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Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by jsirabella, Sep 30, 2005.
I live in the states! In Colorado, to be more exact, can you tell me about the clubs?
And don't get discouraged if you have a few bad races-- there's a lot more skill to racing than it first appears. Picking the right wheel, holding it, saving energy at the right times, burning energy like there's no tomorrow at the right times, etc. all takes practice. The thing that seems to surprise new racers a lot is that even if the average speed in a race isn't all that high, the peaks can be *really* high, and if you get popped out the back during one it's even more work to chase back up. Some skill, and the ability to suffer really hard for short periods, can save you a lot of chasing and keep you in the race.
And along with everyone else, no, 40 isn't too old to start racing. I just restarted again last year after about 8 years off, and my racing age this coming year is 40. I'm faster now than in my late 20's (I started racing at 26 ro 27) by a lot.
You should also keep an eye on the Cat 4/5 fields and the masters fields-- sometimes/places the old guys fields are more competitive than the 4/5 because they're full of Cat 2 racers who got older but not a lot slower. Other times the masters will be more civilized. It's nice to have a choice, and if you're doing mass start races, you should try to get in races where you'll be able to race to the end.
I'm closer to 50 than 40 and still racing and competitive at club and regional level (among plenty of other rider my age and older). There is a guy in my club who is 65 who has no trouble keeping up with the other riders in our grade. The oldest rider in the T de F each year is usually in his late 30's.
Get into it man.
Why not dip your toe in the water with a cycle sportif event? The large mileage you have accumulated will mean the distances involved will not be a problem. Riders at the front tend to view these events as races so you can satisfy that competitive urge too.
I am very tempted to race again - it's 17 years since I last raced and I agree
with that level of mileage I should put it to some use.
What holds me back ?
I am not afraid of being beaten in a race, that's for sure.
What does prevent me is the thought of racing in a bunch a speed and crashing.
When i was younger, I didn't perhaps think of the possibility of crashing.
But today, this thought prevents me from racing.
It's not the physical pain of crashing - it is the fact that if I had a bad crash,
I would not be able to work (self-employed/travel a lot).
Hence the suggestion of a cycle sportif - you can take it as seriously as you like. Chill-out, take in the scenery and have a chat with those around you. Or jump on some wheels, take turns at the front, mix it up. Just get used to riding with others again.
Definitely food for thought, Guy.
Do you take part in these events, Guy ?
After you've spent some time riding some of the faster club rides, try you hand at a local time trial. Safer than riding on your own (courses are always wide and safe) and get a chance to compete against others (via the clock).
As I said, I used to compete - rode at National Tour level - in the 1980's.
Maybe it's the onset of middle age - makes your more aware of the dangers of crashing.
Well not sure how competing in a time trial is more dangerous than getting on the bike and riding on your own.
I *do* appreciate the perspective... am 48 myself. Raced in the 70's.
I'm a road-racer and cyclo-crosser but next year I'm going to do the Welsh Dragon Ride as it is nearby and I've read lots of good things about it. I guess I'm looking at sportifs as a break from racing while you can view them as a reintroduction.
Excuse the newbie...
What is a cycle sportif???
Time trailling holds absolutely no interest for me - and it isn't an event that is popular here as regards road racing (TTing is popular in Britain however).
We have Veteran road races - involving many competitors.
I hate Time Trails but sometimes i do ride them in order to train a better constant speed (yeah it`s probebly funny kind of English, sorry). By the way, one of my first posts on this topic was about a week of training in the Sierra Nevada, it was great and i am looking forward to the new season - i will ride some races in the alpes. Next Month, i will be 40, who cares, what bathers! I am preparing for 2007, want to ride the Transalp then and i am looking for a top ten place there (in the overall).
Got the latest Bicycling magazine and see what a cycle sportif event is...I can see how this will really start to take hold in the future. It is just for that middle of the road guy who wants to do more than a tour but not sure about an all out race.
I will also look into doing one of these next year. But in anycase, the folks here have given me alot to shoot for and I just need to as joule said get my fitness level higher and higher.
Snowing today here in nyc, what is your guys opinion on spinning classes vs using a trainer in your house?
I ran into an old running buddy recently at a holiday party. When he was 45 he finished marathons 20 minutes faster than may best time ever -- a time which I posted at age 28. He's got more trophies than shelf space, more award certificates than wall space. I asked him what races he had planned for next year. His response, "I've run my last race."
He's still in terrific shape. But he can't produce those fabulous times from 10 or 20 years ago, so every race is a disappointing reminder that he's not the runner he once was.
I, on the other hand, was never good enough to be burdened with this same problem -- either as a runner or cyclist -- as I grow older. I wasn't a contender for the Olympics or the pro cycling tour when I was 22 or 32, and I'm not now. So what?
So, get fit. Be comfortable enough on the bike so you don't hurt yourself or your fellow riders. And go for it!
I am always training in my own house if the weather is too bad to ride outside. But it could be good to take a spining class, for me it`s too difficult too combine that with my job...
I'm 47 and riding about 9,000 miles per year. I'm averaging about 17 MPH (with hills.) There is a guy in our club who is 60, and he's phenominal on the hills. Nah 40 is not old!!
9,000 miles?? That commute to work must be a real biatch!!
I consider myself pretty good that I can put in about 3,500 miles on a bike last year...never really know how much really since I do alot of spinning in the gyms both machine and manual stationary bikes.
17 mph, (with hills), what would be considered average hills so I can know for when a race comes what to expect and how to plan? On an average race what kind and how many hills can you expect??