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When are you too old to ride?

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When are you too old to ride?

Old 11-18-19, 07:47 AM
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When are you too old to ride?

At 64, I recently realized I can't do the things I used to do. Now, I ride shorter distances, ride a little slower, use a lower gear when standing on steep hills. Makes me wonder what the future will be like. Recumbent? E-bike? There will come a day when I'm too old to ride at all. Alternative sports? Shuffleboard? Walking? Blogging?
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Old 11-18-19, 07:59 AM
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I think you'll find plenty of company with people at least your age who still ride vigorously. I just turned 68 earlier this month and somehow managed to put over 1,600 miles on my bikes this season. Think young! I feel like I did when I was 35 until I look in the mirror! LOL
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Old 11-18-19, 08:05 AM
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Just enjoy your riding and don't compare yourself with other riders......certainly not internet riders
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Old 11-18-19, 08:13 AM
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Hmm. Suppose I'd quit riding if I went blind.

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Old 11-18-19, 08:13 AM
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I am 71, have had back surgery and loss of muscle mass due to nerve damage. So far this year I have clocked 1061 miles and I still have a month and a half to reach 1200.
Don't let a number stop you from riding if that is what you enjoy. If you need to use an e-bike than that is what is right for you. There are a lot of people on the internet that will tell you what bike brand, color, accessories, etc, is correct but the "correct" anything is what is right for you. If you enjoy riding then don't listen to any nay-sayers and just go ride. Be safe.

Last edited by Helderberg; 11-26-19 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 11-18-19, 08:19 AM
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The oldest finisher at this year's 750-mile Paris-Brest-Paris randonneur was 75 y.o. Pierre Dubois. Just sayin'.
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Old 11-18-19, 10:01 AM
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What a depressing thought. :-(

I don't Strava or keep track of my speed, so I am probably getting slower every year and am blissfully unaware of it (which is the way I like it). I'm not so interested in being fast ... so long as there is someone else as slow as me to ride with. For me, the whole point is tooling around on the bike, enjoying the scenery and the company.

I plan to be riding well into my 70s and hopefully into my 80s, if I live that long. I'll do what it takes to get there, and I'll succeed or know the reason why I can't.
Proud parent of a happy inner child ...

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Old 11-18-19, 10:25 AM
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When you can't ride safely anymore - if you don't hear well and can't hear ambulances, for example. If you're blind, as stated above.
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Old 11-18-19, 10:36 AM
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Im 81 and still riding. Maybe not quite as fast, but who cares?
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Old 11-18-19, 10:43 AM
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my in-laws stopped when they couldn't risk the injuries from falls. they had a bad crash (into each other) on vacation. one of them stopped & the other was too close to stop in time. nothing broken but some scraps, cuts & blood, I think. that was a sad day when they stopped cuz they always brought their bikes on vacation. Wifey always insists we bring ours, which I find heartwarming. we're in our low 60s ... still have more rides ahead of us!
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Old 11-18-19, 10:55 AM
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I'll be 72 in a few weeks and have definitely felt my age over the last few years. I continue to cycle, hike, and ski, but I have more aches and pains and I experience reduced stamina. This is what aging is all about. My usual rides nowadays are around 20miles, and my hiking is down to between 10 and fifteen miles on a given hike. I ski, both downhill and cross-country, regularly, but I have shortened my days for these activities. I plan on continuing all my outdoor activities until I can't do them anymore or until they are no longer enjoyable. so far so good. I don't look ahead.
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Old 11-18-19, 11:14 AM
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My mom quit when she was hit by a car at 86 and found she couldn't recover enough strength to begin riding again. (Not her first accident at advanced age but she had been able to regain strength aad continue before.)

Her house (the house I grew up in and rode from many times, including my first year as a car-less bike racer) has a 1/4 mile dirt driveway that while well built and maintained, has always demanded a baseline of strength and ability just to navigate.

So I've got a long ways to go. 2 more decades. And I don't have the excuse of a dirt driveway.

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Old 11-18-19, 11:23 AM
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There's a group of us that ride together occasionally. I'm one month from 69 and still ride, road and off-road, tho not as extreme as I used to. There is a rider in his early 80's that rides the local mup and roads on a hybrid. Does pretty darned good, too. So long as one's health holds up, and you continue to get some regular exercise, see no reason to think about stopping until you just physically can't--when that will be--as many things, unpredictable. Personally, I feel as if you continue to do it, and don't think about when you can't do it, the longer you'll continue to do it.
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Old 11-18-19, 11:29 AM
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I'm 68, I've been riding over 4,000 miles a year for the last five years since I retired, and my average speed, hill climbing, and endurance have been improving every year. This year has been my best yet.

68 is the new 67
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Old 11-18-19, 11:41 AM
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When you lose your sense of balance and can't keep the bike going in an approximately straight line anymore. That seems to happen to many folks in their mid-90s. I'm 74 and still riding as hard as I can, which is almost as hard as I used to ride, just not as fast. 41 miles on Sunday, 51 minutes total in zone 4. 50 and raining for the last 20 miles. Only 1 PR. Fun ride anyway.
Results matter
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Old 11-18-19, 11:45 AM
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Another card carrying old guy here (81). Just do as much as you can as long as you can and the details will sort themselves out.
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Old 11-18-19, 12:02 PM
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Years ago an old riding buddy in his 70s, at the instance of his wife, gave it up after several crashes/falls that were of his own doing. The last one occurred while walking down a hill in Prague. Simply lost his balance, fell down the hill and broke several bones. His doc told him his next fall could be his last. He took to taking indoor training classes and walking on flat ground.

On the flip side, I once rode unsupported across the country with a group of 12 others. The oldest guy in the group turned 77 during the trip. After we finished the tour he started riding home until is wife made him stop. Ultimately, he lived to be 91. Don't know how long he kept riding, but I suspect it was a while. Guy was a tough bird who spent two years in a Nazi P.O.W. camp as a member of the RCAF before eventually becoming an American citizen.

We all lose our "faculties" at different ages and at different rates.
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Old 11-18-19, 12:03 PM
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Not trying to be flippant, but the day I can't ride my bike is the day that I am too old.
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Old 11-18-19, 12:46 PM
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Such a complex and fraught question. As others have said, it's probably time to quit when your balance or awareness make you a danger to yourself or others, but as cycling is not a safe sport at any age, that threshold is somewhat arbirtary or in the eye of the beholder.

The other part is that we have to be lucky with our health, and particularly with our orthopedics. When cycling brings more pain than pleasure, it might be time to quit.

I'm 58 and I don't yet wonder about when I'll have to quit altogether, but I do think about the age at which there are significant losses in performance. At this point in my life, riding long and fast is important to me. It's not just that I get pleasure from doing so, but it also is the circle of friends with whom I ride. They are my riding family and in general they are younger than me (though not all). I do not look forward to the day when I will have to admit that I can't keep up.

There's a fellow in that group who is about 68 now. Some years ago, at 63, he was formidable. Now he stays in the back. And he doesn't come out to ride so much any more. There's another who is 64, and a very important person to all of us. I see him losing his speed and I wonder how many more years he'll be riding with us.

On the other hand, I know a guy who is 73 who this summer did a 10 mile time trial at a 23 mph average. I hope I have his health and vigor at that age, but I know that the odds are against it.
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Old 11-18-19, 01:38 PM
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I thought my cycling days were over when Parkinson's struck and caused me to use a cane or walker to get around. It was very sad day in 2013 when I sold my beloved PX10 that I had for more than 40 years. Today I ride again most mornings thanks to a great neurological surgery team. While 25 miles is a long ride for me nowadays, 8 miles at a measly 17 mph is enough to make me happy. Cause I can always find someone that has it worse than me. And with a better attitude.
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Old 11-18-19, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by epnnf
At 64, I recently realized I can't do the things I used to do. Now, I ride shorter distances, ride a little slower, use a lower gear when standing on steep hills. Makes me wonder what the future will be like. Recumbent? E-bike? There will come a day when I'm too old to ride at all. Alternative sports? Shuffleboard? Walking? Blogging?
As others have said - it depends upon the individual.

But I also think it depends upon the bike. A riding buddy of mine turned 80 this year and he also got a new Trek all-road bike with wide tires at lower pressure, disc brakes, long wheelbase, slack geometry (sitting 'in' the bike not on top of it), wide road bars, angled top tube (easier to swing a leg over), low gearing, etc.

He tells me that these features make him feel comfortable, confident, and safe - as compared to his previous road/race style bike.

Age is always a good excuse for a bike upgrade!
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Old 11-18-19, 04:27 PM
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I'm 64 myself, but it was only last year that I was blowing by everybody and put in almost 6000 miles. This year I couldn't keep up the riding due to multiple family issues. But I'm building it up again so hopefully I'll be super strong again at 65. Just this past week I did a 50 miler and then 2 days later a 45 miler with hills, one in NY the other in SF.

Just keep riding and riding hard.
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Old 11-18-19, 05:22 PM
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I just turned a young 70 the beginning of the month, and enjoy riding my folding bike here in the mobile home park where I live. About 2.5 miles around the streets here. I would venture further, but the streets that surround us are like expressways and the bike lanes are pretty narrow. I do fold the bike and take it downtown on the weekends where I can cruise without much traffic and enjoy the neighborhoods....
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Old 11-18-19, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso
Not trying to be flippant, but the day I can't ride my bike is the day that I am too old.
My sentiments as will. I'm 76 and that day may not be as far off as I would like.
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Old 11-18-19, 06:12 PM
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I'm 66....have been riding more and more the last few years.. being retired gives me all kinds of opportunities , nothing like going out riding on a "work" day when I'm not working!

I'm planning to ride until I simply cannot. I'm thinking that right around 80 I'll start slowing down.
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