broke a hip year ago and thank the lord was ok. 3 screws back running in 11 weeks road my trainer week after surgery. Running in cold first week of December got terrible upper respiratory infection last 3 weeks bronchitis and steroids to get over. Never dealt with that years ago just ran and road even sick.

Age clearly is when we heal much slower. I finally after 30 years of running bought a treadmill. I stay in if it is windy and never run in slick conditions. These days if I can get a run or a ride in with only minimal complaints I feel blessed. At 60 I can see even more take it easy and be careful days.

Even up until 45-50 I would get an ache or pain and gone in 24 hours or not much, but now I have seen a small ache hang on and get worse. I did a 15 mile ride Sunday afternoon after running 4 miles early am. I felt great and wanted to hammer but decide since I had not been on the bike consistently no need to flair up odd joints and muscles. I just want to keep at it so caution is the way.
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Old 01-24-17, 12:49 PM
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You're confusing wisdom with wussiness.

A buddy and I were just discussing this on a ski lift recently. It used to be that we'd jump into the most difficult, bumpy terrain. I think a lot of the reason we'd do it was because (1) peer pressure and (2) this misapprehension that we would actually get better at it over time, and then it would be fun.

At our age now, I don't give a rip for peer pressure, and I know damn well I'm not getting any better. As far as riding in inclement weather:

Pros:

If you're really a one pony show, you get to ride your pony.

Cons:

Bad visibility.
Slippery surfaces.
You gotta clean your bike when you're done.
It generally sucks.
If you're not a one pony show, there are other, more appropriate ponies to ride.
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Old 01-24-17, 12:54 PM
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you are not becoming a wuss, just maturing, from a 70 something who has been there for a while
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Old 01-24-17, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jlstrat View Post
I turned 60 in 2016, and I noticed a few things. I don't like to ride in rain when it's under 50 (Fahrenheit), I don't respond as well to single digit temps (greater danger of upper respiratory problems), and I actually felt afraid when I rode on the ice last year. The last one was because there's so much more traffic and drivers are so careless, but some of it is a worry that if I fall, I'm not going to bounce back was easily as I did a few years ago. I used to ride no matter what the weather conditions, and I still got in more than 5000 miles, but I wonder if I'm just getting to be an old age wuss.
This may just be a case of late acquired common sense. (unless tires were studded, of course)

J.
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Old 01-24-17, 02:18 PM
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One's core body temperature drops as one ages. There are ways to work with this: warming herbs such as cayenne, ginger and ginseng are all helpful. Anything that increases circulation will help. It is not your imagination, so people like us (I'm right behind you, will be 60 in Nov) just have to understand the physiology and prepare a little bit better.
The reality of injury/illness is that we won't bounce back as quickly or as easily as we did when we were eighteen. Being more cautious on something as insidious as ice is a good indication that you have learned from your experiences in life.
Not everyone has.
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Old 01-24-17, 04:03 PM
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Discretion is the better part of valor.
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Old 01-24-17, 09:41 PM
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I keep having to remind myself I'm 59 and only a year and a half back in the saddle after more than 30 years away. Last time I rode it was strictly a road bike in the 1970s-'80s and back then I hated anything but smooth pavement. Too many falls on patches of gravel and sand.

I resumed cycling in the summer of 2015 on a comfort hybrid with bigger tires and a spring suspension fork. Seems plain vanilla to some folks but to me it was a revelation. Suddenly I realized I could easily ride gravel trails and even off road without problems. The suspension fork and 700x40 tires grabbed on and rolled over bumps, washboard ruts and sand washes without drama.

Instead of going back to a road bike after getting back into shape I got an early '90s rigid fork mountain bike and cyclocross type tires. Most rides I'd rather take the gravel trails than paved MUP.

But every time I'm tempted to get too cute and tricky I re-watch this video and remind myself I don't bounce like a 20 year old.


Last edited by canklecat; 01-24-17 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 01-24-17, 10:21 PM
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I became hyper safety conscious after passing 61. Within 3 years I resigned from ski patrol and USFS wilderness ranger (volunteer organizations), as i began to fear the physical aspects of each. i have also curtailed riding on many of the roads in the area.

Not sure if my fears were based in reality or if it's a psychosis. In my case probably the latter.

edit: I still enjoy my hobbies (skiing, backpacking, cycling & kayaking), but at a lower level of participation/exertion.

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Old 01-24-17, 10:35 PM
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I'm looking at 67 in a couple of days. What do I not do anymore? I don't ride on ice or snow, which I used to do sometimes in the past. It was a given that if I did that then I would fall down at some point. No problem. I remember riding home from work during Atlanta's Snow Jam in '82 and falling down once. No problem. Could be more of a problem now although I'm nowhere near frail. What do I continue to do? I still play in the streets on my bike in traffic! Whee!
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Old 01-25-17, 06:05 AM
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I turn 60 this year so I'm right on your back wheel. The only thing changed this year is winter riding I'm more cautious of conditions. It's a blessing of ours to live in a quaint small town setting where cycling is popular (though not many winter ride on a regular basis).
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Old 01-25-17, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post

But every time I'm tempted to get too cute and tricky I re-watch this video and remind myself I don't bounce like a 20 year old.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzZkKE9Z35g&
+1 I did the MB flip in my 50s and broke my wrist, a RB flip at 66 and broke my collar bone, and a RB crash at 68 and broke my hip. I have become downright paranoid now. I don't ride on slick roads and I don't go for the high speed downhills. Temps at which I will ride go down every year. I spend the DC winters on an exercycle at the gym. I was not an extreme or competitive rider, just a bit careless. Be careful out there and avoid the dumb mistakes I made.
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Old 01-25-17, 07:42 AM
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old guys know stuff
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Old 01-25-17, 07:54 AM
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Welcome to the club. I turned 60 last year.

When you're young you can bounce back from a crash. Mostly. Nowadays it's more like a splat with no bounce.

So I experience all those feelings as well. Have felt them for several years. I find I'm more afraid of heights but don't really have vertigo. Just worried about the possible consequences.
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Old 01-25-17, 08:37 AM
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I was 63 when I started riding...I was at the point you are now before the first ride.
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Old 01-25-17, 09:28 AM
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Does any normal person really like to ride in rain when it's under 50f? :-) I'm beginning to appreciate my step-thru omafiets more and more each year. It's too bad there's such a hang up in the U.S. about men riding a step-thru frame. Probably 1 out of 5 guys in Europe ride them and they're wonderful. I'll likely replace my opafiets with an omafiets sometime in the next few years.

For me it was a lot of going back and forth between the US and Europe. Riding around The Netherlands and other places was enjoyable and comfortable. And relaxing if just riding somewhere rather than on a training ride. Back in the US it was anger with some anxiety layered on. This was when I was 40. Now 20 years older the difference is even more stark. There are gobs of us old folks riding around there and equally men and women. It's like a giant old folks home. 65 isn't even close to old compared to all the 80 and 90 somethings riding for their morning coffee.

They're doing such a good job with keeping the paths clear now that many people no longer put on studs in the winter.

The US can be a much better place to ride if traffic engineers will begin to think about something other than how fast they can fit how many cars through an intersection with as little delay as possible—damn the pedestrians and bicycle riders.

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Old 01-25-17, 10:06 AM
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I just turned 63. I don't mind riding in the cold and actually prefer it to hot, humid weather. However, I don't like riding in the rain, snow, sleet, ice, etc. I will sometimes ride on days when it's raining very lightly and radar isn't showing anything serious approaching, particularly if the weather has been bad a lot.

Likewise, I have become much more cautious about cycling as I get older. I am particularly wimpy about descending at high speeds, even more so if the pavement is bad, visibility poor and lots of curves or traffic. I still bike commute about 100 miles/week but I am lit up like a Christmas tree, with two headlights and three taillights.

I seldom ride with fast group rides anymore due to the frequency of crashes in our area, increasing traffic volume and the sketchy behavior of many riders. I'm riding most of my recreational rides these days on local greenways rather than roads due to traffic; fortunately my city has an extensive network of excellent greenways.

I enjoy cycling as much as ever, but my perspective has changed. I no longer care about average speeds and competing with others, I focus more on having enjoyable rides with stops for coffee, food or beer.
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Old 01-25-17, 10:37 AM
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I rode my bike in the snow on 12/18. Great fun, but caught the mother of all colds, which progressed to bronchitis, three trips to the doctor and enough money spent on copays, meds, steroids, an inhalers to buy an inexpensive folding bike (which I did). Today, I fell pretty good, but not touching any bikes til the tulips come out. I have an exercycle in the basement. Gotta start using it.

Being home bound for five weeks and doing very little, it's surprising how fast your stamina declines when you're 68.
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Old 01-25-17, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by jlstrat View Post
I turned 60 in 2016, and I noticed a few things. I don't like to ride in rain when it's under 50 (Fahrenheit), I don't respond as well to single digit temps (greater danger of upper respiratory problems), and I actually felt afraid when I rode on the ice last year. The last one was because there's so much more traffic and drivers are so careless, but some of it is a worry that if I fall, I'm not going to bounce back was easily as I did a few years ago. I used to ride no matter what the weather conditions, and I still got in more than 5000 miles, but I wonder if I'm just getting to be an old age wuss.
I also turned 60 last year. You are not a wuss; you are just more aware that, at our age, it takes longer to heal broken bones.

You also probably want to remain as healthy, and injury free, as you can as you head into that golden retirement.

A year ago I was riding in the rain on PCH near Mugu Rock. I hit some debris on the road, lost control of the bike, crashed and broke a finger (the bone is now held together by three screws). A year later I still can't fully bend that finger.

I hate to think what would have happened in a more serious crash. I, however, still enjoy riding in the rain. Maybe I am just an old idiot.
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Old 01-25-17, 10:54 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by jlstrat View Post
I turned 60 in 2016, and I noticed a few things.
I am several years older than you. But I am NO expert on age/ageing. However I will gladly share MHO's.

Originally Posted by jlstrat View Post
I don't like to ride in rain when it's under 50 (Fahrenheit).
If you don't have a damn good reason for being out in the cold rain... get out of the rain. Anyone who tolerates hypothermia like conditions for fun.... isn't thinking well.

Originally Posted by jlstrat View Post
I don't respond as well to single digit temps (greater danger of upper respiratory problems).
Same thing as above.

Originally Posted by jlstrat View Post
I actually felt afraid when I rode on the ice last year.
Fear is not exclusive to, or associated with age. Fear is a natural obstacle that has to be dealt with on our first day... all the way through to our last.

Originally Posted by jlstrat View Post
... some of it is a worry that if I fall, I'm not going to bounce back was easily as I did a few years ago.
You won't! And it won't get better either. I realize that one traffic accident while cycling... could be something I never heal from. When maybe I might have if the same accident happen years ago. Rather than laying on my couch and watching re-runs (for safety's sake)... I'll take my (rationally considered) higher risk and continue to enjoy cycling..

Originally Posted by jlstrat View Post
I wonder if I'm just getting to be an old age wuss.
I prefer the term reoccurring Hypochondria! It was easier to shrug off danger/risk when younger. Because...with old age comes thoughtfulness. Spend a little time considering the risks and rewards of cycling. Develop plans to maximize enjoyment... and control the risk. Use that thoughtfulness to your own advantage. Then discard fear with the confidence of your own thoughtful decisions and convictions.
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Old 01-25-17, 12:07 PM
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10th month of 2017, is beginning my 70th year..
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Old 01-25-17, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post

If you don't have a damn good reason for being out in the cold rain... get out of the rain. Anyone who tolerates hypothermia like conditions for fun.... isn't thinking well.

lol
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Old 01-25-17, 01:26 PM
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Wisdom! Back when I was in my early 40's, I was climbing a local mountain when I hit an icy road 15 miles up (about 4000 ft level). I felt the wheels slipping as I was pedaling. I didn't realize I was on ice. I got off to inspect my bike and I started sliding down the ice with my cleats.

I was wise enough then at 40 to realize I shouldn't be there! You at 60, it just took you a little longer to wise up!
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