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When to give it up or change it up?

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When to give it up or change it up?

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Old 06-05-18, 02:08 PM
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vinfix
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When to give it up or change it up?

I've been a roadie, off & on, since I was a teenager. Got away from it in my late 20s-30's, then back into it in my 40's, now I'm 55. The last 3-4 years my mileage has dwindled- no more club riding, seldom riding in winter. Each spring it seems harder to get back in shape, even though I do stationary bike in the winter. Last year, the day after a longer early spring ride, I had an episode of prostatitis. First time ever, and so unpleasant I told myself if it ever happened again I'd quit tomorrow! So I've been more cautious about riding a lot
I've made seat adjustments, etc. and thankfully never had another problem, but ever since I seldom get in more than 25 miles. I seem more sensitive to what saddle I use, bumps in the road, vibration, bike fit. In short, it hurts more than it used to, and I'm good with an hour, 1 1/2 hr ride. I've tried dabbling with mountain biking, but there's not much around and the technical stuff is too rough for me.

I'm otherwise in good shape, I'll hit the gym, jog, do some martial arts. Most of the cyclists I know, used to ride with, are active early retirees- so I never expected the cycling would be something that wouldn't work for me anymore. I still like it, but don't have the same passion for it anymore.

Did any of you come to this point, and what did you do?
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Old 06-05-18, 02:18 PM
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I'm 73. Never had any problems like that. I've always ridden on cut-out style saddles. Sounds like you may need to experiment with different types and brands of saddles.
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Old 06-05-18, 02:24 PM
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For the prostatitis, I'd say try some more saddles with center cutouts. I finally gave up on lightweight saddles and went with a Brooks B17 Imperial (cutout), which is the gold standard in comfortable saddles. No more prostate issues and now I don't even notice my saddle, something I could not say before. Also, upon hitting 60 I switched to a bike that could fit 32 mm supple tires and lower gears (now around 26 gear inches low). Those things together made a huge difference in my happiness on the bike. I now laugh at the silly macho gears and uncomfortable (and slow) vibration-prone skinny tires I used to use.
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Old 06-05-18, 03:57 PM
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Understandable, and I have been a guitarist for 45 years playing jazz and repairing and working on guitars. I still like to play but not with same passion I had when I was in my 20's. I like to sit and play and keep the chops up but no longer play for 4 or more hours continuous like I use to do. Same with a bike I see the it exact situation. Do not force it get a bigger hammer.
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Old 06-06-18, 01:43 PM
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Is there a place near you that has saddles you can try out? Maybe look at Selle SMP saddles. There's always recumbents.
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Old 06-06-18, 01:59 PM
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I get out of the habit each winter as I do fewer and fewer rides as the cold moves in. When spring comes I almost have to drag myself to the bike and force myself to get on. It currently seems to take three or four >50 mile rides in a fairly quick succession along with my usual 20 to 30 mile quickie rides before things change. Then it's like an addiction to whatever is being released in my body makes me want to ride more.

Or is the focus supposed to be saddles and prostate pain?
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Old 06-06-18, 02:05 PM
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Any day on the bike is a good one. Its quite ok to only do 1 to 1.5 hours for each ride. I basically do either 35-40 min (park and ride) or 1.5-1.75 hr (from home) on my commutes each way to work on the weekdays only. And they gave me plenty of miles last year (~ 4000). For the discomfort, I agree with the others to try another saddle. Perhaps try a bike shop that will "loan" you a saddle until you find the one you like?
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Old 06-06-18, 05:38 PM
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Ditto on trying out saddles till you find one you are comfortable with, with the proviso that you have to try the saddle out for an extended period, because sometimes the saddle that feels comfortable in the short run can feel bad after being on it for a while, while saddles that don't feel comfortable at first, can end up feeling more comfortable over the long haul.

The other thing you may want to look into (if you're okay with n+1) is jumping into the new world of 650b gravel/road bikes with the ginormous tires to soak up the bumps, while still handling like a regular road bike.

If all else fails, of course, there is always the option to be a "low rider" and get 'bent.

Oh, and as always, it's not about the miles, but the smiles!

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Old 06-06-18, 06:06 PM
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If it hurts too much, and changing things doesn't help, it's not worth it, especially if you're active in other ways. The point of this is to stay healthy and have fun, not to race, push to new PRs, keep going faster and farther. The up side of getting a bit older is that you can leave those things to those in the Road Biking section.
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Old 06-06-18, 06:50 PM
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I would have to say that I'm about in the same situation as the OP (less prostatitis). I don't let it get to me though. I ride for the pleasure of it. Sometimes it's 12 miles, sometimes it's 35 miles. Some days I probably couldn't tell you what color my bike was (probably dusty). I'm not competing with anyone. If I push myself on a 35 mile ride I'll be wiped out when I get home. If I do the same ride, stop a couple of times and have a banana and water, I feel just fine when I get home. I'm getting old and there's no way around it.
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Old 06-06-18, 09:56 PM
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I'll think it is time to quit when I can't remember where I parked my bike
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Old 06-07-18, 04:52 AM
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When to give it up or change it up?
Originally Posted by vinfix View Post
I've been a roadie, off & on, since I was a teenager. Got away from it in my late 20s-30's, then back into it in my 40's, now I'm 55. The last 3-4 years my mileage has dwindled- no more club riding, seldom riding in winter. Each spring it seems harder to get back in shape, even though I do stationary bike in the winter.

Last year, the day after a longer early spring ride, I had an episode of prostatitis. First time ever, and so unpleasant I told myself if it ever happened again I'd quit tomorrow! So I've been more cautious about riding a lot…

I'm otherwise in good shape, I'll hit the gym, jog, do some martial arts. Most of the cyclists I know, used to ride with, are active early retirees- so I never expected the cycling would be something that wouldn't work for me anymore. I still like it, but don't have the same passion for it anymore.

Did any of you come to this point, and what did you do?
I too have enjoyed a life-long cycling lifestlye since my 20’s, and still want to ride as much as I can, though beset by a busy (but enjoyable) job and family activities. I’ve always been a destination-oriented cyclist, by place or mileage, and here’s how I ponder my cycling future:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Retirement!

I’m a few years away from retirement, but it is starting to loom large...and my comiseration to those with health problems (IMO cycling can be an effective preventive maintainence).
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I previously replied to this thread on the Commuting Forum, "How to motivate myself to ride when I'll no longer be commuting to work?"...

Just yesterday a colleague asked me when I was going to retire. I suggested a number of years, adding, "I like my job, and it’s a convenient place (and distance) to bike to."[as year-round 14-mile direct routes, and nice weather long extended rides]
Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
I like that.
and
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I'm very motivated by novelty, and stymied by boredom on a bike, but I do have the motivation of commuting to work.I have found that when I drive my frequent, decades-old routes I often notice things I had not seen before. I think it’s because I can look around at more than just the road surface when driving.

So when the commute [route] is getting too familiar, I just raise my head higher and look over a wider field of view….
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
A local BF subscriber @rholland1951 who contributes hundreds of photographs to the local Metro Boston thread from the same 11-mile long MUP he rides, once commented something likejust the lighting/ time of day / day of the year makes the ride “different.” So too does the direction, one way, or the reverse.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I’m going to add sounds, as well as sights and lights, to a prescription for boredom.
Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Hah! In that case, don't forget smells.There are days...
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Excellent! I suppose we could add touch, such as the breeze, temperature sensitivity....
So in general without a specific destination I guess I’ll have to get in touch with the bike, and become one with the Ride.

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Old 06-07-18, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ptempel View Post
Any day on the bike is a good one...
On a more metaphysical note. I have posted, including this thread:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
what makes cycling so much fun?

My magic moment when I realized what makes cycling fun (important) to me was at a lunch with two doctors about 20 years ago. We got to talking about the vicissitudes of life, like sudden death, or trival symptoms as harbingers of a serious disease. We eventually came around to that old chestnut to live life to the fullest everyday.

As we were leaving, the surgeon, a marathon runner, said, Well, any day with a run in it is a good day for me. I was already an avid cyclist and cycle commuter, and that clicked with me, Any day with a ride in it is a good day for me...

This is what makes cycle commuting in particular fun. A big part of life is gettiing from A to B, and back.
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Old 06-07-18, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
what makes cycling so much fun?

My magic moment when I realized what makes cycling fun (important) to me was at a lunch with two doctors about 20 years ago. We got to talking about the vicissitudes of life, like sudden death, or trival symptoms as harbingers of a serious disease. We eventually came around to that old chestnut to live life to the fullest everyday.

As we were leaving, the surgeon, a marathon runner, said, Well, any day with a run in it is a good day for me. I was already an avid cyclist and cycle commuter, and that clicked with me, Any day with a ride in it is a good day for me...

This is what makes cycle commuting in particular fun. A big part of life is gettiing from A to B, and back.
Had to edit to get the full quote. But I agree with cyclecommuting being fun and helping to "live life a little bit fuller." It gets me to work and keeps me in shape. I'm also better able to keep up with my 5 year old son on the weekends/vacation/etc. It sometimes is not all glamour and glitz. But a key part is identifying when you're tired and to take a day off or take easy days. For example, I've been cyclecommuting from home for four days this week. I usually don't do that more than twice or three times a week. But my car is with the mechanic so I pushed through a bit. But I'm definately taking tomorrow off (and always take the weekend off). I do feel a little more tired today. Total miles for this week with tomorrow off will be close to 200 miles. So that's more than I usually do, anyway.
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Old 06-07-18, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
I'll think it is time to quit when I can't remember where I parked my bike
Heh. That's happens to me once in a while when I don't park my car in the usual spot (Overpeck Park). I still go there and say, "Where's my frickin' car?" Then I realize that I parked a little more down the road in Teaneck since the traffic was hosed up in the morning. As long as these things aren't a constant occurance, then you are good to go!
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Old 06-07-18, 12:02 PM
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I was 72 yesterday. I still ride. I'm no longer fast. (was I ever) I no longer jump over things. I no longer ride for more than an hour or two at most on any one day. I no longer ride on the road except for very limited occasions. The latter wasn't difficult as I was more a mountain/fire roads style biker anyway.

I don't worry about it. These days I just ride when it's fun. If I don't feel like it I don't. I ride mostly because it's a good way to get away from the world for a short period of time, (yes I'm a solitary rider)

Do what feels good, not what you think would be expected of you. Even at a young 55 you need a little time to stop on the ride and smell the roses.
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Old 06-08-18, 02:31 PM
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Thanks for all the supportive comments. Certainly the right saddle is part of my problem. I tried a cut-out one (that actually came with the bike) but it was uncomfortable for my sit-bones because of the width. I've considered a Brooks before, but thought I could find a cheaper, lighter one. I have several different bikes I ride, besides. Comparing them, I find that I'm more sensitive to comfort features like oversize bars, carbon fork, too.

Gear isn't the only issue, though- I don't have as much time for it, either, as I'm also a late-in-life new dad, with a long commute too. So I have to be efficient with my free time. And going off topic a bit, despite having good (but hilly) country roads to ride on, there seems to be more resentful and/or distracted drivers all the time.
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Old 06-09-18, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by vinfix View Post
Thanks for all the supportive comments. Certainly the right saddle is part of my problem. I tried a cut-out one (that actually came with the bike) but it was uncomfortable for my sit-bones because of the width. I've considered a Brooks before, but thought I could find a cheaper, lighter one. I have several different bikes I ride, besides. Comparing them, I find that I'm more sensitive to comfort features like oversize bars, carbon fork, too.

Gear isn't the only issue, though- I don't have as much time for it, either, as I'm also a late-in-life new dad, with a long commute too. So I have to be efficient with my free time. And going off topic a bit, despite having good (but hilly) country roads to ride on, there seems to be more resentful and/or distracted drivers all the time.
I have to agree with trying out a different saddle.

When it comes to riding I've been riding for 42 years and raced for 15 years. I guess I would be classified as a roadie and was averaging 8000-10000 miles a year. But several years ago my mileage and desire to get out on the road bike just was fading. I went to a used bike sale at our local shop and bought a cheap mountain bike. Fast forward to this year and I'm on my bike more than ever and loving every bit of riding in the woods. I do still take the road bike out but the woods get first choose. I just got tired of dealing with knuckle head driver, and less than idea road conditions. I still have my cheap mountain bike and have added a fat bike and 29 plus bike to the stable.

Hope you find your bike Mojo again.
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Old 06-10-18, 05:35 PM
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I am 53 (tomorrow) and "Each spring it seems harder to get back in shape" feeling is coming upon me, but if I gave up cycling I would really splurge outwards. And as several others have opined, cycling is also an end in itself (for reasons please see the Mr. Slomo thread too). And I recommend cut out e.g. Selle SMP saddles too. I hope you find the right saddle and find your bike mojo again. Basically I agree with everyone!
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Old 06-16-18, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by vinfix View Post
Gear isn't the only issue, though- I don't have as much time for it, either, as I'm also a late-in-life new dad, with a long commute too. So I have to be efficient with my free time.
When I was close to 50, our twin boys who were around 11 finally saw my old surfboards in the rafters, it changed my cycling life. But the next 8 years or so were the best years of my life. There was nothing better than sharing waves with your kids. I was fortunate to be able to get to work early and the hour drive home still allowed me to get out with them during daylight savings.

My ride length dwindled to barely double digits, but I didn't care. Enjoy whatever activity you can do. The bikes will be waiting. Ironically years down the road one of our boys got me starting mountain biking.

John
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Old 06-16-18, 06:46 PM
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73, agree on the above saddle advice. Try a few, find something that works. Other than that, never stop. Ride all winter, year 'round riding is the thing. If it's nasty in winter buy a set of resistance rollers. They're not particularly boring. The gym is really important because it gets harder to keep the muscle on every year. Look up sarcopenia. Don't let that happen. People ask me how I do it, I tell them "never stop." If you have a big gap in your riding, you'll hate yourself and the bike for a month. So don't do that. I still do 150+ mile big rides on my single and have a great time. Mostly I ride tandem with my wife, but nothing over double metrics. We leave on a bike tour with our tandem in the morning.
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Old 06-16-18, 07:11 PM
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In 2000, when I was 45 and after 12 years of intensive mileage, hard workouts, racing, team tri’s, etc.... my prostrate got infected and I was off the bike for about 3 years. The easy solution was a recumbent, which is a very good solution.

I did that for 3 or 4 years, but generally liked a DF bike better, and eventually moved to Brook B17 saddles, riding them for many years till about ‘06 or so when I found I could handle a more racing style saddle..

I never had a prostate isuues after the initial problem and treatment (plus yearly checkups). I think my prostate was just worn out after years of mileage and likely riding cheap saddles. As well, finding a saddle that works is a real hit and miss effort, as you need to ride it for a few months to see if it develops issues.

I also think that moving to a bent kept me sane and wanting to ride, though I no longer have an interest in the really hard and long rides with the racing groups. Just riding around at a good effort that I know is burning some calories, is good enough. Plus I recognize that there’s a big difference between 45 and 63and can deal with that. Cycling is my stress relief and I consider myself lucky that I can still get out and ride.
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Old 06-19-18, 01:46 PM
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I am finding myself faced with the same thing, just not as energetic as before. I still love the exercise, but I am really tired of the cars and question whether its really worth it? More people hit every year it seems, roads around where I live aren't ideal. I've never been a group rider, I just don't have the time for a ride and a party afterwards. I am going to have to change things some. The thing that bothers me the most is worry about riding and safety.
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Old 06-28-18, 12:07 PM
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Sorry you're having problems. I agree with the advice of others re saddles. If you're near Princeton, go see Jason at Halter Cycles in Montgomery, north of Princeton. Intersection of 206 and 518.
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Old 06-28-18, 02:25 PM
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I'm still short on time, but I'm starting to find my mojo again. I flipped the stem on my Pista and put the stock seat back on, and found both much more comfortable. I finally got the Thule kit to put my old racks my car, so I brought my single-speed to work to try some new, flatter roads on my lunch hour. I was even thinking about replacing my main road bike with a more comfortable geometry, but for now, I got another Pista saddle for it that was a take-off at my LBS.

Riding more inspires more confidence and enjoyment. Reading some of the threads here and other sections (broken pelvis?!!) gives me pause at times too, and I've had some close calls. I know people in real life, like in the club I used to ride with, that had accidents. I have to remember, though, that cycling has been a safe activity for me. The more fun I have with it, the less I worry about the risk.
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