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A touch of pride...

Old 09-09-19, 08:18 PM
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A touch of pride...

I'm extraordinarily fortunate to be enjoying my 47th consecutive season. I'm closing in on 63, ride recreationally on weekends and commute to work in Manhattan maybe half the time in-season if the weather agrees with me. I'm NOT a racer, never was and don't feel competitive. I tell myself I can just take it easy and noodle my way to work and home, but instead I push myself...not to beat out the person in front of me, just to the point where my exertion level feels "right", some kind of groove. Maybe it's a New York City thing.

My commuting bike is a 1966 Raleigh Sports 3-speed that's mostly stock, save for a larger cog to give me a bit lower low. Between the bike, a lock, a few tools and my work stuff I've got 50 pounds to push. Despite that I'm fast off the line (it's that bigger cog), and then I chug along at my happy pace. Today I did just that from a red light on Central Park West, leaving a few other folks behind including a young fellow on a single-speed with a spoked rear wheel. It took him about 15 blocks to catch me, and that was because I was stopped for a red light that he went through. 7 or 8 blocks later I caught him and we got stopped at another light. He grinned at me and said, "You've got some legs, man!" I thanked him, and told him I practice a lot. Then I left him behind again...it felt good.
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Old 09-10-19, 04:03 AM
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I’d wager you’re faster than most vehicles there as well.
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Old 09-10-19, 06:41 AM
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Congratulations and looking forward to your 48th year post.
Frank.
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Old 09-10-19, 07:15 AM
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go, Go, GO!
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Old 09-10-19, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
go, Go, GO!
Ok, ok, Iím going!
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Old 09-11-19, 03:29 PM
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48 is a huge number. I spent most of my 30s and 40s as an office slug preparing my body to desperately need years of bike therapy. Good for you.
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Old 09-11-19, 08:15 PM
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Last year, after training hard all winter indoors and losing 35 pounds, I was able to just blow everyone away, especially on the hills which were suddenly easy. I got a lot of comments on how strong I was. I was 63 then. I lost a lot of that strength after a lot of family stuff happened this year, but I'm back on track now. It does feel good to have others comment on your ability. Even my son turned to me and asked, "do you always ride this fast now?" I was blowing him away in Prospect Park. He'd been riding with me occasionally over the years and could always keep up before.

I'm looking forward to the indoor training season now.
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Old 09-12-19, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
Last year, after training hard all winter indoors and losing 35 pounds, I was able to just blow everyone away, especially on the hills which were suddenly easy. I got a lot of comments on how strong I was. I was 63 then. I lost a lot of that strength after a lot of family stuff happened this year, but I'm back on track now. It does feel good to have others comment on your ability. Even my son turned to me and asked, "do you always ride this fast now?" I was blowing him away in Prospect Park. He'd been riding with me occasionally over the years and could always keep up before.

I'm looking forward to the indoor training season now.
I don't ride much during the northeast winters, but I HATE indoor trainers. I overheat quickly. 2 seasons back I planned to stay active during the winter by ice skating, there's an outdoor rink a short walk from my apartment. However, I was nursing a rotator cuff injury and damaged it further by falling on the ice. Last winter I had it repaired. So I plan to start this season with lessons. Learning how to properly stop will come in handy for sure...

Keep that son of yours on his toes, it'll serve you both well.
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Old 09-12-19, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Daspydyr View Post
48 is a huge number. I spent most of my 30s and 40s as an office slug preparing my body to desperately need years of bike therapy. Good for you.
Thanks, the child-rearing years didn't get a lot of miles, but somehow I never missed a year.
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Old 09-12-19, 03:57 PM
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Your story about beating the young whippersnapper reminded me of myself as a university senior. I was cycling in Santa Monica CA with a couple of other 20-somethings I had encountered along the way when a guy with a white goatee and a white Mercier flew past us on San Vicente Bl. One of my newfound friends challenged, "Are you going to let an old guy like that pass you?" Replying, "I'm not," I took off and caught up with the old guy, who immediately complimented me: "You keep a good pace," to which I replied, "That's supposed to be my line." We quickly became good friends and cycling buddies, and he convinced me to train with him for the upcoming double century, something I had never thought I would attempt myself. (I did a double metric -- 200km -- the year before with my cousin, and it completely drained me. Going more than 50 percent farther was out of the question.) My 12:18 double century with him and one of my college pals remains my one big athletic achievement.
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Old 09-13-19, 05:02 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by ascherer View Post
I'm extraordinarily fortunate to be enjoying my 47th consecutive season. I'm closing in on 63, ride recreationally on weekends and commute to work in Manhattan maybe half the time in-season if the weather agrees with me. I'm NOT a racer, never was and don't feel competitive. I tell myself I can just take it easy and noodle my way to work and home, but instead I push myself...not to beat out the person in front of me, just to the point where my exertion level feels "right", some kind of groove. Maybe it's a New York City thing.

My commuting bike is a 1966 Raleigh Sports 3-speed that's mostly stock, save for a larger cog to give me a bit lower low. Between the bike, a lock, a few tools and my work stuff I've got 50 pounds to push. Despite that I'm fast off the line (it's that bigger cog), and then I chug along at my happy pace. Today I did just that from a red light on Central Park West, leaving a few other folks behind including a young fellow on a single-speed with a spoked rear wheel. It took him about 15 blocks to catch me, and that was because I was stopped for a red light that he went through. 7 or 8 blocks later I caught him and we got stopped at another light. He grinned at me and said, "You've got some legs, man!" I thanked him, and told him I practice a lot. Then I left him behind again...it felt good.
You sound just like me 30 odd years ago, riding to work at the shipyard. I set out to beat anyone in my path; loved it. We were mad. Cars were fair game. And when I got home that night, off I went, on a hilly circular route with 1 in 4s to contend with.
I regularly also contended with this fair young maiden, who beat me at every turn. Turned out she was an Olympic athlete; I found out when I saw her at a sports presentation night. I was in the band . . .!
30 years on, I can still do that route though I no longer live there. The place I live is just as hilly!
Life is good.
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Old 09-13-19, 05:49 AM
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I was out again yesterday, on a 40 mile ride around the perimeter of Brooklyn and on the last leg in hipster Williamsburg when I see someone up ahead passing everyone else. I caught up to her and see she was on a Citibike, but she was really moving. I've ridden Citibikes myself and find them to be ponderously heavy and difficult to keep at any higher speed. She let me go ahead of her but I found her on my tail even though I was going pretty fast myself. This being Brooklyn, when I slow down for a light she just kept going and passed me again. I caught her again and told her she does pretty well riding that thing. It turns out she was on her way to R&A cycles to pick up her new tt/tri-bike so she could do an Ironman somewhere. Just looking at her she was a complete athlete. I could keep up with her while I'm on my road bike and she was on a Citibike, but I'm sure she'd blow me away on her tri. She goes to Prospect Park to train so maybe I'll get a chance to see her on it as I'm there all the time too. I doubt even in my top shape I could keep up.
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Old 09-13-19, 07:37 AM
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Way to go man, Ride On!
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Old 09-13-19, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
I was out again yesterday, on a 40 mile ride around the perimeter of Brooklyn and on the last leg in hipster Williamsburg when I see someone up ahead passing everyone else. I caught up to her and see she was on a Citibike, but she was really moving. I've ridden Citibikes myself and find them to be ponderously heavy and difficult to keep at any higher speed. She let me go ahead of her but I found her on my tail even though I was going pretty fast myself. This being Brooklyn, when I slow down for a light she just kept going and passed me again. I caught her again and told her she does pretty well riding that thing. It turns out she was on her way to R&A cycles to pick up her new tt/tri-bike so she could do an Ironman somewhere. Just looking at her she was a complete athlete. I could keep up with her while I'm on my road bike and she was on a Citibike, but I'm sure she'd blow me away on her tri. She goes to Prospect Park to train so maybe I'll get a chance to see her on it as I'm there all the time too. I doubt even in my top shape I could keep up.
Similar story: there's a woman that rides a big dutch roadster along my route, we've run into each other on an off for a few years. She's a fitness trainer somewhere downtown and she pounds it out on the road in full workout sweat mode with a speaker playing funky R&B. She can blow my doors off, and I think it's all kinds of awesome.
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Old 09-23-19, 09:00 PM
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Today I was riding with a guy that looked to know what he was doing on a bike, but wasn't pressing it. I caught him and then passed him, but as some point decided it would be better to pace with him. We chatted, I pedaled harder than normal. When I got home I found that I bettered my recent lap times of Prospect Park by 1.4mph. Even better, it didn't feel like a struggle. RidewithGPS says I did a 19.4mph lap today when the best I've been averaging has been 18. Last year I was able to easily do 19+, sometimes even 20, but was in better shape. Mind you, this was casual fast riding, not all out. The fastest I ever recorded myself on a lap is 21.3mph, but that was an all out effort. The loop is 3.38 miles with a short 4% or so hill at one point and of course an equivalent 4% downhill on the other side. There are also others in the park so you do have to be a bit cautious.

I was watching my HR going up and it wasn't as high as it had been lately, so maybe I'm getting better.
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Old 09-24-19, 05:02 AM
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I was the kid in grade school that was always talking about and fooling around with bicycles. My high school was about 6 miles away and for the first few years I would race the bus home and usually beat it. Had a paper route and delivered them on my bike and thus had the money to have nice bikes.

During my college years I had little time to ride. After then I rode half and metric centuries probably for about 10 years until becoming a parent. I'm 61 now and this time last year started riding again, 25 or so years dormant.

At first I got my doors blown off left and right. But I committed to a 66 mile charity ride last July and joined a bike team. At first I struggled to keep up on 20 mile training rides on flat terrain. Now I'm pulling some decent hills, it actually amazes me just how far I've come along. This winter I'm either on the bike or on a trainer, as much as I dislike trainers, I'm going to force myself to do it.

I never really entertained the idea of riding a century but Lord willing that will change next spring.
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Old 09-26-19, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomas15 View Post
This winter I'm either on the bike or on a trainer, as much as I dislike trainers, I'm going to force myself to do it.
I never really entertained the idea of riding a century but Lord willing that will change next spring.
Why ride a trainer if you hate it? What is so important about riding an arbitrary long distance such as a century and compels you to spend all winter doing something you hate?
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Old 09-27-19, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Why ride a trainer if you hate it? What is so important about riding an arbitrary long distance such as a century and compels you to spend all winter doing something you hate?
I like to set high goals then work towards achieving them.

Different sport but about 5 years ago I started shooting in competitive handgun competitions. As a marksmen, I was, to be honest quite awful. So bad was I that it was an embarrassment just thinking about it, even now. Most sane people would have simply given up.

But I stuck with it and now I'm classified Master in my competition of choice. People, those new to the sport will ask me how I do it and how can they perform at my level.
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