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Fitting cycling around life in retirement

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Fitting cycling around life in retirement

Old 08-13-14, 04:18 PM
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Gerryattrick
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Fitting cycling around life in retirement

Every year I aim to increase my cycling (rides rather than distance) but every year fail. Life just seems to get in the way.

I thought that when I retired I'd be on the bike almost every day, but I'm lucky to fit in three decent rides a week. I volunteer at a community bike workshop one day. I have a father, not in the best of health, who needs support. I go hill walking once a week with friends and there's always work to do on our house and my son's new apartment. I go for frequent day trips/short holidays with my wife or visit my daughter in London.

These commitments will be around for a long time hopefully, so I guess I'll have to be content with fitting cycling in when I can, and settle for never being as strong/frequent a cyclist as I'd like to be.

Do others struggle to ride as much as they would like, even in retirement?
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Old 08-13-14, 04:32 PM
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When I retired, about two months ago, parenting and bike riding was most of what was left in my life. I ride pretty much first thing every morning, leaving a not for the kids, and ride the same greenway, out and back, every morning. Takes about an hour and 15 minutes. I get home and shower and know that regardless how the rest of the day goes, I have had my favorite time already, and gotten my ride in. I frequently do a second or third ride, or go for a run, later on in the day, if the situation presents itself, but the first ride is a part of getting up.
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Old 08-13-14, 05:40 PM
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I'm 72 and retired the beginning of 2006. July 2013 I bought a Trek hybrid and in the ensuing year have put 5500 miles on it and the Fuji Roubaix I bought this May. The first thing I do each day is put in at least 25 miles; every thing else comes after that. Of course there are occasional tasks which take priority but as a rule my family knows to work around my need to remain healthy.

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Old 08-13-14, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick
Do others struggle to ride as much as they would like, even in retirement?
I ride 3-5 days a week & walk on the "off days".
Some days it's a town bike plooter about, a fixed year ride or the challenge of a familiar Hill Country route. No rhyme or reason just whatever I feel like doing, that's the point of being retired, no?

I'm also retired from competition and a long time involvement with club cycling, no pacelines no structured workouts and no team kit anymore.
I don't concern myself w/ mileage or "training" and just enjoy solo bike rides instead, some are short & easy some are not either.

-Bandera
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Old 08-13-14, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick
.... These commitments will be around for a long time hopefully, so I guess I'll have to be content with fitting cycling in when I can, and settle for never being as strong/frequent a cyclist as I'd like to be.

Do others struggle to ride as much as they would like, even in retirement?
Time management.... is time management. It doesn't matter if you have a "job" or if your position is "retired". If you really expect to keep those long term commitments you need to do a much better "job" of managing your retirement time. You need a good two hours of aerobic exercise EVERY WEEK. Plus you need about 90 minutes of weight/resistance training/exercise.

You should remember from you work years that some tasks are just not optional. Your post reads like you are setting aside the most important task (taking care of yourself) to do the less important duties.... or maybe even optional stuff.
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Old 08-13-14, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Rich Gibson
The first thing I do each day is put in at least 25 miles; every thing else comes after that. Of course there are occasional tasks which take priority but as a rule my family knows to work around my need to remain healthy.

Rich
this, 'cept I aim for at least 40-50 miles; average miles per ride in 2014 for 95 rides is 57 miles.
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Old 08-13-14, 09:35 PM
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I make riding a important part of my retirement. I am flexible on the start time. Today i watched the ENECO Tour on EuroSport before heading out for a 33 mile ride. I will probably do the same tomorrow. Sometimes I take time off and my wife and I go away. Last week we went to Galveston for the day and I took it as a rest day. I usually get back home by 2 in the afternoon. Plenty of time for other things. Retirement is nice. Texas weather helps a lot.
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Old 08-13-14, 09:56 PM
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You seem to have a very full life...relax, enjoy and be grateful you have a full life and can participate in it as fully as you seem to.
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Old 08-14-14, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter
Time management.... is time management. It doesn't matter if you have a "job" or if your position is "retired". If you really expect to keep those long term commitments you need to do a much better "job" of managing your retirement time. You need a good two hours of aerobic exercise EVERY WEEK. Plus you need about 90 minutes of weight/resistance training/exercise.

You should remember from you work years that some tasks are just not optional. Your post reads like you are setting aside the most important task (taking care of yourself) to do the less important duties.... or maybe even optional stuff.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining at all about life in retirement, in fact it's good - especially that my wife, my son and Dad are still around after life-threatening illnesses in recent years - just remarking how things don't always turn out as you planned.

I usually get in between 5 and 7 hours on my 2 or 3 rides a week and that, together with the walking, is enough to keep me ticking over as far as fitness is concerned, but not enough to make me a strong rider. One of the things that does get in the way is the unpredictable weather here in the UK - occasionally I envy those of you in places such as Southern California and the south west - which changes from day to day and spoils the best laid plans. You are right about the resistance exercise, I should do more of that.

Time management was important in my work, in fact at one stage I even gave talks on it, but since retirement I've just gone with the flow and am enjoying the spontaneity. None of the other things I do are a chore and I suppose cycling has to fit in with my life, and not the other way round.

I know I've got my priorities right - but a little more cycling would be good - I'll aim for it next year.
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Old 08-14-14, 04:36 AM
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I met a group that rode 6 days a week.11,220 miles first year with 15923 miles the second.

One of the guys in the group is a bike mechanic, my wife does the food and clothes for me.

I just pedal.
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Old 08-14-14, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Kai Winters
You seem to have a very full life...relax, enjoy and be grateful you have a full life and can participate in it as fully as you seem to.
+1

I've been retired for 13 years and back on the bike the past 10 years. My life has evolved to where I ride only twice a week with my club for a total of 100 mi. a week. It's the pattern that works well for me right now. Sounds like you have a full and happy life.
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Old 08-14-14, 05:14 AM
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LOL. i can not wait to have these problems. I have been off work for two weeks and i know what the OP is saying. I cleaned out the garage did some little jobs i never got around to, lifted weights and rode. Now i am really thinking next year hanging it up i just feel so good right now its crazy.
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Old 08-14-14, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter
Time management.... is time management. It doesn't matter if you have a "job" or if your position is "retired". If you really expect to keep those long term commitments you need to do a much better "job" of managing your retirement time. You need a good two hours of aerobic exercise EVERY WEEK. Plus you need about 90 minutes of weight/resistance training/exercise...

Originally Posted by Gerryattrick
Time management was important in my work, in fact at one stage I even gave talks on it, but since retirement I've just gone with the flow and am enjoying the spontaneity. None of the other things I do are a chore and I suppose cycling has to fit in with my life, and not the other way round.

I know I've got my priorities right - but a little more cycling would be good - I'll aim for it next year.
I'm particularly interested in life-management issues, including time management (Im not retired). For the past 10 years or so I have subscribed to a life management strategy called The Power of Full Engagement, by the book of the same name. (DISCLAIMER: I am not a cultist and not soliciting.)

The basic premise of Full Engagement is that optimal performance is more dependent on management of energy than management of time. I had a vague ideation of this principle, and it was solidified after reading the book. Im fortunate in my job that within limits, I can manage my activities around my energy levels. Furthermore, for me, cycling is a premier energy-restorative activity. For example the increased time spent commuting on the bike yields a lucrative return in energy.

I would think that time management in retirement would allow for easier and more effective management and deployment of energy. Just sayin, FWIW.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 08-14-14 at 05:23 AM.
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Old 08-14-14, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining at all about life in retirement, in fact it's good - especially that my wife, my son and Dad are still around after life-threatening illnesses in recent years - just remarking how things don't always turn out as you planned.
Your right there! Things never develop as planned.

Here in the American Midwest harsh winters makes staying fit and healthy-active difficult to arrange. I go for walks with my wife in the evenings. But I also slip in walk-jogs between the raindrops when it's rainy. Jogging for a block and then walking a couple blocks... then repeat with jogging again. It gets the heart rate up without as much wear on the knees as jogging alone.

I do more weight training in winter months than I do in the warmer cycling season. I haven't found a perfect balance with exercise, fitness, or anything else for that matter. But this retirement gig is by far the best job I've ever had.

I try to remember that as humans we are three dimensional. We are Physical, spiritual, and intellectual beings. Rarely does even the most attentive and routine orientated individual find a perfect balance for our human needs. Life is always a balancing act. But just realizing that there is a balance to be found..... is half the battle won.
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Old 08-14-14, 07:24 AM
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One of my retirement goals is to take short touring vacations and use both trains and a touring bike for transportation. There are also organized events like Eroica Britannia I have on my bucket list. Retirement needs to be an adventure.
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Old 08-14-14, 07:58 AM
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I'm not retired (yet) either (64 yr. old) but I have found a way to fit in cycling around other aspects/demands of my life.

Mon./Wed./Fri. I ride to work and back. Not huge miles (17 round trip) and I take it easy, treating these as a recovery rides.

Tue./Thur. I do club rides with OCRR in Irvine, hammering a bit, esp. on the climbs, riding pace lines, having a fun time riding between 25 and 30 miles, usually. We go out to dinner after the ride and that's fun too. The bad news is that I don't get into bed until about 11:00PM on those nights making it more difficult to wake up for the next day's commute ride .

Saturday I usually do a long ride in the mountains. My rough "goal" is 100 miles with 10,000 feet of climbing. Sometimes I don't quite make that, other times I exceed it. About 5 Saturdays out of the year I ride a double century. So far this year: Camino Real, Hemet, Devil Mountain and Grand Tour doubles.

Sunday is open. Sometimes I ride with my wife locally (Whittier Hills or down to Seal Beach for breakfast), other times I ride fixed gear for 40-50 miles, still other times I head back up into the mountains but for a shorter ride than Saturday, usually. If we're up at the cabin in Big Bear I ride my mountain bike on Sunday.

I should point out, however, that unlike the OP, my parents have both passed away, so no responsibilities there. My sons are both grown and living far from this (Los Angeles) area, i.e. Kansas City, MO and Alexandria, VA. My grandkids are in KC too, so no worries from those angles.

Finally, my wife is also a cyclist and so totally understands my need to ride, spend money on cycling gear and kit, so no worries there either .

This plan gives me about 200 miles of cycling in the average week; YMMV.

Rick / OCRR
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Old 08-14-14, 10:41 AM
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Started riding six years ago when moved to South Florida. Been fully retired since January 2013.

Ride early in the morning and usually home by 11 after putting in 45-50 miles and Starbucks time with other riders. Off days ride 10 miles very slowly at low heart rate for 45 minutes so takes up no time.

Schedule appointments and meetings in afternoon when possible. This way accomplish what need to do which for me includes riding. My parents are long gone and my children are in LA and NYC. Consider riding one of my new jobs which do in some fashion most days of the week.

Weather here is usually not a factor. Most rains are in afternoon--one of the advantages of living here.

Assume you are doing what's most important to you. If riding is less so be it.
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Old 08-16-14, 11:00 AM
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Very interesting insights! I too am not yet retired and have been living with the notion, apparently incorrect, that once retired I'll have all kinds of time to ride as much and as often as I want. Perhaps I should just keep on working if nothing is going to change except not having as much money available to spend on bike gear.
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Old 08-16-14, 01:33 PM
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I consider the quality of my "bike life" more important than speed or distance. I've been retired for nine years and I don't "manage" my time. I just do what needs to be done and enjoy my ride time when it comes along.
This past week my wife and I spent camping and biking with friends. We did a bike/ferry/bike tour to Pelee Island and rode about 60km over two days. Most fun on a bike in a while. I can do 100km days but just for pleasure, not to workout. I guess what Im saying is the competitive edge is gone so time and distance do not matter so much. Enjoy each day for what it is.
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Old 08-16-14, 03:48 PM
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Stop using your car in town. You really don't need it and, more importantly, you don't need to hit a mileage goal or your target heart rate every time you ride. Just go there, do that, and enjoy yourself. I'm not fully retired yet and I have driven less than 500 miles since last October.

Marc
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Old 08-16-14, 04:36 PM
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Any ride and riding time I get are good times, hands down. Your outlook is good about things, especially the way you enjoy that your family members are intact after some serious scares. Its nice to have problems like your, though, at least you are still in good health, get some riding in and take care of the things you have to. Enjoy the miles and the smiles.

Bill
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Old 08-16-14, 05:37 PM
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I'm a semi retired writer. Work about 20 hrs per week which is about right. About 90% of my riding is transportation related, mostly riding to lunch or dinner, pub with friends, grocery shopping, etc. Much of this is stuff I do every day.
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Old 08-16-14, 06:21 PM
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If you have two cars, get rid of one and start doing errands on the bike (grocery, liquor, hardware, golf course, etc)
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Old 08-18-14, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dbg
If you have two cars, get rid of one and start doing errands on the bike (grocery, liquor, hardware, golf course, etc)
Easily said in Illinois, not so where I live in northern Va. We have our family all living within 8 miles. Each Wednesday evening for the past 25 years we have dinner for between 12-15 people. Grocery bill is still $800 a month even though the three boys are grown and in their forties and we are in our seventies. Shopping for groceries fills the trunk. Retirement activities involve getting all over this hilly region. Two cars essential. Riding a bike in traffic in the Washington DC area alol day long would be courting serious injuries.

As for time/energy management ....ah, no thanks. I put up with that and dealing with alpha males and females for over forty years. We move to our own rhythms, not others'.

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Old 08-19-14, 06:40 AM
  #25  
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Many geriatric experts recommend a car lite lifestyle for retired individuals. Getting out of the car and walking a few miles a day can reduce the need and cost of healthcare. At some point, seniors need to get out from behind the wheel entirely.

Suburban living makes this difficult, if not impossible. Being elderly and stuck in a subdivision with no convenient access to healthy food will inflict its toll eventually.
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When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.
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