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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Do you ever....

Old 02-25-20, 10:50 AM
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bruce19
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Do you ever....

.....see young people taken aback by the things you do? This happens to me a lot. If I show up on my Ducati or in my Fiesta ST or tell them I've just finished a 50 mi. ride on my bike, they give me this WTF look. Like those things are supposed to be reserved for the under 40 yr. old crowd. OTOH, they always want to talk about it. Just wondering if anyone else runs into this.
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Old 02-25-20, 10:56 AM
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Yea. No Ducati, but I drive a WRX (more typical for bros) and get the same reaction from "normal" people when riding bikes or skiing.

Also, after my last crash, I got a lot of lectures about how I was older and should slow down. I am taking that advice to heart, but I'm going to slow down with the work routine and enjoy life a little more. No plans to slow down with the cycling, skiing or anything else fun. Nuts to that.

You are what you do.
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Old 02-25-20, 12:59 PM
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I'm on the other end of that.... being in my early 60's I'm looking at these guys and gals in their mid to late 70's and going WTF, they had a much faster time than I did on that century ride.
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Old 02-25-20, 01:10 PM
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I took my 16 yo kid skiing and he met up with a couple of his friends. I expected to just ride up the chair with them and then I'd go my separate way till lunch time but they were cool with me skiing with them. We did some terrain park stuff and Lucas' friends were fairly amazed that I would go off the jumps with them. Nothing special, just straight ahead air, but you'd have thought it was Johnny Moseley stuff.

Rec league soccer: I play with some office mates in a coed 7v7 league. I have millenial office/teammates saying "I can't believe how fast you are!" Of course, I feel like I've lost several steps.
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Old 02-25-20, 09:21 PM
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Good subject:

I get a kick out of answering the question "What did you do this morning?" with... "I just got back from a 40 mile ride".. The tragic thing is that most of the people asking me this appear to have just woken up. No one in the family that I married into has ever exercised in their entire life and several of them are morbidly obese. To them I probably seem like an Olympian.
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Old 02-26-20, 06:56 AM
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The time I put up a 350 bench...after my bench workout...with a pause...no spotter. I was one of two old guys that night. Just because I was 53 didn’t mean I forgot how. The young guys were cheering.
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Old 02-26-20, 09:14 AM
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I will take the other side of the comment and say no. I think the younger guys at the gym and on the road locally expect us to perform well. They are just happy when we do not steal their candy.
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Old 02-26-20, 10:32 AM
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I can still remember various times when after pulling some younger riders for a ways they’ve asked me “just how old are you anyway” (always cracks me up) .........or “I hope I can ride like you when I’m your age”. And just what age might that be????
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Old 02-26-20, 10:34 AM
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People are short-sighted, that's all. They must not have much to do with folk "our age".
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Old 02-26-20, 10:39 AM
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I will be 82 this year. Almost everyone I tell that I ride anywhere from 20 to 35 miles every other day are amazed.
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Old 02-26-20, 12:53 PM
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Last year I stopped at a park to take a nature break and started talking with a senior female rider. We were both on a 50ish mile ride that day. A man sitting on his Harley, 40ish, asked us how old we were. He was amazed when we both answered we were in our 70s. Yes quite a surprised look of astonishment.
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Old 02-26-20, 01:50 PM
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I sometimes have the opposite take: I sometimes can't believe how old (physically/mentally/culturally) my chronological peers are. I see a lot of my HS classmates on FB and 90% of the posts are about their physical ailments, "kids today!", and nostalgia for the good old days.

Sad, really.
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Old 02-26-20, 02:01 PM
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Yep. Was out riding trails, and had just gotten back to the trailhead. I took off my helmet, took a drink of water. Some young riders who were at the trailhead saw the grey hair and asked my age. This was a few months before I turned 69. They seemed surprised that I was out riding trails, and riding them on my old steel framed hardtail with 26" tires. They commented they just couldn't picture their fathers doing this. I'll admit, it was an appreciated comment (maybe a "left handed" compliment, but I'll take it), and I ended up feeling good about myself, even if I'm not as fast nor as technically skilled as I once was.
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Old 02-26-20, 05:24 PM
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Yup. It's one thing when non-riders can't fathom what I do on the weekend (or weekdays commuting for that matter). It's more fun when some young gun is surprised in the moment. Season before last I joined a bunch of folks from the i-BOB list along with noglider for an annual run up the mostly offroad Old Croton Reservoir trail, which varies from park paths to singletrack for 35 miler or so. Tom had his daughter's beau along, who was a pretty fit x-sports kind of dude from out west. Nice guy, strong, but not a truly experienced rider. At one point on the return trip he was startled to see me waiting for him, even though he was pretty much behind the group most of the time. When he caught up he asked, "how'd you get here?" I said: "I practice a lot". 48 years worth! What's that old saying about age and experience?
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Old 02-26-20, 05:44 PM
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One of the guys I ride dirt bikes (as in off road motorcycles) with is in his mid-70s. His favorite stuff to ride is the gnarliest stuff and he is not afraid to crash. He's not fast but he can ride up and over stuff a lot of the younger guys (including me) can have trouble with. He's also a bicyclist who will do a tough dirt bike ride (which, trust me, is just as much aerobic work as a decent mtb ride) than and then go home and ride his bicycle for a couple hours. Very cool dude.

I'm not old enough yet (51) to get too much of this sort of thing myself.
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Old 02-26-20, 10:53 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I sometimes have the opposite take: I sometimes can't believe how old (physically/mentally/culturally) my chronological peers are. I see a lot of my HS classmates on FB and 90% of the posts are about their physical ailments, "kids today!", and nostalgia for the good old days.

Sad, really.
Yeah, this happens to me too - pictures of my HS friends on FB and they look so old, broken down, and out of shape. It makes me sad.
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Old 02-26-20, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
Good subject:

I get a kick out of answering the question "What did you do this morning?" with... "I just got back from a 40 mile ride".. The tragic thing is that most of the people asking me this appear to have just woken up. No one in the family that I married into has ever exercised in their entire life and several of them are morbidly obese. To them I probably seem like an Olympian.
Hah. On a Saturday this past September I went for my normal morning group ride, got home, changed bikes and clothes, and rode to a nearby park to attend my department's fall picnic. I sat down to lunch and a co-worker said something to the effect of, "you're a little late, but you probably already went for a 40 mile bike ride this morning." I said, "105, if I don't count the 5 miles that it took to ride here." Everybody at the picnic table just stared. Many of them are reasonably outdoorsy and active, though some are not. But they think that a casual century is so strange as to be some kind of fanaticism. Maybe to them it is.
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Old 02-26-20, 11:14 PM
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On long brevets, many randonneurs will answer the "how far are you riding" question by just describing the distance from the last control to the next control, like "about 60 miles", instead of the real answer, like "100 since this morning and another 110 miles today, then 150 tomorrow". That's to avoid the disbelieving and unnecessary chatter that would follow. We have miles to ride, not time to be dorking around with people.

So, yeah, being an 'older rider saying I've ridden 35 miles and getting astonished remarks, when in fact I've put in a century before lunch and will get in another before sleep, it's kind of weird.

My take on it is, people have no clue what they are actually capable of doing. When they encounter someone who's approaching the limits of capability, they are blown away. It is what it is.
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Old 02-27-20, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Rec league soccer: I play with some office mates in a coed 7v7 league. I have millenial office/teammates saying "I can't believe how fast you are!" Of course, I feel like I've lost several steps.
Just curious, do you ever play any teams from Folsom? I have a relative who works and plays in a rec league there, has been for like 10 or 15 years.

I dunno, California's a big place, there are probably lots of leagues.

Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
.....see young people taken aback by the things you do?
Anyway, back on topic, not young people, but the last time that same relative was visiting, I said "I'm going for a ride, back in a couple hours". He gave me a surprised reassessing look, moving me out of one category and into a more favorable one. That was nice.

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Old 02-27-20, 03:52 AM
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Yes, I get that quite a bit. I am only 65 and feel great when I ride regularly and don’t understand why a lot more people don’t exercise as part of their daily routine. I walk at least 2 miles every morning and ride once or twice a week. I feel blessed to be able to do what I do , but I have to say it is about discipline. I got back from my lunch ride yesterday and the machine shop next door was on lunch, most of them 30-40 years old. They were sitting around smoking cigs and drinking sodas looking at me like I am the crazy one! They ask me why and I tell them” just wait 20 years and you will have your Answer!”
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Old 02-27-20, 06:23 AM
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Yes, I get odd looks and surprised reactions when people learn that I do century rides. Other cyclists and the folks at my local bike shop also think I'm nuts because I regularly do long-distance rides on an 7-speed Electra Townie loaded down with two rear panniers and a 30 lb. backpack that carries all my photography equipment. To be honest, the weight doesn't bother me in the least. I'm in Florida where I don't have to worry about mountains or high elevations; and the only "hills" I have to deal with are the local bridges. After two back surgeries the Townie's "crank-forward" design is the only upright bike I can ride that doesn't shred my lower back.

I love cycling, I love photography. For me it's fun, healthy and very rewarding to do both. It feeds the body and the soul, and the bike allows me to access locations for photography that aren't as accessible by car.








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Old 02-27-20, 09:08 AM
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Does not happen all that often anymore, but I always get a kick out of youngsters giving me a WTF look when I pass them. Even a bigger kick when they are trying to drop me, look to the rear, and there I still am. If, when I am going to drop off, I always tell them "thanks for the pull and enjoy the rest of the ride."
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Old 02-27-20, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
Does not happen all that often anymore, but I always get a kick out of youngsters giving me a WTF look when I pass them. Even a bigger kick when they are trying to drop me, look to the rear, and there I still am. If, when I am going to drop off, I always tell them "thanks for the pull and enjoy the rest of the ride."
I am sure you are very experienced and able, but I don't do that anymore. If I am not on a structured group ride and am instead out riding solo, if I find myself riding at a similar pace to a stranger, I don't get on their wheel and I don't like it if they get on my wheel. I'll hang back and maybe match their pace, but at a distance. Adding some energy and trying to drop them is usually a bad idea - too many will take that as a challenge and then we seem to be racing. I'm not out there to race. There are safety and etiquette issues, of course, but mostly, if I had wanted to ride with others, I would have chosen a group ride that day.
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Old 02-27-20, 10:42 AM
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Almost all non cyclist find it hard to belied anyone could ride 20 to 40 miles in an afternoon.
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Old 02-27-20, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
Yes, I get odd looks and surprised reactions when people learn that I do century rides. Other cyclists and the folks at my local bike shop also think I'm nuts because I regularly do long-distance rides on an 7-speed Electra Townie loaded down with two rear panniers and a 30 lb. backpack that carries all my photography equipment. To be honest, the weight doesn't bother me in the least. I'm in Florida where I don't have to worry about mountains or high elevations; and the only "hills" I have to deal with are the local bridges. After two back surgeries the Townie's "crank-forward" design is the only upright bike I can ride that doesn't shred my lower back.

I love cycling, I love photography. For me it's fun, healthy and very rewarding to do both. It feeds the body and the soul, and the bike allows me to access locations for photography that aren't as accessible by car.
Boy, I get that one. When I was in my 20s, I'd drive around randomly and take pictures of what I saw. In my 60s, I ride my bike around randomly and take pictures of what I see. The two activities go together quite well.
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