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tsappenfield 02-20-14 06:33 AM

Shooting for the 2015 National Senior Games
I want to try to qualify for the 2015 National Senior Games in the 5k and 10k time trials. I compared my very unofficial best time in the 5k with last year's official results and I would have finished in 34th place on my very non-aero road bike. Other than getting in the best shape possible, what equipment should I consider taking into account that I am not ready to spring for a $6000 dollar time trial bike or a $1000 wheel set until I am really convinced that this is the event for me. Local qualifying is this coming July.

qcpmsame 02-20-14 06:35 AM

Best of luck in this pursuit:thumb: Also, maybe a post of your goal and question on the 50+ Racing forum would get more results: The fast Masters guys and gals there are involved in the Senior Games and can tell you what is necessary. Hope it works out for you.


Dudelsack 02-20-14 06:37 AM

Where is it being held?

jppe 02-20-14 07:39 AM

We have the District/Regional Senior qualifiers at our Speedway and I've timed the event several times. If the event where you are is like ours, your chances of at least moving on to the State competition should be very, very good. There are a lot of people who come out just for the fun of it and are not really serious about it. There are usually only a few who are pretty serious. We have folks who ride in jeans and boots, baskets on their bikes and wave the crowd as they come by etc. Hey, it's Seniors acting like kids again!

I've put on our local Time Trial Series for several years and there are some very, very good older time trialists out there. So, if you think you really want to pursue it you need to get more aero unless you are of a Pro caliber rider. We do a 10 mile event for our series. What I found was that a Time Trial bike that puts you in a better aero position and pushed more forward on the bars saved about one minute over a 25 minute 10 mile Time Trial. The aero wheels made specifically for TT's, a rear disc and either a 800 deep rim on the front or a 3-bladed front wheel save yet another 1 minute off a 24 minute TT. Skin Suits and TT Helmets help some but you can probably save that cash unless you are trying to squeeze out the very last watts and are already super competitive with others. We have a local wind tunnel and it is interesting to see how equipment's aero dynamics varies by people and position on the bike.

You can get in a very good competitive aero bike and wheels for under $3000......and even about half of that if you pick up some used equipment which is what I'd recommend. If you are like me you are not going to ride your TT bike that much anyway so why spend mega bucks on something you rarely use.

For starters you can simply get clip on aero bars and a fast forward seat post. Try and drop your bars as low as you can on your road bike with that set up. I bought a cheap Renn rear disc wheel and a HED 3 spoke front wheel off ebay pretty cheap. You could just buy the wheels, clipons and seat post and convert your road bike for an event. That takes about 45 mins. If you get more serious you could spend more money on a TT frame.

Let me know if I can be of any help. If we are able to get our TT series going at Charlotte Motor Speedway again this year we do one event a month April-September. You are welcome to experiment at our event. We're still hopeful to have the event but are trying to work through some financial issues first.

OldTryGuy 02-20-14 09:04 AM

jppe has great words of wisdom.

I have my 5K, 10K Senior TT two weeks from Sunday and plan on having a fun ride. Just given an aero Giro by a friend who won in the 2013 USA Cycling Masters Track Nationals Team Sprint and Pursuit so that will help a little along with my aero road bike. Not expecting to do anything great since I've done no training.

Good luck!! :thumb: :thumb:

Dudelsack 02-20-14 09:52 AM

They had the Masters Nats here a few years ago. I watched them for a bit. No one who wasn't decked out in skin suit, areo helement, and TT bike was competitive.

Allegheny Jet 02-20-14 09:54 AM

This years qualifier in Ohio is scheduled in June on the 24-25.

I competed in the 2012 games and qualified for the NSG in the road races. The site has a link to prior years results. I'd be leary of last summers NSG times in the TT events. The company doing the timing messed it up big time. In order to get to the big show you will need to be top 4 of Ohio racers in one of the two TT's. Last summer in the State Senior Olympics Cycling events, held near Alliance, I did the RR's and 5K TT. I raced the TT with my fixed gear track bike with disk wheel, aero bar and aero helmet. The course was an out and back that had a few rollers on it, the head wind on the first leg was brutal with my single gear choice. I don't know your age, but if it's under 65 a TT machine would be highly encouraged. At a minimum get clip on bars and a TT helmet.

Gonzo Bob 02-20-14 12:05 PM

Originally Posted by Dudelsack (Post 16511533)
Where is it being held?

Minneapolis/St. Paul MN. I know because I am racing a triathlon this summer that will be a qualifier (not that I expect to qualify).

tsappenfield 02-20-14 01:21 PM

So that all sounds pretty depressing. If you don't have $10,000 to lay out, not much of a chance. Oh well, as a retired 71 year old on a fixed retirement income, I have to start somewhere. As my wife likes to say, "It's about the journey; not the destination." Pickle ball is starting to look better though. I wonder if there is a forum.

Allegheny Jet 02-21-14 06:31 AM

Don't throw in the towel yet. There is lots of time to get ready for a June event then even longer to the summer of 2015. Check out the past OH results. You may find that the road races are inviting as the fields are small. Keep in mind a 4th place or better is all that's needed to qualify.

jppe 02-21-14 07:57 AM

Originally Posted by tsappenfield (Post 16512546)
So that all sounds pretty depressing. If you don't have $10,000 to lay out, not much of a chance. Oh well, as a retired 71 year old on a fixed retirement income, I have to start somewhere. As my wife likes to say, "It's about the journey; not the destination." Pickle ball is starting to look better though. I wonder if there is a forum.

I think you can use your current bike, add a fast forward seat post, clip on bars and get some used wheels all for less than $1000. You don't need to win States to qualify just be in the top 4. The number of entrants greatly decreases the older you are so you have a really good chance just by taking an interest! I'd suggest doing it this year just to get familiar with the event and if you don't make it you'll know what you need to do to get into the tier that does.

qcpmsame 02-21-14 08:04 AM

Please do not just write off trying at least your state games, my long term goal is to participate in the Florida Senior games in cycling disciplines with no worry about where I will place or any misconceptions about being a dyed in the wool "bicycle racer" or breaking the bank doing so. Get your self some miles in the saddle, get your bicycle ready as it should be and train with a local club or group of seniors. There are several good books by Joe Friel and Lenard Zinn as well as the Carmichael training series, that will help you set up your plans. Go for it and don't regret not at least giving it a go. Best of Luck.


himespau 02-21-14 08:20 AM

Best of luck and keep us updated. So yeah, go for it. Heck, go for it on your current bike if you want to. If you don't make it, at least you gave it a shot.

revchuck 02-21-14 08:35 AM

TSAPP - The Senior Olympics thread is here. I'll be doing the Louisiana version again this year. If they limited it to mass start bikes, I'd do much better. ;) Even if you don't advance past your state games, it's good to do them to support the concept and see how fast some of us older guys and gals can go (me NOT included). If you're not training towards something now, it'll give you a goal on which to focus, so your fitness will rise regardless of where you place.

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