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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Did you ride today?

Old 11-14-16, 10:10 AM
  #19651  
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Rode 20 miles with my friend @Hudson308 on Saturday - we intended to ride in Elm Creek Park, but it was closed for a "Special Deer Hunt". So we went to Coon Rapids Dam and rode that trail instead. I didn't take my camera with me on that ride, it was too late in the day, and we wanted to get some miles in before dark.

Yesterday I did bring my camera with me, and I rode the Midtown Greenway out to the Chain of Lakes: Lake of the Isles, Calhoun, and Harriett. I rode around all three of those, and then up the Minnehaha Creek trail to the Ford Dam, across the river and home. That was a total of about 50 miles, and it was a great day out. I shot lots of photos, and here are a few of the best:


On the Midtown Greenway, which was fairly busy for such a cool day.



The `Greenway is a veritable gallery of graffiti, most of which is positive in nature.



The chop on Lake Calhoun is evidence of the fairly stiff breeze that was with us for most of the ride.


Here's my art shot for the day, along the Minnehaha Creek Trail.


Well, one more art shot, this time in color.


Minnehaha Creek runs under many, many bridges on it's way to the Mississippi River.
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Old 11-14-16, 10:22 AM
  #19652  
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Out for a short 21.8miles with Sambo this morning. Cool temps and no detectable wind.
Nice little jaunt.
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Old 11-14-16, 03:08 PM
  #19653  
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Took the day off Sunday, slept and watched movies. 21.1 miles today with the Kiwanis Bikes group. Today and tomorrow might be the last of the nice days for a while. Rain coming Wed, low temps the rest of the week. I'll ride in low temps but not rain or snow.

2016: 4,674m (7,523k) Total: 14,295m (23,006k) Tarmac SW SL3 536m (863k)



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Old 11-15-16, 02:18 AM
  #19654  
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30 loafing miles Monday evening, mostly to watch the supermoon rising over downtown, and get some time in the saddle in preparation for riding a solo century. Concentrated on using a taller gear and slower cadence, around 60 rpm, rather than my usual preference for spinning at 80-90 rpm in easier gears. Took it easy to avoid knee strain. I'm tentatively aiming for 100 miles Sunday the 20th, if all goes well.
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Old 11-15-16, 09:01 AM
  #19655  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
30 loafing miles Monday evening, mostly to watch the supermoon rising over downtown, and get some time in the saddle in preparation for riding a solo century. Concentrated on using a taller gear and slower cadence, around 60 rpm, rather than my usual preference for spinning at 80-90 rpm in easier gears. Took it easy to avoid knee strain. I'm tentatively aiming for 100 miles Sunday the 20th, if all goes well.
Wow, `cat, that's ambitious! I've thought of doing something similar, but I've decided I'm not ready yet. I have enough aches and pains already, without going looking for them. I ride for pleasure, and when 100 miles sounds like fun instead of folly, then I'll be ready.

Which bike are you taking on this expedition? Well, whichever it is, I wish you smooth roads and tailwinds both ways. Good luck!
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Old 11-15-16, 12:45 PM
  #19656  
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The Weather Underground web site said cold, so I dressed for it. Way too warm (whadda they know?). 15.3 miles, cut the ride short in 20mph winds, but at least it was (relatively) warm.

2016: 4,690m (7,547k) Total: 14,310m (23,030k) Tarmac SW SL3 551m (887k)

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Old 11-15-16, 03:08 PM
  #19657  
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Originally Posted by DQRider View Post
Wow, `cat, that's ambitious! I've thought of doing something similar, but I've decided I'm not ready yet. I have enough aches and pains already, without going looking for them. I ride for pleasure, and when 100 miles sounds like fun instead of folly, then I'll be ready.

Which bike are you taking on this expedition? Well, whichever it is, I wish you smooth roads and tailwinds both ways. Good luck!
Probably taking the Univega mountain bike this time. It's lighter, which I can feel climbing hills -- and the first 30 mile section I'll ride will be hilly. And now that I've dialed in the right tires and air pressure I'm not missing the suspension fork quite as much.

I took the Globe Carmel comfort hybrid for the ride-my-age trek back in August on the anniversary of my return to cycling. It's my sofa bike -- very comfy, between the suspension fork, big (but heavy) plush tires, long wheelbase and padded springy saddle. But the weight was wearing me down on the 30 mile hilly section I rode that morning. I had to rest an hour before resuming the trek later that day and finishing with 63 miles (five over my actual age, but close enough).

I plan to leave very early, take it very easy, rest when I'm tired and give myself about 12 hours to finish. Longer if necessary. And if I don't finish this time, no biggie. I'll try again the next week or sometime before the end of the year.
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Old 11-15-16, 09:22 PM
  #19658  
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Another 40 miles on a chilly morning with overcast skies. Yep! Broke out the arm warmers today.
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Old 11-16-16, 12:03 PM
  #19659  
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Hate to sound like a broken record but another 40 miles again this morning. Much colder than yesterday and too cold for this Florida boy.
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Old 11-16-16, 08:19 PM
  #19660  
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22 miles as a bike commuter today. Cool this morning but mid-60's/sunny on the ride home. (Sunny until Mr. Sun got down near the horizon.) Not bad for almost Turkey Day.
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Old 11-17-16, 03:20 AM
  #19661  
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33 miles Wednesday evening, including rides to and from a group ride. Very pleasant weather and ride. Trying a different technique, for me -- concentrating more on using taller gears and a slower cadence, closer to 60 rpm, just to work the legs a little differently. Being careful to avoid knee strain. Same overall speed. Feels more like a leg muscle workout with less aerobic workout. It'll be interesting to see how it feels on the long, windy, hilly route Sunday.
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Old 11-17-16, 05:25 AM
  #19662  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Trying a different technique, for me -- concentrating more on using taller gears and a slower cadence, closer to 60 rpm, just to work the legs a little differently... Feels more like a leg muscle workout with less aerobic workout.
You know the old say - if you legs hurt lower your gears, if you lungs hurt raise your gears. The trick is to find the gear where they both hurt!

Good luck on Sunday.
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Old 11-17-16, 09:25 AM
  #19663  
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Drag, Illustrated

Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
You know the old say - if you legs hurt lower your gears, if you lungs hurt raise your gears. The trick is to find the gear where they both hurt!

Good luck on Sunday.
I shared this over on the English 3-Speed thread, but I think it would be appropriate here as well. As many of you know, I don't like to measure my rides by anything but the fun I have along the way, and the satisfaction I feel afterwards. But some of my riding buddies use speedometers and computers so they have some numbers to brag about or measure themselves against.

So they tell me that my average speed on our trail rides, when we are just riding and not stopping to shoot photos, is about 14 - 15 mph. I'm guessing I'm turning about 80 RPM just like Canklecat. I have one knee held together by rubber bands and titanium screws, so I have to watch the strain on that. But I know aerodynamics have a lot to do with the amount of effort it takes to go a certain speed, and since I ride in the upright position to save my back, I have the drag coefficient of a brick.

When I researched this on the `web, I found a chart that illustrates just how dramatically drag - and the energy required to overcome it - increases past a certain speed:



It turns out that 14-15 mph is a sweet-spot compromise between effort and effectiveness. For example, it takes twice the effort to maintain 20 mph as it does 15, and here's the shocker: it takes almost TRIPLE the effort to maintain 20 mph as it does 14 mph. So I guess that's why it feels the right pace once I get going.

So Canklecat: Do you wear that brightly-colored sausage casing that I see all the serious roadies in? If so, that should help on Sunday...
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Old 11-17-16, 10:03 AM
  #19664  
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That chart seems right. I know I have to put in extraordinary effort to maintain anything above 16 mph. And rides like that now take longer recovery times. So I'm just taking it easy and riding for distance this week, getting in saddle time, leading up to Sunday.

Nope, no bikey looking tighty roadie gear. I do wear the polywhatever wicking tech fiber stuff because it's comfy, summer and winter. But I wear baggie shorts, casual fit solid color jerseys with no logos or racing stripes, that sorta thing. When it's cold enough I wear ordinary gym type sweatshirts or zip-ups. I'm not fast enough to benefit from anything fancy. The only cycling over-gear I have is a Shimano Storm Jacket for rain, which is very good and I've used it several times this year including last week during a nighttime ride home under a downpour.
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Old 11-17-16, 11:28 AM
  #19665  
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DQR, good graph. FWIW those figures for drag and power vs. speed are pretty conventional physics. The idea is that wind drag is proportional to speed squared, specifically a constant (called the drag coefficient) times the frontal area times the square of the speed. You can't do much about your frontal area except get smaller. You can lower your drag coefficient a little by wearing a sausage casing and combing your hair. But mostly you are stuck with whatever it is.

Power on the other hand is proportional to your speed cubed. Power by definition is energy used per time, while energy is force, in this case drag, times distance. Cover a fixed distance at a certain speed and you use a certain amount of energy. Do it in less time and your power goes up by the combined effects of the drag going up as speed squared and the amount of time you do it in going down by t = x/v. Double your speed and your drag goes up by a factor of 4 while the power required goes up by a factor of 8, i.e. 4 times the drag in half as much time.

(Ever wonder why pizzas are sold as 10", 14", or 20" and maybe 7" for a "single"? The square root of 2 is about 1.4; the square root of 1/2 is about 0.7. The amount of edible pizza is the pizza's area which is proportional to the square of the diameter. So the ratio of 10:7 is approximately 2. Likewise 14:10, and 20:14. Which is to say a 10" pizza is twice the size of a 7", and 14" is twice the size of a 10", and 20" is twice the size of a 14". Inotherwords, each is twice as large as the next smaller. What does this have to with biking, you ask?)

c-cat, I don't recall if you've written about doing many long rides before. So if this is stuff you know already then skip it, or tell me how I'm wrong. I could easily be wrong. I don't worry about nutrition while riding and all the stuff I've read would have been some time ago and was certainly unclear about a few things. But here is the gist of it possibly oversimplified, with a take-home message for completing a century.

Under moderate load muscles burn glucose and oxygen from the blood. They can do this for a long time. If you temporarily run out of either then muscles burn glycogen instead stored mostly in the muscles themselves. The problem is, depending on how hard you work and your conditioning, you have only an hour or perhaps much less of glycogen supply. When it runs out you have bonked, end of story, end of ride. So you want to avoid burning up those glycogen reserves except when absolutely necessary. So how to do that? Never run out of either glucose or oxygen.

If you go anaerobic you will experience lactic acid build-up, so that's a clue to avoid. But oxygen debt can be fixed quickly by slowing to where you can breathe in oxygen faster than you consume it. Glucose debt is fixed by digestion and takes longer, perhaps even an hour or two after you eat something. You can maintain glucose levels by eating the right stuff, but you have to anticipate. If you wait until you are hungry it is too late. Glycogen can't be restored quickly at all. It requires good rest and good food, so if you ever run out you will be done until tomorrow.

The easily remembered take-home lessons are to eat easily digested calorie food frequently. And never never never go anaerobic or into lactic acid buildup unless absolutely necessary. It goes without saying that you must also drink plenty of water.

I write all this because of your stated intent to run higher gears. If it causes your legs to go all burning-feeling then you are shortening your ride. The trick to riding a century is balance - balance between going so fast you burn out or so slow it takes you all day and then some, balance between your legs burning or your lungs burning or your stomach grumbling. You can ignore all this on a two to three hour ride. But most people can't ignore it on a century which will take 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 hours.
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Last edited by jimmuller; 11-18-16 at 08:51 AM. Reason: Calrity. And proffreading, and tpying.
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Old 11-17-16, 11:54 AM
  #19666  
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Very clear and concise summary Jim.
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Old 11-17-16, 12:42 PM
  #19667  
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Thanks for the fuel consumption explanation, Jim. I guess I knew some of that, but as berner said, you put it into a nice tight package that is easily remembered. As a rule, all of my trail rides on weekends feature at least one refreshment stop at a cafe, bakery, or ice cream shop - so I never run out of gas (bonk). The best rides start about 20-30 miles from the refreshment stop, and go another 20-30 afterwards.

Here is what a typical fuel stop looks like:



Huevos Rancheros is considered Premium Fuel on one of my rides. However, emissions can be problematic...
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Old 11-17-16, 02:56 PM
  #19668  
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40 miles with Steve, although he get there earlier and did 6 extra miles before I got there. That was good on his part as he really needs some solo rides.
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Old 11-17-16, 02:59 PM
  #19669  
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Thanks for the chart and explanations, guys. I was wondering why it took so much more effort to reach 20mph than it did 15mph. Now I know. And why 15-16mph seems a lot less effort in 4th gear (21T) at higher revs than it does in 5th gear (19T).

There is a good Gear Inch / Ratio / Cadence at Speed free calculator at BikeCalc.Com. I've used it for all gears for all my bikes and put it in a spreadsheet. Pretty handy chart.

18.4 very cold (32/overcast) miles today. No ride yesterday, wind and rain, hadda get out today but froze my toes.

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Old 11-17-16, 07:43 PM
  #19670  
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
The easily remembered take-home lessons are to eat easily digested calorie food frequently. And never never never go anaerobic or into lactic acid buildup unless absolutely necessary. It goes without saying that you must also drink plenty of water.

I write all this because of your stated intent to run higher gears. If it causes your legs to go all burning-feeling then you are shortening your ride. The trick to riding a century is balance - balance between going so fast you burn out or so slow it takes you all day and then some, balance between your legs burning or your lungs burning or your stomach grumbling. You can ignore all this on a two to three hour ride. But most people can't ignore it on a century which will take 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 hours.
Thanks, Jim. I remember the challenges from riding centuries years ago. But I was in my 20s then, in peak condition, so it's more of a challenge now.

BTW, I don't intend to ride the century in taller gears. It's just a variation in training I'm trying. I'll probably stick with the familiar easier gears and 80 rpm or so for the real deal.

And rather than riding 50 miles out and back I'm taking a circuitous route around the area, usually within walking, bus or begging a ride from friends distance of home. A friend said he'll be available for on-call sag wagonning if I wimp out on the most distance stretch of the ride. But I'm tackling that section first while I'm fresh. It's the same route I did the ride-my-age personal challenge in August, when it was hot. I'll rest a bit at home after that leg, then tackle the rest which will be within bus reach for most of the route.

Eventually I'll tackle a more remote century but I'll do that on an organized and supported ride next year.
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Old 11-17-16, 07:54 PM
  #19671  
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Originally Posted by DQRider View Post
Here is what a typical fuel stop looks like:



Huevos Rancheros is considered Premium Fuel on one of my rides. However, emissions can be problematic...
Wow! That is some lunch stop! I can well imagine the emissions problem. Little bit of extra kick from the jets, eh?

FWIW, I can ride for three hours without eating much after a decent breakfast. On my b'day ride this past Saturday I rode 41 miles in about 2hrs45min before stopping to eat. But I was starting to feel the pinch. I probably would have been stronger on the last quarter if I'd stopped to eat sooner. But my lunch was, shall we say, considerably less ponderous than that one.
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Old 11-17-16, 09:42 PM
  #19672  
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Don't normally post here, but did my "normal" 50 mi route today. Difference was after having 3 rear flats in three rides, and probably 10 in a month I decided time for a change. Mailman came to the door with a package and it was my new set of Michelin Pro4 Endurance skins and a handful of tubes (I normally ride patched tubes, but like to have a couple of virgins on hand just in case). So I yanked off the Conti 4000s II from the rear and slapped on the Mich. Now one ride does not make a proof, but it was so nice to not have to screw around changing a tube on the road today.

Meanwhile I have a pair of Veloflex tubbies stretching and I'm waiting for my Chinese crabon wheelset to show up so I can make the jump to glued tires.

scott s.
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Old 11-18-16, 12:57 PM
  #19673  
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40 miles again today. Did 26 with my riding buddy and the rest were solo miles. I wanted to do more but the wife had grocery shopping to do this afternoon and wanted to beat the shopping rush.
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Old 11-18-16, 01:54 PM
  #19674  
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22.4 miles with a friend whose bike I tuned up yesterday afternoon.
I was concerned about getting home before headlight usage is mandated, so I cut it a bit short.

30.1 miles with Sambo, my usual "training" buddy today. We took it a bit easy but still had a decent average. I guess "easy" rides are what we considered "hard" last year.Nice.....
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Old 11-18-16, 03:44 PM
  #19675  
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Bikes: 2012 Roubaix Pro, 2011 Roubaix Expert, 2006 Tarmac S-Works

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20.9 Miles on the Roubaix on a cold but sunny morning. What a difference a little sunshine makes. Pleasant ride.

2016: 4,729m (7,610k) Total: 14,350m (23,094k) Roubaix SL3 Ex 1,561m (2512k)24 / 4,093m (6,587k)


Of all the people in history that have reached 65 years of age, half of them are living right now.
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