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Setting goals as you age
Last Post 12/12/2020 08:45 PM by Frederick Jones. 35 Replies.
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6ix

Posts:377

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11/27/2020 09:16 AM
Always been a goal-oriented person, this year was no different as I'd targeted 6,000 miles and have already completed that.  Too dangerous to race due to blood condition yet love to really push myself.  Strava has helped me with that competitive spirit in chasing segments, posting PR's.

But, having just turned 43 and in the best shape in over 12 years, feel like I can only continue improving for a few more years before nature starts to really take its course.  I'm sure I can post more PR's next year and maybe hit 6,500 miles for the year but beyond that? 

How do you manage to still push yourself to new levels when those levels are just no longer achievable? 
eurochien

Posts:112

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11/27/2020 09:57 AM
That's what mountain biking allows me to do, as I ride trails that challenge me both uphill and downhill (Colorado front range). My goal each new season is to manage to ride this or that section of this or that trail. I've made some strides over the years but there are still unresolved problems (i.e., I chicken out or fumble) that keep me coming back. I'm 55.
Dale

Posts:1344

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11/27/2020 10:50 AM
I usually get my fix from racing CX or local fast rides which are both curtailed due to Covid. There are some faster gravel rides that I've had fun with. They don't advertise them as fast rides but I'm spotting most of the guys 15 or 20 years (I'm 65). When they're at their moderate pace I'm hanging on for dear life.

I look at my times from 20 years ago and it could be depressing, I just look at what I can do now and be content finishing with a group of guys that are pretty good and not sweat the fact that there are some flat-bellied, chiseled, testosterone-laden 20 somethings that crushed all of us.

A local group put on a weekly socially distanced TT series. They pulled the data from Strava to post results. You had all week and could do as many TT's as you wished whenever it was convenient for you, results posted on Saturday just in time for the new event. I was a bit surprised at how much I enjoyed it and how hard I would push myself to try to beat my time from a couple weeks prior.

Also same as eurochien with mbt'ing. Successfully riding a technical section cleanly for the first time is pretty cool.
6ix

Posts:377

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11/27/2020 04:12 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. I might try to get into TT again but that also requires a financial commitment as I'd need a TT rig and some other gear to actually compete. Believe they have a series just north of Boulder so that would be convenient.

I'm really hesitant about MTB. Amazing trails around here but it just isn't for me. Sound silly but I'm stressed out the entire time about crashing. Going over the bars, ditching it to the side and breaking collarbone, etc. And I honestly am just not a fan of getting really dirty.

Orange Crush

Posts:3183

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11/27/2020 08:49 PM
Very much goal oriented as well but my goals are different and simple. Riding places I haven’t ridden before. Keep doing long and remote rides. I have scoured maps of entire southern BC and have a 30-40 odd to do list of rides. Enough to keep me motivated for another 5 years or so. Planning to square 8-12 away each year, they’ll have to be done in June-Sep window. And then there’s the northern half of BC with no ride information whatsoever but an abundance of nature. Should be good well into retirement as long as they have some forestry roads up there.

Never raced. My friend gave me the fast after 50 book with training methods. I told him I was never fast before 50. Read a few pages but far too much commitment and structure needed for my liking. I’ll just keep doing the long and steady.

I have a tag along these days who’s in his mid 30s about 20 years my junior. Funny how he gets frustrated with mechanical stuff. The other week our front gear trains froze into a solid block of ice, fortunately in small ring. He put his bike upside down a few times trying in vain to fix him. I told him, look I learned to ride w one speed, still having 11 gears in back is a luxury not a setback. Good stuff, more tales. Ride what you have and keep riding.
79pmooney

Posts:2544

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11/28/2020 12:07 AM
I got humbled today but still achieved one of my goals. For the past 6 years or so I've ridden west, through the lat community on the Willamette valley and start up the logging road that parallels the river I cross so often in my routine rides. Once past that community, it is onto logging roads beside the small roar of a small river. Left in temps of the high 30s F and wet. Dense fog in places. Finger wipes to glasses several time/mile. Solid dew on the front of my clothes. Bladder stop 20 miles out. Licked my glasses clean and the air turned magically drier!

I had a package coming from the east coast I needed to be back at 3 to sign for. Left at 7. Kept the riding easy as I knew I didn't have the miles or conditioning. Got to the first logging road gate at 10. Stopped and ate my sandwiches at the next gate and turned around. Already knew the 35+ miles home were going to be hard and hurt. Just made it a point to keep rolling (but with stops for bladder and shedding clothes).

The last miles were slow! Every uphill hurt! Home at 2. Did it. 75 miles.

To the topic - my goals have been doing certain rides like this. Cycle Oregon, especially on the fix gear. (Though I never know that until I see the course profile. Big days with long climbs and long descents are challenges I live for. The same elevation over a dozen big rollers is crotch chafing and bruising torture or way too many stops to flip the wheel and unscrew the cog. Now the rim of Crater lake can be done on just two cogs. Your biggest and your smallest. There is no flat ground. I've done it twice and love it.)

The fix gear is a challenge that is still working for me. Speed doesn't matter. How I compare with other doesn't matter. The distance and hills stay hard.

6ix, you wrote "... having just turned 43 ..." I"m 67. I read that as "... having turned just 43 ..." Funny, I was just thinking about a ride I did at our age when I lived n Seattle and rode north to do a tough, steep hill. A slightly off form Cat 3 caught me a couple of miles before. We chatted, then hit the climb. It starts with a wall. I had my racing freewheel and triple. He had pure racing and maybe a 28. I promptly put him behind. Road leveled off some. Then every grade change, I shifted a cog and pulled away. He'd grunt me back using power I didn't have. At the top he offered some words of respect then powered off.

Got reminded today that OC's gravel isn't in my cards. The road today was a working and well maintained logging road. Still, on the fast stretches I got reminded that it just isn't good for my brain. So exploring the non--paved stuff is out for me. Too bad. My Raleigh Competition was completely in its element today with its 38 front and 35 rear Paselas.
longslowdistance

Posts:2226

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11/28/2020 07:35 AM
Nice ride report Ben.
consider this for gravel: suspension fork and even larger tires. This requires a frame different than a Raleigh Competition. Works for me.
huckleberry

Posts:590

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11/28/2020 12:38 PM
I'm curious Ben, what you mean by not good for your brain? An interesting statement as you have discussed your past health issues.

Best

Chris
79pmooney

Posts:2544

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11/28/2020 04:37 PM
huck, I have the cyclist's version of NFL brain damage. (They get theirs from multiple strikes at close to concussive levels. I did the big smash and several lesser ones.) We both have what I call "loose brain syndrome". The material that anchors the brain is torn (and does not regrow). When I ride a rough road, I can feel my brain rattling in my skull. I get concussions on impacts that are not big at all; sometimes without even hitting my head , just from the hard body slam.

lsd, thanks, but for me, that is like giving football players better gear. They hit harder. Do hits they never would have 30 years ago. If I had the bike to ride the local gravel, I'd be hitting the washboard at the hill bottoms harder and faster instead of just calling that an interesting experiment I don't have to follow up on.

That and this means going to a whole new bike concept. Ben dives into challenges like that with his entire heart and soul. The rest of his life gets put on the back burner. Thousands of dollars get spent. (Spent a few too many years living with that Ben character.)
longslowdistance

Posts:2226

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11/28/2020 05:09 PM
Ben, no. It’s like going from a sports car with harsh suspension to a Baja buggy. Much more plush.
Orange Crush

Posts:3183

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11/28/2020 05:22 PM
Posted By 79 pmooney on 11/28/2020 12:07 AM
6ix, you wrote "... having just turned 43 ..." I"m 67. I read that as "... having turned just 43 ..."


This is no laughing matter Ben, the 40s are solidly a lot of peoples worst ride years (hahaha). For me it was 2003 (38) to 2011 (46) so that would put 6ix smack in the middle of the dark ages. For me it was the unholy trifecta of kids, first house and first real job that put a stake through the heart of cycling.
79pmooney

Posts:2544

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11/28/2020 06:11 PM
Yeah, my late 30s and 40s were the years when my seats stopped working. I rode Selle Italias all through my racing and after (as the Avocet III and various other labels) until I changed. Bought a Turbo but busted my tailbone at roughly the same time. Seat was better until I sat up to ride no hands, then that turned up tail killed me!

Those years, the bike stopped being my spiritual escape. While my employment improved, my life drifted to that of having a secret side. My dark years. Late 40s, I discovered seats with cutouts, the unhealthy marriage I pursued fell apart and (thanks to my ex) I found a recovery path I am still on 20 years later. Came onto the VN forum as my marriage dissolved. (No, the forum wasn't the cause.) I'd been a lurker before. So you have only seen my new life. Believe me, that is for the good.
Orange Crush

Posts:3183

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11/28/2020 07:06 PM
Seat problems, that is interesting. For me it was different. Around the age 6ix is now, I could only sit on my bike for about 20 mins at a time without having excruciating back problems. This is when I discovered stretching, something I'd never done before. That got me out of dark ages. Still works marvels.

The early indication of exit from dark ages was 2012, second trip to Italy. After first trip (2010), my climbing prowess had been somewhat dismissed as "he's OK" but on that first trip I still had back problems. On second visit, I caused the dismissive voice to puke going up Monte Grappa as he was trying to hang on (it wasn't close, I actually ended up going back down hill around mid-point for a couple kms to find them).

But back to LSD's suggestion of suspension, the other way to get there is ultra-wide tires. Really digging the Resolutes on the Norco Search, no more bone rattling on forest service roads. My latest version of Diverge also has future shock which has quite a bit of travel although I have yet to dry this out on gravel. Mostly been doing road rides over last months. But yes, it was eerie seeing you struggle with the rough roads at OTGG, so none of this will probably be good enough and avoidance may be best.
longslowdistance

Posts:2226

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11/28/2020 07:25 PM
Sella has enhanced the income of many Urologists
longslowdistance

Posts:2226

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11/28/2020 07:26 PM
As for who made those Unicanator plastic anvils from my and Ben’s day, a pox on you.
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