Reflections of aging...

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Don Quijote, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. Don Quijote

    Don Quijote New Member

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    :) Hello, fellow and avid cyclists of the world! I would like to share this recent personal anecdote with all of you. It was EXTRAORDINARY.
    I am 45 years old and currently recently reside in El Paso, TX.
    A few days ago, a wonderful Saturday morning, after cycling over 60 miles on my Gios Torino SR, and pedaling on a medium gear (52-14) at about 90 RPM, blissfully sore lower back muscles, but saturated with endorphins, my Vittoria tubulars singing the road ahead, the sweat burning my eyes steadily,
    the gears smoothly humming along, a 20 MPH SW crosswind (SW heading), when suddenly I was approached by another avid and strong cyclist, who greeted me:
    "HELLO, I am George and I am almost 77...and I feel GREAT, man!
    I asked: HOW DO YOU DO IT? He replied: You got to STOP FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF...and STOP MAKING EXCUSES, that's all...JUST GET ON YOUR BIKE AND RIDE FAITHFULLY most days, at least X5 week"(This sentence was enunciated clearly, without any wheezing or stridor from that remarkable man's lungs! He was breathing effortlessly, as if standing still, but after exerting himself for the previous 20-30 mins to catch up with me, at a gear of 52-14! WOW!!!!)
    Now, I was PERPLEXED, SPEECHLESS! But I finally also managed to ask:
    ARE YOU RELATED TO LANCE ARMSTRONG, man?! He just smiled...
    Yes, I definitely have met my NEW HERO. I want to be more like Mr. George.
    Aging does not have to be a hopeless and sad, irreversible process, we can slow it down with CYCLING, and I got 31 more years to catch up with George!
    Yes, God willing, 31 more years to look forward to more wonderful cycling, and just think, practicing such a great sport may just help you slow down "aging", improving not just the way you feel, but also the way you look!
    And if you feel better, look better, in better health, then you will LIVE better and become a good example for others to follow, so we can help defeat the obesity epidemic, with its great cost and burden to us all, regardless of our age group or gender or cultural/national preference...
    Oh, yes indeed, I am recharged with enthusiasm and hope, since George has demonstrated to me that it can be done, just NO EXCUSES!
    Sincerely happy,
    Don Quijote :)
     
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  2. rolfdevinci

    rolfdevinci New Member

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    Yup.....absolutely! I`m a better man at 41 than I ever was at 21/31. Some call it a mid life crisis but I call cycling my passion.

    You know what`s cool.....when people look at me with that "look" when they find out I did a 100K training ride earlier in the day. I`m not sure if it is a look of admiration or a look of pity...(Gawd...he`s crazy!)lol. ;)

    Non cycling folk just don`t get it!

    I wanna be like George too.......wait.....um...I am a George. Not that one tho....... :D
     
  3. Don Quijote

    Don Quijote New Member

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    I AGREE with you 100%! Thank you for sharing your perspective with me, it definitely has encouraged me to remain persistent in my newly found devotion to faithful road cycling, regardless of our current performance/skills level!
    Don Q


     
  4. rolfdevinci

    rolfdevinci New Member

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    I don`t know your story Don but all I can add to the tale is that upon the road there lies a freedom. Each cyclist has their own reasons to ride and at the end of the day if it remains a passion, be it fast or slow, solo or in a group, that`s all that matters.

    Some days I gain freedom from the everyday stresses of living, some days it`s freedom from doubt, fear or self loathing. Some days I`m free to push myself to the max just for the endorphin rush or to earn the cold beer waiting at home. Some days I`m free to be competitive while other days I`m free to ride with the slower riders while enjoying the scenery and chatting.

    It`s good to focus on improvement but don`t take the fun out of cycling in the quest to be faster or stronger. Cycle for the right reasons for you and you will be a "George". Like the old saying goes......."it ain`t the destination it`s the journey."

    Good luck, take care and ride safe. :)
     
  5. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    You aren't kidding about that. Not only do they not get it, they miss it by a mile.

    I have a friend who recently said (his words not mine) that "exercising for 3 hours is retarded". An old girlfriend thinks I'm suffering from some type of "obsessive behavior". When I told my sister that I did a 3 hour session on my trainer she asked "didn't it hurt?" and "why would you put yourself through that?"

    Sound familiar? :rolleyes:

    The thing is when you try to explain why you want to push yourself past your previous physical limits and "yes, three hours on the trainer does in fact hurt", you just end up with blank stares like they're lost somewhere out in the ether. It just doesn't quite register in the old gray matter.
     
  6. dot

    dot New Member

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    I'm 30 now and I've got a very faint dream that when I'm 65 I would have a lot of time for riding, much more than nowadays. :D
     
  7. Hickabod

    Hickabod New Member

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    I haven't been riding long but I'm already starting to see this too. Sometimes I'll run into friends downtown while out on a ride and they give me those funny looks and questions like "What are doing out here on a bike? You live clear on the other side of town, don't you?" I do, but also I live in a small town. I'm not sure how many miles it is since I don't have one of those computers yet. I'm sure it's not far by most of your standards.
    I had a great day yesterday riding around, visiting friends, and even hit a couple of my favorite bars in town for a couple of cold ones. When I got home, I felt great (not drunk) and I slept like a baby (a happy baby).
     
  8. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    Last fall I was riding in a metric century and got dropped by a 60 or so year old guy in a wool jersey riding a '70s Record equipped Trek. I realized I have a lot too look forward to.
     
  9. Don Quijote

    Don Quijote New Member

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    That is exactly how I perceived "old age" too, BEFORE the Mr. George encounter! Don Q
     
  10. meehs

    meehs New Member

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    That's a GREAT story. Very inspiring! It reminds me of another guy. There's a a mountain bike festival they hold in Wisconsin every year called the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival. It actually draws some pretty big names; Greg LeMond, Ned Overend, and Bob Roll among others have ridden it. Anyway, I've been riding in it for years (I think it started in 1985). There are two races held the same day a 40 mile race and a 16 mile race. There's an older gent that has been riding ever since the beginning of the thing and I believe that last year was the first year he rode the shorter race. I think I heard that he's now in his eighties!!! I don't know his last name but his first name is Roy. Everybody who's a regular at the festival knows who "Roy" is. I always hang around the finish area and wait for him to come-in every year. I always think to myself "I sure hope I'm just like Roy when I'm his age"!
     
  11. BikeyGuy

    BikeyGuy New Member

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    Last summer I participated in the "Tour of Colorado", riding 400 miles in 5 days. We rode over 10,000 feet daily. One day we topped 12,200. There were approximately 1,500 riders. Amongst those riders were men and women well into their 70's. They were the true champions. What an inspiration.
    Good riding to you all.
     
  12. Don Quijote

    Don Quijote New Member

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    Hey, thanks! I agree with you. We need to RE-DEFINE AGING!!! DonQ
     
  13. Don Quijote

    Don Quijote New Member

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    Hey, thanks for the input. I believe that WE CAN TAKE IT TO A NEW LEVEL! Don :cool: Q
     
  14. meehs

    meehs New Member

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    I went and checked the 2004 Chequamegon "Short & Fat" (that's what they call the shorter 16 mile race) race results just for the helluvit. There were actually TWO participants in the eighty and over age group! Roy won and the other guy (named Don), finished just three minutes behind him. They both averaged around 9 mhp on a 16 mile, rough, hilly offroad course. Amazing!
     
  15. Susan Repp

    Susan Repp New Member

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    I just love these stories where people just don't quit .. in the Colorado Springs cycling club there is a particular gentlemen that rides recumbant a lot and he just smokes folks like they are standing still - his legs are totally amazing and aspire to be just like him - well not exactly - but can I be called GEORGE too .. :D

    I know that folks think we are all totally mental but I think they are the weird ones, who wouldn't want to feel good at ANY age, if this is an epidemic - give me some! Bikes are not just for the wee ones! ;)
     
  16. Don Quijote

    Don Quijote New Member

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    Well, THANK YOU for your perspective, Ms. Susan! It is also very ENCOURAGING.

    I believe that we need to start an "epidemic, a pandemic and an endemic" fitness movement, so the people can correlate fitness with HEALTH, FEEL and LOOK GOOD, and most of all ENJOY LIFE and have "more good days than bad ones", he-he.
    Regardless of our gender, fitness level or cultural preference, let us become living examples of winning the race against the metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, and premature aging, CYCLING ourselves to a boosted immune system that may just help SLOW the aging process down.
    Of all sports and exercises out there, I believe cycling, and particularly hard training in road cycling, with its interval sprints training, spinning alternating with heavy gears, hills and mountain climbing, long flats, etc., that they all provide a unique challenge to our bodies and minds, ultimately rewarding us with good health: mental and physical, with the added vigor and youth to our not so young bodies, he-he.
    Again, thank you for your valuable perspective, and yes, YOU ARE A GEORGE!
    Sincerely, Don Quijote.:cool:
    PS- After riding a Walmart Mongoose mountain bike while in P.A. school for over a year, I could not see any results in my body...but after hard riding my Italian road bikes: Gios and the Masi since Sept. 04, I have dropped from a hefty 211 lbs. to a leaner 183 lbs.! (still eating about the same, with the same bad eating habits...) My wife just stares and says: "It is not fair..."
     
  17. Susan Repp

    Susan Repp New Member

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    Does your wife ride a bike? If not, maybe she should go and see if she likes it - my sympathies for her though because I know a lot of fellas can drop lbs like it is going out of fashion and us girlies tend to hang on to it - all in the wrong possible places .. :eek:

    Unfortunately, most folks that have been bitten or smitten by the health craze are few and far between and even less as we age. I want to be old granny zipping along side the youngster (downhill probably) ..

    I get tired of all the silly jokes about me being nuts, I mean, give it a break would you? They check out my food, my exercise program and think I have a few screws lose but that is the price you pay right? I say "GO FOR IT" - SEE YOU ON THE ROAD! :D
     
  18. rolfdevinci

    rolfdevinci New Member

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    Get tired of it? Not me........I love it when I get the "look", have lady coworkers rub my shaven leg "cause they never felt a man`s shaved leg before", have my buddies rib me for using Grecian Formula(I don`t) and have people underestimate my age by years. :D

    Heck.........where else can you have so much fun yet still give the body, brain and soul a good workout. Cycling...ain`t it a peach. :)
     
  19. birdman23

    birdman23 New Member

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    Amen to all posters. There is a guy in our local club who is 65 and he regularly kicks the trash out of people half his age. I hope to be a "George" someday. I want to be riding along with my grandkids someday and race 'em to the city limits!
     
  20. Dweezle

    Dweezle New Member

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    I rode the Cycle Oregon this year for the first time. At the age of 49, I thought I'd be the geezer of the group, but I was about average. There was one guy who had, in big letters on his hydration pack, "You've just been passed by an 80 year old."
     
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