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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.

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Old 08-27-07, 07:47 AM   #1
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In need of a success story

I need some motivational stories for a buddy of mine at work. We have both only been riding for 2 months, about 20-25 miles averaging mid-to-high 18mph. I consider that decent for our limited experience. I'm trying to convince my buddy, who is rapidly approaching 50, that we could probably look into competing in a CAT 5 in about a year or 2. He's not optimistic at all stating his age as the limiting factor and also his lack of experience. I quickly point out to go from an average of 17mph to 18.5+mph in 2 months is quite an accomplishment and to be patient--time will get us there.

So anyone who entered biking at a late point in life (mid 40 +) yet managed to progress to CAT 5 and beyond category with success, please share your story.

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Old 08-27-07, 08:32 AM   #2
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sillywabbit, cats are for kids.
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Old 08-27-07, 10:31 AM   #3
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I took up track racing at the tender age of 52. I raced for three seasons. I never really progressed beyond cat 4 pack fodder, but had my moments here and there, and thoroughtly enjoyed it.

Sometimes the victory isn't so much in the winning, but just in having the courage to join the race.
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Old 08-27-07, 03:27 PM   #4
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Why? Perhaps he simply enjoys the simple act of riding on a sunny day, and is satisfied with that.
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Old 08-27-07, 03:50 PM   #5
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If your buddy is getting off the couch and riding at all he is already doing better than about 98% of the folks his age on any given day. What is wrong with that? Racing isn't everybody's cup of tea.

I raced for the first time this year at 49 and even notched a 4th place finish. What mattered to me more though was that I had picked a goal, trained for it, and showed up at the front of the pack to give it a go. The results were just part of the process. They weren't the goal. If there hadn't been any at all it wouldn't have mattered. Nobody can take away from me what I accomplished. What they might think of it can't diminish its value to me either.

Whatever your buddy sets for his riding goals should be what means something to him. Man, nothing sucks worse, and I mean absolutely sucks worse, than to go out and do something that you care nothing about just because somebody else told you that you should want to do it. There's got to be more to your goals than that. You can end up with a completely hollow experience that means nothing to you, accomplished or not, results come what may.

Good thing that you asked. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-28-07, 11:33 PM   #6
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Racing, though a nice goal, requires A LOT of motivation to carry thru. You REALLY have to want to do it. You have to possess a murderously competitive nature in order to have fun doing it. There's no "maybe give it a try." That's a recipe for disaster.

And unless you're really fit to begin with, it's even more difficult if you're 50. In Cat 5, you're racing against young guys in their 20's with a wide variation in strength and skills. And if you race masters, you're racing against guys that could ride in Cat 2.

Here's a suggestion: September is "century month." They put on lots of serious recreational rides with interesting routes, people riding at various speeds, and lots of food stops. If you've only been riding a couple of months, maybe suggest doing the Fall Colors Century Tour or whatever in your area. Sign up for the 25 or 35-mile option; don't even think about doing the 100 in miles or kilometers. Well, maybe kilometers if you are really keen and not worried about how long it takes you. This will give you and your friend a realistic goal to work towards, something to train for. And there won't be any of the tension associated with competing.

- L.
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