slowing down on the bike

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
mig
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Joined: 19 Oct 2011, 9:39pm

slowing down on the bike

Postby mig » 7 Aug 2019, 10:35am

what are people's experiences of getting/feeling slower on the bike? i see several instances in threads of contributors saying that they need lower gears, can't ride for X amount of time anymore, looking for comfier set ups etc

when have people found that they make such changes? 40+? 50+?

is there any consensus? genuinely interested.

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661-Pete
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Re: slowing down on the bike

Postby 661-Pete » 7 Aug 2019, 10:50am

At 70-, I certainly feel the creakiness. I used to boast that, many moons ago, I used to (occasionally) commute up the celebrated Ditchling Beacon. I reckon it would kill me now.

Speed? I can still just about average 12mph (19 Km/h) on a good day, on a short-ish level ride. That hasn't changed much over the past 10 years or so. But I can't do the distance any more: 15-20 miles is pretty much the maximum. And any serious grimpeur-ing is out!

I haven't changed the setup of the bike though - still fairly road-ish. I feel comfortable that way.

The important thing is to keep cycling - at whatever speed. :)
Last edited by 661-Pete on 7 Aug 2019, 10:52am, edited 1 time in total.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

Grandad
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Re: slowing down on the bike

Postby Grandad » 7 Aug 2019, 10:51am

How long is a piece of string.......

The only consensus is that it will happen to all of us at some time, but the age range will span around 40 years with general health being a major factor.

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Mick F
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Re: slowing down on the bike

Postby Mick F » 7 Aug 2019, 10:57am

My average speeds have steadily dropped since turning 60 I think.
Distances have also dropped. Could be that the two are linked.

I don't enjoy the adventure of a long ride any more. Couple of hours or so in the morning, and back home for lunch keeps me happy. Keeping happy is the main aim in life, I reckon.
Mick F. Cornwall

pwa
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Re: slowing down on the bike

Postby pwa » 7 Aug 2019, 11:25am

Mick F wrote:My average speeds have steadily dropped since turning 60 I think.
Distances have also dropped. Could be that the two are linked.

I don't enjoy the adventure of a long ride any more. Couple of hours or so in the morning, and back home for lunch keeps me happy. Keeping happy is the main aim in life, I reckon.

You're not wrong.

Grandad
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Re: slowing down on the bike

Postby Grandad » 7 Aug 2019, 11:42am

You're not wrong.

He never is :D

pwa
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Re: slowing down on the bike

Postby pwa » 7 Aug 2019, 11:48am

When we first moved to our current home more than twenty years ago we used to see a (presumably) retired gentleman cycle through the village from time to time. White hair, white beard, on a touring bike. Never struggling but never looking fast. Never looking like he cared whether he was going fast or not. And we still see him. Maybe a bit slower, but essentially the same. I have never felt anything other than respect for the way he chooses to pass his time.

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al_yrpal
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Re: slowing down on the bike

Postby al_yrpal » 7 Aug 2019, 11:59am

I never speeded up! :lol:

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

whoof
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Re: slowing down on the bike

Postby whoof » 7 Aug 2019, 12:03pm

Someone did a scientific study on the rate a decline of times for 10km runners as a function of age. There was a perceive wisdom that their times decreased by a certain amount per year with age and this was backed up by the experience of many runners. However, as with any study it's about picking a factor (in this case aging) and identifying how this alone has an effect. What the study found was that many runners whose times had fallen considerable were simply training less and if you looked at like-for-like, active runners in there 40s, 50, 60s and compared them with younger runners doing similar volumes the drop in times was a lot less than expected. It was also found that athletic capacity was best maintained in older runners by slightly decreasing overall volume but increasing shorter higher intensity work.

I understand that most on here are not concern with times/racing/athletic endeavours but it does show that slowing down is multifaceted which includes; physical changes, family/work* commitments or just not wanting to ride as far and as fast as previously and not just 'you're getting old'.

*Or not working (retiring), which can mean a drop in millage due to no longer commuting.

pwa
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Re: slowing down on the bike

Postby pwa » 7 Aug 2019, 12:08pm

I have known a lot of keen walkers who have got fitter on retirement because they have had more time to walk, some joining the Ramblers and getting in the habit of doing a lengthy walk once or twice a week in the company of others.

flat tyre
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Re: slowing down on the bike

Postby flat tyre » 7 Aug 2019, 12:22pm

Certainly my experience is that since having retired 4 years ago at 61, I've got a lot fitter and faster. Cycling mileage has gone up 3x to about 7,500 miles per year and I've lost 2 stone. I think the weight loss has helped cycling performance as I'm much faster up hill than I used to be.

whoof
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Re: slowing down on the bike

Postby whoof » 7 Aug 2019, 12:35pm

it does depend on how fit you were when you were younger. I know someone who in their late 40s cycles around 5000 km per year but in their 20s would get out of breath sat in a chair. A great deal of this was as result of being ~173 cm and 150 kg in their 20s and being about 90 kg now.

ambodach
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Re: slowing down on the bike

Postby ambodach » 7 Aug 2019, 3:23pm

Chronological age has little to do with how you cycle really. You may cycle more after retirement and thus be fitter than before. Luck has more to do with what you do. We cannot necessarily control the functions of our body machinery and some wear out faster than others so just try to keep healthy tho’ fate is sometimes against us.

Postboxer
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Re: slowing down on the bike

Postby Postboxer » 7 Aug 2019, 3:49pm

pwa wrote:When we first moved to our current home more than twenty years ago we used to see a (presumably) retired gentleman cycle through the village from time to time. White hair, white beard, on a touring bike. Never struggling but never looking fast. Never looking like he cared whether he was going fast or not. And we still see him. Maybe a bit slower, but essentially the same. I have never felt anything other than respect for the way he chooses to pass his time.



Come on, own up, which one of you is it?

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Audax67
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Re: slowing down on the bike

Postby Audax67 » 7 Aug 2019, 4:27pm

I find that the best measure of decrepitude is rate of vertical climb (RVC) without luggage. My RVC in 2007, when I was 60, was around 12-13 metres/minute, and I did the Tourmalet at 9 m/min after riding 1000 km. These days I can still occasionally muster 9 m/min when I'm fresh, but 6 - 7.5 is more likely and I don't attack such big hills, either.

Mind you, I had two minor heart attacks in 2016.
Have we got time for another cuppa?