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So just how good are you anyway?

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.
View Poll Results: In which quintile do you rate yourself as a 50+ cyclist?
Top 20%
19
19.79%
Second 20%
16
16.67%
Mid 20%
31
32.29%
Lower 20%
17
17.71%
Bottom 20%
13
13.54%
Voters: 96. You may not vote on this poll

So just how good are you anyway?

Old 05-28-10, 02:01 PM
  #101  
PAlt
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Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
What can I say? Don't taze me, bro.
Thanks for expressing what I was thinking... For those of us who are "goal oriented", it's simply how we're wired. If we recognize our affliction and don't impose it on others, what, exactly, is the issue? (Probably have fired the first shot in the DMZ here )
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Old 05-28-10, 03:04 PM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by PAlt View Post
Thanks for expressing what I was thinking... For those of us who are "goal oriented", it's simply how we're wired. If we recognize our affliction and don't impose it on others, what, exactly, is the issue? (Probably have fired the first shot in the DMZ here )
I resent that. A lot.

Wait, I think you were agreeing with me. If you were, you really should know better. I'm usually wrong.

So just watch it.
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Old 05-28-10, 03:23 PM
  #103  
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When I was 50 and 60+ still rode lots of centuries and a half dozen doubles.
My sub-5-hr centuries and 12-hr double century are behind me.
At age 77, don't really care how I rate.
Still ride 100+ miles a week.
Pedal on!
Rudy/zonatandem
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Old 05-28-10, 04:59 PM
  #104  
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Good? I'm GRRREEEAAAT!!!!!
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Old 05-28-10, 05:23 PM
  #105  
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All right, I voted.

I put myself in the bottom 20%. I had to. I'm not really a cyclist. I just use the bikes to escape reality, or maybe to escape to reality...I'm not really sure.

Since March 1st I've pedaled a bit over 1700 miles and I don't recall one mile that I didn't thoroughly enjoy. I stopped often to observe nature. I stopped often to chat with people. I stopped often to take pictures of things that fascinated me (I tend to dazzle quite readily).

I haven't a clue about heart rates and watts per hour. Gear ratios are way too confusing, I just click the little shifter and push on the pedals. I have no clue how fast I ride or what my average speed or time is over any designated distance. I often don't even know where I'm going to ride to when I pull a bike out of the garage.

I think that all the stuff I don't know or care about is really cool stuff and I can understand why many folks get real charged up about it, I just am not one of those people. I do envy those of you who are aware of all those nuances of cycling and charge after those goals. I often wish I had the dedication and drive that most folks on this forum have as I read about one rider after another that has conquered another beast or surpased another goal on his/her bicycle, but I don't.

There's no doubt in my mind that each and every member of this forum could teach me a world of cycling related information and skillsets.

I don't fall off my bike very often if that counts for anything, probably 'cause I'm not going fast enough.

I do know just a little bit of the easy mechanical stuff and I even get my hands dirty a bit, but I can't hold a candle up to most folks' mechanical knowledge-base.

So there I sit at the bottom of the 20% group, dumb and happy and riding off into my private little world with my camera and my wierd imagination at the ready.

Now if we have a poll about aimless wandering I'll put myself at the 100% top notch, really good aimless wander status. I just do it on my bikes, but I'm happy.

Last edited by cranky old dude; 05-28-10 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 05-28-10, 06:34 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
All right, I voted.

I put myself in the bottom 20%.
Lenny - I think you are not giving yourself enough credit. Don't fall into the self deprecation trap of this thread.
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Old 05-28-10, 06:54 PM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
Lenny - I think you are not giving yourself enough credit. Don't fall into the self deprecation trap of this thread.
Oh no, I'm happy with what and who I am.

It would be advantageous for me to be better, more sports orientated perhaps, but I don't care. My bikes are my escape. When I'm riding I'm not dealing with a loved one's disease, I'm not putting up with a tyranical boss or a non-appreciative employer. I'm not fighting with an insurance company or trying to figure out how to make the next repair payment. I'm not arguing with some idiotic moron. I'm not being bothered by anything. I'm free. I'm free to turn right or left, go fast or slow, pedal or stop.

I like my biking just the way it is, but it is only what it is and nothing more.

No sir. I'm not what I would call a cyclist....but I do like to ride.
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Old 05-28-10, 07:22 PM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
If this were the 41 (special code for the road cycling forum) you would have just triggered a massive wee wee contest.

There's nothing wrong with that.

What is the beverage of choice in Long Beach, Haterade?

What can I say? Don't taze me, bro.
Please accept my apology. I didn't mean "you" I meant those that focus too much on things other than the ride. I'll go back and erase my original response.
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Old 05-28-10, 07:26 PM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
Oh no, I'm happy with what and who I am.
And Lenny - that is precisely why you are not in the bottom 20%.
Some here measure themselves in mph, watts or N+1. These are illusive goals. You have measured yourself in, as DF's sig line states, smiles/mile. I think in the race to best 50+ cyclist - you have won.

I can't remember a post where you ever stated "I sucked today". If you have achieved nirvana - how could you possibly be in the bottom 20%.
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Old 05-28-10, 08:20 PM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
All right, I voted.

Since March 1st I've pedaled a bit over 1700 miles and I don't recall one mile that I didn't thoroughly enjoy. I stopped often to observe nature. I stopped often to chat with people. I stopped often to take pictures of things that fascinated me (I tend to dazzle quite readily).

I haven't a clue about heart rates and watts per hour. Gear ratios are way too confusing, I just click the little shifter and push on the pedals. I have no clue how fast I ride or what my average speed or time is over any designated distance. I often don't even know where I'm going to ride to when I pull a bike out of the garage.

I think that all the stuff I don't know or care about is really cool stuff and I can understand why many folks get real charged up about it, I just am not one of those people. I do envy those of you who are aware of all those nuances of cycling and charge after those goals. I often wish I had the dedication and drive that most folks on this forum have as I read about one rider after another that has conquered another beast or surpased another goal on his/her bicycle, but I don't.
Your situation parallels mine.

I have a whole lot of pressures at home - even as retired - including worrying about and still fighting for Andy's programs, health, medical care and everything else. And, my wife is having a lot of medical stuff, including surgery this next month. I envy those who seem to have no other problems, or if they do, they still manage to make cycling a goal oriented activity. Actually, I don't envy them one bit. I am pleased by my 4 rides this week, averaging about 20 miles each, and the joy, exercise and relaxation they give me.

Bicycling is one of my escapes. I don't need nor do I want any more goals in my life then I already seem to have, which is why I should avoid threads like this, as it quantifies bicycling in a very narrow dimension, as I view it.

I just love your posts as you, like I, take your time, explore, and you enjoy the beautiful things you have in your neck of the woods, take pictures, etc.

So, in my book, you are in the top 1% of riders.

Congratulations on being the winner.

You'll have to make a chart .
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Old 05-28-10, 08:45 PM
  #111  
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cyclinfool
"And Lenny - that is precisely why you are not in the bottom 20%.
Some here measure themselves in mph, watts or N+1. These are illusive goals. You have measured yourself in, as DF's sig line states, smiles/mile. I think in the race to best 50+ cyclist - you have won.

I can't remember a post where you ever stated "I sucked today". If you have achieved nirvana - how could you possibly be in the bottom 20%.
"

Wow! Thank you for those kind words.

O.K. I see where you're coming from. Yes, I've found great peace on the bikes as have many others here on this forum, Dnvr comes to mind and there are too many more to list.

Yet when I think of a cyclist, I think of one who posesses great bike handling skills, vast component knowledge, excellent control of their body and great physical fitness, or have made many contributions to the sport. Members like Hermes and Velodiva and BluesDawg pop into my mind, and there are many, many others. Hell, you race your bike up Whiteface Mtn! We have members who build their own bikes. I have to believe they are all very satisfied at the end of their day, much as I am.

I like to think that a term such as 'Cyclist' should imply possesion of certain skills and talents. These are skills and talents that can only acquired through hard work and dedication. I don't posses any of those special skills and talents. Many folks on this board do and I believe they deserve to wear the badge, 'Cyclist'. I'll gladly wear the badge that says content 50+'r.

I can play the Guitar and have a lot of fun at it. I can use it as a tool to bring me some peace and enjoyment. Clapton however, is a guitarist.

I can drive a car and really enjoy it. I can get around town quite easily using my car as a tool. Andretti however, is a driver.

I can ride a bike and I really like it a lot. Riding my bike is very relaxing........The End.

Last edited by cranky old dude; 05-28-10 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 05-29-10, 01:23 AM
  #112  
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I put myself in the top, I rode category C2 (45 Plus) last week in n criterum (can't spel....) followed by a ITT 16 K (10 Mi) here in the philippines.
I took 2nd in cri, 1st in ITT, some folks were 2 decades younger than me.

AND last Jan rode 26 miler across the Island of Cebu zero to elevation SUM on total course of just a few feet short of a mile with grades of 19%. (used a triple and a 30-34 up the hills) Took 24th among 70 contestents.

I'm in fairly good shape for 62 (63 next week). Heck all I got to do is work, sleep, exercise.
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Old 05-29-10, 07:21 AM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
An interesting question. Compared to all 50+ers, I am in the top 1%. Compared to everyone here, I'm in the middle.

.....

I chalk up the dearth of "nice ride" threads to the "Did you ride today?" thread, which has sucked up all the good ride descriptions. I would vote for closing that thread to free up the ride stories.
+1 That is pretty much how I look at it.

And point well-taken about the DYRT? thread.
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Old 05-29-10, 08:19 AM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
Smiles, not miles

In the smiles category, I rate myself in the top 10%.

Them's my goals.

For sure, in the top ten in that smiles category, even cycling with one herniated disk or another most of the time.

Where I'm in the bottom is climbing hills and long distance. I rarely seem to crack 15 miles before some part of my body goes unusably kaput for a few months.

I have other sports that contribute to the wear and tear, and they are the same deal now, smiles not miles. For me it's mostly about just being privileged to be out there and soak it in.

A far cry from the competitiveness of cycling when I was a kid — back then I couldn't NOT be the fastest.
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Old 05-29-10, 09:39 PM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by Bud Bent View Post
In this recurring discussion, I'm always surprised that it's the not-for-speed riders who are more militant about their position. Someone explain that to me. I would think it would be the type A speed guys, but it's always the other way around.
"Who the hell cares" is a militant position? How do you figure that? If someone comes up to me and says "I'm faster, bigger, stronger, smarter than you" and I say "Who cares", who is taking the militant position? Anyhoo, at this age I don't find the idea of athletic competition as compelling as it used to be. OTOH if someone was to get annoyed at this thread it might have something to do with the question being "how good are you?" rather than "how fast are you?" This seems to imply that there is no such thing as a skilled and experienced cyclist that is not fast or a well muscled and well conditioned idiot.
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Old 05-29-10, 10:03 PM
  #116  
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I wouldn't have a clue where to rate myself. I am not an "A" rider, but I ride faster than most "B" riders.
I ride almost every day that I am home in the warmer months in Houston. I don't have access to monster hills like I used to ride in Tulsa. I am nearly 61 yr old and ride faster than I ever have in the past.
I am strong in the one hour rides that I do regularly, but am not sure that I would do well in longer rides.
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Old 05-30-10, 05:33 AM
  #117  
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I think I voted lower 20%, although right now you need an extra category below bottom 20% just for me, as I logged a whole 21km for all of last week..... Hope to double that this week, but this kind of poll has a problem, were often kinda like fishermen, what we ride and what we say we ride, often are not the same.
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Old 05-30-10, 05:36 AM
  #118  
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Hey - How do you rate yourself as a 70+ cyclist?

That ought to cut the competition down to a manageable size!!
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Old 05-30-10, 06:52 AM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
Hey - How do you rate yourself as a 70+ cyclist?

That ought to cut the competition down to a manageable size!!
Yes! Finally something I'm too young to join.
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Old 05-31-10, 11:24 AM
  #120  
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As a 70+ cyclist, I'm under-experienced.
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Old 05-31-10, 11:57 AM
  #121  
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Gotta confess I've not read everything in this thread. In fact I've read none of it except the OP's opening post.

Mine can be summed up by what happened the first time I rode with locals in Denver, CO. Denver, guy not town, brought his wife and we met another guy for a nice ride. It wasn't a long ride, in fact it was a pretty short slow ride with stops to chat and have a snack. But, at home I'd been doing nothing but fitness riding, which while satisfying isn't a lot of fun. As we stopped I turned to the group and told them we hadn't come a lot of miles but we'd had a lot of smiles. That was an important day for me.

Since then fun has been my primary concern. Oh, I don't forget that fitness is an important goal. But, having fun along the way is much more important. This attitude seems to attract others which is an added bonus. On my last trip to Denver, I was never out for a ride but that somebody would pull up along side, usually a much faster somebody, and chat for a few miles before they sped off.

We are all going to get to the destination so don't forget we are spending our lives on the journey. Spend wisely.
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Old 05-31-10, 12:39 PM
  #122  
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WL: Looks like we have at least two things in common: 13 mph AVS and mint chocolate chip ice cream. Some story. There are only two things I fear: a front tire blowout and my 76th birthday (somehow it seems so much older than 75!)
Actually I am still improving. When I first started riding again last spring I was lucky to pass kids with training wheels. Next I started edging past seriously overweight older women. Presently I am occasionally passing a moderately overweight younger woman. Who knows, perhaps there is still hope.
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Old 05-31-10, 12:59 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by rwortman View Post
"Who the hell cares" is a militant position? How do you figure that?
I did say "In this recurring discussion", so even though I quoted you, I wasn't singling you out. On the other hand, considering the length of your reply, I rest my case.
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Old 05-31-10, 02:29 PM
  #124  
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I rate myself in the middle of the group. When I ride with my club I tend to ride sweep. That my be because of my my fantastic bike repair skills ( I can fix a flat and adjust a derailer) and because I can always catch up with the group, and we always regroup several times on our rides. Every once in a while I will get a wild hair and pretend that I am still 24 and rode as a Cat 1, like today. I will pay for this folly for the rest of the week, but it sure was fun to ride with a bunch of fast kids again. They may drop me on the hills but they better get out of the way on the descents.
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Old 05-31-10, 05:24 PM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by Bud Bent View Post
I did say "In this recurring discussion", so even though I quoted you, I wasn't singling you out. On the other hand, considering the length of your reply, I rest my case.
Well, not to be militant or anything, but I don't feel that people should be judged by the length of anything either but that's off topic.
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