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I'm going to race because I can.

Old 10-16-16, 08:32 AM
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I'm going to race because I can.

Iíll be 70 in March. I retired in 2015 and found I was finally able to train on the bike the way I have wanted to for decades without the body fatigue of working 50 hour weeks. I currently ride 40-50 miles per day 7 days a week with varying average speeds depending on hills and wind conditions. There is risk involved in cycling that does not expire with age and in July I got tangled up with another bike that hit sand resulting in a collar bone break-second time on the left side. I was told to stay off the bike for three months-I stayed off for three days.

My fitness is as high as it was in 1983 which was the last time I raced. I am 5í5 and weigh 130 pounds. I have Atrial fibrillation and have had it since 1969 but the only blood thinner I take is a low dose aspirin. I believe that stroke risk from this condition is mostly an overblown myth by drug companies to make money. Obviously I canít take blood thinners and ride a bike because road rash could be fatal-not my words, a doctorís.

I am going to race again because I can and I should do quite well based on my average training speeds and my performance on group rides with 30-year-olds. I donít know how many races I can find with a 70-year-old category but if I canít find one Iíll go with 50-year-olds.

What is your input? I welcome it.
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Old 10-16-16, 08:39 AM
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People outside of the cycling community will say that you're crazy and it's risky, all from the comfort of their couch while they stuff down another donut and drive 2 blocks to the store for their high BP meds. Heck, go for it. You know your limitations, and you've been talking to your doctors about your condition. You can always stop if you think something feels off.
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Old 10-16-16, 09:04 AM
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Most districts in USAC will have a 60+ category that should fit the bill. 70+ I haven't heard of too often.

In higher age-bracket masters races, you'll likely find other people who are minded like you and don't take the same risks that a 20 or 30-something like myself would. I think you should try some Masters racing!

Also, if you would like, I can move this thread into the Master's Racing or general Road Bike Racing sub-forum. You're going to get a lot of convoluted and ignorant posts here.

Enjoy!
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Old 10-16-16, 09:07 AM
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Have at it. Being in my late 50's, I've decided I'm not going to let my age dictate my actions.

I've been told "you're crazy", or "you're nuts" so many times through the years I've began to take it as a compliment. I told my wife when people stop telling my that, then I'll be old.
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Old 10-16-16, 09:16 AM
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My wife calls me crazy every day. I wouldn't feel loved if she didn't.

Follow your passion. Good luck with your racing!
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Old 10-16-16, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by TMonk
Most districts in USAC will have a 60+ category that should fit the bill. 70+ I haven't heard of too often.

In higher age-bracket masters races, you'll likely find other people who are minded like you and don't take the same risks that a 20 or 30-something like myself would. I think you should try some Masters racing!

Also, if you would like, I can move this thread into the Master's Racing or general Road Bike Racing sub-forum. You're going to get a lot of convoluted and ignorant posts here.

Enjoy!
-Tmonk
Good idea to move it. Thanks.
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Old 10-16-16, 10:04 AM
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Awesome!!! Super stoked for you!
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Old 10-16-16, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Ray9
What is your input? I welcome it.
The sub-forum of Racers Forums: Masters Racing (All Disciplines) is really the best place for this post IMHO.
There are highly experienced active racers with great results and good coaches there to address your question with real experience from Masters racing perspectives.

edit: [MENTION=89773]TMonk[/MENTION] is already on it.

-Bandera
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Old 10-16-16, 11:16 AM
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You do it because you can! That is all that matters. Each day we lose a little bit until one day we are on the sidelines, watching instead of doing. Good for you. If you need any other motivation look up Teddy Roosevelt's "Man in the Arena" speech. Good luck!
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Old 10-16-16, 11:20 AM
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Dude, you are Way too old to be actively living your own life. Find a couch and do your part to be a decaying and dissatisfied wasted American---don't depend on others to waste their lives and set bad examples for their grandchildren. Man up and waste away----and complain about it.


Most races I know there are 55+ and 65+ categories, usually running together. Some of those guys are scary fit ... I know an 85-year-old who can outride my butt day after day. I am pretty sure you will find places to compete. Also, in my understanding and based on what I see others do, you can enter about any class you want ... you can race in Cat 5 and 55+/65+ and get in two races per weekend ... who cares where you finish (all the vain and fragile-egoed Cat 5 talkers, but who cares if their feelings are hurt? )
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Old 10-16-16, 11:34 AM
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Keep on racing, look for time trials too, I do lots of them. Much safer than racing with a bunch of mid-life crisis riders who are going to crash. I'm always amazed by how fast some of the 70+ year old riders are. I'm pretty fast for a guy in his mid 40's but there are a few guys 60+ who beat me every time.
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Old 10-16-16, 11:42 AM
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Their is a 70+ year old rider in our club who is an absolute monster. Go for it and have some fun.
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Old 10-16-16, 11:46 AM
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Yes man, go do it! You only live once and you sound like you're in better shape than me, and I'm 28.

We're all here to support you. This sounds like your calling
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Old 10-16-16, 12:26 PM
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Go out and give 'um hell!!!
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Old 10-16-16, 01:42 PM
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ATRIAL FIBRILLATION are the key words here people. That and the risk of stroke it creates.

I'd ask your doctor about this. Specifically, would going off your medication when doing a race be a viable option, maybe if you stop the aspirin for a day or two before a race then your blood will have time to thicken. I'm no doctor so I don't know what the effects of that would be. Also, have you talked to your doctor about an ablation and is that a possibility for your case?
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Old 10-16-16, 02:04 PM
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Have A-Fib, had the ablation ... it is not a cure-all. Also went off my blood-thinners (and all other meds) ... and didn't die.

Doctors prescribe that stuff for a lot of reasons, most having to do with odds and percentages ... blood thinners give the patient a 3x less chance of getting a stroke and an x chance of bleeding to death through a small cut or bruise .... so to keep from getting sued they take the safe way and prescribe drugs. Doctors have no idea if the drugs are actually effective at preventing strokes in most of their patients, but because of the tiny percentage who might potentially be helped ... and the huge number of family members eager to sue ....

At some point you have to accept that quality of life is more important than quantity of life, that absolutely everything is risky (the riders have a much greater chance of dying driving to and from the races than while racing) and that living and loving your life is better than living in fear.

I have no idea what might finally end me---maybe a bike wreck, a car crash, a heart attack while climbing that long hill ... or maybe a heart attack while cutting the lawn, or a blood clot while sleeping, or some illness I don't even know i have ... or maybe my wife (she has a bit of a temper.)

I cannot possibly guard against everything. i have to balanced risk and reward all the time. The older I get, the more I try not to get hurt (recovery takes longer) and also the more I realize that if I don't do it now or tomorrow I might never get the chance.

I don't want to spend the end of my life lying in bed wishing I hadn't wasted what I had when I had it. There is a huge range between "foolhardy" and "frightened" and 'd rather push towards the "foolhardy" end of the spectrum than the other. We all leave here one way or another anyway.
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Old 10-16-16, 02:12 PM
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I say "Oh, H*** Yeah!" Go for it. You can't eliminate all risk in life. Risk can be mitigated - but if that is overdone we become prisoners of our fears - - a prison cell is a very safe environment in certain ways after all.

I've had those same kind of conversations with doctors about various issues as well as comments from people who don't understand the competitive athletic drive. Caution is fine but ultimately you can decide what risk level is acceptable to you.
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Old 10-16-16, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
Dude, you are Way too old to be actively living your own life. Find a couch and do your part to be a decaying and dissatisfied wasted American---don't depend on others to waste their lives and set bad examples for their grandchildren. Man up and waste away----and complain about it. )
. That's the proper American attitude. Where I live in the "Rustbelt" industrial Midwest, Suburbia, there has been very little new commercial or residential construction since before the 2008-2009 economic downturn. But in my own town there are currently 4 very large independent living through skilled nursing complexes under construction.

There's a lot of money to be made off of the sick and elderly - we don't need anyone encouraging our populace of any age to exercise, eat right, and watch their health.

Seriously - I see so much of those tragic situations - the law firm where I work does primarily probate/estate and tax law. I actually use the senior partner's brother in law for inspiration - 6 years older than me and on permanent disability for joint issues caused by extreme morbid obesity (375-400 pounds). Needs both knees replaced but of course they won't consider it without dramatic weight loss.

I also found out recently I need a left knee replacement - not going to stop me training for 4-5 Olympic tri's in 2017 and I hope a half IM in '18. I can stave that surgery off a few years and do what I need to do. The interesting thing I find is how people -including the orthopedic guy I see for my knee - seem to think I should be in pain and taking dangerous crap for it. No pain just weakness with certain movements - and big deal, I've had a lot of painfull conditions and procedures over the years - you work through pain - within reason of course.

Last edited by DaveQ24; 10-16-16 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 10-16-16, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Ray9

I am going to race again because I can and I should do quite well based on my average training speeds and my performance on group rides with 30-year-olds. I donít know how many races I can find with a 70-year-old category but if I canít find one Iíll go with 50-year-olds.

What is your input? I welcome it.
Give it a shot. But note that average speed and performance on group rides may mean nothing in the context of racing (save for being able to ride closely to others). But you'll never know how you stack up without giving it a go. Good luck!
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Old 10-16-16, 02:46 PM
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If you can find races it's no more (and I would argue less) risky than fast group rides.

At 60 myself the problem I've had is finding suitable events. Most weekday races are A, B, C with sometimes a Masters 35+ field. Some weekends you might see a 45+ on the schedule. Heck at 40 I was still a solid 2, so that's the competition. If you don't mind just hanging on it's fun. But opportunities for a result are few and far between.
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Old 10-16-16, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Ray9
Iíll be 70 in March. I retired in 2015 and found I was finally able to train on the bike the way I have wanted to for decades without the body fatigue of working 50 hour weeks. I currently ride 40-50 miles per day 7 days a week with varying average speeds depending on hills and wind conditions. There is risk involved in cycling that does not expire with age and in July I got tangled up with another bike that hit sand resulting in a collar bone break-second time on the left side. I was told to stay off the bike for three months-I stayed off for three days.

My fitness is as high as it was in 1983 which was the last time I raced. I am 5í5 and weigh 130 pounds. I have Atrial fibrillation and have had it since 1969 but the only blood thinner I take is a low dose aspirin. I believe that stroke risk from this condition is mostly an overblown myth by drug companies to make money. Obviously I canít take blood thinners and ride a bike because road rash could be fatal-not my words, a doctorís.

I am going to race again because I can and I should do quite well based on my average training speeds and my performance on group rides with 30-year-olds. I donít know how many races I can find with a 70-year-old category but if I canít find one Iíll go with 50-year-olds.

What is your input? I welcome it.
My input is to check out the Masters racing and "33" subforums. Keep talking to your doc, and consider hiring a coach who has experience with Masters athletes.
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Old 10-16-16, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Ray9
Good idea to move it. Thanks.
I'll move it to general road racing and let the mods over there decide further.
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Old 10-16-16, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BillyD
I'll move it to general road racing and let the mods over there decide further.
Way to make your problem, my problem



Actually this should go in the masters racing forum.
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Old 10-16-16, 04:01 PM
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Awesome - best of luck!

I hope I'm still racing when I grow up.
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Old 10-16-16, 05:12 PM
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Well, you never know until you try, I suppose.

However, here are my thoughts:
1. There is normally a decline in aerobic potential as you age & my understanding is that for most people the drop-off is huge when you reach 50ish. Of course you could be an outlier. So saying you'll spot people 20 years when racing sounds pretty bad ass but realistically it may not be viable.
2. When you do mass start racing, your best racing is going to happen when you're racing with a large number of people around your same fitness & skill level- ie you race with 50 other guys. That's just not going to happen in a 70+ field (if they exist). So there's a decent chance that it's hard for you to ever get a decent field to race against. It could be frustrating if you're trying to learn & build racing fitness.
3. People who are still racing when they're 70 are probably pretty experienced, so if you are inexperienced it might be really hard to race against them on practical grounds.

On the other hand, when your racing community is small, it's likely that there will be a certain esprit d'corps. Everyone is kind of pulling for everyone else to stay in the game, so that they can too. It might be surprisingly rewarding & fun, when it's not hugely frustrating.

You might consider time trials and/or track. There are probably more people in your age range doing individual events vs mass start events, because they are inherently safer & injury is a bigger deal when you're 70 years old.

Not sure that I agree that the blood clot risk with a-fib is a manufactured risk of the pharmaceutical industry. Did your doctor tell you that risk of stroke is higher from racing? I'm not sure what the risk is with physical activity for a-fib patients. I thought the risk was of worsening the arrhythmia due to creating additional cardiac fibrosis/scarring. But honestly I've never looked into it.
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