Author Topic: Senior comeback  (Read 7817 times)

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Offline Scotty0424

Senior comeback
« on: June 28, 2018, 09:38:22 am »
I'm a 68-year-old, reasonably fit male who is making a return to cycling after a layoff of about 15 years. Health factors and other things I won't elaborate on here forced me to give up cycling, which had included touring in Europe and U.S., mountain biking in Vermont and out West and general, frequent riding of between 30 and 60 miles with 2 or 3 centuries thrown in. So I was doing OK. But now I find I have lost a lot of strength and endurance and want desperately to regain as much as I can. Where I used to look at 70 or 80 miles as a good challenge, 25 to 30 miles is now my ceiling. Are there any others out there with similar circumstances? I would appreciate any advice on how to go about rebuilding strength and endurance (ride, ride, ride, I know) especially for a guy pushing 70. I'd like to get to a  point where I could handle a week-long Erie Canal trip or GAP/C&O ride. Thanks in advance.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Senior comeback
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2018, 10:14:24 am »
As you know, no amount of training will turn back the clock. And as you also know, ride, ride, ride (but don't over do it). Make sure you mix in some intensity.

You can probably already handle an Erie Canal ride. It's as flat as it comes, and there are plenty of places to stop, so you can do short days if you want.

Offline jamawani

Re: Senior comeback
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2018, 10:29:56 am »
Yes.

Fatigue and exhaustion are long-term side effects of certain health conditions and treatments.
And even if the treatment is successful, the exhaustion part often remains.
Not to mention muscle wasting - which is common to many conditions. (Not to mention aging)

I have ridden prior to, during, and since treatment.
I have continued to ride in town, on trail, and x-c ski and know that it is more difficult.
But I do  so, anyway.

After years of touring, I found it hard to do a 1000-mile tour in 2015.
But I did another x-USA in 2016. Albeit slower and with a few more grimaces.
You don't want to know how long it took me to ride up White Pass in Washington.
But even if you stop 20 times - you eventually make it to the top.
I've just had to adjust to thinking to fewer miles and more time needed to do them.

Best of luck.

Offline fastrog

Re: Senior comeback
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2018, 09:27:38 pm »
In my best Bill Clinton voice: I feel your pain. As a 69-year-old who had a heart attack in 2016, my only conclusion is that you have to take it slower. As I noted earlier tonight, I started the Transam recently and I am suffering. But I just accept things will take longer. I'm saying that  as much for myself as you.

Offline hikerjer

Re: Senior comeback
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2018, 06:33:14 pm »
I'm pretty much in the same situation. I'm 69. The summer before last I had to abandon a  cross-country tour because of knee problems ( I had a full replacement the year before). Also, I have a heart condition which is not debilitating but which is always a concern, but more to my children than me..  I find I can curenty ride 50 miles in four hours over varied terrain on my road bike without much problem other than being tired, but not exhausted, at the end. But that's different than riding a fully loaded touring bike. I truly hope to start a cross- county ride this August but do have some apprehensions. Guess the only way to find out is to do it but I assure you, my daily mileage will never be more than 50-60 miles.  Less, if weather and terrain or other conditions  warrant it.  After all we're not getting younger and the hills aren't getting smaller, the temps are getting warmer and the winds are getting stronger.  Kind of a now or never thing, I fear. I figure that if it's too much, I can always swallow my pride - again - and bail. Been there, done that.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 12:42:08 am by hikerjer »

Offline levilaur

Re: Senior comeback
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2018, 12:46:46 am »
 I haven't been on a tour for six years but will be heading in September. I had a heart attack about four years ago which forced me to set up a serious cardio/workOut routine. I'm fairly fit now and have more muscle than I probably did four years ago which really helps.  I think the one thing that helps is to lower your expectations, maybe you cant do 60 miles a day but you can do 30 and that's OK.  Also, if you can find a program/diet that can help you build muscle I think that makes a big difference, I've seen a lot of older people have problems simply because they didn't have strength to keep their biking moving with momentum.  If I couldn't keep my bike moving at a good enough pace I wouldn't go because proper cycling requires momentum which requires strength and if I didn't have that I wouldn't fool myself, that's when accidents happen, I've seen it on the Oregon Coast.

Offline fastrog

Re: Senior comeback
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2018, 02:24:14 am »
the advice came too late. i was almost 800 miles into the trans am when i fell last week in kentucky. broken wrist, broken big toe, lots of road rash. going back to that point in april.

Offline Scotty0424

Re: Senior comeback
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2018, 07:57:55 am »
the advice came too late. i was almost 800 miles into the trans am when i fell last week in kentucky. broken wrist, broken big toe, lots of road rash. going back to that point in april.

Damn! Hope you heal and make a comeback of your own. We old guys have to persist.

Offline fastrog

Re: Senior comeback
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2018, 12:00:22 am »
thanks. pretty depressing at first, after all the prep. but am healing well, the docs say, since the july 12 fall.  may be back on bike in less than a month from now, with the hard cast replaced by a removable one.  so may not lose all my conditioning. april start next year should ease some of this july's woes, like 102 temps.

Offline hikerjer

Re: Senior comeback
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2018, 01:41:04 pm »
Best wishes. Similar to my experience.  I'll try again next  year.

Offline pmac

Re: Senior comeback
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2018, 05:27:50 pm »
I'd consider an ebike, particularly if you are planning on staying in motels or commercial campgrounds with available electricity.   There are a number of quality ebikes set up for touring with a range of 60 to 90 miles, assuming you provide a significant amount of assistance.  While I do not have an ebike, my wife at 67 needed some help on hills and got a Haibike touring bike that really is fantastic.   While quality ebikes are not inexpensive, I think they have a real future for bike touring, particularly for people of a certain age. 

Offline hikerjer

Re: Senior comeback
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2018, 06:13:38 pm »
Please, I'm not that old yet.  I do have a semblance of pride left.  But that's just me, mind you.  You gotta do what ever works
for you.  For me, it's doing it totally under your own power that appeals to me.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 12:57:24 am by hikerjer »

Offline levilaur

Re: Senior comeback
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2018, 06:30:56 pm »
 ;D  3 thumbs up, pretty soon they'll have us riding hospital beds if we don't fight back. "Old Is Gold"

Offline fastrog

Re: Senior comeback
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2018, 07:27:54 pm »
well, i would not criticize anyone for doing what they need to do for the experience. i was 800 miles in before i fell, but it was harder than i thought. i'll be a month from 70 when i resume in april, but something might cause me to think electric between now and then. hardcore purists would already criticize me for going supported, but i don't care. 

Offline hikerjer

Re: Senior comeback
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2018, 08:59:35 pm »
In the  the hiking community there is a saying, "HYOH - Hike your own hike". It's equally applicable to the biking community, "RYOR - Ride your own ride". Do whatever you have to do to have a meaningful, fulfilling and pleasant experience. We're all different and the only guy you have to please is yourself.  If someone wants to be a purist, that's fine. If you don't, that's fine, too.