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How to know when to stop

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How to know when to stop

Old 02-07-22, 10:27 PM
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dmanthree
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How to know when to stop

I always wondered, after 50 years of riding, if at some point I'd decide to stop riding. Well, this last seems to have helped that decision along. Last Tuesday I crashed and was banged up pretty bad. The injuries are healing, but I simply can't take a chance of falling on that side again or it could be much, much worse. I went down, suffered four broken ribs, a punctured lung, and broken clavicle that still needs surgery. I was on a vacuum to remove excess air from the membrane surrounding the lungs for four days. Yes, it was painful. So I decided to end it here. I've had a great run, and no longer want to make my wife a nervous wreck every time I leave the house. She deserves a lot better.

So it's on to Zwift, and a dedicated trainer, likely the Tacx Bike Smart. So to all you "geezers" out there, ride smart and ride safe! See you on line. ;-)
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Old 02-07-22, 10:56 PM
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Yikes. Yeah, I've had several self-induced crash injuries, and other sports injuries. But none of those affected my attitude toward cycling or most sports, other than boxing. I quit amateur boxing in 1978 after a Pyrrhic victory in my final tournament. I won but experienced a horrific headache, comparable to those I've experienced with migraines or cluster headaches. Seemed stupid to continue in a sport at which I was merely competent but not particularly talented.

But being hit by a car in 2018 really got to me mentally. Broken shoulder and Grade 4 separation, with winged scapula. Took nearly a year to heal and still aches some days. Aggravated an old neck injury too, and now my recent spinal scan showed permanent damage to my C1-C2 and stenosis throughout my neck.

I rebounded pretty quickly in terms of cycling fitness... for awhile. I was on the indoor trainer within a month after the injury, and back on the road bike a few months after the injury. I set some of my fastest times throughout 2019-2020.

Due to the chronic neck pain I decided to mix up my training and resume jogging in late 2020. Turns out running doesn't aggravate my neck, as long as I'm mindful about posture. Turned out running helped with my climbing on the bike, and I could stand to pedal up climbs for up to a mile. I even cracked the top ten on a couple of Strava segment climbs in my area, although I lost those to younger, fitter cyclists over time -- as it should be. No 60something y/o dude should ever hold a Strava KOM or top ten unless that segment is ridden only by kids on Big Wheels and grandparents on trikes, or the dude is doped to the gills on PEDs.

But as the pandemic wore on I noticed a dramatic and disturbing increase in road rage in my area (and throughout the US, as news reports indicate). I found myself breaking my longstanding rule to never engage drivers in temper tantrums or finger signs. I stopped joining group rides on some routes due to traffic problems. I stopped riding solo on some favorite routes during the day and mostly rode at night to avoid traffic.

In late September 2021 I developed COVID-like symptoms, despite being fully vaccinated. Not bad enough to be hospitalized, like some friends and neighbors who declined the vaccines. But bad enough to drain my energy for months. I had a constant upper respiratory inflammation, headaches, joint and muscle aches, vertigo and recurring asthma attacks (I had to switch rescue inhalers from albuterol to Primatene Mist with epinephrine, otherwise I'll drown on dry land from exertion induced asthma in dry or dusty conditions).

My last bike ride was October 2021, while I was taking Prednisone. Yeah, for some folks Prednisone acts as a mild PED... for a few days. But for me, after a week or so on tapered dose oral Prednisone I crash and need a few weeks to recover my natural cortisol balance.

I haven't even used my indoor trainer since then. I still run on good days, jog on so-so days and walk even on bad days, usually 3-5 miles a few times a week, and 6-8 miles on weekends. My fitness is still pretty good.

But I lost the desire to ride a bike outdoors. Maybe it'll come back. I'll set up the trainer again and see how it goes. But I'm disgusted with the daily encounters with negligent and sometimes outright hostile drivers. The worst are in my immediate neighborhood. Just riding the single mile to better roads is running a gauntlet of negligent, rude and aggressively hostile drivers... and this is on residential streets, not busy commuter thoroughfares. The long grind of the pandemic restrictions and political/cultural upheavals have provoked a lot of irrational anger and I'm just tired of dealing with it for the sake of a leisurely bike ride.
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Old 02-08-22, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
I always wondered, after 50 years of riding, if at some point I'd decide to stop riding. Well, this last seems to have helped that decision along. Last Tuesday I crashed and was banged up pretty bad. The injuries are healing, but I simply can't take a chance of falling on that side again or it could be much, much worse. I went down, suffered four broken ribs, a punctured lung, and broken clavicle that still needs surgery. I was on a vacuum to remove excess air from the membrane surrounding the lungs for four days. Yes, it was painful. So I decided to end it here. I've had a great run, and no longer want to make my wife a nervous wreck every time I leave the house. She deserves a lot better.


So it's on to Zwift, and a dedicated trainer, likely the Tacx Bike Smart. So to all you "geezers" out there, ride smart and ride safe! See you on line. ;-)

Saddened to read about your *hanging up the wheels* but you must do what is best for WIFE and yourself. My wife knows and accepts the risks I take when out riding and she figures I'd be happier if I get hit and killed hopefully quickly like a bicycling buddy rather than the inevitable progression to death from my Prostate Cancer.(unless my experimental/first ever in World treatment protocol works)

Good LUCK and Zwift ON.
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Old 02-08-22, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
I always wondered, after 50 years of riding, if at some point I'd decide to stop riding. Well, this last seems to have helped that decision along. Last Tuesday I crashed and was banged up pretty bad. The injuries are healing, but I simply can't take a chance of falling on that side again or it could be much, much worse. I went down, suffered four broken ribs, a punctured lung, and broken clavicle that still needs surgery. I was on a vacuum to remove excess air from the membrane surrounding the lungs for four days. Yes, it was painful. So I decided to end it here. I've had a great run, and no longer want to make my wife a nervous wreck every time I leave the house. She deserves a lot better.

So it's on to Zwift, and a dedicated trainer, likely the Tacx Bike Smart. So to all you "geezers" out there, ride smart and ride safe! See you on line. ;-)
Sorry to hear about the crash and hope you heal quickly. At least you made it through to the age of smart bikes and trainers, which do make indoor cycling a lot more fun than it ever was back in the day! Actually it was no fun at all before.

If you are looking at the Tacx Bike, then also seriously consider the Yahoo Kickr Bike too. The "climb" function makes it feel much more realistic on hilly terrain and anything that varies your position on the bike indoors is helpful. The Tacx bike is pretty rigid and static, which can be quite tiresome on long indoor sessions. I went from a direct drive trainer (Elite Direto X) to the Yahoo Bike this winter and found it a great piece of kit. I did have an issue with the shifters intermittently failing after a couple of months, but Yahoo support sent me a replacement bar assembly within a couple of days. I think all the current smart bikes have their own issues, one of the downsides to first gen tech. But it's worth it if you want to focus on indoor training. I don't ride outdoors at all in the winter months now. It's cold, wet, muddy, dangerous and generally miserable where I live. I don't miss that aspect of cycling one little bit!
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Old 02-08-22, 04:34 AM
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I have also been riding almost 50 years. I went down hard last September. Fractured left hip greater trochanter, 5 ribs, clavicle, scapula, humerus in 3 pieces, and the distal end at the elbow in 5 pieces. Some of the breaks were just cracked thru, some were displaced, and one was sticking thru my arm. The arm was all tangled behind me and at a 90 degree angle. I had to pull and straighten it out in order to crawl off the road. It took 4 months to get the images and fear out of my brain. I can understand how that fear would have a rider packing it in or for a loved one asking someone to stop

I gave up competitive ice hockey for my wife's fear.

She is not getting my cycling.

Everyone has to weigh risk/reward benefits for themselves.

The biggest risk most of us face is falling down stairs. The mortality of a broken hip is almost 50% into the 70's. Anyone selling their two story house?
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Old 02-08-22, 05:24 AM
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Always hate to see and hear of mishaps on bikes that cause serious harm, mental and physical. I have never had a fall or crash that did more than bad scrapes and bruises to my body and ego, so it is hard for me to relate to giving up outdoor cycling due to one. I certainly understand the concern and fear. The OP has a lot of damage to heal from, I am not trying to minimize that, or the mental effect from that. For me, if I ever get to where I am giving up outdoor riding, my cycling days are likely completely over. I would have to totally get rid of all my bikes to have any chance of sticking to such a decision. There is no way I could have a bike on hand and not ride it outdoors.

Getting up and out of bed each morning comes with inherent dangers. Indeed, ones home is high on the danger list. Everyone has to make decisions on what risks they are willing to take, decide if that risk is worth the benefit, and live with the decision. I wish a complete recovery in all aspects to all that have suffered bodily and mental harm in bike mishaps, and I respect anyone's decision regarding what is best for them.
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Old 02-08-22, 06:55 AM
  #7  
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Sorry to hear of this but kudos for putting family first. The consequences of a crash in our 70s are much different from in our 50s. It's not so much that you might die as that you might suffer a debilitating injury, adversely impacting others. All of us in our 70s should be pondering this and be alert for indications we should move on. This is the difficult part but a crash caused by a lapse in attention or poor judgement would be a clear sign. I've been on the fence about this for several years. It's not easy.
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Old 02-08-22, 07:03 AM
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One possible thought?

How about a tadpole trike? Or a velomobile?

Low to the ground, feet first, and possibly less likely to crash and if you do, the distance to the ground is less.
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Old 02-08-22, 07:06 AM
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Sorry to hear of your issues. Something we'll all face eventually(hopefully without the crash part though). If you have MUPs around, you might consider a trike. Tricked out they can move along pretty well. We rented trikes one day while vacationing in FL just to see how they rode. If fitness is suffering there's e-trike options also.
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Old 02-08-22, 07:42 AM
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Thanks for all the kind words! While a "geezer" bike is possible, well, I'd rather Zwift. The illusion works!
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Old 02-08-22, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
I'd rather Zwift. The illusion works!
get well soon. good luck w/ the surgery. respect your decision
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Old 02-08-22, 10:03 AM
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Sorry for all the pain you have had to endure and the end of a pursuit you enjoyed.
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Old 02-08-22, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
I always wondered, after 50 years of riding, if at some point I'd decide to stop riding. Well, this last seems to have helped that decision along. Last Tuesday I crashed and was banged up pretty bad. The injuries are healing, but I simply can't take a chance of falling on that side again or it could be much, much worse. I went down, suffered four broken ribs, a punctured lung, and broken clavicle that still needs surgery. I was on a vacuum to remove excess air from the membrane surrounding the lungs for four days. Yes, it was painful. So I decided to end it here. I've had a great run, and no longer want to make my wife a nervous wreck every time I leave the house. She deserves a lot better.

So it's on to Zwift, and a dedicated trainer, likely the Tacx Bike Smart. So to all you "geezers" out there, ride smart and ride safe! See you on line. ;-)
Simple solution is to move to a trike. It is 100% less boring than riding a trainer.

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Old 02-08-22, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Simple solution is to move to a trike. It is 100% less boring than riding a trainer.
I know, but moving from a Roubaix to a trike, well, mental block. Yes, ego...
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Old 02-08-22, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I have also been riding almost 50 years. I went down hard last September. Fractured left hip greater trochanter, 5 ribs, clavicle, scapula, humerus in 3 pieces, and the distal end at the elbow in 5 pieces. Some of the breaks were just cracked thru, some were displaced, and one was sticking thru my arm. The arm was all tangled behind me and at a 90 degree angle. I had to pull and straighten it out in order to crawl off the road. It took 4 months to get the images and fear out of my brain. I can understand how that fear would have a rider packing it in or for a loved one asking someone to stop

I gave up competitive ice hockey for my wife's fear.

She is not getting my cycling.

Everyone has to weigh risk/reward benefits for themselves.

The biggest risk most of us face is falling down stairs. The mortality of a broken hip is almost 50% into the 70's. Anyone selling their two story house?
damn, I had to give up hockey and a few other sports a long time ago due to a broken cheek, eye socket, nose, and skull. I underwent reconstructive surgery, and am literally glued back together. So I simply cannot get hit or it would all cave in again.
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Old 02-08-22, 12:16 PM
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I hope youíre feeling better Ďdmanthreeí

Iím about to turn 61 years old. Iíve been riding for more than 40 years. In the past 5-10 years Iíve often pondered what the circumstances will be that lead to my last bike ride. Still perfectly capable to ride, will I just walk away for some reason? An accident? Maybe some unrelated illness suddenly prevents me from riding? Etc. Itís kind of unsettling to think about.

Dan
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Old 02-08-22, 01:10 PM
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All of the stated injuries can also be had in a car accident, so are you quitting driving too? I'm ~50 yrs old and if I were to think back to the number of car crashes I've heard of that killed or injured someone, compared to the number of bike accidents that have killed or inured someone, I'd be giving up driving and sticking with the bike. But driving is a necessity for me, as cycling is. So I accept the risks of doing both activities, and everybody's threshold for risk vs. reward is different.

I chose to not cycle outdoors for several months when I was put on blood thinners, right after receiving my Stage 4 Lung Cancer diagnosis (with several clots in both lungs). I was told that even a minor fall could've caused unnoticed life threatening internal bleeding. But in my mind I was not quitting riding outdoors, I was simply not riding outdoors while on the thinners. If instead I was told that I would be on blood thinners forever, I undoubtedly would've ridden outdoors again while on them. Cycling (outdoors specifically) is just too important to my mental health to quit. I'd much rather live shorter and die happy doing something I love, than to live longer yet die unhappy because I gave up the "risky" things that I lived for.
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Old 02-08-22, 01:56 PM
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Sorry to hear that you're hanging up road bike riding but understandable. I'm grateful that there are so many great bike paths where I live. Yeah I can still crash but at least I'm not dealing with cars.
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Old 02-08-22, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
I'd much rather live shorter and die happy doing something I love, than to live longer yet die unhappy because I gave up the "risky" things that I lived for.
Dying isn't the concern.
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Old 02-08-22, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
I hope youíre feeling better Ďdmanthreeí

Iím about to turn 61 years old. Iíve been riding for more than 40 years. In the past 5-10 years Iíve often pondered what the circumstances will be that lead to my last bike ride. Still perfectly capable to ride, will I just walk away for some reason? An accident? Maybe some unrelated illness suddenly prevents me from riding? Etc. Itís kind of unsettling to think about.

Dan
It was, and something I'd thought about before the crash. But the damage I did in this one made the decision pretty easy. Simply put, I've had a great run of riding for many decades, but I can no longer accept the inherent risks of riding, road or otherwise. Luckily, I have Zwift. All I can say is that for me it was pretty obvious. I hope you don't have such a traumatic event make the decision for you. I'm 67. Want to see 77, and beyond.
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Old 02-08-22, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Sorry to hear that you're hanging up road bike riding but understandable. I'm grateful that there are so many great bike paths where I live. Yeah I can still crash but at least I'm not dealing with cars.
That's the first thing people ask: did you get run off by a car? Nope. All me and some loose dirt. Not that it matters, really.
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Old 02-08-22, 03:02 PM
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Yep, when you wreck yourself, nobody else to blame, it's time to reassess.
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Old 02-08-22, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
That's the first thing people ask: did you get run off by a car? Nope. All me and some loose dirt. Not that it matters, really.
Yeah, I didn't think it was a car. I was responding as well to some of the other posts (like no. 2). Accidents happen on bike paths, gravel roads, etc. I was just thinking that removing the car from the equation allows you to control for one variable. And cars have gotten worse over the years because of cell phone misuse. Don't get me started on that one,
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Old 02-08-22, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
That's the first thing people ask: did you get run off by a car? Nope. All me and some loose dirt. Not that it matters, really.
Wow, me too. I wrecked all alone descending a mountain road above Boulder on a loop trip in September. Sand was my undoing. Damages were not as bad as yours, and I am about the same age. Finishing up physical therapy now. Lesson learned for me was to cool it on the big mountain rides unless I descend a route I have first ascended (and thus inspected). I have tons of distance in with no incidents riding around the metro area on MUPS during the past decade, and far less mountain mileage, so I take that as a sign of what's safe and what's not. "My need for speed, it made me bleed"

Last edited by randallr; 02-08-22 at 03:22 PM. Reason: fun
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Old 02-08-22, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by dmanthree View Post
I know, but moving from a Roubaix to a trike, well, mental block. Yes, ego...
put a motor on it then you can keep the same speed.
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