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Old Age And Stability

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

Old Age And Stability

Old 04-13-23, 04:14 PM
just another gosling
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
I do know.

Speed is a risk factor, hit something/anything at 1 mph isn't the same risk as at 10, 20, or 30 mph. Physics.

There are plenty of studies showing reduced balance for older adults to the extent it is not even debatable. You are a backpacker, which is probably THE best way to maintain balance. When I was doing the Appalachian Trail a few years back, everyone was so happy to see an old person like me on it. Most 77 year olds have a hard time getting off the sofa. Basically, you and I are something like 2 or 3 or 4 standard deviations from the norm. The average newborn male will never get up once they hit 74.5 years of age. I used to play ice hockey at a high level, might have been able to go pro. When I skate now, those fast movements that require balance, strength, and perfect vestibular function leave me very frustrated.

A balance board is also a good way to maintain a steady foot.

Syncope is a balance problem. Imagine if you lost balance in that manner at 20 mph. I would imagine you did not have fainting spells at a younger age?

I notice my balance weakens at about 160-220 miles into a brevet. I have to be careful dismounting. I never had such concerns as a younger man.
Hitting something is a totally different thing than going down because you flatted. Just going down, speed has nothing to do with it unless you high-sided and got launched. It's the same distance to the ground stopped as at 20. Physics, like you say. Slow speed crashes might be worse because you might have time to put a hand out. I've never hit anything with an upright bike. I have locked up the rear, dropped the bike on purpose, and slid into an immovable object tires first. That's just bike handling. A little blood, no big deal.

Yeah, I hike and used to climb in Yosemite when I was in the Army.. Rock climbing is really good for that sort of thing. I also DH and XC ski - XC is better for balance, DH is about fast reaction time.

Syncope is a loss of consciousness. I passed out while still upright. I had an extra 5" to fall because I was on rollers. Heart ischemia..
Results matter
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Old 04-14-23, 12:17 AM
The Wheezing Geezer
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Since simple falls from our own height can be quite debilitating or even fatal at our age, I am much more attentive to zero-speed stability issues. My restored diamond-framed racing bike imposes restrictions on what I will attempt, in addition to my age and my hip replacements. I use toe-clips, but old-style cleats are not possible, and the toe-straps stay loose. A wobbly start on a steep portion of a climb will have me walking to a less-steep section before I risk a second attempt, and I'm slowly getting smart enough to avoid the first, or better at it.

On my brother's upright, step-through, long-wheelbase Clem Smith Jr., starting on the steepest parts is still easy. Needless to say I'm wearing a helmet always.

I wanted a drop-bar step-through bike with modern controls that would let me ride modern clipless pedals and shoes with confidence. I took up zandoval 's idea and built up a mixte, mostly with parts I already had. I'm tall, so it's funky-looking, but I'm really digging it!

Bella, my Raleigh mixte build

​​​​​​​Have fun and stay safe, everyone.
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