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Health and bike touring over 50?

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Health and bike touring over 50?

Old 06-14-19, 06:11 PM
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chrisx
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Health and bike touring over 50?

Unlike riding to work or the store, bike touring demands all day in the saddle for weeks on end, to much gear and weight, wet or sun scorched, etc.
Bike touring over 50. Are there any health problems to think about. What about the place where the men touch the saddle, any one know of problems for older gents, of which there are many in this forum.

Workouts to help the elderly keep rolling?

The oldest touring cyclist I have seen in action was over 70. A retired mail man.

Lets face it getting old sucks. how do we prolong our touring life?
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Old 06-14-19, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
Unlike riding to work or the store, bike touring demands all day in the saddle for weeks on end, to much gear and weight, wet or sun scorched, etc.
Bike touring over 50. Are there any health problems to think about. What about the place where the men touch the saddle, any one know of problems for older gents, of which there are many in this forum.

Workouts to help the elderly keep rolling?

The oldest touring cyclist I have seen in action was over 70. A retired mail man.
Not that Iíve noticed. Much of my very long distance/weeks at a time touring has occurred after I hit 50 or within spitting distance of it.
All of the tours in my sig line have occur around 50 years old. I even did a 160 mile, 4 day off-road bikepacking trip (itís harder than regular touring) last year. And Iím well past 50. I have ambitious plans for this year, although they may be on hold until the damned snow melts (Gunnison basin is 52,000 percent above ďnormalĒ right now!!!!!).

I just ride, use a bike with low gears and push along. And thatís for a guy who is enough overweight to put me solidly in the Clydesdale class.

Lets face it getting old sucks. how do we prolong our touring life?
Ride.

As I say the people who tell me ďI could never do that!Ē: Iím old and fat, whatís your excuse?
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Old 06-14-19, 06:36 PM
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I started bike touring the year I turned 50. I had a cheap bike for exercise. At 50, I bought a touring bike, planned a tour (SF to LA) and started training hard. I rode too far on that first tour (70 mile days), and have since scaled it back to 50 miles a day

I am now 67 and still touring for a month once or, if I'm lucky, twice a year. Last year, I did a loop through Croatia, Slovenia, and the Dolomites and discovered that my comfortable daily limit was 4000 vertical feet of climbing. I used this knowledge to plan a recent trip from Florence, Italy to Bern, Switzerland.

I just finished this tour, which involved some serious climbing in the Alps. But, sticking to my limits, I was able to manage all the climbs and long days.

I don't think I'm exceptional. I keep fit riding hundreds of miles a month in San Francisco which means hills on every ride. I'm neither slim nor fat at 5 foot 11 and 180 pounds. I can't run or play tennis due to creaky knees but do fine biking as hard and long as I want. I keep wondering when age will force me to either get an electric bike or stop touring completely. After this tour, I figure I'm good for a few more years.

I don't have any real advice other than to stay active, eat well, keep fit, and ride your bike as often as you can. Also, decide what your limits are and use that knowledge to your advantage.

I also find carrying less weight on my bike makes touring much easier. For example, I no longer camp (I never did like sleeping in a tent on the ground), which also greatly lightens my load. I have setup my bike to have only a single rack and two panniers. The rest fits in bags attached to the bike in various ways. Ten pounds makes a huge difference on a long ascent. Maybe try to remove a pound every year!

Unless things turn bad, I see no reason why I can't continue to tour for a few more years, at least!
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Old 06-14-19, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
enough overweight
I bought a smaller pan, and lost 20 pounds.
When I stopped the sweets I really did lose weight. 20 pounds less helps with standing around and on the bike.
6 foot 180 pounds, only a little over weight.

Food could be a good place to start.
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Old 06-14-19, 06:52 PM
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Ride lots. I'm over 70 and still tour and ride hard - well hard as I can, which is as hard as ever, just slower . It's the same for any age. You have to get in shape by riding a lot, get experience in being on the road, that sort of thing. Along the way, all these questions will be answered for you.

What you do to start with is once a week, ride away from home until you're tired. Then ride back. The other days just ride for an hour or so or take a rest day from it. Keep track of your weekly mileage. Increase your weekly mileage by 5-10% each week - or what you can, but try to gradually do more. Adopt a "see hill, ride up it" philosophy. In spite of what the average person might think, cycling is all about riding up hills. A touring cyclist needs to get really good at that, which takes time, at least a couple years of consistent riding. When you've been riding over 100 miles/week for a few weeks you'll know a lot more about it.

Saddles and bike fit are critical elements. If you already have the bike you want to use for touring, go get a bike fit and a saddle recommendation from the fitter.
In order of importance IMO:
Clothing - learning how to dress for any likely weather and be comfortable in it..
Fueling and hydration - learning how and how much to eat and drink on long rides.
Shoes and pedals - IME it's easier to ride and tour long distances with SPD clipless pedals and MTB shoes
Bike - I'll put that last because you can tour on any bike to which you can attach a rack and panniers.

That's all a tall order and will take you some time to figure out. As it is said, experience starts when you begin.
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Old 06-14-19, 06:57 PM
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I'm 60 & much slower on hills than in the old days. OTOH I used to ride 250 miles/week, now much less. For a hilly tour I'd need to do more intensive training. Also the slower metabolism means stricter diet to keep body fat down. Heh, I remember one top US racer whose dad told him the best training exercise was to put the hands on the edge of the dinner table & push. A lot of tourists say to just ride into shape but I find riding quite easier when I'm on the lean side.

As to saddle comfort, age hasn't been a major problem. I haven't found the perfect saddle but have a couple that are reasonably comfortable.
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Old 06-14-19, 07:16 PM
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Reading this made me take for granted my most valuable resource: time.
24 and just about to begin this journey. Bet most of you are in better shape than I am!
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Old 06-14-19, 07:18 PM
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Now that I am older I am less brazen. Hell 50 seems like a million years ago and I am only 60 now. But at 50 I was way more bold. Never really worried that I could not complete a tour. Now I struggle to not let it psych me out. But I try to remember I am more fit than most people 40 years younger than me. Kid that do nothing but sit on the couch and play video games.
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Old 06-14-19, 07:22 PM
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How do we care for our bodies as older cyclists? that is the question?

What about physical health, anatomy. What I had in mind was a question about our tired old bodies.

I quick search finds this example,
Review TheVicious Cycling: Bicycling Related Urogenital Disorders Ilan Leibovitcha, *, Yoram Morb a Department of Urology, Meir Medical Center, Affiliated to Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, 59 Tchernichovski st., Kfar Saba, Israel b Department of Urology, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Affiliated to Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Hashomer, Israel Accepted 26 October 2004 Available online 16 November 2004 Abstract Purpose: Bicycle riding is one of the most popular means of transportation, recreation, fitness and sports among millions of people of all ages who ride on road and off road, using a variety of bicycle types. It is also a readily available form of aerobic non-impact exercise with established cardiovascular beneficial effects. Bicycles are also a common source of significant injuries. This review focuses upon the specific bicycling related overuse injuries affecting the genitourinary tract.
https://ismseat.com/wp-content/uploa...ouscycling.pdf

H
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Old 06-14-19, 08:12 PM
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Well, this tired 76 year old body is leaving on a 2-month tour in 2 weeks. Since I turned 64, my wife and I have toured self contained for a total of 20 months covering over 20,000 miles in 11 countries. We also cycle year-round for fun, and running errands around town.

It seemed funny to me that the comment in the paper you linked us to, said that urologists should warn patients about the hazards of cycling. I visited my Urologist 2 days ago for my 6 month post prostatectomy checkup. It was done over 2 years ago because of prostate cancer, and everything is still looking good. As we were talking about summer plans, I told him about our upcoming tour. As I was leaving his office he said, "have fun on your ride"

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Old 06-14-19, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
I bought a smaller pan, and lost 20 pounds.
When I stopped the sweets I really did lose weight. 20 pounds less helps with standing around and on the bike.
6 foot 180 pounds, only a little over weight.

Food could be a good place to start.
I don’t need advice on how to lose weight. Food or exercise has made no difference through out my life. I don’t over eat. I don’t eat sweets excessively. I’m capable of riding multiple week tours and I ride to work most days. I mountain bike and road bike. I hike to high mountain lakes to fish.

I’m good.
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Old 06-14-19, 09:52 PM
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About a decade ago I met some 80+ cyclists (club name "The Wobblies") and they advised me, "Don't ever stop." At 62, I intend to keep following that advice.

All those decades of bike commuting, those trips in harsh weather and many winters of night cycling both ways, I never considered the long-term benefits I'm seeing now. I just did it because it was better than driving.

My best tour ever (so far) was at age 55. I think I finally figured a lot of things out, including the concept of "delayed gratification."

Unfortunately, diseases affect many of us, at all ages. Do what you can with what you have.
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Old 06-15-19, 05:12 AM
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Health and bike touring over 50?
Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
Unlike riding to work or the store, bike touring demands all day in the saddle for weeks on end, to much gear and weight, wet or sun scorched, etc.

Bike touring over 50. Are there any health problems to think about. What about the place where the men touch the saddle, any one know of problems for older gents, of which there are many in this forum…
Besides serious health issues, here are some more trivial ones, from the Fifty-Plus Forum
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
What do you find hardest about cycle touring now we aint spring chickens any more?

My earliest cycling activities back in the 70s and 80s, were cycle-touring with my girlfriend-then-wife, including a honeymoon cross-country tour. Since then, I've been strictly a cycle-commuter, and sport road cyclist, mainly due to work and family lifestyle.

Last year, I avidly read the posts on BF about a perimeter tour of Lake Ontario, and I experienced some surprising mental discomfort that struck me as a sign of getting older.

While I would still enjoy riding about 50 miles a day for an extended trip, the thought of the uncertainty of finding a place to stay for the night was unsettling. (Our previous tours were all self-supported and self-guided.) If I/we were to resume touring, it would at least be a credit card style, if not an organized tour.) On that honeymoon though, finding a place to stay was a memorable part of the adventure:

I guess 30 years of a stable, predictable cycle-commuting lifestyle erodes that exhilaration of the uncertainty…I think I can get back into that if the opportunity arises.
Originally Posted by DougG View Post
What killed it for me, besides the normal hassles of camping, was having to get up, get semi-dressed, and stumble out of the tent at 2AM trying to find the porta-john because I had to pee.

I took to not drinking anything after about 6PM to avoid having to do this more than once a night! Add "in the rain" to that a couple times and I knew my tour/camp days were over.

The problem now is that I'd really like to go on one of those large-group, week-long tours, but there's no practical way to do it if I want to stay in motels. The last guy I knew who pulled it off had his wife traveling with him in their car, which is kind of cheating.
See the thread for other infirmities

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Old 06-15-19, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
What about physical health, anatomy. What I had in mind was a question about our tired old bodies.

I quick search finds this example,
Review TheVicious Cycling: Bicycling Related Urogenital Disorders Ilan Leibovitcha, *, Yoram Morb a Department of Urology, Meir Medical Center, Affiliated to Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, 59 Tchernichovski st., Kfar Saba, Israel b Department of Urology, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Affiliated to Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Hashomer, Israel Accepted 26 October 2004 Available online 16 November 2004 Abstract Purpose: Bicycle riding is one of the most popular means of transportation, recreation, fitness and sports among millions of people of all ages who ride on road and off road, using a variety of bicycle types. It is also a readily available form of aerobic non-impact exercise with established cardiovascular beneficial effects. Bicycles are also a common source of significant injuries. This review focuses upon the specific bicycling related overuse injuries affecting the genitourinary tract.
https://ismseat.com/wp-content/uploa...ouscycling.pdf

H
I perused the article. If you routinely read the A&S Forum about fatalities, that review, while comprehensive doesn't worry me, having ridden unaware all these years..."Can I just do it until I need glasses?... [If you keep doing it, you'll go blind...]

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Old 06-15-19, 07:17 AM
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I'm finding that if I don't exercise for any reason my fitness level seems to drop off quicker than it used to. Before the 2 month tandem tour in Italy that we've just returned home from I had our club cycling coach draw up a plan for me which worked out well. I also did strength training at the local gym 3 times a week doing a program that was written by another cycling coach who I know. It did make a significant difference to my ability to climb those wonderful italian hills that have the odd steep pinch. Now that we are back we are joining the gym again and are planning to be as consistent as we can as out next long tour is planned to include the Tour Pyrenean.

So our plan for maintaining our health is:


Annual checkups with GP.

Mediterranean diet to reduce body fat percentage. I'm aiming to get down to under 10% again. 6% which i was until i was 30 just ain't going to happen.

Goals for cycling which are a mix of Audax, annual team time trial and about 7 to 10 weeks of touring each year. We already have a list of places we want to tour.

A mix of endurance and interval training on the road and on Zwift.

Strength training 3 to 4 times a week.

regular stretching.
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Old 06-15-19, 08:31 AM
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I crossed the country with several people 60+. One turned 77 during the trip. Tough guy who had survived 2 years in a Nazi P.OW. camp. Heíd been R.C.A.F.
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Old 06-15-19, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Not that Iíve noticed. Much of my very long distance/weeks at a time touring has occurred after I hit 50 or within spitting distance of it.

I just ride, use a bike with low gears and push along.
+1, although my touring life has dad two parts. 10,000 miles at age 34-35. Then nothing for 8 years, when I picked it up again. Iím now 54. For the last ten years Iíve taken at least one week or more trip every year, along with countless long weekend trips. As I type this I am in the middle of my nearly four hour layover at MSP waiting for my flight to MSO, where I will start another two week trip.
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Old 06-15-19, 10:47 AM
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Like many people here who are over 50 I make no conscious concessions due to my age. Last year while riding in Uzbekistan where daytime temperatures routinely hit the mid 40C I noticed no difference in my ability to withstand heat compared to previous hot weather rides; Egypt's Eastern desert, India's Thar desert. Both of those rides I did when I was much younger. The only difference now is that my average speed had dropped a little and going uphill requires lower gears, I can live with both.
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Old 06-15-19, 10:57 AM
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Its the Health Insurance .. if in the US .. I was on a long tour on my 50th year..

then, Glaucoma kicked in and so I have to stay in one place,

so VA medical can keep the Prescriptions mailed to one address.. not multiple countries...

so it all depends on how tour health is at that age.. , glad I got in a few trips during my 40s.





...

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Old 06-15-19, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeWonder View Post
Reading this made me take for granted my most valuable resource: time.
24 and just about to begin this journey. Bet most of you are in better shape than I am!
Good for you. When I was young I rode racing bikes, I liked the speed & workout & the occasional local race...I liked the idea of touring but figured I'd do it later. In hindsight I should have toured instead, it's more fun & relaxing & can be good training anyway if one likes to push the pace.
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Old 06-15-19, 06:53 PM
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Bike, Hike, Dive, Kayak, Run... At 55 I'm more active than most guys half my age. My main problem in life is scheduling all the stuff I want to do.







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Old 06-16-19, 05:47 AM
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I think a lot of folks start touring when they are over 50 or 60 and their careers start to allow them more freedom. I know I did. I celebrated my 56th birthday on my first tour (transamerica). Quite a few folks tour well into their 70s and at least some into their 80s or even 90s. I turn 68 this month and feel all that much different about touring at this age than I did about 56 other than I need to train a little more, pack a little lighter, and take it a little easier.

I have found that I really appreciate ultra touring at this age, but I think I would have at a younger age too if I had tried it then.
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Old 06-22-19, 02:10 PM
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I'm with the "It's easier after 50" group, but I think some if it is changes in the economy.

I don't really see any health issues. I've generally commuted, and done a few weekend trips, so for the long tour with no fixed schedule, it was easy to just start slow and get back in shape along the way.

I think there is more contracting/gig economy now than there was 25 years ago. In the 90's it would have been much harder for me to explain quitting a stable (at the time) job, and expecting employers to understand if I wanted to find another one when I came back. Now none of the jobs are stable, so it's not hard to take some time off between contracts.
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Old 06-22-19, 06:15 PM
  #24  
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Tired and old? Not me. 10 bikes in the stable. Lots of mt biking, 3 rides a week. Usually. 110/72 for BP, good there. Did a 26 mile/4 hr mixed terrain ride today, pave and dirt roads connecting 3 mt bike areas. Soon to be 57, active at work, not a desk job, dog walks and plenty of yoga to stretch and work stuff out. I take a multi vitamin and some allergy stuff on occasion. That's it. Be active, eat healthy. Good stuff.
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Old 06-23-19, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Not that Iíve noticed. Much of my very long distance/weeks at a time touring has occurred after I hit 50 or within spitting distance of it.
All of the tours in my sig line have occur around 50 years old. I even did a 160 mile, 4 day off-road bikepacking trip (itís harder than regular touring) last year. And Iím well past 50. I have ambitious plans for this year, although they may be on hold until the damned snow melts (Gunnison basin is 52,000 percent above ďnormalĒ right now!!!!!).

I just ride, use a bike with low gears and push along. And thatís for a guy who is enough overweight to put me solidly in the Clydesdale class.



Ride.

As I say the people who tell me ďI could never do that!Ē: Iím old and fat, whatís your excuse?
I have been elk hunting around the Gunnison area. Silver Jack Lake area if you are familiar. I have thought that would be a fun tour in the summer. Just not sure where all I would want to go. The elevation was tough hunting. It may really zap me on a bike. What are some area's you tour around that great state?
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