Swoofty

The over 40 thread

18 posts in this topic

I started riding trials at 35 and now I'm 44. I still have a long list of trials wishes, but I'm beginning to realize that at some point the highs will get no higher. At 39, I rode trials with Hans Rey who was 48 at the time and it was very interesting to see what I potentially had to look forward to. For all the over 40 folks on here, how's it going? What are your tips for making the most out of riding over the hill? It seems like the greatest hindrance to riding at this age is juggling family, work and life and the physical aspect is not the most limiting factor yet.

 

Before I was 40, I had older riders tell me that after 40, I would not be able to ride 2 days in a row any longer. That's not 100% true, but I definitely understand what they meant. In a good week I can get 7 rides of at least 30 minutes plus; the weather's never really a factor here in Los Angeles. If I get one of those magical weekends when I can go for a 3+ hour ride both days, I am absolutely dead Sunday night and usually for a day or 2 after. I take multivitamins and I'm not opposed to Red Bull when I feel it'll help. Drinking enough water is a fairly constant problem. Injuries, often even small ones, will keep me from riding for weeks sometimes and then that in turn makes me ride more cautiously further slowing my progress.

 

I've recently gotten a heart rate monitor to see where I stand and the highest rate I've recorded over the last 3 weeks is 176 beats per minute. Over a typical hour long ride I average in the low 130s. Riding pure trials raises the average versus riding street, but I'm much more comfortable riding street. I keep my pure trials at work where I can ride over my hour lunch break on some lovely rocks nearby. The street trials takes over on the weekends at home. That's one trick for maximizing riding time.

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Approaching my mid 40's and only had a (street) trials bike for almost a year, so can't offer any trials tips! Waited until early 40's to start a family, 2nd one coming up to a year old, and still a regular sleep disruptor, so I try not to get into too much fitness debt from overly intense riding. The distance I ride now has dropped quite significantly. I ride 5 days a week to work and back, only 4 miles each way, though do a few extra miles here and there, and can snatch a few quick basic trials practice sessions on lunch break or home run on the rigid MTB. Often ride six days a week, but only if I have some easy days where I put in as little effort as possible. I monitor my HR; on an easy day I aim to keep my HR on the way to work below 135, and on the way home, below 110. Max HR I've hit recently was 179, a month back.

 

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On 10/12/2019 at 9:11 PM, Swoofty said:

I started riding trials at 35 and now I'm 44. I still have a long list of trials wishes, but I'm beginning to realize that at some point the highs will get no higher. At 39, I rode trials with Hans Rey who was 48 at the time and it was very interesting to see what I potentially had to look forward to. For all the over 40 folks on here, how's it going? What are your tips for making the most out of riding over the hill? It seems like the greatest hindrance to riding at this age is juggling family, work and life and the physical aspect is not the most limiting factor yet.

 

Before I was 40, I had older riders tell me that after 40, I would not be able to ride 2 days in a row any longer. That's not 100% true, but I definitely understand what they meant. In a good week I can get 7 rides of at least 30 minutes plus; the weather's never really a factor here in Los Angeles. If I get one of those magical weekends when I can go for a 3+ hour ride both days, I am absolutely dead Sunday night and usually for a day or 2 after. I take multivitamins and I'm not opposed to Red Bull when I feel it'll help. Drinking enough water is a fairly constant problem. Injuries, often even small ones, will keep me from riding for weeks sometimes and then that in turn makes me ride more cautiously further slowing my progress.

 

I've recently gotten a heart rate monitor to see where I stand and the highest rate I've recorded over the last 3 weeks is 176 beats per minute. Over a typical hour long ride I average in the low 130s. Riding pure trials raises the average versus riding street, but I'm much more comfortable riding street. I keep my pure trials at work where I can ride over my hour lunch break on some lovely rocks nearby. The street trials takes over on the weekends at home. That's one trick for maximizing riding time.

You’re definitely one of the more energetic riders I’ve ridden with... Many people just sit there and talk, you go at it and are an inspiration...  I just cleaned the bike dungeon.:. maguras have to be bled... think im gonna break this 17 pound inpulse on the first ride... Got 3 years before I can join this thread, peace... 

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Not 40 (just turned 39) but yeah I agree with what you say. The worse part is recovering from injuries, even minor ones takes ages. I don't tend to get to ride two days in a row at the moment, but it isn't really an issue. Biggest changes I have made to keep riding as I get older is eating better, drinking less and stretching a lot. Keeping that body flexibly is a big thing now, doing  squats and stretches (I don't go crazy with it), even on days I don't ride means I feel good more often than not when I do ride.

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Also closing in on but not quite 40 yet, and can only echo what's been said above. General health and fitness seems to play a big part for me too, including proper food and working on flexibility. At the moment I'm riding more than I ever have during my 'proper' adult life and the body is holding up just fine so far.

Interesting heart rate stats, haven't considered before what effect trials might have on that - quite significant, seemingly!

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I'm the wrong side of 40 now (only by 5 months mind) and I must admit that I've not ridden the trials bike in anger for far too long, got to be 5-6 years easily.  I don't think I would have any issues with riding multiple times a week (assuming there was time to do so) once the base level muscle fitness had returned but it wouldn't be close to the 4-5 hours a day I used to ride in my 20s.

Didn't @Stan Shaw used to state that riding pure/natural trials was one of the biggest calorie burners?

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Some of this was part of the reason I was interested in if any trials riders used Strava for trials rides. I was curious about how more experienced trials riders spent their time riding - for example how much resting between attempts of lines, and the sort of intensity of effort put into it (ie how much it pushed their heart rate up if that data was available).

I'm starting out trials approaching my mid forties and I'm not yet all that relaxed on the bike, I think it's still a bit of a fight against the bike/gravity/myself at times, which becomes very tiring. All these little moves I attempt can't be as tiring for an experienced rider, but that's getting a bit off-topic.

Just to clarify what I said earlier about riding 6 days a week, I meant getting on a bike and riding, not just trials riding. Most weeks I'll only go out on the trials bike twice a week, sometimes 3 times and little bits here and there on a couple of commutes home. I won't do much more than that as my wrists will suffer, and over the past 3 months there can be a tight feeling along the clavicle after trials rides (lasted at least a week after the Bike Academy Weekender). I generally avoid riding trials two days in a row to help recovery. Part of the wrist problem might stem from bad landing technique, though that's slowly improving, but not having as much time for long XC/trail rides also helps. I've got some gymnastic rings which I use sporadically to do really basic stuff on, and my wrists usually feel pretty good after.

I went to an indoor skate park last night with my Inspired Console. I'm not very experienced at that either, only the 2nd time I've been there.  Only managed an hour before I felt absolutely blasted and went home. Spent 3/4 of the time dripping puddles around my bike. Concluded I must have been making hard work of it for it to feel that tiring.

Edited by marg26

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On 10/15/2019 at 8:05 PM, AndyT said:

You’re definitely one of the more energetic riders I’ve ridden with... Many people just sit there and talk, you go at it and are an inspiration...  I just cleaned the bike dungeon.:. maguras have to be bled... think im gonna break this 17 pound inpulse on the first ride... Got 3 years before I can join this thread, peace... 

Thanks for that Andy. You definitely jump started my riding after we met.

I need to do more in the stretching department. I have about a mile of a slow down hill to get to my usual riding spot so I try to stretch on the bike; calves for 30 sec and then way leaned back on the bike to stretch my back. I bought Ryan Leech's yoga for cyclist video years ago, but I've never actually watched it. I was once good about stretching on my off days, but I've gotten far less regimented about it lately. 

The heart rate monitor has been pretty illuminating. I raced XC MTB all through college in the late 90s and also used an HR monitor and would regularly see 210 bpm on sprint climbs; boy those days are gone! Now, because of my usual time limits on how long I can ride, I feel like I've sort of trained my body to peak for about an hour. If I rest between sections, I'll return to between 70-90 bpms. One Saturday that I was able to ride for a little over 3 hours, the HR monitor said I had burned 2400 calories! Pretty sure I had a large green tea milkshake after that ride!

I used to take alpha lipoic acid after my rides to mitigate soreness and I've recently tried one of the CBD derived recovery drops that really helps with soreness, but I think adequate water before and after a ride plays a huge role in soreness too. 

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Hi been on the darkside a few years now, i ride 3-4 times a week usually one long session 4h (mainly pure trials)and 2-3 small ones 1,5 hour(street+skatepark).. main problem is HARSH landings (2m drop to flat), hang up on dirtjumps ect...other than that i do some shoulder/leg/back streching 2-3 times a week about 30min per session... i have friends in the 50's still charging...:-) so no reason to stop anytime soon...The magic trick for me seems to be warming up/ light streeching before riding 5-10min.. and loads of Coffee...

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Just seen this thread after several months of sneaking about on here, got myself an old t-Pro mod around last xmas with the idea of finally learning all those techniques I never figured out in my early 20s when I first got a MTB. Now 44 and this year hasn't exactly gone as planned for trials riding. Doesn't help that the hs33 won't hold the back wheel when I need it to most, but really the only reason I haven't got further than I have is I haven't ridden it much. Even spending money on it hasn't solved that problem...

Currently wondering what to do about sorting the brake issue (different pads, disc equipped bike), whether a mod was the right way to go to get into it - I do like it but maybe a streety thing might have been a better idea - and just not beating myself up too much about the lack of progress. I still intend to get out more and learn, but things come and go and it can be easy to take stuff too seriously. I still can't even turn while hopping on the back wheel (any tips?), so I'm right at the beginning, but I'll get there. Cheers for all the info I've gleaned from these pages and hopefully this time next year I'll be a whole year further forward. Stretching tips duly noted as well...

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1 hour ago, Vanis said:

Just seen this thread after several months of sneaking about on here, got myself an old t-Pro mod around last xmas with the idea of finally learning all those techniques I never figured out in my early 20s when I first got a MTB. Now 44 and this year hasn't exactly gone as planned for trials riding. Doesn't help that the hs33 won't hold the back wheel when I need it to most, but really the only reason I haven't got further than I have is I haven't ridden it much. Even spending money on it hasn't solved that problem...

Heatsink yellows* or whites* on a smooth rim work very well when dry, put a light grind on there and you have a 100% all weather brake.

*I'm old and out of touch with this trials lark and there might be 1000 other pads on the market now but they're absolutely superb.

 

1 hour ago, Vanis said:

I still can't even turn while hopping on the back wheel (any tips?), so I'm right at the beginning, but I'll get there. Cheers for all the info I've gleaned from these pages and hopefully this time next year I'll be a whole year further forward. Stretching tips duly noted as well...

The way I was taught back in '99ish was to turn circles with the handlebars as you do tiny hops on the rear wheel.  Best to be comfortable with being up on the balance point and stationary on the rear wheel, the more vertical you can get the bike the easier it is, keep your elbows bent and the bars as close to your chest as you can; ideally you want to be able to support near to 100% of your weight on the pedals alone, this allows your arms to give the turning input. To turn clockwise flick the bars clockwise as you hop and vice versa, note that the hop is more controlled if it's without any pedal input, all of the movement should initially come from your hips and pedal input can come later when you're more familiar with the basics :)

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1 hour ago, Vanis said:

whether a mod was the right way to go to get into it - I do like it but maybe a streety thing might have been a better idea - and just not beating myself up too much about the lack of progress. I still intend to get out more and learn, but things come and go and it can be easy to take stuff too seriously. I still can't even turn while hopping on the back wheel (any tips?), so I'm right at the beginning, but I'll get there.

I'm coming up to a year of owning a trials bike, but think it's a year since I decided to actually make an effort to learn this stuff. I've got a street trials bike but wanting to try a mod/stock bike now. I can't see me doing any spinny-twirly-jumpy stuff any time soon :lol: Been making the obligatory beginner trials videos for anyone who's interested (not many ha). I've always been quite self-critical and negative so keeping frustration and comparison in check is quite important to avoid getting too negative about lack of progress. It's a trial, but it shouldn't become a chore, need to stay having fun!

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So am I too old to start at 55?

After riding Muni (mountain unicycle) from 2004, feel it's time for a new challenge in life.

1st up lean track stands :unsure:

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19 hours ago, forteh said:

Heatsink yellows* or whites* on a smooth rim work very well when dry, put a light grind on there and you have a 100% all weather brake.

This was my first sensible thought, I've heard about those pads. I'm currently running a new set of Onza whatever the ones are called with the sealed hubs and painted rims. I get why grinds work but at the moment I'm still reluctant to take an angle grinder to them in case I go for the less sensible option and buy a whole different bike with discs (seen one for not much money recently). Part of my problem is living on the side of steep hill and having to use the brakes normally to slow the bike down, what a  horrible experience. Plus I'm used to discs from riding MTB. I'll have to have a few words with myself and sort it out.

 

19 hours ago, forteh said:

note that the hop is more controlled if it's without any pedal input, all of the movement should initially come from your hips and pedal input can come later

Now this is a great tip, thanks. Don't think I've seen any tutorials that have made this point. I like getting new points to focus on. All of this has been encouraging, thanks. Looking forward to getting out and swearing at myself again for not getting it quick enough...

@marg26 I'll have a look at your videos as well, always good to remind yourself that others are facing the same struggles ;) maybe I'll even make my own at some point.

@kiwipete Never too old for anything, someone once told me...

Cheers

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With the light grind (literally tickling the room with a 1mm cutting disk) my heatsinks are pretty horrific noise wise but bite and hold is incredible. I use a bb7 up front to deal with hills and quiet speed control.

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21 hours ago, Kiwipete said:

So am I too old to start at 55?

After riding Muni (mountain unicycle) from 2004, feel it's time for a new challenge in life.

1st up lean track stands :unsure:

no 55 s fine, just get on it !!! :-) good luck

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3 hours ago, dk2 said:

no 55 s fine, just get on it !!! :-) good luck

Thanks 

I still feel like a 20 year old. 

My new (second hand) Zoo! 20" turned up this afternoon, I serviced & cleaned it tonight.

Tried a very little riding today 

A long way to go :D

Just working on fit etc.

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I’m 49. Started bicycle trials a year ago as cross training for moto trials (started a couple of years ago). I ride bicycle 6 days a week for an hour with few breaks — the moto once a week for 3-4 hours. I’m having no real age related physical issue — in fact I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life — riding daily and a whole food no sugar diet (beer though) I dropped 25lbs. My biggest “issue” is more a mental “fear” issue of just “sending it” — things like big drops and big jumps and going over the bars scare the crap out of me and that is fairly new feeling...  HR is usually around 130-170...

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