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Me.

Old 07-19-20, 05:52 AM
  #1  
Ray9
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Me.

In the winter months my bicycles are hung on a wall in a spare bedroom. I have a TV and a computer in there and I ride an exercise bike with a bucket seat on it to give my crotch a rest from a conventional bicycle seat. I may not go back to the gym so I am pricing treadmills which my wife argues against but if she had any brains she would not have married me.

At 73 I have been riding 50 miles a day since 1983 when I began transitioning from running to cycling. I was running 30-minute 10ks and winning races but stress fractures in a set of bones behind my toes kept recurring. I was surprised to discover that a bike club existed in the city and they offered group rides at all levels. In the 1980s 50 riders would show up in the parking lot of a large insurance company and you could choose a group to ride with led by experienced cyclists. That is over now and will likely never return.

I went from a C-rider to a B-rider the first year and by the second year I was in the A-group which was essentially a weekly race. I loved it! The cub put on a bike race in 1985 to raise money for a food pantry and about 250 people showed up to participate. They came with bikes that had baskets, bells, huge headlights, and carriers on the back. A helmet rule was enforced so people came with football helmets and anything else that qualified as cranial protection. Those were the days!

New Hampshire has many steep climbs and someone following in a car on a sultry summer night with no wind reported that a group of about 15 of us hit 70mph on the downside of Chesterfield Hill. Shifters on the downtube, peddle cages and all! I miss that. It was the age of innocence.

I retired in 2015 and ride mostly alone now. You can join modern clubs, but you have to sign all kinds of waivers a follow rigid rules. I do not want to follow rules; I want to drop people like a bad habit on the way up and chase the wind on the way down! If you find yourself eating the dust on an old white-haired guy, it is probably me.

Thank you for listening,

Ray
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Old 07-19-20, 06:04 AM
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Cool story
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Old 07-19-20, 08:52 AM
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Ray9, sounds as though you have a need to test yourself. I suggest a Wahoo Kickr trainer so you can train in the virtual world and pace yourself against other like minded individuals. It can be a whole lot of fun!
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Old 07-21-20, 07:58 AM
  #4  
Ray9
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For the past three weeks I have had to take my #2 bike because it's always threatening rain and I do not want to get my #1 bike wet. I developed a saddle sore on the right side. I deal with it by mixing a little OTC antibacterial cream with 1% cortisone cream. but first "before I ride" I wash the saddle sore with soap and water. Yes, "before". It works.
I pick my best shorts with the best chamois even if I have to hand wash them. Another trick I learned many years ago was to have more than one seat for my bikes. If you switch them the pressure points will change. Happy cycling.
Ray
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Old 07-21-20, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Ray9 View Post
For the past three weeks I have had to take my #2 bike because it's always threatening rain and I do not want to get my #1 bike wet. I developed a saddle sore on the right side. I deal with it by mixing a little OTC antibacterial cream with 1% cortisone cream. but first "before I ride" I wash the saddle sore with soap and water. Yes, "before". It works.
I pick my best shorts with the best chamois even if I have to hand wash them. Another trick I learned many years ago was to have more than one seat for my bikes. If you switch them the pressure points will change. Happy cycling.
Ray
My first thought for a 73-year-old with a saddle sore: check your saddle height. We shrink as we age. I'm 68, and I recently dropped the saddle height on each of my bikes by about a centimeter. My surefire saddle height test: if I can feel my foot lifting off the pedal, however subtly, while backpedaling, I drop the saddle a bit and try it again.
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Old 07-21-20, 08:22 AM
  #6  
Ray9
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This is true and many of us have leg-length differences. Even worn cleats can have an effect. It's never easy is it?
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Old 07-21-20, 09:39 AM
  #7  
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A recumbent is an excellent change up. Even works different leg muscles.

Hear you on the rules. Never cared for them myself.
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Old 07-21-20, 12:09 PM
  #8  
Ray9
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
A recumbent is an excellent change up. Even works different leg muscles.

Hear you on the rules. Never cared for them myself.
My indoor exercise bike is essentially a recumbent. I would love a recumbent but they are just not visible on the road. Most are low and are not where drivers are expecting a cyclist. I thought about getting an Eliptigo. That looks like sooo much fun!

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...tail&FORM=VIRE
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Old 07-21-20, 03:34 PM
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Pop N Wood
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Spend any time on a recumbent site and they will tell you how bents are the safest bikes made. I really worry about the visibility because I know SUV's and light trucks are the #1 killers of bicyclists. I figure it is high roof lines knocking us under and not over. A bent does seem like a step in the wrong direction except drivers seem to stay miles away from me on the bent. I think they see it and think I must be disabled in some way so they give extra room.

A guy on my local trails rides an elliptic bike. Young guy in good shape, but those bikes are slow. Seems like they would have the same problems a bent does; small tires and the fact you can't bunny hop over obstructions in the road. Combine that with the high center of gravity and they might be more lethal than a bent.
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Old 07-21-20, 04:37 PM
  #10  
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That is a very common misconception about recumbents being nearly invisible. If you can not see a 7 foot long trike flying a flag and with daytime running lights fore and aft, you need a white cane and a seeing eye dog, not a vehicle. I can attest to the fact that drivers give you way more room than I ever got on my road bike (long gone). I had one incident in well over 40K miles riding recumbents for the past two decades. It resulted in minor damage to my trike but none to me. The result would have been exactly the same if I had been riding a road bike. The driver came up behind me hugging the bike lane. It was a sunny Sunday morning and that was the only vehicle visible in either direction on a 4 lane 35 mph road. I'm not sure if he was impaired or distracted but I suspect the former. It is always wise to ride a bike (any kind) like you would a motorcycle. Be aware of things around you and be ready for the unexpected.
I only use the bigger part of the flag when I don't ride with daytime lights. Otherwise it is the smaller flag at the very top.



i can see two downsides to recumbents, the cost and for most people you are going to be slower than on a road bike. In my case, much slower than I was 20 years ago when I regularly rode a regular lightweight road bike. I wouldn't be riding if that were all I had today.
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Old 07-21-20, 05:04 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Ray9 View Post
You can join modern clubs, but you have to sign all kinds of waivers a follow rigid rules. I do not want to follow rules ...
What rules do they have that you don't like?
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Old 07-23-20, 10:41 AM
  #12  
shelbyfv
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Thought this should be near it's mate, for context.
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Old 07-27-20, 09:17 PM
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Figjam
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Old 07-28-20, 07:47 AM
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Ray9
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Paste?

Why can't I paste from my word program?
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Old 07-28-20, 08:09 AM
  #15  
Ray9
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I dragged my feet yesterday, so I never got out until 11:00 am. It was already 91 degrees F. While I was riding the temperature topped out at 96 F. I took an extra water bottle and let my mind get me through the 50-mile ride. I never let myself go into oxygen debt or create lactic acid in my legs. It was a daydream ride and I am good at daydreaming.

Here is one: 1985: I am a runner and I have just arrived at a Pepsi Challenge road race in Brattleboro Vermont, a hilly little New England town that is a miniature San Francisco. It is a mid-July 10k race scheduled to go at noon and the temperature at 10:30 am is already 97 F. I survey who is there and realize that though I am capable of running 10k in the low 30-minute range there is a runner there who ran 29 minutes just a few weeks ago and he has brought a friend.

I am 5’5 and weigh 125 pounds, they are 5’10 and weigh less than I do. Third place is already my goal though my friend Tom who is equal to me in ability has been besting me lately so fourth is not out of the question. It is a rare cash race with $200 for 1st, $150 for 2nd, $100 for 3rd and $75 for 4th.

There was a female there I recognized because she had been running times that qualify her for the National Olympic Team and she has been on my heels in past races. She is only 19, I am 38. I get some comic relief as I see an aging scruffy runner there in baggy shorts with saggy gym socks that look like what I left my locker in 1964. To each his own I say. At least he is exercising.

There was some talk about cancelling the race, but it was overruled; 600 runners toed the line. The gun went off and it was very conservative start. No one made any sort of move in the first mile, 5:04. Tom and I were side by side and the two hotshots were just in front. Then they glided ahead at an impossible pace no one could match.

Tom and I had at least 3rd place locked up at five miles, 26:03. The temperature had climbed to 101 F. Tom got ahead of me and I could not stay with him so that 75 bucks was looking like a consolation prize. Then things got eerie. I came down a hill with a half mile to go and could see the finish line. I sucked it up and maintained my pace.

At a quarter mile to go I began to hear footsteps just behind me. Boy, I thought, that little girl has really improved, she may beat me. Then with about hundred yards left the heartbreaking sight of a pass occurred. It was not the girl. It was those damned saggy socks!

The guy looked like a hapless homeless person and he had kick! He took my 75 bucks! My time was 31:24 and I got fifth place, out of the money. The girl was right behind me at 31:27! I learned a lesson that day about judging my competition.
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Old 07-28-20, 08:23 AM
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As they say in golf, the competitor to fear the most is the one with a bad swing.
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Old 07-28-20, 08:24 AM
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Enjoyed reading your post Ray.

I just started riding with a local club. They have a lot of rides, some during the day which I cannot do because I'm still in the work force. They have 3 or 4 rides a day, every day, most are having 10 riders some more but the rules for the virus dictate that 10 rider in a group if more they split. There are C rides with 20-25 miles and maybe 1300 feet of ascent, C+ rides with 30 miles/1800 feet of climbing. I'm on the verge of trying a B ride but I want to be certain I can keep up, don't want to be the dog.

I have been on several rides either Tuesday or Thursday with this group, been on enough to have a good feel for who shows up and rides. At 62 years old I'm not the oldest by any means but few riders under the age of 50 have I personally seen. I take this as not a good sign for the future of road cycling. Maybe the virus is holding back participation?
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Old 07-28-20, 08:41 AM
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Good story Ray. The bike club here in Rhode Island, The Narragansett Bay Wheelmen, has been in operation well over 100 years so we can say they know a thing or two about club rides. Each ride has several choices of distance, say 80 miles, 55 miles and 25 miles but there are no ride leaders. A club member will phone police departments of the towns a ride will pass through to learn of any road closures or any other conditions that would effect a bike ride. Everyone is essentially riding on there own although those who ride at similar speeds will tend to stay together. Consequently, there may be groupings within each distance of 5 -10 cyclists. There would typically be 100 or more people participating but well spread out in small groups. There are no waivers to sign and the club welcomes guests.
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Old 07-28-20, 02:37 PM
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The club I ride with asks members to sign a waiver every year. Soooo much hassle -- it's enough to make one give up cycling!
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Old 07-28-20, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
The club I ride with asks members to sign a waiver every year. Soooo much hassle -- it's enough to make one give up cycling!
Same here, plus mine wants $30/year and your phone#. OMG, no end to the intrusion.
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Old 07-29-20, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Same here, plus mine wants $30/year and your phone#. OMG, no end to the intrusion.
It's Big Brother I tell ya
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Old 08-22-20, 05:41 AM
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Lift weights too. Cycling does not prevent osteoporosis.
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Old 08-22-20, 09:28 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Ray9 View Post
Why can't I paste from my word program?
did you copy first?
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Old 08-25-20, 01:02 PM
  #24  
Ray9
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Originally Posted by jay4usc View Post
did you copy first?
I waited till my wife got home and she told some sites won't let you copy by just right-clicking your mouse. You have to Control C and then Control V.
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