Cycling over 55

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Cycling over 55

Postby cgmorg » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:24 pm

Hi,

I am 57 years old next month and want to get back into road cycling after about a 3 year break. Any suggestions please?

Thanks Glenn
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by BNA » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:02 am

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Re: Cycling over 55

Postby Mustang » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:02 am

Welcome back Cmorg, having previous experience must be better than starting at 58 like me.
You will already know that your best friend will be a LBS that rides. At our age a proper bike fitup is all important, stay away from department stores.

Buy this book: "Cycling past 50" by Joe Friel. A little heavy in places but overall good advice.

My best incentive is this forum & the 6666 club. (Last year, my first I rode 2200km)

Cheers Brent
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Re: Cycling over 55

Postby notwal » Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:18 pm

Having recently done something similar I'll tell you what I should have done.

1) I just jumped on the bike and rode it but I should have had a medical checkup. There were times when I could have killed myself if had had any latent difficulties like high cholesterol or heart trouble.

2) Take it easy for a bit but be conscientious about lifting your game gradually

3) A heart rate monitor is not necessary but it is very handy. With it you can target the appropriate hr zones and also get a warning when you're overdoing it. (Watch it on hills)
This site is one of many that helps with the zone calc and other advice.
http://www.brianmac.co.uk/hrm1.htm

4) Commuting is the best discipline tool there is for regular cycling. It becomes totally routine. Get some good lights with back ups and don't worry about rain.

Anyway, you've been there before. Welcome back :D
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Re: Cycling over 55

Postby GraemeK » Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:45 pm

Hi Glenn -
57 is obviously the appropriate time to return to cycling - only thing was for me it was after a 30 year break.
Above advice seems good - If you are not sure about your general and in particular your cardiac health it would be prudent to have a check up before you start. I had an excellent insight into my heart condition since I started cycling because I wanted to get fit after a heart problem resulting in a couple of stents.
I guess my most salient advice would be to remember you are 57 and not get frustrated that getting fit at this age is a bit of a slow process. I suffered from this and found that i was pushing myself much too hard which resulted in slowing down my progress instead of speeding it up because it took me more than a day to recover.
So I guess my rule is to not push yourself to the point where you can not go back out and do it again tomorrow - the tricky bit to this is you usually go out and do what would have worked when you were 30 not what you can do now. Personally I think its just a function of not really wanting to admit I am getting older but my body is pretty good at reminding me the next day.
So take it easy and have fun.

Graeme
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Re: Cycling over 55

Postby duds2u » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:57 pm

Hi Glen,

Take heart there is a bunch of older riders here and as you have already seen a bunch of late bloomers as well.

I started last year after my 59th birthday. I've always been fairly active but not much cycling so my best advice is get a check up if you haven't been active for a while and then take it easy and enjoy. Build up your stamina and confidence steadily before you leap in the deep end.

The first couple of rides I had I scared the begeesus out of myself, I didn't have any confidence or balance and 5k on the bike seemed further than 5K running. I wasn't even game to grab the water bottle. I've still got along way to go but I'm going further, faster and after I got a new saddle a lot more comfortable. I guess I've come to a point where I am really enjoying riding be it solo or in a bunch but preferably dry.
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Re: Cycling over 55

Postby cgmorg » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:16 pm

Thanks for the tips guys. It is difficult to "take it easy" as the temptation is to push to far to fast but I thinbeing older one has hidsight to know when to slow down. Some good advise here and thanks again for you replies.

CU Glenn
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Re: Cycling over 55

Postby Rhubarb » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:36 pm

To all you older guys and girls, I want to say I find you inspiring. I have rediscovered cycling in my early forties and now find myself commuting to work every day and doing it faster than all but the elite ones. I find it really inspiring though when I see old people on bikes. You guys here aren't actually all that old but if you sat on the couch for long enough you would be. Instead you're getting out there, enjoying yourselves and winding back your physical age in the process. Good on you all. I just hope to be out there in 15 years when I'm your age doing weekend rides with my kids and still woopin em :)

Oh and if you need any inspiration, a lady named Brenda Noonan is cycling from Perth to Brisbane over the next 6 weeks. She's in her late 50s. Good effort by any standards.
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Re: Cycling over 55

Postby ajh003 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:15 pm

Wow I feel like such a young pup at 52 !!!
Been riding for 3 year come this June
Average 1000kms a month
Noticed a couple of you guys from Sunny Coast areas
I've never cycled with a group...do any of you guys ride in groups or can you recommend any that would accept an old timer like myself (I've been told my ride could be a problem - It's a steelie with mudguards and panniers for the daily commute)
Although I love to pass the boys in bling as they look rather surprised ....but I don't fit into their style !!!
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Re: Cycling over 55

Postby greyhoundtom » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:51 am

I got into cycling a couple of years ago when I turned 65. Made some stupid mistakes like buying what I thought looked like a nice mountain bike from KMart, and this boat anchor nearly put me off cycling forever.

I then decided I wanted to go faster and went back to KMart and bought another BSO, this one a alloy bike that actually looked like a road bike but was just another piece of crap. yeah I know I’m a slow learner.

After a learning phase of putting back chains, endless adjusting of the derailleurs, and getting rear ended by a car, I bit the bullet and bought a CF Fuji fitted with 105 running gear and had a basic bike fit.

All of a sudden cycling was what I always thought it would be, and I absolute loved it as it made me feel like I was 25 again.

That is when I made another stupid blunder. I started pushing it too hard by sprinting at my max for extended periods of time in an effort to get fit enough so I could keep up with 25 year old’s.

According to my HR monitor I actually hit a peak heart rate of 198 at one time. Bad mistake as it has caused some heart muscle damage I’m trying to deal with at the moment.

My advice to anyone over 55 getting back on a bike for the first time, or after a long layoff?

Don’t do as I did. :oops:
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Re: Cycling over 55

Postby gorilla monsoon » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:14 am

I am starting to feel that cyclists ned to have a Ulysses-style group for riders over 50, just like the motorbike guys.
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
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Re: Cycling over 55

Postby duds2u » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:32 am

gorilla monsoon wrote:I am starting to feel that cyclists ned to have a Ulysses-style group for riders over 50, just like the motorbike guys.


It may well have started right here.
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Re: Cycling over 55

Postby trailgumby » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:51 am

If it's any inspiration to you guys, my cousin started cycling in his 50s, and is still going at 74. I could only keep up with him up hills for the first time last year. The man's a machine and looks like he's early 60's at the oldest.

I took it up about 4 years ago. I'm late 40s.

+1 to the HRM. One with GPS and route tracking like Garmin is awesome. If you get the free Training Centre download, you can track your mileage and heart rate stats without much work.

It's enabled me to be a lot more accurate and targeted with my training/commuting, and I frequently use it as a tacho to make sure I don't overextend and bury myself with overtraining.

When I first started riding to work, I'd smash it both directions four days a week and end up being pretty much non-functional at work by week's end due to disturbed sleep. The HRM stats enabled me to get some accurate advice that worked (thanks mikesbytes :D).

Last piece of advice - pinched from Joe Friel's Training Bible books - is that at our age less is more. Allow adequate time for recovery.

Here's my typical week:
* My main training ride is Sunday morning for 3 hours or so.
* Mondays and Fridays off.
* Tuesdays and Thursdays I do a 58km round trip commute with some decent hills, 1:15 to 1:30 each way.
* If I ride at all on Wednesdays it's a recovery ride.
* Saturdays is skills-based "play" for an hour or so (eg, riding down stairs, step-ups, wheelies (not yet :oops:), cornering skills, and slow speed and track standy-type stuff) for fun.

And here's the crucial bit: I then take one week in three as a light duty recovery week, and often don't ride to work at all. The next week back "on" the legs feel fresh and I'm ready to shave a bit of time off my previous PBs. :D
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Re: Cycling over 55

Postby notwal » Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:57 pm

gorilla monsoon wrote:I am starting to feel that cyclists need to have a Ulysses-style group for riders over 50, just like the motorbike guys.


I wonder if that club name followed the Tennyson poem "Ulysses".
Everyone knows this bit:-

..... that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

He had a way with words that guy.
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Re: Cycling over 55

Postby Mustang » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:20 pm

notwal wrote:
gorilla monsoon wrote:I am starting to feel that cyclists need to have a Ulysses-style group for riders over 50, just like the motorbike guys.


I wonder if that club name followed the Tennyson poem "Ulysses".
Everyone knows this bit:-

..... that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

He had a way with words that guy.

I'am a Ulyssian (#10820) there are around 30K financial members, with membership numbers now in the late 50Ks. Ulysses apparently is a Greek god that was growing old & wanted to go & play with his mates. Hence the motto "Grow old Disgracefully" I would love to see a thread on this forum for over 50s.
Be careful naming anything "Ulysses"the HO is very precious about their name.
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Re: Cycling over 55

Postby duds2u » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:25 pm

Mustang, you're probably right.

We could go with something generic and original like "Old Fartz". The oldest member get's to have Number 1 as their membership number.

I've had so many numbers in my life I'd be happy to have a letter or maybe a group of them that spelt out Í'm stilll alive and kicking.
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Re: Cycling over 55

Postby lovemybike » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:06 pm

:) I'm impressed and inspired (especially with some of the 6666 club guys :D ) On the weeked I ride with a group of women and at 46 I'm the youngest...a couple of them are in their sixties...they are amazing!
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Re: Cycling over 55

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:32 pm

Assuming that you were a regular cyclist before the break then, frankly, I doubt that you will not have any problem. Certainly your own counsel will be at least as good as what anyone of us can give you. Three years is not a long time in the scheme of things.
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Re: Cycling over 55

Postby scotto » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:35 am

see your GP, tell him/her your goals etc, get a quick check up, maybe a stress test if you or they are worried, otherwise ride and enjoy. take it slowly - in lieu or heart monitoring, a simple check is this - if youre so puffed that you cant maintain a conversation, your overdoing it.
and in light of todays SMH news that said that for men 45-64, the risk of injury on two wheels has tripled of late, take care...
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