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Endurance Riding and Age

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Endurance Riding and Age

Old 11-24-23, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ofajen
or Tokyo. (Menís 1500m run, 1964)
Precisely. An excellent example.
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Old 11-24-23, 02:21 PM
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OP, I might have missed this in another thread but among the issues that caused you to abandon the Ride Across Wisconsin, were you able to identify any as being age related?
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Old 11-24-23, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob
THIS! Well this, and what I love about cycling is that I'm moving my own body from point A to point B with my own power. The bicycle makes me much more efficient, but it's still MY POWER that's getting me there. So for me, the farther the better. Eventually, upon retirement, I'll do a casually ridden Trans America Bike Tour.

After completing that one double century I did in April this year, I found a ride I wanted to do. The Florida 500. It's a 533 mile ride from Jacksonville to Key West, and it must be completed in 50 hours. But after figuring out how much training that would go into that, I decided to stay married. Oh well. The things I do for my wife.
Have you joined the TCCA? - https://www.treasurecoastcycling.com/
Great group and great rides.
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Old 11-25-23, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy
Have you joined the TCCA? - https://www.treasurecoastcycling.com/
Great group and great rides.
Yes. Iíve been a member since 2015. Good group.
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Old 11-25-23, 04:35 PM
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I'm 63 and typically do weekend rides with a friend or two in the 40-60 mile range. I'm not retired, but I do have summers largely flexible, so I'll try to ride a couple of more times a week, usually another 40-60 mile ride and then one around 30 miles. If I have the time, I'll do those three rides on consecutive days, which seems to optimize my conditioning. I've had seasons of trying to complete a brevet series, but I have a chronic pinched-nerve issue in my neck, which makes rides longer than 100k fairly painful. Still, I'll usually do a few 90+ mile rides over the year, often as part of a tour when I just need to grind out lots of miles to get from A to B. Also, I'm a year-round bicycle commuter though my commute is quite short (around 5-6 miles total). I think even that time spent in the saddle pretty much everyday at least keeps my arse in shape for longer cycling.
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Old 11-26-23, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
OP, I might have missed this in another thread but among the issues that caused you to abandon the Ride Across Wisconsin, were you able to identify any as being age related?
No, not that I’m aware of. Things I think caused me to not finish RAW double century in August after completing the Sea 2 Key double century in April:
1. I didn’t train hills enough.
2. Upon completing my DC in April, I meandered on the bike for 6-8 weeks. So as others have said, don’t stop training. I did for a while.
3. I carried an extra 17 pounds on this ride. I gained 10 pounds after the April ride and I carried 7 pounds of stuff on the bike since it was my first SOLO DC. For the April ride, my wife car-supported me, carrying all my extra stuff. To prepare for my next extended endurance ride, I figured I can reduce my additional weight from 7 pounds to just over 13 ounces!
4. We had a strong head/ cross wind coming out of the south. Even the Wisconsinites were complaining about it.
5. I burned too many matches at the beginning due to the wind. I should have found a group to ride with and rotate pulling. After Sparta, WI, we turned south for about 20 miles directly into the headwind. I rode stupidly rode solo while trying to make time. At the end of the 20 mile headwind, we had a 4 mile accent up a long hill. The combination broke me mentally.
6. I had a couple of minor mechanical issues, including a loud squeaky shoe, that also mentally ate away at my emotional state.

Last edited by Bassmanbob; 11-26-23 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 11-26-23, 03:28 PM
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I think it's really hard to train for hills when you don't have to do them every time you ride. It seems to be more than just overall fitness. Good luck next time.
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Old 11-27-23, 12:40 AM
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We have a few 60+ year olds in our local randonneuring group near Detroit. I know one of them is turning 70 soon, our RBA. I seem to notice them stop showing up around 70'ish. But I got to give anyone credit in their 60's to be running brevets. That's still tough work. I'm 53, still plenty of time before I reach 70
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Old 11-27-23, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by friday1970
We have a few 60+ year olds in our local randonneuring group near Detroit. I know one of them is turning 70 soon, our RBA. I seem to notice them stop showing up around 70'ish. But I got to give anyone credit in their 60's to be running brevets. That's still tough work. I'm 53, still plenty of time before I reach 70
A lot of the stronger guys have a hard time letting go of that persona, and drop out rather than finish in the back.

I think of my age in PBP timeframes. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, but in PBP terms next up is at 66. That's close enough to seem like a reasonable goal. Then 70 which will take luck to remain healthy and hard work to be fit. Then 74 where I need even more luck and possibly a new strategy i.e. support crew. Beyond that, I'll think about later. Of course I want to be the 80 year-old at the start line, but that's asking a lot.
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Old 11-27-23, 03:11 PM
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My wife (64) and I (61) have just finished a 1,567km circuit of South Korea, averaging 80km per day for 21 days. Just cruising and loving riding more and more. We're planning Amsterdam to Budapest next year. Although we both commute in our home town of Sydney, we're doing less of that as we wind down work, and much more long distance touring now that COVID trael restrictions have lifted. I think cycling is one form of exercise that will last as long as we can stand up :-).
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Old 11-27-23, 06:55 PM
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I'm sure it differs from person to person, but I'm just trying to get a handle on what's reasonable
If you understand that people are different - then you know they "age" differently.
My experience suggests that declining athletic performance is a result of whatever "body part" loses it abilities. That can be the heart, lungs, knees or back - or blends of many more ailments.
Some medical article once discussed the concept "age scoring" of various human organs. Different body tissues age at different rates. (brain scores, calcium scores bone scores etc..)
In my case "the brain" went first - followed by my back and heart. You can keep on riding until some part of your body tells you to stop -not the calendar.
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Old 11-28-23, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
In my case "the brain" went first .
What were the signs? I've found my gaze lingers on roadside attractions longer than is safe. Seems I used to be able to take it all in and be able to watch where I'm going.
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Old 12-04-23, 09:43 PM
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I started really trying to ride regularly this past January, at 50yo. Hadn’t regularly ridden since my mid 20s.

Built up regularly riding, got into a road bike, built up time and distance, and did a 100km race in November. Nearly 3k people started that ride. The first half or so, I mostly rode alone - even though I was passing people the whole time, and sometimes getting passed, I didn’t get into any groups for more than a couple of minutes before they left me or I worked my way through and left them.

Start of the second half, after the last big hill climb, I got into a pace line for a couple of miles, they dropped me, and then I noticed an older fellow tuck in behind me. Every time I looked in my mirror or did a blind spot check to pass someone, he was still there, tucked in tight. Another guy joined us, then a lady, then another guy. We rode for miles like that - me in the lead for most, sometimes one or another of them would move up for a while, then I’d be pulling for miles and miles. The two guys eventually dropped, and the lady and the old fellow rode with me to the end. The old fellow pulled a time or two, the lady pulled off and on, and then I just pulled till we bunched up to chat as we rode in the last couple of miles through the city streets, and sprinted the last couple hundred yards to the finish..

I was the youngest of the three of us - the lady is nearing 60, the nice old fellow is mid-70s, nearly as old as my dad, and dad is certainly not riding like that (dad sometimes rides an indoor bike, and never outdoors anymore). He had visibly good muscle tone, and was a smooth rider. I hope to be able to ride as strong as he did when I’m that age. I think I may be on a Catrike or something by then, though.
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Old 12-15-23, 02:46 PM
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I'm 68 & graduated to a much younger, faster group! My "old" group aged out......................
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Old 12-15-23, 05:31 PM
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in the early / mid 90ís I did majority of long road rides with a small group that included guys in their late 60ís and early 70ís

did three centuries with them - avg elevation gain around 9000 ft

had to peel off riding for a bit - but they were still riding good distances five or so years later (?)

typically started long rides relatively slow / steady - and often finished at a fairly respectable pace Ö would often pass many other riders that went out too fast and / or were not hydrated properly Ö some also did not have proper gearing (the older guys in our group used 2x mountain bike cranks to provide lower gearing)

old guys can scoot !
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Old 12-16-23, 10:00 AM
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74 and prefer shorter efforts / rides even though I could devote as much time as I want to cycling. Riding is fun but too much is not that interesting. I also workout in the gym and do other activities such as ski. I like the two to three hard interval days per week with a couple of endurance rides. Lately, I have been focusing on nutrition and blood chemistry in addition to lean muscle mass.
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Old 12-17-23, 05:41 AM
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Riding has always been fun for me, not an athlete, but never more than a year or two without a bike. Retired 4 years now, rode near enough to 2000 miles this year and last. 20 lb weight loss in that time, BMI 28 .
But still at 10mph average on the road, normal ride is 7 to 14 miles. Longest are 30 on the road, 7 to 10 on trails( pretty challenging ,elevation, soft sand).
Not seeing the improvement that would let me complete a C group ride.
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Old 12-17-23, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by hevysrf
Riding has always been fun for me, not an athlete, but never more than a year or two without a bike. Retired 4 years now, rode near enough to 2000 miles this year and last. 20 lb weight loss in that time, BMI 28 .
But still at 10mph average on the road, normal ride is 7 to 14 miles. Longest are 30 on the road, 7 to 10 on trails( pretty challenging ,elevation, soft sand).
Not seeing the improvement that would let me complete a C group ride.
What bike? Sounds like you want improvement? Try the Training and Nutrition forum, look around there. Improvement comes faster if you train, not just ride. What I did to start with, decades ago, was simply ride away from home until I was tired, then ride back, one long one like that a week. Doing that, you'll have problems, find solutions, and learn how to do longer rides. I suppose that to do endurance rides, one has to learn to endure. Not everyone enjoys that, which is fine. I find it interesting. I'm never bored on my bike. Order of importance: hydration, nutrition, fixing flats, pedals and shoes, clothing, bike.
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Old 12-17-23, 08:53 PM
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I started cycling in June 2017 at 57 y/o and 265 lbs. Rode my first century in Sept. 2018, my 2nd in March 2019. They both kicked my fanny.

In Jan. 2020 my baby brother (12 years younger) said he hoped to ride 12 centuries that year, one for every month. I thought he was nuts!

Then Covid hit in March and all of a sudden, I had more time to ride than ever before. Somewhere along the way that year I decided to see if I could ride 12 centuries.

My brother (friendly competition!) ended up with 12, his goal.

I rode for 14.

In 2021 I rode for 16. In 2022 I rode for 15 and this year I have ridden 18. Some of these 65 total (so far) are solo (15) while most of the others are like this - I'll ride solo from my house to the bike shop (10 miles), ride with the group for 60 miles +/- and then ride the last 25 or so miles home, again solo.

I love the challenge, mentally as much as physically.

Beginning in 2022 I challenged myself to ride "double my age" for my birthday ride. So in 2022 I turned 63 in July and rode 126 miles.

This year I rode 128... and later in the year (Oct. 28) I rode 130 miles solo, just because...

It's gonna be heck to do a double-my-age birthday ride when I turn 90!

Keep on pedaling!

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Old 12-18-23, 12:26 PM
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These stories are all very encouraging. I plan on retiring at 60 and ride around the world with my girlfriend. We watch all these YouTube videos and they're mostly 20 and 30 somethings, still with that youthful glint in their eye. I sometimes wonder if we are starting too late in life but it sounds like we'll be ok. Still don't know what we'll call our YouTube channel - Senior Moments?

Thanks again.
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Old 12-18-23, 12:34 PM
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If you can live w/o the attention, avoid the YouTube.
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Old 12-18-23, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
If you can live w/o the attention, avoid the YouTube.
No thanks. I've been a motorcycle travel writer and photographer for 15 years. I enjoy documenting and sharing my adventures
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Old 12-18-23, 01:16 PM
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If you can't, you can't....
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Old 02-27-24, 06:26 PM
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With age there is a decline in strength but usually an increase in endurance. Cardio and weight training are both important.

Interesting story about this fellow's exercise program that he started at age 73 and has continued for the past 20 years.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/welln...ichard-morgan/

Unfortunately I now live in the era of the cell phone and riding on many highways is too dangerous to risk. It only takes one fool to take out one or more cyclists.
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Old 02-28-24, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
With age there is a decline in strength but usually an increase in endurance. Cardio and weight training are both important.

Interesting story about this fellow's exercise program that he started at age 73 and has continued for the past 20 years.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/welln...ichard-morgan/

Unfortunately I now live in the era of the cell phone and riding on many highways is too dangerous to risk. It only takes one fool to take out one or more cyclists.
Very interesting article and study. I also was a late starter, if 50 can be considered late after reading about this guy. In the PNW winter, I mostly ride indoors on my resistance rollers. I also never ride on highways, only on paved rural roads, even if it involves driving to get on one. and on city streets if they lead to a rural road fairly quickly. Never had a bike/vehicle interaction or even had anything thrown at me. I've had some pickups hollering, "Get off the road!" but I ignore them.

I am very brightly lit and I never "take the lane." I think that bright lights make a huge difference. I can be seen 2 miles away in daylight. That gives drivers advance warning. They only look at their phones for a few seconds at a time. Otherwise there'd be cars in the ditch all over the place and there aren't. If they can stay on the road, they can also avoid you if they see you early enough. I probably have been averaging 2500 road miles/year for the past 25 and I have friends who've done over 20,000/year, no problems.
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