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The roads are awash with old pharts on bikes

Old 10-01-17, 08:34 PM
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europa
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The roads are awash with old pharts on bikes

It's a public holiday here.
It's great weather... some of the first after a long, cold, wet winter.

I went for a ride, and saw lots of other cyclists... as you'd expect. Full range of bikes and speeds (and body styles ) with not quite an even mix of men and women though not far off it.

What did surprise me was the age of the riders. I swear the youngest was in his 40s with most in their 50s or older. The silly thing is, cycling here covers the full spectrum of ages. I realise the uber-freds would have left earlier and would be scattered all over the hills, but where was everyone else?
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Old 10-01-17, 10:26 PM
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Amusingly, I once took a long ride when it was a light drizzle all day, and the only people I saw out on the bike paths were older.
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Old 10-01-17, 10:40 PM
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europa said -

The roads are awash with old pharts on bikes.
Over here also.

Personally, I resemble the observation...
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Old 10-02-17, 03:49 AM
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Ha - check out my post - it's because they ain't gettin no action.

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Old 10-02-17, 06:30 AM
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Same here. We even have a cycling club here, where most of the members are over 50. I'm a member, too. Last count, there are 150 members. Lots are retired too. Home
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Old 10-02-17, 07:39 AM
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Psssst....Populations of many developed countries are aging pretty quickly. It has been estimated that in the U.S., on average, 10,000 turn 65 every day.
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Old 10-02-17, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Amusingly, I once took a long ride when it was a light drizzle all day, and the only people I saw out on the bike paths were older.
Take a ride on a wet day in SoCal and you won't see another bicycle period, unless we happen to cross paths. I have 50+ mile Strava activities without a single FlyBy. It's like Californians on bikes think they will melt in the rain.
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Old 10-02-17, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Take a ride on a wet day in SoCal and you won't see another bicycle period, unless we happen to cross paths. I have 50+ mile Strava activities without a single FlyBy. It's like Californians on bikes think they will melt in the rain.
Indeed, I see more cyclists on the coldest day of the winter, than on a rainy day.
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Old 10-02-17, 12:22 PM
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For some reason I will never start a ride in the rain, but I have no problems going out in the dry, even if rain is forecast for the end of the ride.

As a retiree I see mostly older cyclist when I'm out. The youngsters are probably working.
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Old 10-02-17, 01:14 PM
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I suspect many of the younger (teen to say 30yrs) are ATB riders, runners or multisport enthusiasts (tri-biathlons,
adventure types). Family and jobs tend to occupy a lot between mid 20s and 40s, and the 40s are where a lot of
us start back cycling, in part because the joints object to running. A bunch of the jr/sr high schools in the central
part of the state have ATB teams coached by avid off road dads who provide the encouragement and transport
needed for these competitions. (Not easy to transport 10 teens, bikes etc 30 miles to a meet without a group of
volunteers.) Children occupy parents a lot until they are mid-teens when they tend to release the parents from
heavy duty weekend attention, allowing parents to get out for a few hours to for example ride a bike.
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Old 10-02-17, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Take a ride on a wet day in SoCal and you won't see another bicycle period, unless we happen to cross paths. I have 50+ mile Strava activities without a single FlyBy. It's like Californians on bikes think they will melt in the rain.
Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Indeed, I see more cyclists on the coldest day of the winter, than on a rainy day.
And for good reason. Rain means reduced visibility, slippery surfaces (paint, metal), hidden potholes, and more flats.

Given how infrequently it rains in SoCal, it makes sense to spend rainy days doing something else. For me, it's a matter of the season. Spring, summer or fall, it's cuddling with a good book or doing some overdue bike maintenance. Winter time, I'd rather ski.
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Old 10-02-17, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
And for good reason. Rain means reduced visibility, slippery surfaces (paint, metal), hidden potholes, and more flats.

Given how infrequently it rains in SoCal, it makes sense to spend rainy days doing something else. For me, it's a matter of the season. Spring, summer or fall, it's cuddling with a good book or doing some overdue bike maintenance. Winter time, I'd rather ski.
That's a good point. It has a lot to do with how often it happens. Here in the Midwest, if I watch the weather forecast, I'd never ride. Likewise for cold. It only makes sense to be prepared for 10 below if it happens more than a couple days a year.
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Old 10-02-17, 06:01 PM
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Rain

It never rains here in So Cal. But when it does it is dirty. Instant Skunk Stripe on your back. The fine dark paste virtually impossible to wash off. It dries with the consistency of truck bed coating and is about as durable. I suspect the roads are much cleaner where it rains more than four times a year.
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Old 10-02-17, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Bendopolo View Post
It never rains here in So Cal. But when it does it is dirty. Instant Skunk Stripe on your back. The fine dark paste virtually impossible to wash off. It dries with the consistency of truck bed coating and is about as durable. I suspect the roads are much cleaner where it rains more than four times a year.
Yeah, the roads are pretty much clean after the first hour of a good downpour. Skunk stripe is a thing... good to have at least one bike with fenders in the stable.
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Old 10-03-17, 02:53 AM
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Funny about rain. I don't mind riding in rain... but tend not to start a ride in the rain. I think it's got something to do with riding for pleasure.
Here in Adelaide, you're not likely to get caught in the rain but you will often find yourself riding on wet roads. This is because we tend to have either stinking wet days (when your wet weather gear is a motor car) or it comes through in localised showers.
Having said that, how come my third ride on my BRAND NEW BIKE was in the rain?
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Old 10-03-17, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick View Post
For some reason I will never start a ride in the rain,

Whenever I see a statement along these lines I'm always reminded of the Butterfield Double Century in (I think) 2006 where we started at 5:30 AM in darkness and absolutely pouring rain. And yes, this was in SoCal (Yorba Linda area to start).


It rained off and on all day and I remember finishing (about 9:30 PM) in what was by then a light mist. After the ride the name was changed (for that year only) to Butter-Flood.


I've ridden a lot of doubles, but the ones where we had to deal with a lot of rain (or other natural challenges) are the most memorable!


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Old 10-03-17, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by europa View Post
I don't mind riding in rain... but tend not to start a ride in the rain. I think it's got something to do with riding for pleasure.



Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
Whenever I see a statement along these lines I'm always reminded of the Butterfield Double Century in (I think) 2006 where we started at 5:30 AM in darkness and absolutely pouring rain. And yes, this was in SoCal (Yorba Linda area to start).

It rained off and on all day and I remember finishing (about 9:30 PM) in what was by then a light mist. After the ride the name was changed (for that year only) to Butter-Flood.

I've ridden a lot of doubles, but the ones where we had to deal with a lot of rain (or other natural challenges) are the most memorable!

Rick / OCRR
Ah, the Butterflood ... My one and only DNS.

Driving to the start, the freeways were awash in rain ... pooling in many places to several inches deep. I passed several bad wrecks, most likely due to hydroplaning.

I had talked Saralie into doing the ride. It would have been her first double and my fourth. We sat there in the adjacent coffee shop, peering outside, waiting for the sheets of rain to stop or let up ... at least a little bit.

It never did.

We decided to bag it. If nothing else, this was not a good introduction to double centuries. I later heard that of about 160 registrants, a little more than half (!) pushed off, and of those, almost all finished the double.

Folks, the "natural challenges" Rick is referring to include tornadoes () that struck along the route on an isolated inland section. We don't get the monster tornadoes they get in the midwest, but we do occasionally get ones strong enough to cause damage like knocking over trees and superficial damage to buildings.

My hat's off to you Rick. That had to be one helluva ride!
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Old 10-03-17, 09:41 AM
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Its not spring, up north, in October, so the cycletouring crowds have thinned out to a dribble....
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Old 10-03-17, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
My hat's off to you Rick. That had to be one helluva ride!
True Vic, I'd forgotten about the tornado that caused them to have to modify the course mid-ride! It was raining quite hard as I tried to eat lunch in Bonsol too.

I do remember that when I finally finished, Brian Bowling checked me in. I must have looked a mess because I recall him saying, "Don't worry Rick, you'll feel better in the morning."

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Old 10-04-17, 10:58 PM
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I am one of those "old pharts"(62 yo) and damn proud to be one. At least we're out exercising and not just moping around vegging out. Just remember, some day you'll be one of those old pharts as well.
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Last edited by Jon T; 10-06-17 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 10-05-17, 12:37 AM
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At 61, I'm an old phart, just not as old as some on this forum
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Old 10-05-17, 07:09 AM
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Same here. I live in a college town, but I'd say about 80% of the folks I see out riding are at least in their mid-40's. In cold or wet weather all but the most "mature" tend to disappear.
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Old 10-05-17, 07:11 AM
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As long as people stay bikin!
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Old 10-05-17, 07:27 PM
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Old 10-05-17, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Take a ride on a wet day in SoCal and you won't see another bicycle period, unless we happen to cross paths. I have 50+ mile Strava activities without a single FlyBy. It's like Californians on bikes think they will melt in the rain.
Funny, here in Oregon, the only people I ever see out in the rain are from California or Asia. The few natives seem to fear that they are descended from the Wicked Witch of the West and dare not chance getting wet.

Then again, some of that could be that the Californians I know all hail from NorCal, where rain is frequent enough that if you don't ride in the rain you probably don't ride that much (1976-7 and 2012-6 excepted, of course). I love watching SoCal news broadcasts where the talking head is all excited over the downpour. Then they show the footage of a mild drizzle and I can't help but laugh heartily. It's similar to our local news when we get a gentle dusting of snow; the folks who hail from places that are actually snowy wonder what all the fuss is about.


As to the OP, I wish we had enough people riding bikes that I would notice some age issues. Our bike paths have a handful of students and a few working age folks mixed among the homeless who have taken them over. The city streets are devoid of bikes. The nearby roads that one might do some joy-riding on are pretty empty. I actually count the riders I see and it is rare to see more than two even on hundred mile rides. My favorite bike shop is going out of business (second time this has happened to me in a decade). It's one of eight that have either gone out of business or moved in the past eight years.
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