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Approaching 60... and learning all over again

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Approaching 60... and learning all over again

Old 06-16-19, 07:30 AM
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A point made very well by Joe F. Is that as we get older, we are more likely to not put up with the suffering that training requires. I resemble that point. I'm not talking about injury. I'm talking about that audible grunting and complaining during the last seconds of each interval at LT and above. It is a beautiful thing to ride your bike fast. And as my wife's mother used to say, " It hurts to be beautiful."

edit @horatio
if you find an older copy of Joe F. Cycling bible, the yellow one, there is no or little power meter stuff so we don't feel like we are missing out on data.

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Old 06-17-19, 09:27 AM
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I object - that's stereotypical thinking and I don't believe it's true. To me the last seconds, or the last mile, that's where the profit is that makes the rest of it worthwhile. That "suffering" is easier to endure than before. It's injury and overstress that limits us, not unwillingness to put up with it.
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Old 06-18-19, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I object - that's stereotypical thinking and I don't believe it's true. To me the last seconds, or the last mile, that's where the profit is that makes the rest of it worthwhile. That "suffering" is easier to endure than before. It's injury and overstress that limits us, not unwillingness to put up with it.
One of my past riding buddies would always end his rides at full effort, "leaving no gas in the tank," which is contrary to everything I've read about cooling down at the end of a ride or workout. He was (and probably still is) a strong rider. Never saw him get dropped.

Anyone else ride/train this way?
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Old 06-19-19, 07:11 AM
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Update: found a used set of Garmin Vector 2S pedals for a good price. Planning my baseline tests now. Updates to follow (for anyone interested! )
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Old 06-21-19, 04:01 AM
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Old 06-21-19, 06:38 AM
  #31  
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Digging into the Friel book now. He's big on using FTP for measuring fitness and training. According to his FTP "estimate" guide, mine should be just below 300W! Hah! I haven't found a local route suitable for a time trial, so I may set up the trainer and do a 30-minute session this weekend, then compare reality to the estimate.
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Old 06-22-19, 10:53 AM
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Ready to rock and roll.
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Old 06-22-19, 01:45 PM
  #33  
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Results are in... Friel's "estimate" was waaaay off, lol. But I expected that: this motor needs some work.

The Garmin Vector 2S power meter is installed on the Cannondale SIX-5, sporting a compact crank and 10-speed 105 group, with stock wheels and 23mm clinchers. With the loaded saddle bag and pedals it weighs in at 20 pounds. Fully clothed I'm tipping the scales at 175 pounds.

I picked a stretch of road just long enough to run 20 minutes at about 20 mph, which I figured would push my present "fitness" limits. I had used this same road many years before when getting a baseline for HR zones. Long story short, my 20-minute average power was 186W. Normalized power was 200W, a little better indicator of the effort I felt. Max power was 406W. Average HR was 178, which used to be high Zone 3. Max was 184. Average speed was 19.1 mph, very close to my estimate.

I don't think I could have pushed it much harder, but I could have maintained the pace for another 10 minutes, had I not run out of road. A full hour? Probably not, unless pancake flat. (I thought the road was fairly level, but the data shows about a .7% average downgrade. The last five minutes was on a 3-4% upgrade where the power came up quite a bit, well over 200.) I was breathing really hard on that last rise.

I used HR to judge the effort and set the pace, as it was fairly constant once stabilized, leaving power to fluctuate. (I have the power display set to average over 10 seconds. Forgot to change that prior to the ride. Will use shorter timespan from now on.) It will take some time to figure all this out, especially learning to use power rather than HR to set the pace for my workouts.

So, what's the take away? I've got a long way to go, baby(!), but with data useful for building my base, as well as planning for next year. Will I be ready for Paris Mtn in 12-16 weeks? Maybe. It's really late to be building base, but it is what it is. I'll probably get a new cassette with a 32-tooth low, just in case.
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Old 06-22-19, 06:21 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Results are in... Friel's "estimate" was waaaay off, lol. But I expected that: this motor needs some work.

The Garmin Vector 2S power meter is installed on the Cannondale SIX-5, sporting a compact crank and 10-speed 105 group, with stock wheels and 23mm clinchers. With the loaded saddle bag and pedals it weighs in at 20 pounds. Fully clothed I'm tipping the scales at 175 pounds.

I picked a stretch of road just long enough to run 20 minutes at about 20 mph, which I figured would push my present "fitness" limits. I had used this same road many years before when getting a baseline for HR zones. Long story short, my 20-minute average power was 186W. Normalized power was 200W, a little better indicator of the effort I felt. Max power was 406W. Average HR was 178, which used to be high Zone 3. Max was 184. Average speed was 19.1 mph, very close to my estimate.

I don't think I could have pushed it much harder, but I could have maintained the pace for another 10 minutes, had I not run out of road. A full hour? Probably not, unless pancake flat. (I thought the road was fairly level, but the data shows about a .7% average downgrade. The last five minutes was on a 3-4% upgrade where the power came up quite a bit, well over 200.) I was breathing really hard on that last rise.

I used HR to judge the effort and set the pace, as it was fairly constant once stabilized, leaving power to fluctuate. (I have the power display set to average over 10 seconds. Forgot to change that prior to the ride. Will use shorter timespan from now on.) It will take some time to figure all this out, especially learning to use power rather than HR to set the pace for my workouts.

So, what's the take away? I've got a long way to go, baby(!), but with data useful for building my base, as well as planning for next year. Will I be ready for Paris Mtn in 12-16 weeks? Maybe. It's really late to be building base, but it is what it is. I'll probably get a new cassette with a 32-tooth low, just in case.
With those numbers, you don't need 12 weeks before the climb. You could do it next week.

Is this the Paris Mountain climb? strava.com/segments/522982. About 2 miles, 7% avg, 800 feet of climbing. Strava shows some sections near 10% grade. The other side is has less average grade, but has "the wall", which strava says is 14% for 65 feet of elevation, and might hit close to 20% briefly.


I'm older than you, weigh about the same, and have a lower NP & FTP. I'd climb it on either side, it would be a challenge, but it doesn't seem to be too much for me. And I can handle those short, very steep climbs, up to 18% -- if a portion is over 20%, then I might stall out.

I do really like my 34F-32R low gear. I can stay seated on a 10% grade, riding at a slow speed with a very low cadence, but just a moderate pedal pressure--not mashing the pedals. ( I do like to shift 2 gears harder and stand up occasionally, just to use different muscles.)

With the power meter to pace yourself, you could likely do it right now at around 160 watts for most of the climb, higher on the steeper parts. You'd be working hard, but not close to maxed out. I like to see 3-second and 30-second average power while I'm climbing. It's surprisingly hard to keep an exact power goal, I have lots of fluctuation from one pedal stroke to the next. But the averages keep me from going too hard at the start.

2.1 miles, 7%, 160 watts is about 5 mph, so around 25 minutes. That's a VAM (vertical meters per hour) around 600, a decent climbing rate for a longer climb. (strong riders are around 1000, KOMs might be 1400 or more.) Then, next time, you'll have a better idea of pacing, and can likely go harder. It's always easier for me to repeat a climb. ("burning a match" on the steepest parts is a good strategy for speeding up a climb. A rider can save a lot of time with a harder effort on the slow, steep parts. it's more effective than a hard effort on the shallow grades.)

For comparison:
Locally, during an hour ride last week, I tried for a personal best on one of the local climbs. It's 1.0 mile, 310 feet, 6% avg. I recorded 208 watts for 6:58 elapsed time, 8.4 mph, 810 VAM. At the top, I had nothing left, and would do a longer climb (or a climb on a longer ride) at a considerably lower power. I was aiming for 200w during the climb, and kept within +-30w of that most of the time, then a harder effort for the last 30 seconds. My 7 minute effort matched your 20 minute effort. I couldn't hold that for 20 minutes.

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Old 06-23-19, 06:14 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
With those numbers, you don't need 12 weeks before the climb. You could do it next week.
Thanks for the encouragement. I don't think my quads would agree at this point, though. Even though power is power, strength is still needed for sustained climbing. I'd say my fitness level now is roughly what it was the first time I tried that climb, eight years ago. On that ride, my legs gave out before reaching the top, so I have to consider the limits of muscle fatigue in my equation.

Is this the Paris Mountain climb? strava.com/segments/522982. About 2 miles, 7% avg, 800 feet of climbing. Strava shows some sections near 10% grade. The other side is has less average grade, but has "the wall", which strava says is 14% for 65 feet of elevation, and might hit close to 20% briefly.

I'm older than you, weigh about the same, and have a lower NP & FTP. I'd climb it on either side, it would be a challenge, but it doesn't seem to be too much for me. And I can handle those short, very steep climbs, up to 18% -- if a portion is over 20%, then I might stall out.
That's the one, though I recall it being slightly longer. (With cycling, like fishing stories, memory tends to exaggerate the effort!)

I do really like my 34F-32R low gear. I can stay seated on a 10% grade, riding at a slow speed with a very low cadence, but just a moderate pedal pressure--not mashing the pedals. ( I do like to shift 2 gears harder and stand up occasionally, just to use different muscles.)
I was using a road triple with a 26-tooth low the second time. That's about 30 gear-inches. The 34x32 compact would be about 28 GI, nearly a 1:1 ratio. My present gearing yields a low of 34 GI. Most of my old steel bikes (which I dearly love) have old school gearing, the lowest being 39x28, or 37 GI. I can manage the local rollers with that combo, but not much more.

With the power meter to pace yourself, you could likely do it right now at around 160 watts for most of the climb, higher on the steeper parts. You'd be working hard, but not close to maxed out. I like to see 3-second and 30-second average power while I'm climbing. It's surprisingly hard to keep an exact power goal, I have lots of fluctuation from one pedal stroke to the next. But the averages keep me from going too hard at the start.

2.1 miles, 7%, 160 watts is about 5 mph, so around 25 minutes. That's a VAM (vertical meters per hour) around 600, a decent climbing rate for a longer climb. (strong riders are around 1000, KOMs might be 1400 or more.) Then, next time, you'll have a better idea of pacing, and can likely go harder. It's always easier for me to repeat a climb. ("burning a match" on the steepest parts is a good strategy for speeding up a climb. A rider can save a lot of time with a harder effort on the slow, steep parts. it's more effective than a hard effort on the shallow grades.)For comparison:
Locally, during an hour ride last week, I tried for a personal best on one of the local climbs. It's 1.0 mile, 310 feet, 6% avg. I recorded 208 watts for 6:58 elapsed time, 8.4 mph, 810 VAM. At the top, I had nothing left, and would do a longer climb (or a climb on a longer ride) at a considerably lower power. I was aiming for 200w during the climb, and kept within +-30w of that most of the time, then a harder effort for the last 30 seconds. My 7 minute effort matched your 20 minute effort. I couldn't hold that for 20 minutes.

Based on what I can recollect from the previous rides, I was pushing about 6-7 mph on the climb each time. A calculation of power based on my weight and that of the bike, at the time, puts me at 197 watts for 6 mph. It would take about 25 minutes to climb 2.5 miles, according to the calculator. That seems about right, time-wise, as I recall it being close to a half hour. It's no wonder my quads gave out! One thing that hurt me on the second ride was turning back to check on my ride partner, about halfway up the climb, as I had dropped him. Had I not done that, perhaps I would have reached the summit.
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Old 06-23-19, 06:26 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Thanks for the encouragement. I don't think my quads would agree at this point, though. Even though power is power, strength is still needed for sustained climbing. I'd say my fitness level now is roughly what it was the first time I tried that climb, eight years ago. On that ride, my legs gave out before reaching the top, so I have to consider the limits of muscle fatigue in my equation.
Sounds like all you really need are the right gears. Muscles don't give out when there are adequate gears to spin, the task becomes all about breathing at that point. Keep spinning and keep breathing, and you WILL reach the summit eventually. Maybe not as soon as you would like to but patience will be rewarded.
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Old 06-23-19, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Any tips from you 60+ iron-men?
Iron Men meaning running/swimming/cycling, or pumping iron?

Perhaps give up on the real-steel... and buy carbon fiber?

At this point (not to 60 yet), virtually all of my cycling is commuting/errands/utility cycling. Perhaps unique to my situation, but the time and distance adds up A LOT.

I'm not necessarily pounding hard on the intervals and hills, but a fair amount of endurance has followed my 5000+ mile years.
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Old 06-23-19, 06:55 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Iron Men meaning running/swimming/cycling, or pumping iron?

Perhaps give up on the real-steel... and buy carbon fiber?
The Cannondale SIX-5 is carbon.




At this point (not to 60 yet), virtually all of my cycling is commuting/errands/utility cycling. Perhaps unique to my situation, but the time and distance adds up A LOT.

I'm not necessarily pounding hard on the intervals and hills, but a fair amount of endurance has followed my 5000+ mile years.
I would do more utility rides if the circumstances allowed. I toyed with commuting to my closest (of two) offices, but the car and truck traffic concerns me, and then there's no way to clean up when I get there! At this point I'm shooting for practical improvement within my time constraints.
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Old 06-23-19, 06:58 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
Sounds like all you really need are the right gears. Muscles don't give out when there are adequate gears to spin, the task becomes all about breathing at that point. Keep spinning and keep breathing, and you WILL reach the summit eventually. Maybe not as soon as you would like to but patience will be rewarded.
Having the right tools for the job is essential.
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Old 06-23-19, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post

Any tips from you 60+ iron-men?
I ride in two different 65+ groups, a few of the riders are very impressive, ride 5-6 times a week and seek out hill challenges.

The thing I've noticed is the overall lack of general fitness; yeah you can be great on the bike but off the bike - running, weight lifting, flexibility, swimming, body weight exercises, BMI, etc., etc., even just walking -- not so great.

This tip is to think big picture, sitting on your butt and spinning your legs is not a full workout and may leave you a bit weak, rigid, fat and fragile.
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Old 06-23-19, 09:02 AM
  #41  
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But you're still miles ahead of the average 60 y/o these days, who's on a half-dozen daily meds and has not worked up a sweat from exercise even once in the past 5-10 years.

And I do agree that low-intensity rides are not doing very much good, even if the person spends all day on the bike and covers some otherwise-impressive distances. High intensity workouts, I believe, are where you get the most health benefit, and the best "training effect" that will allow improvements in fitness to occur. A 10 minute ride at 90% effort will yield far more health benefit than an all-day ride done at low intensity where the rider is never out of breath and barely breaks a sweat, IMO.
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Old 06-23-19, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
What did you buy?

This

1998 (?) LeMond

Trek factory installed S&S couplers and custom paint done for the prior owner,(a Trek sales exec at the time).
Came with tool, aluminum hard case, padding sleeves, and original packing instructions... He was going to bring an autograph, but it didn't happen. I couldn't complain, as it wasn't part of the deal, just an afterthought on his part. I was looking forward to it, but... Still, very happy. On sales trips, they sometimes ride together, this frame has ridden alongside Greg LeMond.👍👍👍
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Old 06-23-19, 04:16 PM
  #43  
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Riding slow is not easy! Spent an hour today pursuing "active recovery" with the power meter. Every little tilt of the road caused the power to jump! I spent a lot of time in the 34x26 gearing, outbound, as it is slightly uphill. Coming back I could push 15 mph in places and stay under 100 watts. Post-ride analysis showed all averages within Zone 1 (<55%). Mission accomplished! Day off tomorrow, then hill repeats on Tuesday, once I figure out the target pace/wattage.
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Old 06-25-19, 08:21 PM
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Three hill repeats of approximately seven minutes each in Zone 2 tonight (150-180W). It was a one mile stretch with three percent average grade, not much of a hill, but good practice and basically no traffic. Hit 200W when the grade went up to 5%, but I was in my lowest gear at the time, so no bailout. Forgot my chest strap (doh!) but my breathing and RPE were consistent with heart rate in the 160s. I see an 11-32 cassette in my future, at least until my FTP increases significantly.
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Old 06-26-19, 02:21 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
One of my past riding buddies would always end his rides at full effort, "leaving no gas in the tank," which is contrary to everything I've read about cooling down at the end of a ride or workout. He was (and probably still is) a strong rider. Never saw him get dropped.

Anyone else ride/train this way?
Yes. my preferred method of finishing is to have everyone chasing me.
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Old 06-26-19, 09:09 PM
  #46  
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Time for an e-bike. Quit fighting it and have fun riding. You can still maintain fitness.
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Old 06-27-19, 03:43 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by MikeDD View Post
Time for an e-bike. Quit fighting it and have fun riding. You can still maintain fitness.
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Old 06-27-19, 11:04 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by MikeDD View Post
Time for an e-bike. Quit fighting it and have fun riding. You can still maintain fitness.
...But I AM having fun! Finishing is never a question, but finishing in style is. There's no style to using auxiliary power.
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Old 06-27-19, 11:23 AM
  #49  
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I tried to read every post but at some point I started to skim, then skip, then stop trying to get caught up and so ... apologies, I may have missed the post mentioning fittness off the bike. General fittness. Maybe overfitness for ones age. Which, since it is relevant here: I turned 60 two months ago. I ran track and cross-country in high school and I did bike laps around Prospect Park (Bklyn, NY) in my 20's and bike commuted in my 30's but not much of anything in my 40's and 50's. I got up to 203lbs. In my late 40's I met a blind woman. She was/is very athletic. She compted in Para-Olympics in both running and swimming events and was an experienced Powerlifter/Bodybuilder. I had to step up my game.

We bought a tandem and used it for errands, commuting and fitness riding. I would drop her off at the gym but I did not work out with her. Too humiliating. We moved to Portland, Oregon and as luck would have it wound up living in a western suburb that had superb roads for weekend club riding. There was a large aquatic/fitness center for her and I had a seven mile one way daily commute to work for me. Two years ago we had to move to the east side of Portland close in to the City Center and although we must cycle daily for commuting, errand and shopping purposes it is difficult to actually 'like' biking now. Ironically the size of the cycling community on the eastside is vastly larger than that on the west side. The gym we joined is not one that my wife can manage alone and the gym staff will not assist her. So I have been working out with her. This is why I am writing:

I come across few threads or posts on Bike Forums that promote overall strength fitness beyond what can be obtained from Interval Training. I am glad the issue of age and intervals was corrected before I had to get involved. But I am here to suggest that everyone who can get under heavy iron on a regular basis and build muscle and strength that will provide benefits both on and off the bike. If one cannot or will not consider weight training then I offer the suite of bodyweight strength moves collected under this umbrella site. A person, regardless of age, that progresed to completion of any or all of these programs would assuredly have excess capacity in just a few months. Excess at age 60 is going to one day be 'adequate' at an age when most around you will, if they are still alive, won't be doing much of anything.

Knees: I baby mine too. Poverty keeps me from finding out exactly what is wrong with them and what might fix it. The squat program has been very useful in strengthening the muscles around the knee and this is helping. A lot. These knee compression sleeves are recommended while squatting but they are inhibiting on the bicycle. I have cycled the 1/2 mile home from the gym with them but that's about the limit. Good luck.
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Old 06-27-19, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I am glad the issue of age and intervals was corrected before I had to get involved. But I am here to suggest that everyone who can get under heavy iron on a regular basis and build muscle and strength that will provide benefits both on and off the bike. If one cannot or will not consider weight training then I offer the suite of bodyweight strength moves collected under this umbrella site. A person, regardless of age, that progresed to completion of any or all of these programs would assuredly have excess capacity in just a few months. Excess at age 60 is going to one day be 'adequate' at an age when most around you will, if they are still alive, won't be doing much of anything.

Knees: I baby mine too. Poverty keeps me from finding out exactly what is wrong with them and what might fix it. The squat program has been very useful in strengthening the muscles around the knee and this is helping. A lot. These knee compression sleeves are recommended while squatting but they are inhibiting on the bicycle. I have cycled the 1/2 mile home from the gym with them but that's about the limit. Good luck.
It's good you have found a nice balance. I have avoided conventional strength training for many years because of a herniated L5 disc. Cycling has always been about cardiovascular health for me. I'm now having shoulder movement restriction due to advancing arthritis (right arm). Seriously considering surgery later this year. I'm sure there will be neck issues to address as well.

At any rate, I think some strength training is in order. I will check out the bodyweight pages.Thanks for the link.
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