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Do you really feel you're younger as a result of Bicycling?

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 really feel you're younger as a result of Bicycling?

Old 01-07-21, 06:16 PM
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I'm coming up on a significant year. I'll be 54 in May. 54 was the age my dad's brother died of heart attack. A few years later, when he was 54, my dad also had a heart attack and would have died as well if he hadn't gotten super quick medical assistance. He had a quadruple bypass and has been very healthy since.

It's had a pretty significant impact on the cousins of my generation. Most of us are pretty fanatical: ironman triathlete and coach; open water swimming and SUP racer; AT through-hiker; and myself, masters bike racer.
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Old 01-07-21, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 5 mph View Post
Then I realized the irony of what I said. I'm almost 60 but I visualize myself at 40. just as many of you do.
A lot of that is because of Bicycling.
to be honest I haven't stopped riding long enough in 70 years to know the "feeling" of being old.
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Old 01-08-21, 07:01 PM
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I felt old in my late 50’s when I was 35 pounds overweight. Made old man noises getting up off the couch and walked stiffly the first few steps. Developed the old man tell of looking just a few feet ahead of where I walked.

Lost the weight, took up stretching and posture exercises, do road and mountain cycling multiple times a week.

My face shows my 67 years, but I’m fit and active. And I don’t get up and walk like an old fart.
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Old 01-08-21, 09:41 PM
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I can tell you this. When I stop riding, I feel much older.
Proud parent of a happy inner child ...

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Old 01-08-21, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
I can tell you this. When I stop riding, I feel much older.
Indeed. I was off four months last winter due to a serious accident, and I felt horrid. Even after a few days off, I feel achy and gumpy.
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Old 01-08-21, 10:26 PM
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I call my bike my time machine. It transports me back 20-30 years and my true age (66) disappears.

As other posters have said, people typically think I am 10 years younger. My health is far better than my peers and when I hear of people younger than me dying, think ‘yikes’, but remember that bad genes aside, some were not that active or had poor diets.

Ah the burden of an active life style.
Rick Seattle-ish, Wa.

“He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

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Old 01-08-21, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
I can tell you this. When I stop riding, I feel much older.
Yep a few years back, I had just come off a 7200 mile year and working to hit 8K. I was on a group ride and the guy in front of me hit his brakes accidentally when he was trying to change gears and I got into his rear wheel and down I went. I was the only one to hit the ground which was good, but I went down very hard and ended up having 5 operations to fix my shoulder. It was an unpleasant experience. During this time, I also had a management change at work and the that dictated a lot of changes to my schedule and people opted out of that environment, which meant I had a lot more work to do. So I was off the bike a lot and it took a a couple of years to find my groove again. I felt horrible and comply out of sorts suffering through almost 15 months of physical therapy and a lot of mental abuse at work. I finally was able to get back on the bike and that help by allowing me to ride my stress away, which is an awesome feeling. Luckily an old manager called me and offered me a job and I gladly left the toxic environment in my wake. I feel so much better now and to award myself for surviving all of that crap, I bought myself a Domane last Oct to help in my mental and physical recovery.
Brian | 2021 Trek Domane SLR 7 | 2016 Trek Emonda ALR 6 | 2016 Trek X-Caliber 8 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp
Originally Posted by AEO View Post
you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

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Old 01-09-21, 03:16 PM
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I'm 72. Been cycling seriously since my 30's. I had a nasty crash back in May, 2020. Hit the pavement like a bushel of wet leather, and was stunned enough that I couldn't immediately pick myself up off the pavement. Long story short, EMS was called and they initially told their base station I was 50-something. When I spoke up to correct them, they wouldn't believe me until one of them found my wallet and checked my DL. Thanked them for the "compliment" but was more grateful for the IV and pain meds they started on the ride to the hospital.

Turns out I fractured my pelvis. Took 4 weeks until I could get on my trainer. Think I aged four years in that time off the bike.
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Old 01-09-21, 03:38 PM
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No. If riding actually made me feel younger, I should feel like pre-teen! But I feel like a fit 67 yo with knees of 200k miles.

That said, it is fun to get physicals and watch the GP taken my heart numbers. (But even those are 20 points higher than when I raced 40+ years ago.)
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Old 01-09-21, 06:02 PM
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The Fountain of Youth is no myth. Eat right, exercise right, sleep well, de-stress yourself. No big mystery.
"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." --Theodore Roosevelt
Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
Carlton: 1962 Franco Suisse, S/N K7911
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
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Old 01-10-21, 03:54 PM
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I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers. One of my sisters (64) is healthy and active/spin bike and a joy to be around. My younger brothers (52 and 60) sit in front of the TV, never exercise. My two older sisters (65 and 67) haven't exercised for decades and miserable people in general. My 65 year old sister in particular is probably listed on the 10 most miserable people in the US list. As a kid growing up she never ran, biked or played like a normal kid and as an adult is bitter about not regaining full movement after a knee replacement 10 years ago of which she did not pursue PT after the replacement. But none of my brothers or sisters can keep up with little old me age 62. Not even close.
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Old 01-11-21, 06:33 AM
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I have been cycling since high school . I just like it a lot. If my physical health benefits from it that’s OK , if my physical and mental health benefit, that’s GREAT!
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Old 01-11-21, 07:04 AM
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My wife and I have a motto: You can't help getting older, but you can stay immature!

Exercise in general (hiking for both of us, running for my wife) definitely makes you feel younger. Biking, my body may not push the bike as fast as it once did but I'm able to ride longer at higher average speeds than I did 30 years ago - mainly through learning how to get in cycling shape and better eating/drinking habits on the bike.
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Old 01-11-21, 08:34 AM
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I'll be 59 tomorrow. Sunday I went for my first snow ride of 2021. I was stormin' through a twisty downhill section of MUP when my heart leapt up and I let loose with a loud whoop!...same as when I was a kid.
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Old 01-11-21, 12:15 PM
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Even though official records claim I'm 47, I don't think I've ever outgrown my 14-year-old self (to which my mom,my wife, and pretty much every boss I ever worked with agree.) So it's not exactly as though being on a bike brings out the inner child in me or something like that; fact is, a bike is just about the heaviest piece of machinery I should legally be allowed to operate.

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Old 01-11-21, 12:25 PM
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A couple of years ago, Vermont Public Radio took a survey of Vermont truck drivers, asking them to rate the aggressiveness of fellow truck drivers by brand of truck. And so, from a list including Ford, Chevy, Toyota, etc., they chose Dodge Ram as the most aggressively driven brand.
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Old 01-11-21, 12:35 PM
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Thanks to everyone who has posted here. This is the best thread that I have read on this forum so far. These brief stories are similar to mine.

Cycling is the closest thing to a fountain of youth that I can think of. Nobody can believe that I'm 74. That's from riding only 1,000 miles a year. 2019 was bad, only 500 miles, starting off with a broken wrist, then later a knee replacement. I really felt that I aged that year. But I got it back up to 1,000 miles in 2020, aiming for 1,500 in 2021.
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Old 01-11-21, 12:45 PM
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No not really, I still have way to many aches and pains at 65 then when I was younger! Still I just like the way I feel when I get in a ride, not YOUNGER, just better and that makes it worthwhile to keep riding as long as I can!! 60 is the new 40 is BS propaganda from the med companies, I didn't ache and hurt at 40 like I do at 65 but I still feel as much JOY riding at my age as I did then. Maybe not as far and certainly not as fast but the "Miles of Smiles" still feel good and I will keep riding till that feeling quits! Have a excellent day!
Take Care, Ride Safe, have FUN! :) | BJ and JoLynn Ondo | BJ: 2007 RANS Fusion, Jo: 2007 Electra Townie 21d, Crank Forward bicycles

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Old 01-11-21, 01:48 PM
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Outwit the Grim Reaper by walking faster

(Published 15 December 2011) How fast does the Grim Reaper walk? Receiver operating characteristics curve analysis in healthy men aged 70 and over

Men aged 70 and older can elude the Grim Reaper by walking at speeds of at least 3 miles (or 5km) an hour, finds a study in the Christmas issue published on bmj.com today.

The authors say that for the first time they have estimated the speed at which the Grim Reaper usually walked: about 1.8 miles per hour. He never walked faster than 3 miles per hour.

The Grim Reaper is a well known mythological and literary figure who personifies death. To assess his role in mortality and walking speed, a team of researchers based at Concord Hospital in Sydney, Australia analysed the walking patterns of 1,705 men aged 70 and over who were participating in The Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project (CHAMP).

The men lived in the inner city and suburbs of Sydney and they were recruited from January 2005 to June 2007. The CHAMP study included a high proportion of immigrants and only 50% of the participants were born in Australia, 20% were born in Italy and the other main countries of birth were Great Britain, Greece and China.

The researchers assessed participants’ walking speed at baseline and survival over the five-year study period.

A total of 266 deaths were observed during the follow-up. The results show that their average walking speed was 0.88 metres per second (m/s). No men with walking speeds of 1.36 m/s (3 miles or 5km per hour) or above had contact with the Grim Reaper.

The authors conclude that the results support their theory “that faster speeds are protective against mortality because fast walkers can maintain a safe distance from the Grim Reaper.”


Danijela Gnjidic, Research Fellow, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
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Old 01-11-21, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by gkeep View Post

Outwit the Grim Reaper by walking faster

That might not work out as well as the authors of the study may have thought...
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Old 01-11-21, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
I believe it was the New England Journal of Medicine that some time ago had an article about bicycling, and that it seemed to slow down the aging process. Would think that any regular exercise would do that, but cycling was specifically discussed. ...
I only started cycling at the start of Covid at 58 years of age. Prior to that I would take the dog for a walk 2-3 times a week up hills near our house, a two hour trek. So prior to starting cycling I was already reasonably fit.
I now commute to work, a 16km journey takes me about 35min each way. I am now cycling about 100km / week on average.

For some years, I have had a medical checkup every year. My last checkup was late last year. The blood tests and exam showed health improvements. Reduced cholesterol, improved liver function etc etc. In my case, the medical evidence shows bicycling has been good for me.
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Old 01-11-21, 05:07 PM
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When I turned 55, I invited a few friends over. They didn't know which birthday, so they just aimed for the right decade with four candles.
I usually explain that "I took a few years off."
I feel like I think I should at 72, and that the couch potatoes are prematurely old. The old farmers around here are also pretty lively.
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Old 01-11-21, 07:09 PM
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I've never felt my age, except maybe 50 years ago (I will be 70 in march). I am way younger than my age....music is has a lot to do with this, as I've managed to stick with it all my life, but so does my bike.
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Old 01-11-21, 07:43 PM
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I started cycling again later in life. I feel younger in the respect I feel fitter.
I also host cyclists on Warmshowers, to give something back to touring cyclists.
Recently I had a round the world cyclist stay with me for a while. He's been going for five years so far. He's in his 20's and I'm 62. All the locals here though we were father and son. Later on, whenever people asked we said we were. It was quite funny.
We ended up touring around north-east Thailand together - 800km in a week, which I never imagined I'd be doing at 62. So yes, I do feel younger!
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Old 01-11-21, 10:00 PM
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Do you really feel younger as a result of cycling

I am 78 and have ridden seriously for 40 years. I have a coach and train 6 days a week and do an 8 mile trail run with 600 feet of climbing on the 7th day. Garmin says my fitness is age 20 and my body fat scale says my metabolic age is73. I ride weekends with groups mostly in their 50's. Endurance athletics seems to have covered up my medical problems all these years including an ICD, blood thinners, multiple cardiac ablations and polycystic kidneys along with a blood disorder. I still feel like I am in my 40's so yes, I believe cycling takes years off your actual age. As a widower I am chasing a 63 year old lady.
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