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Losing riding partners?

Old 07-24-21, 06:53 PM
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IronM
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Losing riding partners?

So I went down today on a solo MTB/grave/adventure ride up in the nearby National Forest. Luckily neither I nor my bike were seriously hurt & I was able to get out. I also carry a GPS communicator in case I really need help. I was well off the beaten path & knew I shouldn't do that solo, but my circle of riding friends is much smaller than it was when I was younger. Anyone else experience this as we get older? How do you adjust? Myself - 57, still feel 25 (until I ride with someone 25)

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Old 07-24-21, 07:21 PM
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I switched to road biking. My wife is much happier as she feels I am safer on the side of a busy highway than alone crashing down a mountainside. I'm 71 now and switched when I was 69. And yeah, I too feel like I'm 25 until I'm passed by a large 40 something woman on a fat bike.
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Old 07-24-21, 07:26 PM
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Yes, more so when I got a gravel bike that allowed some creative exploring. I then had to stop a minute and say "I'm not the 25 yr. old that hiked all over these mountains, been 40 years". I should likely get an InReach, but I definitely dialed back on how far away I explore where I'm not likely to encounter people,
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Old 07-25-21, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by IronM View Post
So I went down today on a solo MTB/grave/adventure ride up in the nearby National Forest. Luckily neither I nor my bike were seriously hurt & I was able to get out. I also carry a GPS communicator in case I really need help. I was well off the beaten path & knew I shouldn't do that solo, but my circle of riding friends is much smaller than it was when I was younger. Anyone else experience this as we get older? How do you adjust? Myself - 57, still feel 25 (until I ride with someone 25)
Just shy of 63 here, road rider, fighting madly to maintain my form.

My problem is that buddies I started riding with 20 years ago are slowing down, but I'm not (very much).

Lately, I've been doing solo rides for workouts, saving the group rides for recovery days. That works out pretty well.
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Old 07-25-21, 12:57 AM
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I just do road rides, and occasional gravel-lite rides on the MUP. No MTB or off road, never had the skills.

I had to give up fast group rides by the end of 2019. Couldn't hang with the younger folks anymore. I'm 63 now, and the 40 & 50somethings dropped me like a cigarette butt. I was okay until 2018, when I was hit by a car, then discovered I had thyroid cancer. Seemed to be recovering through 2019 but by that autumn my strength and stamina nose dived and I haven't regained my old form. Even with no-drop rides and regroup points I didn't want other folks waiting for me to straggle in.

Now I do solo workout rides and, since being fully vaccinated, I occasionally join some friends for casual group rides. But my solo workout rides are shorter. I can hit my maximum speed again on the same routes but can't hold it as long. I haven't managed a full century in two years, and mostly ride as far as I can manage in an hour and a half to two hours, maybe 30-35 miles on a good day. Usually around 20-25. The casual group rides usually get me around 45-50 miles, including the commutes to and from the meetups.
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Old 07-25-21, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by IronM View Post
So I went down today on a solo MTB/grave/adventure ride up in the nearby National Forest. Luckily neither I nor my bike were seriously hurt & I was able to get out. I also carry a GPS communicator in case I really need help. I was well off the beaten path & knew I shouldn't do that solo, but my circle of riding friends is much smaller than it was when I was younger. Anyone else experience this as we get older? How do you adjust? Myself - 57, still feel 25 (until I ride with someone 25)
What GPS unit do you have? At 72 I have no gravel riding partners and while most of Vermontís back roads are populated, there are some remote stretches and unpopulated class IV and logging roads that make me question whether I should be riding there. Iíd love to ride with someone from time to time but I enjoy riding alone and I walk the bike when it gets sketchy. I always let my wife know the route Iím taking, but thereís still a risk - as with pretty much everything else we do.
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Old 07-25-21, 06:30 AM
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I prefer solo road rides but if I want company I ride with my GF. And, we belong to a local club that is 150 members strong. Some of whom are good friends. So we always have options.
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Old 07-25-21, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Greenhil View Post
What GPS unit do you have? At 72 I have no gravel riding partners and while most of Vermontís back roads are populated, there are some remote stretches and unpopulated class IV and logging roads that make me question whether I should be riding there. Iíd love to ride with someone from time to time but I enjoy riding alone and I walk the bike when it gets sketchy. I always let my wife know the route Iím taking, but thereís still a risk - as with pretty much everything else we do.
I carry a Garmin Inreach. I got it mostly for bikepacking; but it's also good peace of mind on day trips. Where I ride is heavily forested, so it works so-so. I consider it & the monthly subscription 'backwoods insurance'.
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Old 07-25-21, 07:22 AM
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It seems that athletic performance falls off a cliff somewhere between 55-65. How much can this be delayed is debatable. I was really fit at 56 but some injuries and medical issues has proven to be difficult to come back from, much more so than when young. I think many older riders just do not come back from setbacks. Maybe it is not possible, I am finding it difficult. I used to ride with an older group for recovery rides, I would use slow tires on the CX bike. I stopped because they would want to do rest stops every 8-10 miles and a 25 mile ride was like a 3 hour affair.
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Old 07-25-21, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by IronM View Post
I carry a Garmin Inreach. I got it mostly for bikepacking; but it's also good peace of mind on day trips. Where I ride is heavily forested, so it works so-so. I consider it & the monthly subscription 'backwoods insurance'.
When I led a S&R team on the Nat'l Forest I absolutely loved it when we got a call and were given exact coordinates thanks to the portable beacons that many hikers carried. Good on you. Hopefully you never have to activate,
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Old 07-25-21, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
It seems that athletic performance falls off a cliff somewhere between 55-65. How much can this be delayed is debatable.
IME, this is true. Up to about age 65, I was still relatively strong and fast, but in the last two years my performance levels have really gone down the drain. (Solo endurance ride average speeds dropped from 16-18 mph to 14-16.) Makes motivation and enthusiasm hard to find. But hey, at least I'm still riding.
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Old 07-25-21, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rando_couche View Post
IME, this is true. Up to about age 65, I was still relatively strong and fast, but in the last two years my performance levels have really gone down the drain. (Solo endurance ride average speeds dropped from 16-18 mph to 14-16.) Makes motivation and enthusiasm hard to find. But hey, at least I'm still riding.
I'm still in the, "are my brakes dragging, do I have a seized bearing, is my frame cracked??" phase.

Maybe I had Covid and my lungs are shot. I did have pneumonia or something for 5 weeks in Spring of 2020.

Not giving up but I can see the writing on the wall.
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Old 07-25-21, 12:30 PM
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in the 70's, I rode with a lot of other cyclists in clubs in the 70's and into he 80's. After touring solo from SFO to Atlanta in '85, I found that I didn't have to ride with others so much. I even moved to Tucson for 6 yrs from 2010 - 16, with the idea that I would meet lots of nice cyclists riding up Mt Lemmon. That ended up being a huge mistake. I am now out in a small town cycling entirely on my own and loving it. Now that I am 60, I thought that I was slowing down until I remembered how I strengthening up my legs by leg pressing 600 lbs in the mid 80's. Nowadays, I ride hills, slow down to under 5mph (in a big gear), unclip one foot and do 10 pedal revolutions with one leg, and then switch off to the other foot. (a guaranteed way to build back strength/ grow hair on your chest).
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Old 07-25-21, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by headwind15 View Post
in the 70's, I rode with a lot of other cyclists in clubs in the 70's and into he 80's. After touring solo from SFO to Atlanta in '85, I found that I didn't have to ride with others so much. I even moved to Tucson for 6 yrs from 2010 - 16, with the idea that I would meet lots of nice cyclists riding up Mt Lemmon. That ended up being a huge mistake. I am now out in a small town cycling entirely on my own and loving it. Now that I am 60, I thought that I was slowing down until I remembered how I strengthening up my legs by leg pressing 600 lbs in the mid 80's. Nowadays, I ride hills, slow down to under 5mph (in a big gear), unclip one foot and do 10 pedal revolutions with one leg, and then switch off to the other foot. (a guaranteed way to build back strength/ grow hair on your chest).
Recent studies showed that the leg strength of elite cyclists barely exceeded that of other reasonably fit subjects. The significant differences between the two groups had far more to do with percentages of body fat, cardiovascular fitness, pedaling efficiency, endurance, and recovery.
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Old 07-25-21, 01:34 PM
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OK, besides getting older, I have had some medical situations (breaking a leg, breaking both of my heels in a ladder slide out accident and subsequent foot surgeries) that have had me spend some fairly substantial time off of my feet and as a result, my legs atrophied down, to where I have had times where I was unable to put very much power into the pedals. In other words I had to start all over./ Train.
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Old 07-25-21, 01:56 PM
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Losing riding partners?

Bilateral Orchiectomy in 2015 thanks to Gleason 10 PCa.
NOW THAT'S LOSING PARTNER'S!!!
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Old 07-25-21, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Just shy of 63 here, road rider, fighting madly to maintain my form.

My problem is that buddies I started riding with 20 years ago are slowing down, but I'm not (very much).

Lately, I've been doing solo rides for workouts, saving the group rides for recovery days. That works out pretty well.
I'm 10 years younger than you and still going strong. But one of my riding buddies is struggling with some health issues this year which are really holding him back. What I'm seeing is that it doesn't take much to knock you back as you get older. He's lost maybe 3 months riding this year and is now way down on fitness. I ride mostly solo these days, both mtb and road. But it's pretty safe here, never very far from home or civilisation.
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Old 07-25-21, 05:14 PM
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I rode in a group for years but since moving have decided that solo rides work the best for me. I am getting slower as I creep into my 70s and this make group rides a little more troublesome as finding a compatible group is difficult and I hate being the one that holds up a faster group.
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Old 07-25-21, 05:24 PM
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61 here, and I ride gravel bikes in the mountains on singletrack, fireroads. I ride by myself 99% of the time and I sometimes go out for long days in the mountains. I carry a Spot GPS device just in case.
In my case, I'm not "losing" riding partners, because I never really had any - I have not met any geezers my age who do this kind of riding. Everyone I know my age who rides more than just super casually is a dedicated a roadie, with a small handful who ride a full-suspenion MTB (they drive to the trailhead, have some fun for an hour or so, and then drive home, and they're baffled how "at my age" I would ride rigid drop bar bikes offroad). In my case it appears my age combined w my preferred style of riding relegates me to riding largely solo (unless I ride w much younger folks, which happens on occasion, but I am sloooooowwwww...)
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Old 07-25-21, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
61 here, and I ride gravel bikes in the mountains on singletrack, fireroads. I ride by myself 99% of the time and I sometimes go out for long days in the mountains. I carry a Spot GPS device just in case.
In my case, I'm not "losing" riding partners, because I never really had any - I have not met any geezers my age who do this kind of riding. Everyone I know my age who rides more than just super casually is a dedicated a roadie, with a small handful who ride a full-suspenion MTB (they drive to the trailhead, have some fun for an hour or so, and then drive home, and they're baffled how "at my age" I would ride rigid drop bar bikes offroad). In my case it appears my age combined w my preferred style of riding relegates me to riding largely solo (unless I ride w much younger folks, which happens on occasion, but I am sloooooowwwww...)
Now you mention it I have a similar issue. I ride both mtb and road in equal measure. But I can't think of a single person I know over the age of 50 who also does both. Most are strictly roadies and I know a few who are strictly into mtb. I even know one guy who went from 100% mtb to 100% road. Maybe now gravel bikes have become a thing for roadies the balance might change?
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Old 07-25-21, 06:05 PM
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75 years old. I have no riding partners left. I'm nowhere the rider that I used to be. These days it's all gravel road and trail riding. I still carry a cell phone so when I finally keel over they can find the body.
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Old 07-25-21, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Now you mention it I have a similar issue. I ride both mtb and road in equal measure. But I can't think of a single person I know over the age of 50 who also does both. Most are strictly roadies and I know a few who are strictly into mtb. I even know one guy who went from 100% mtb to 100% road. Maybe now gravel bikes have become a thing for roadies the balance might change?
I would think so! I gravitated to this type of riding because I wasnít shredding so much on a MTB anymore, and the road is far too dangerous where I live. Perfect for lotsa geezers like us I would think!
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Old 07-25-21, 06:43 PM
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I'm down to one riding buddy. We do a 30-50 mile ride once a week and finish up with a lunch afterwards. We bring our food in coolers, have a picnic lunch at the ranger station where we start the ride, and brew up some coffee. I'm slower than I used to be for sure but I don't care. I'm just glad to be out riding.

I ride mainly on MUPs as Des Moines has a terrific system of bike paths. I'd like to do more gravel riding. There is a fair amount of non-technical single track that branches off the bike paths and I ride those.

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Old 07-25-21, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
I would think so! I gravitated to this type of riding because I wasnít shredding so much on a MTB anymore, and the road is far too dangerous where I live. Perfect for lotsa geezers like us I would think!
Yeah I'm slowly reducing my level of MTB shredding too. I moved down to a lighter, shorter travel full-susser a couple of years back as I wasn't getting full use out of my enduro rig. I guess at some point I will only need a gravel bike for off-road, once I move off the harder singletrack. But I think that's still a good decade or more away, all being well.
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Old 07-25-21, 07:02 PM
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70 years young here. And I count myself lucky-my wife is my mtn.biking partner. My ancient GT (well, the frame anyway-most all else has been replaced/upgraded at one time or another) and my wife's '98 (I think) Kona Lava Dome still get us around on the trails. Nothing too crazy, but just glad we can still get out there. And she's a decent trail rider to boot! Her Kona is dark purple, and with the brightly colored Kona logos, is one sharp looking bike. Functions well also.
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