Aging cyclists - why do we do it?

This thread is very inspiring for anyone who asks the same question of themselves as the OP did. There are some seriously awesome people out there doing great things. Chapeau to you all!

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Congrats on your recovery, keep it rolling.

Your story is almost exactly my story… I’m 56, raced for 10 years, 18 years away (1995-2013) due to life changes, my addiction was food and I got morbidly obese. I’m back with a better mindset about riding. I previously rode my bike because I raced and when I walked away from racing due to life changes, I stopped riding. My mindset now is, I race because I ride which helps me keep the bike fun and hopefully continuing to ride it if/when I give up racing again.

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After 90 miles… To reach a group of young cyclists, keeping the speed of 25mph togheter for several minutes and at the end… To go to the finish line and be top 5. To see respect in their eyes looking to your Grey hair. This is why we ride. To Beat and be beated.

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Local legend and frame builder Giuseppe Marinoni beat the hour record for the Masters 75-79 at 75. He did it again in the 80-84 group at 80 (improving on his first time, imagine!). Each time on a frame he’s built himself. It’s not over 'til it’s over as they say in another sport.

There was a documentary shot for his first attempt.

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I’m 57, been riding all my life. Started TT-ing at 50.

I’m also in the “old Dad” club, first daughter born when I was 46.

Why do I still ride hard?

  1. I always have done and I still love the feeling of emptying my body of all its energy on a hard training ride, as much as I ever have.
  2. I love the feeling of being fit, especially the feeling of easily cresting a big scary climb at a good speed.
  3. I like the smug feeling I get when I see the young, unfit, overweight Dads on the school run.
  4. I’m still addicted to TT-ing and still aiming for (and sometimes getting) PBs.
  5. It will probably help me to live a bit longer than if I didn’t ride my bike so much.
  6. I owe it to my wife and two girls to be a fit Dad even if I’m an old one!
  7. I like the looks I see on the faces of young guys on expensive bikes that think that the new bike/deep section wheels make them fast, not the engine, as I overtake them on my old-skool titanium bike with shallow wheels!
  8. I’ve had a smart trainer for years but bought a power meter for my 57th birthday…a whole new world of motivation!

Great thread!

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I’m 43. I still set Strava PRs in segments I tackled for the first time 5 years ago. Unless you already maxed out young, you’ll get better for a while.
I am still having fun riding bikes , and it was only in the last 3 years that I started ramping up the mileage… 8000, 10.500, 12.000 km.
My non-cycling friends my age are in worse shape than I am , have less energy, etc… sometimes the looks on their faces when I tell them about my cycling feats is priceless.
I think that by now, riding bikes is part of my identity, not just a hobby that I could just give up tomorrow.

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I don’t race on the road—though I do some pacey group rides. Mostly I train because I love doing long MTB rides/races and there’s no way to do these kind of 5-10 hour rides without quality, economical training. I realize at my age, if I stop and lose it I’m not getting it back.

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49 been riding since I was 18. Did my first race when I was 20. Raced pretty seriously though my early 20s but never did any structured training.

I loved racing but never had any structure during my 20s. I never had a year that I didn’t race. I was racing Cat 1 mtb during my early 20s but never had any good results. Due to poor life choices I gained a lot of weight but when I was 32, I had an eye opening experience and realized that I was 40 pounds overweight. I ended up losing a lot of weight got back into racing as a Cat 2 and had success. The next year I moved up to Cat 1 and had some success with a couple of podium finishes.

I kept racing but never had any real structure but still did ok at my lower weight. I finally discovered Trainerroad in 2013 and had even more success.

I’m now 49. I had a couple podium finishes during 2020 for age group mountain bike races but I proudest of the last gravel race I had where I finished 7th overall.

I keep doing this because i was better than I was when I was half my age and I will keep doing this to be better than I was half my age.

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Just have to say this is hands down one of my favorite threads in the forum. So many inspirational posts. :muscle::muscle:

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I’ve been asking myself this question ever since I started cycling at the age of 13. Cycling hurts. Although every junior cyclist can dream of TdF victories, by the time most of us are in our late teens, we know we’re not bound for glory.

I’m 45 now, and although I’m faster than ever (thank you, TR), I still ask this question, perhaps more so as I know I’ll be inevitably be slowing down soon. I especially ask this question before one of Coach Chad’s V02-max or threshold workouts.

In the end, I think the answer in cycling is the same as it is in any worthwhile pursuit. Why do I do anything difficult, in fact?

Because it hurts. Because it overwhelms me. Because it humbles me. Because it makes me feel alive.

That, and ice cream.

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Man I’m inspired. Virtual fist bump :fist_right: :fist_left:

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I just turned 44 this week myself. Got my 4iiii power meter for my birthday present :slight_smile: now I can Start to TR outside instead of the stupid trainer. all these “older” folks are very encouraging to read posts from for my wife and I.

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Nice and the PM is pretty great, especially at first. Been riding indoors via TR TN here at the pollen is dreadful but the new Neo bike is pretty sweet. Loved my N2T which I still have but would not go back.

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I’ve been giving this a lot of thought since my 62nd birthday in Feb. Being a guy that has always liked competition and needed to win as much as possible. I’ve consistently tried to out train my competition. I’ve begun to shift my thoughts about biking to maybe give up a little bike performance to stay a highly functional human. Such as not adjusting my strength training to drop weight on the bike. As hard as it is to make gains now maybe I need to keep up what I’ve earned so I’m better off the bike. Maybe I don’t kill myself in a VO2 workout until I fall off the bike so I can take a longer hike that day. As much as I still like to kick some butt, not too many rewards for getting on the podium in a local race Over 60 class.

Less killer competitor, more super capable old fart.

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It’s great, isn’t it. I’ve bookmarked the thread and whenever I have doubts, or start to lose motivation, or even have a bad session, I’m going to read this thread again.

There are too many inspiring stories for me to respond to, but thank you to everyone who has shared, and those with targets please do keep us all updated as to how you get on - this thread had opened my eyes to what a positive, supportive community this place is.

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Thanks to darrellcraig for sharing the information about Robert Marchand. This man is truly an inspiration. I watched a few videos of him on YouTube. I noticed he still uses toeclips. I’ve returned to cycling after a twenty-six year break. I was still using toeclips back then, though many people were making the transition to clipless. Back on the bike again last summer I used the toeclips on my old bike. Clipless indoors now. Hoping I can make the transition to riding outdoors without too many mishaps. Some of us on this thread might remember a time when the term ‘clipless’ pedals made more sense. Obviously clipless pedals are more efficient than clips, but do you think clips were easier to get in and out of - if you didn’t tighten the strap that is?

Thanks for this. Great to learn about the man. I watched few videos of him on YouTube. Two things I 've taken up again after a very long break - cycling and learning French - and the videos helped with both! It’s not just his cycling that inspires but that he is so cheerful, with such a zest for life and accepts the fact that he is getting older so gracefully.

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Clips & Straps seemed harder to me to get more reliably in and out of. It may have been the variety of shoes I was using at the time. Before I went clipless I went for the strapless Urban Toe clips and they were a bit more reliable although I wasn’t into relatively fast cycling at the time.

The way I started with clipless was backing off the tension on the clip/foot I wanted to unclip and kept the other relatively tight (not too tight though just enough to allow you to pull away without unclipping). When you make the switch I am sure you’ll be fine :+1:

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If you go with the MTB clip less pedals they’re far easier to get on with than the road versions though im sure you’ll get used to whatever system you go for.

I used to use clips and straps years ago. Always quite funny if you overtightened the strap and couldn’t release it in time when you stopped.

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Amen guys, I’m about to turn 50. After recovering from cancer 3 years ago I’ve come along pretty well. However, I absolutely CANNOT get my FTP to go over 3w/kg. So, I’m throttling back on training, adding more weight lifting, and focusing more on quality than anything else. There’s no races to do here in AZ anyway.

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