Reflections of aging...

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

  1. staceyt

    staceyt New Member

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    Susan,
    There is nothing in genetic mapping saying as you get older you must become infirm.

    I started road biking at 32. Began on an old Raleigh, met an avid biker and within two weeks had my first hybrid, biking shorts, helmet, shoes and a new love for speed.

    Had a kid at 43 and traded the road for mountain bike, I thought it would be safer with a tyke. It was fine then but I really missed the adventure of the road.

    Now 13 years later I just got a new KHS and plan starting to train for the senior olympics.

    I think aging is all about attitude. You really are as young as you feel. I plan on biking right into the grave.

    I would like to hear from some other seniors who continue to be adventerous. I live in eastern NC.
     


  2. rolfdevinci

    rolfdevinci New Member

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    Sweet! Good stuff Stacey. :)
     
  3. Susan Repp

    Susan Repp New Member

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    Too :cool: this is what keeps me going on those 2 wheels (no idea where my other thread reply went, cyberspace I think) :eek:
     
  4. EnigManiac

    EnigManiac New Member

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    My mid-life crisis manifested itself in a different, yet just as poignant way: I was an avid cyclist until my twenties and then didn't ride much until about six years ago when I started commuting to work. Although I love riding, I wasn't interested in becoming one of those 'bike guys' with a $3,000 bike, cycling shorts and all that. I was never going to win any races and didn't want to be a kamikaze or road-warrior. I rode for the enjoyment, the exercise and the fact that it cost me nothing (after the cost of the bike was recovered). I somehow developed a herniated disk about four years ago and could no longer lean forward like you do with most rode bikes and wondered if I was going to have to give up biking due to the damage and discomfort riding like that was causing me. I didn't want to give it up. I was adamant about that. So I found a beach cruiser that allowed me to keep my back straight. It was slow but I wasn't interested in speed anyway. The important thing was it was comfortable and smooth. There weren't many beach-cruisers on the road two years ago up here in Toronto and mine was particuarly distinctive and stylish, so it garnered alot of attention and I admit I loved the compliments. Now, I ride as often as the weather will allow (cruisers don't like rain and snow) and I have a collection that includes my 2003 Shangri-la, a modified 15-speed adult trike (can carry four 24-bottle cases of beer!), a brand new (and being modified) Giant Stiletto chopper and an all-chrome lowrider. I ride from March-December and don't drive at all now, probably putting about 10,000km a year on the bikes. I guess I've become twelve years old again and am riding the bikes I always wanted to ride when I was twelve. Some men get a 20 year-old girlfriend and a Corvette when they hit my age (42): I'll take a cool cruiser any day....well, the twenty year old girlfriend would be nice too...I can ride her double!

    (on the bike guys, on the bike...sheesh...dirty-minded folks ;) )
     
  5. staceyt

    staceyt New Member

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    I commend your imagination to take a bad thing and make it into a good thing. Too often people don't consider alternatives to problems but simply accept their limitations. Down here in NC ( I am originally from NJ and Calif.) I have discovered people really do think they are old at 40. They have their children very young and by the time they are my age, they are great grandparents and all that entails. It worries me people 10 years and more my junior are so much older than me and accept this as gospel. I seem to be a unique creature here tackling everything with gusto and without an instruction manual. I think good health has little to do with health in and of itself but more, has to do with how people perceive the world around them.

    If they believe the conventional wisdom of the area rather than exploring what is actually going on around them people tend to find themselves in that famous box without windows.

    Sorry about the sermon, I guess what I am trying to say is where there is a will, there is a way and you have taken full advantage of yours. Congrats.

    Stacey

    PS: a 20 year old will bore you to death. Get the Corvette.
     
  6. EnigManiac

    EnigManiac New Member

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    Thanks for the positive reinforcement. It's always reassuring to know there's like-minded, understanding and otherwise supportive folks out there. I sometimes get the impression the more conservative types, particularly at work, think I'm an odd-ball (and I seem to enjoy that reputation...hehe). I should never like to be accused of being normal.

    My only limitations are financial. I went to a bike show locally just this afternoon and test-rode the Nirve chopper (single-speed) and an awesome Firebike stretch cruiser (9'8" long!) with a 3-speed! Their frames are outrageous and beautiful! Now, if I could only come up with $1,000.

    And, can I get the 20 year-old WITH a forty year-old Corvette? I think I am imaginative enough to come up with something to keep us from boredom. LOL
     
  7. Moripori

    Moripori New Member

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    Provided you take good care of yourself, you will have more time at age 65. I am 64 and rode from age 14 to about 25, then stopped until about 9 years ago because of marriage, family, extensive travel with job etc. Now I ride 20 -40 miles 2-3 times/week. I remember the days when I could stay with the fastest, but now I have to accept that I'm pretty good for my age and ride with the 16-18mph bunch. (Yesterday, in a sprint I reached 29.6mph). I can still ride a flattish century in about 6 hr and a hilly one in about 7. And I still get that rush when I'm flying along under my own power. Now, I think I'll go for a ride:)
     
  8. vl1016

    vl1016 New Member

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    I've been riding for only about two years,but can very much relate to your experience. I live in a small town, too, but how cool is it to go anywhere you want on your own power? Soon, you'll be a long ways from town, thinking the same thing...10 miles, 20 miles, 30 miles and on, one town to the next. It's a wonderful thing. Get a cyclocomputer, you'll be surprised how fast and far you can already go.
     
  9. EnigManiac

    EnigManiac New Member

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    If you get ambitious and you have the time you can do what I did when I was 20 years old: starting at #1 Yonge St. in downtown Toronto, I rode to the other end of the longest street in the world (you can verify that through Guiness, winding up in Rainy River, Ontario; 1,178 miles (1,896 km) away, not far from the Minnesotta border a week and a half later. I didn't ride at break-neck speed as I had to work for food and lodging at farms and homes along the way and that's why it took me as long as it did and even longer to get home again. Although I forget the brand of bike I had borrowed from a friend, I recall it was an Italian tourer and very advanced for the time: 18-speed and very light-weight. Believe it or not I didn't need to change the tires once along the way. A cop stopped me at some point during the trip home and, although he advised me I was doing 30mph (downhill) on a 20mph (yes, it was still in mph back then) curve, he didn't give me a ticket; he wanted to know what kind of bike went that fast. I had no idea of my speed as I wasn't equipped with a spedometer, but I know at other times I had exceeded that alleged 30mph.

    I don't think I could manage the trip now, but it remains a great memory.
     
  10. fix

    fix New Member

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    Similar to others, I rode a lot until my early 20's when work and family entered into my life and re-arranged my priorities. With 40 on the horizon, I saw cycling as a way to regain some physical activity into my life. I remember the first ride, all 3 miles of it, with the first mile-and-a-half being up a hill that tortured my legs and lungs. I would not let that discourage me, but instead took it as a challenge that I needed to overcome. Slowly but consistently, I added miles to my rides and within 15 months managed to participate in a 150 mile, 2-day charity ride. I remember, the night before, my anxiety and fear of being the old guy trying to do such a ride. When I got going, I noticed that there were more riders that were old like me ...and a lot that were very old!

    Since then, when I take my rides, I've noticed the gray hairs showing from under many rider's helmets and the crows feet peeking from behind their reflective lenses. I hope that I am seeing my future in their faces, especially, since all of them seem to be smiling, too.

    Now, that first "torturous" hill is just a warm-up to get the heart rate going. It reminds me of how far I've come and the senior riders that I see remind me of how far I've got to go.
     
  11. Don Quijote

    Don Quijote New Member

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    THANK YOU for that encouraging perspective! I am there right along with you! :cool: Don Quijote
     
  12. snyper0311

    snyper0311 New Member

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    Would just like to say that this is one heck of an inspiring post. I really love to hear about how people love riding. I would just like to add that I am in my mid 30's and have been diagnosed with a cancer for the last four years. I had to stop riding during my treatments but last February, my wife bought me my dream bike. Since then, I have ridden every day (indoors and out). I'm not as fast as I used to be but I keep the crank arms turning! Anyway, age/health are what you make of it. If you can do it, go for it. And if you can't, at least you tried! Never fail because you didn't try! Keep up the good posts! :D :D
     
  13. EnigManiac

    EnigManiac New Member

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    Good on you, friend! Even if we can't beat cancer, we can make it run like hell to catch up to us. Good luck and good health.;)
     
  14. Don Quijote

    Don Quijote New Member

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    WAY TO GO, Snyper!!! You are just like Lance Armstrong, who raced against cancer, and became the only all time 6 time TDF champion from our US of A!!!

    Oh, well, I believe his courage, like yours, is INSPIRING and NOBLE, and unlike the old world cycling champions, Lance Armstrong is RE-DEFINING road cycling, taking our expectations and perceptions to a NEW LEVEL.
    But you, fellow avid cyclist, you have also become an inspiration to me, and in those "bad days" of an achy back or plain "laziness", I can just remember your message and along with Lance Armstrong, continue to strive for excellence in all we do, and particularly persist upon faithful road cycling!
    Thank you, Snyper! :cool: Don Q
     
  15. basso97

    basso97 New Member

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    Are you sure this is a record. I heard this when I visited Toranto but could never find it in the Guinnis World Book of Records. They list the Longest Motorable Road
    The Pan-American Highway, which runs from Fairbanks, Alaska, USA, to Brasilia, Brazil, is over 24,140 km (15,000 miles) in length. There is, however, a small incomplete section in Panama and Colombia known as the Darien Gap. The idea of the highway was born in the late 1800s, and began to take shape in 1925 with the first Pan-American Highway Congress in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires.

    Can you find it in the record book for me?
     
  16. EnigManiac

    EnigManiac New Member

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    Interesting that you couldn't find it in the Guiness Book of World Records. It's been such a stated fact, I thought it would be simple to find, but my 2000 edition doesn't indicate the longest street at all, nor does the web-site. However, Ask Yahoo states: Dear Yahoo!:What is the longest street in the world?Pollyanna
    Toronto, Ontario
    Dear Pollyanna:Funny you should ask. We looked no further than your hometown of Toronto for the official winner. The distinction belongs to Yonge Street, which is listed as a whopping 1,178 miles (1,896 km) in length

    and The Great Outdoors indicates the following: World's Longest Street
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]In the biggest city in the second biggest country on Earth you will find the world's longest street. Starting in Toronto, Canada, Yonge Street stretches an amazing 1,900 kilometres



    and the official City of Toronto attests to the fact in the attached link: http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/toronto_history/history_yongest.htm

    I'm surprised it's not mentioned in Guinness but will keep looking.
     
  17. EnigManiac

    EnigManiac New Member

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    Additional links:


    http://www.weirdspot.com/index.php/weblog/the_worlds_longest_street/
    http://www.spirit-of-canada.com/canada/winter/cold_nights.html states:
    stroll a portion of Yonge Street, Toronto’s main strip and the longest street in the world at 1,900km
    http://www.ymca.ca/html/tl_2000.htm
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/series/yonge/ (this one gives a great map of Yonge St/Hwy 11)
    http://canadian-city.softlandings.com/canadian-city-toronto.php

    Yet, oddly, nothing from Guinness....
     
  18. basso97

    basso97 New Member

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    I found those links but it is not in Guinness and what is the definition of a street.

    US 41 is longer then that, is it because it does not change names for everytown it goes through? It goes from Cooper Habor MI to Key West Fl.


    When I was a kid and heard this remark I told the tour guide that US 41 was longer. She gave me the flippant remark that is a US highway not a street. Young St is a provincial Highway. I have seen the street and US 41 they are the same size. So what is the definition of a St? I thought once a road got out side of the Corporate limits of a municipality it became a county road, state road or a some other kind of road and no longer a street.


    Sorry for getting off subject.



    That being said it takes nothing away from your ride.


    p.s. Just because you find it on the web does not make it so. Nor does repeating it often make it so.
     
  19. meehs

    meehs New Member

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    Jeez dude, lighten-up! Is the technical definition of the "world's longest street" really worth getting all worked-up over? Maybe it's just because Yonge Street is called Yonge "Street" and not Yonge Highway. Anyway... Who cares?
     
  20. Alpha

    Alpha New Member

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    45 years old and I feel more like a kid now than I ever did. I ride as much as possible and can't wait for spring. I started riding 8 or 9 years ago. Before then I could never figure out why someone would wilfully ride 100 km. I did not take long for me to realize the peace, time to think, fresh air and, of course, the need for speed. My 14 year old daughter has starting riding with me, which makes it all that much better!
     
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