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Advice for old guy?

Old 05-10-16, 01:51 PM
  #1  
Paravia
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Advice for old guy?

I am 58, reasonably healthy, but never been touring. However, I go cycling every day (30 km/18mls a day for the past year, in VERY harsh conditions & roads - West of Ireland). My average speed is 16kmh/hr 10mls/hr.

Now I've ordered/received these racks, panniers etc. and I was thinking to just leave the house and go (Europe etc.), no plans. Just want to stress that I am 58 and used to some kind of comforts (nice accommodation, food, a little drink in the evening lol etc.). I also smoke

Today I've done 60km (37 miles) - as a test - fully loaded, with no particular problems, feel a bit broken now, but not overly tired. Took 4:20 (moving time 3:31).

Do you think just 'leave and go' for a... 'tour' is nuts? My wife thinks so.
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Old 05-10-16, 01:58 PM
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I'd say go for it. I wish I were still 58.
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Old 05-10-16, 02:08 PM
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Go for it! I'm 62 and just did my first loaded tour during the past few years, although I have ridden in supported tours for many years. I've ridden week-long loaded tours the past two summers, totaling about 400 miles each trip, with a similar distance planned for this summer. I hope to retire soon and have a lot of bike tours planned at that time.

Not to be a nag, but you will improve your prospects for cycling and health in general if you quit smoking -- but you know that!

I've visited the west of Ireland a couple of times, once on week-long walking tour of the Dingle peninsula. The other time we stayed in Galway and did a lot of hiking there as well as the Aran Islands and Connemara NP. You are correct about it being very rugged terrain and roads for cycling.

BTW, my main training for touring is bike commuting. I ride to work most days when weather permits, and it's about 30 miles (50 K) roundtrip. I've had no trouble at all coping with the additional miles while touring, although I do some longer training rides on the weekends as well. Taking some test runs with bike loaded is very helpful, in terms of fitness as well as finding out how to pack your bike, distribute weight and determine your maximum load.

Last edited by tarwheel; 05-10-16 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 05-10-16, 02:16 PM
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Paravia
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thanks guys, you're both over 58... so you can relate, I do have some 'issues' (for example, I take some sleeping pills every night, also, high blood pressure - even though I am skinny etc.). I am a bit scared, also because - I forgot to mention - I would go alone. My best friend recommended to wear an ID bracelet, in case I get a stroke, that's not (obviously) helpful at all ... lol.
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Old 05-10-16, 02:24 PM
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Try increasing your range a bit in case there are days when accommodations, etc., and widely spaced. Other than that...When I did my first tour at age 34 (across the U.S.) I was with a small group. The strongest rider on the tour was 60. There were three other people in their 60s and one guy who turned 77 during the trip.
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Old 05-10-16, 02:28 PM
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Paravia, Just ride at your own pace and don't set any unreasonable mileage goals, just remember you're touring.

Brad
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Old 05-10-16, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Paravia View Post
thanks guys, you're both over 58... so you can relate, I do have some 'issues' (for example, I take some sleeping pills every night, also, high blood pressure - even though I am skinny etc.). I am a bit scared, also because - I forgot to mention - I would go alone. My best friend recommended to wear an ID bracelet, in case I get a stroke, that's not (obviously) helpful at all ... lol.
Wear some good identification around your neck.
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Old 05-10-16, 02:42 PM
  #8  
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Around my NECK? Uhm okay, like "I want to be cremated" lol. Anyway, one of my fears, like today (even though it was a test, I was close to home), anyway, there were no accommodations in the area (B&Bs etc.) and it was about 7pm, so I thought, what if this happens for real... am I gonna sleep under a tree... or keep cycling - probably starving - in the night/rain etc.
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Old 05-10-16, 03:01 PM
  #9  
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I'm 56 (and french) as for comfort take into account that it's generally hard to find alcoholic beverages in muslim countries.
Hopefully you'll find tobacco every where.
From my personnal experience I had an absolutely unplanned year off, while my last child was expecting to be admitted in a university, and my wife decided to sell the house, to move to a smaller place ...
So there was a very limited peace of mind here
I went alone from Brussel to Tangier (and back to be here to be home for my son's exams and that dreadful moving)
So I would advice having "real" free time.
Being alone at this age is great : you're almost never considered as a threat by anybody, contacts are easy even you're sometimes considered as a sort of dirty homeless guy (most of the time it's funny except when you have to interfere with peoples in an upper neighborhood or when you dream of that young female cyclist you talked to en route)
I never had physical difficulties : stop when you're tired, walk when it's too steep. Check your heartBPM (220 minus age as a max)
ride between 50 to 100 km/day ; find a hostel or pitch a tent or a tarp (I did it absolutely anywhere without problems except 1 or 2 polite visits by the police...for 5 month and some interesting invitations)
Go for a tour for a week end, then a week, a month, expect to spend a less than 1000 euros per month
Be egocentric, take time and have fun, you probably spend too much time taking care of others already
No need for ID bracelet as long as you have some papers with you.

As for the bike ANYTHING comfortable and reliable will do it. You don't need to spend a fortune for a first test

Last edited by yves845; 05-10-16 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 05-10-16, 03:37 PM
  #10  
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thanks yves845, your "having "real" free time." and "be egocentric" are definitely food for thought (of course I also have family issues.... who doesn't at 58?).
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Old 05-10-16, 04:10 PM
  #11  
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I think you need to tell the forum how long of a trip you plan to take. For some of us older guys (I'm 53), thirty-six miles and a hotel room at the end of the day qualifies as a "tour." Others need to ride at least 100 miles a day and crap in the woods to feel like they've accomplished anything.

I'd suggest you start out with an overnight at a hotel within, say, 50 miles of home and see how you feel after that. You will most likely discover ways to make your next ride easier and more enjoyable. THEN you can plan to do something longer, if you even feel you have to.
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Old 05-10-16, 04:25 PM
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what about trying the camino spain tough enough cycling but you will never get lonely, loads of info on it .or stay in ireland do a few overnighters you'll be fine.travel light makes for
easier cycling.
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Old 05-10-16, 04:30 PM
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First off -->you're not old! I toured last year at 62 doing 2300 solo miles over the Great Lakes and back to the east coast. I've done 17,000 touring miles since getting back into touring at 54 years old. At that time (2007) I hadn't ridden a bicycle more than 10 miles in the prior 20 years.

At your age (58) I toured solo 3500 miles from Seattle to the Arctic Ocean (the top of Alaska).

Your fitness level is fine. Best to quit the smoking. I say Go for it!

Last edited by BigAura; 05-10-16 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 05-10-16, 04:36 PM
  #14  
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All of my past tours have had an ending destination. On only two tours did I have to reach the destination by a certain date. So, I can't say what it is like just going with no established ending destination and no established time to finish. For your first tour or two, you might consider something a bit more established.

If you have never done any bike tours before, you might consider seeing if there are any touring companies that organize bike tours in your area. If so, you could ride with a small group of others while someone else takes care of the logistics and planning. That way you would get into bike touring more slowly, you also might learn a few tricks from others in the group.
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Old 05-10-16, 05:30 PM
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I got fascinated with the idea of "touring" because of the no-planning aspect of it. So the notion of doing a few "trials" (albeit realistic and sound) seems to defeat the purpose of the challenge (which is, in short, doing some... challenge, i.e. complete a task before you kick the bucket lol!).

Bigaura I appreciate what you're saying, but 2300 miles solo at 62 seems like pretty unique to me, you certainly must enjoy a very high fitness level. Me, I have abused myself a bit over the years hence the worry. Okay I've done 40 miles today and I am not tired as expected, yet I feel just a *little bit* wobbly tonight, what's gonna happen if I (try to) do this for 30 days in a row.... when abroad, alone, etc.
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Old 05-10-16, 08:38 PM
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In my 50's I appreciate a two man tent, 50-60 miles per day. All my tours are 4:20.
Comfort is a big thing now.
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Old 05-10-16, 09:02 PM
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https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...c_id=4767&v=FV

This guy did 3300 miles across country at 81.
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Old 05-10-16, 09:32 PM
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I was talking in a similar manner, wanting to do something but afraid of this and that, when a 70+ year old friend said "what do you think this is, a practice life?"

There are logistics to work out, and things to be prepared for, but there is no doubt you should do this. Otherwise, what's the point being alive? Daily comfort?

Carry gear to survive a night with no roof over your head, but work to find shelter every night. With that approach, what's to worry about? Carry food for a day, but never intend to use it.
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Old 05-10-16, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Paravia View Post
I got fascinated with the idea of "touring" because of the no-planning aspect of it. So the notion of doing a few "trials" (albeit realistic and sound) seems to defeat the purpose of the challenge (which is, in short, doing some... challenge, i.e. complete a task before you kick the bucket lol!).
"A Walk in the Woods" perhaps?

This worries me a bit. Going on a bike tour is hard enough in a sense not to sabotage yourself by gaining zero experience before hand. No one will think that's admirable in any way or think any less of your tour because you approached it in a sensible manner. Why would you put all your eggs in one big basket before you even know if you are into the reality of touring? Nothing would suck or look more foolish than planning an epic European tour and coming home one week later because you realized you didn't actually like it at all.

Plan it, prep it, carry it out, and you look and feel like you have accomplished something.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 05-10-16 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 05-11-16, 12:09 AM
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I think riding everyday & all conditions helps a lot. Start tour with limited mileage & work into better shape. OTOH while Europe has good infrastructure for bike touring it seems as if having some plans would help.
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Old 05-11-16, 04:47 AM
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I must admit that I have found "A Walk in the Woods" very "inspirational" but, of course, it's a movie.
Anyway my update today, is that, last evening (after my 'record' 60km ride) everything was fine, but later at bed time, I got suddenly so tired I could barely walk to my bedroom (I even knocked off a picture from the wall with my shoulder because evidently I was wobbly). Not sure today I would be able to do the same ride. They say the first days of a tour are harder, then it gets easier, not sure about this.
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Old 05-11-16, 05:45 AM
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are you eating and drinking while your cycling .energy gels are great banana fruit cake energy drink.get them into you boy stay away from the big glory gears pedal light you should be fine.
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Old 05-11-16, 06:42 AM
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Go for it! You are well-prepared for any easy to moderate tour if you're able to ride 37 miles in a day. Even if you feel like hell after your first day or two, you'll likely be amazed at how quickly your body adapts and allows you to crank out much longer days (if you want) while still feeling great. I would plan on starting with some slightly shorter, slower days to begin with. Again, you'll quickly find that you're able to do much more once your body is acclimated.
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Old 05-11-16, 08:19 AM
  #24  
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I'm 68.. I've been a fly there and just buy a map when I Arrive tourer. in Other Countries.

Now I Live in a place other people travel to tour.[ from/to or through]

I took a 9 month tour for my 50th year..
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Old 05-11-16, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Paravia View Post
I must admit that I have found "A Walk in the Woods" very "inspirational" but, of course, it's a movie.
Anyway my update today, is that, last evening (after my 'record' 60km ride) everything was fine, but later at bed time, I got suddenly so tired I could barely walk to my bedroom (I even knocked off a picture from the wall with my shoulder because evidently I was wobbly). Not sure today I would be able to do the same ride. They say the first days of a tour are harder, then it gets easier, not sure about this.
Yes, but remember, that was just a movie and it seemed ok because in the end it turned out.

I get tired like that too when I'm at home doing day rides but it's a little different on tour. On tour I tend to pace myself better and there is less to do after the ride so I just rest when I want to. Also, I turn in around 9pm on tour vs 11-12 at home and sleeping on a hard foam mat tends to get old around 6am and that pushes me out the tent flap again. Maybe the enjoyment of fresh air and adventure overrides common sense and fatigue. That may be a good reason to try a weekend or week long tour just to see if you overcome that issue.
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