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Should I Do This?

Old 04-21-21, 01:52 PM
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Random11
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Should I Do This?

My city (Tallahassee, FL) is sponsoring a Senior Games and one of the events is cycling. The competition is a time trial with the option of either 10K or 5K. I'm thinking of entering even though I'm pretty sure I have no real chance to be competitive, for several reasons.

1. It's open to those age 50 and older and I'm 70. I doubt I'll be very competitive with cyclists 20 years younger than I am.

2. My only bike is a gravel bike (Specialized Diverge) with 38c tires. This seems almost like trying to compete in the Tour de France on a mountain bike (except that there actually are mountains in the Tour de France).

3. The distances are very short. The shortest ride I've taken in more than a year is 15 miles, so I'm more conditioned to endurance rather than speed. Maybe I'd be better off going for a trail ride than entering a competition with such a short distance.

I'm inclined to enter just to see what it's like. Does this seem worthwhile? Another question, assuming I enter, is whether I should ride the 5K or the 10K. My inclination is to ride the 10K, which already seems too short. Who would prefer a 5K bike ride anyway? My current thinking on this is: Why not? Any other thoughts?
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Old 04-21-21, 01:56 PM
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Absolutely you should do this. Maybe, enter both!
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Old 04-21-21, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Absolutely you should do this. Maybe, enter both!
I'm with him! Do it; the best part is that you CAN. That's a win in my book, every time. Please post some pictures for us.
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Old 04-21-21, 02:08 PM
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Go for Both.
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Old 04-21-21, 02:10 PM
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You did go ahead and sign up before bothering to ask us I hope.

If it's the kind of thing that interest you, then why not.

I'd still avoid any unmask crowds as best as can, though outdoors is always much safer. We have a Century coming up two weekends from now. They still ask that you wear a mask when not actually riding. I did it last year and everyone seemed to heed that. Will be doing it again this year with the additional protection of a vaccination.
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Old 04-21-21, 02:56 PM
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No, I haven't signed up yet, but thanks for all the encouragement. I need to look at the options. I was thinking I'd have to choose one or the other, but maybe it's possible to sign up for both. A total of 15K certainly wouldn't tax me distance-wise.
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Old 04-21-21, 03:04 PM
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i'm 54 and if i got dropped by a 70er i would aspire to be like him. go make someone aspire to be like you.
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Old 04-21-21, 03:05 PM
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Yes, you absolutely should sign up. Your bike is fine. You might invest in better tires and clip on aerobars, but if you decide to go full-Merckx style I doubt you'll be the only one. But you should also realize that you'll be competing against some of the fastest masters in the country, who'll turn out on UCI level equipment.
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Old 04-21-21, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
i'm 54 and if i got dropped by a 70er i would aspire to be like him. go make someone aspire to be like you.
I don't know what to expect, but I'm picturing a bunch of 54 year olds with their time trial bikes and aero bars, aero helmets and jerseys smugly looking at the 70 year old guy hoping to "compete" on his gravel bike. I'm definitely not getting new tires or new anything else for this. I already know I won't be a winner; just a participant, but with all your encouragement, I do think I'll sign up and give it a go. I usually ride in a t-shirt, but I do own some jerseys (all gifts) and should probably wear one to compete.
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Old 04-21-21, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Random11 View Post
No, I haven't signed up yet, but thanks for all the encouragement.......A total of 15K certainly wouldn't tax me distance-wise.
It's not a ride but a RACE.

To quote USA's only TdF winner, "it never gets easier, you only go faster."

Start training - Team 65+ is behind (literally) you.
edit: Gotta be a 70-75 age bracket = you got the edge as a youngster.

Last edited by Wildwood; 04-21-21 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 04-21-21, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Random11 View Post
1. It's open to those age 50 and older and I'm 70. I doubt I'll be very competitive with cyclists 20 years younger than I am.
Don't they break it down into 5 or 10 year age groups?
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Old 04-21-21, 03:49 PM
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I've never come close to winning any race -- cycling or running, time trial or crit. I just did it to test myself against myself, using the buzz from the public venue as motivation.

Back in the 1970s I was riding a 30 lb touring frame geometry entry level Motobecane, in crits and time trials against much lighter and fancier bikes. But it was mostly flat terrain. A different bike wouldn't have made much difference. The main limitation was the engine.

Often I've done worse in competition than on solo time trials, because I'm tensed up and not breathing and moving like I practiced. But that's a good thing. Helps me identify problem areas to work on later.

Just do it, be safe, have fun.
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Old 04-21-21, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Don't they break it down into 5 or 10 year age groups?
Apparently it's 5-year age groups. https://www.talgov.com/uploads/publi...or/cycling.pdf
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Old 04-21-21, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Random11 View Post
I don't know what to expect, but I'm picturing a bunch of 54 year olds with their time trial bikes and aero bars, aero helmets and jerseys smugly looking at the 70 year old guy hoping to "compete" on his gravel bike. I'm definitely not getting new tires or new anything else for this. I already know I won't be a winner; just a participant, but with all your encouragement, I do think I'll sign up and give it a go. I usually ride in a t-shirt, but I do own some jerseys (all gifts) and should probably wear one to compete.
Well, I'll be 54 in a couple of weeks, I own a TT bike, aero helmet, and a skinsuit. I wouldn't be looking at you smugly; I'd be glad you're there. I'm sure everyone in Tallahassee will be too; don't assume anyone's looking down on you.
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Old 04-21-21, 04:00 PM
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Actually this is a good heads up.
Each State may be having Games this Summer.

For Washington here is the cycling link for our State Senior Games
WSSG - Cycling (washingtonstateseniorgames.com)

In our State there are 5year age brackets. A 5k TT, 10k TT & 40K road race.
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Old 04-21-21, 05:04 PM
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Do it!

I've regretted not doing events.

I never regretted doing one, no matter how much trepidation I felt prior to the event.
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Old 04-21-21, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Don't they break it down into 5 or 10 year age groups?
I don't know. I'll check this out. All I saw was that the riders would start in order of their ages, from youngest to oldest. If there were age group categories, I might actually think I could be competitive. (I used to run before my knees gave out, and I'd always be gratified to move up into a higher age group and be the youngest in the group. One of the benefits of getting older! I don't know if they do that in this case.)
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Old 04-21-21, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
... don't assume anyone's looking down on you.
No, I don't, and I wouldn't care if they did. Many decades ago (I was about 20) some friends of mine and I, all experienced runners, went to a summer track meet and ran a 4x400 relay. We were dressed in various t-shirts and the other teams were track clubs with spiffy identical uniforms. We didn't even have a team name. We were from Daytona Beach and when the starter came to our lane and asked the name of our team, we said "Daytona Beach Petunias." The starter wrote down "Daytona Beach Track Club." We won the race. I look at it this way. If I ride my gravel bike and finish behind someone on a time trial bike, well, that's how it should be. But if I beat someone who's riding a time trial bike...
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Old 04-21-21, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
...In our State there are 5year age brackets. A 5k TT, 10k TT & 40K road race.
I'd much rather ride a 40K road race than a 10K time trial. That's not an option. If they have age brackets, that will make me more competitive.
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Old 04-21-21, 05:52 PM
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Thanks to all who have encouraged me. I've signed up for both the 5K and 10K time trials. It does appear that they have age groups, but the information doesn't say what they are. It does say that in 2019 there were 36 cycling competitors and in 2020 there were 41 competitors. I'll be interested to see how it goes. The event is on Sunday, May 2.
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Old 04-21-21, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Random11 View Post
I'd much rather ride a 40K road race than a 10K time trial. That's not an option. If they have age brackets, that will make me more competitive.
Well when that 40K or something else comes up, you can sign up for that too!
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Old 04-21-21, 05:54 PM
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Do it for the party atmosphere and to get a baseline for next year when you have proper preparation and equipment to smoke the youngsters!
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Old 04-21-21, 05:56 PM
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Old 04-21-21, 06:46 PM
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Reminds me....... I need to order my 70+ jersey ..... maybe for the event.
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Old 04-21-21, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Did you check out the record times?

Look at recumbent times. Even if you have never ridden one, borrow one and set a record...lol!

John
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