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  1. #1
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    Old Guys Racing?

    Who races? Been riding since the beginning of time but never raced. Rode my first one last week, had a great time. Gonna try it again this week

  2. #2
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    This is my first season riding a mbt racing season (Wisconsin off Road series). I am not the fastest in 2 laps. Still need to gain a ton of confidence....
    But what fun! And the people riding with are great...
    Yep keep racing and don't worry about getting pasted by the 60 yr olds.

  3. #3
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    I'm 51, I was a 'respectable' cat1 in my early 20s, took a bunch of time off, and got back on the bike and back into racing at 44/45. There's a pretty good masters scene in my area too. Racing is a great way to keep motivated; when the weather is bad or you just don't feel like it "____ race is coming up, gotta stay fit!". Plus, you meet nice (mostly) fit people, who you can also go on non-race rides with.
    I've made quite a few friends through racing, and now my 14yr old son is a training partner, and we go to races together, - I'm still faster than him, but probably not for long.
    skidding is the signature of the novice; learn how to use your brakes.

  4. #4
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    I was racing to the men's room very often and thought I'd do some public service and let you know that can be fixed.

    On WORS, I plug my nose and am so happy when the race we sponsor is done. The WEMS series has been more fun for someone like me who's not serious about racing, nor a fan of the NASCAR on grass and dirt that WORS seems to be.

    The one age issue here is I just don't do well with an all nighter anymore. Doing a 12 hour event was fine. Just doing support for our last overnight race was too much of a no fun next day.
    ƃuoɹʍ llɐ ʇno əɯɐɔ ʇɐɥʇ

  5. #5
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    I did some racing in my mid to late forties; half a dozen sprint triathlons, an off road duathlon, and an adventure race. I still do 5Ks and trail run races. I've been thinking about doing some mtb races this fall, a 3 hour race and/or the same duathlon I did previously. But I haven't decided yet. I'm 54.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  6. #6
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    The only short races I do are single speed events, but I hesitate to call them races except for the very few serious people at the front. For the rest of us it's more like rapid transits between beer stops. Nonetheless that's fun.

    However I like 24 hour races, and don't feel warmed up until I've been going for about 5-6 hours. Unfortunately that usually occurs just after I start feeling knackered.

    Mainly riding to beat my own expectations seeing as everyone is very much younger and there's no age classes that come close to my age (73 this year).

    The biggest problem I find is that courses more and more are prioritised to suspension bikes and seeing as I ride rigid hardtails, every year it's getting a bit harder. Couldn't be anything to do with getting older, oh no.

    I'm down to one race a year now because of the hassle of travelling - seem to get DVTs after any long flight. Luckily our local 24 hour race "The StrathPuffer" is pretty good as it's held in the middle of winter. We often get epic weather - high winds combined with 17 hours of darkness, lashings of sleet, and a spot of subzero can disincentivise even the most dedicated.

    This year I'll also be doing the WEMBO 24 hour World Championship in October, and that has age classes, so there's an incentive to try hard. Although I have been contemplating going easy on myself and riding with gears, I'll probably still pick the rigid singlespeed. Less to go wrong, and I prefer to ride unsupported. Unfortunately I dislike the course at Fort William. It's too unnatural for my taste, and I loath the wooden features as being too artificial (never seen one of those on an actual mountain).

    Summary of training plan:

    Lots of endurance rides, mainly road with long climbs because there's less opportunities for micro rests.
    Running for off the bike stuff.
    Practise quick dismounts and remounts.
    Lose weight. I reckon if I knock off 5kg, that's a serious amount of work I save myself over 24 hours. Hopefully that will just happen with the training.

    I've started getting serious mileage in, eg yesterday was 130 road miles in the mountains, rested today with a 5km walk, tomorrow an easy 60 miler.

    Plus I have to up the running - I've realised there's no way I'm going to get better on the technical stuff or the jumpy stuff, and seeing as I'm on bloodthinners, I have no desire to suffer hard falls training for it. Solution, bike on shoulder and run. That way I'm not a mobile chicane and get through it in one piece and much faster than my usual cautious pace. (BTW when I say 'run" envisage speedy shambling rather than an athlete gliding along with the wind behind him).
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  7. #7
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    I used to race in my twenties, and have a goal to do it again. It's been slow going getting fitness back and figuring out how to train my new old self.
    I plan to do it purely for fun and to have a goal and meet some other cyclists. Maybe I should just get out there fit or not now that I think about it :P

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Baird View Post
    ...Maybe I should just get out there fit or not now that I think about it :P
    That is exactly what you need to do.

    I have a friend who used to regularly podium when he raced. He hasn't raced for over 20 years because he doesn't think it worth the effort if he can't win. As a result he hardly rides at all, is much heavier, and is quite unfit.

    If you ride for fun, don't worry about beating other people than yourself, it all falls into place.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  9. #9
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    I guess the thinking is I want enough fitness where the ride is fun and not punishing. I know myself and I will push myself if there's other riders to follow :/
    My joking (not so joking) line has been my goal is to not finish dead last :P

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Baird View Post
    I guess the thinking is I want enough fitness where the ride is fun and not punishing. I know myself and I will push myself if there's other riders to follow :/
    My joking (not so joking) line has been my goal is to not finish dead last :P
    You'll still have beat all the folks who didn't show up/sign up for the race!
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  11. #11
    Old Guy Enduro Racer
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    Turned 59 this year, race in the California Enduro Series for the last 3 seasons... I'm not very good relative to the other 50+ers, a mid-pack guy at best. I made the podium once at Northstar, mainly because I finished a two day enduro and half the entrants dropped the second day...LOL. My now 16 yo son got me into racing, and we both agree that it's not about winning the age group, but more about you are doing something that 99% of other people your age don't even attempt. It definitely makes you a better rider and all of the participants are great... you learn so much just chatting while waiting for a start.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike.miller151 View Post
    ...I made the podium once at Northstar, mainly because I finished a two day enduro and half the entrants dropped the second day..
    ...it's not about winning the age group, but more about you are doing something that 99% of other people your age don't even attempt....
    The biggest mistake you can make as you get older is to try to run at someone else's pace. I find if I try to do that then I burn out really quickly and don't recover. If I ride at my own pace I can keep it going all day, a game of the tortoise and the hare.

    It's why I like endurance events. Ride for long enough for the others to exhaust their quick fire muscles, then it's down to grind and who gives up first. I regularly come in ahead of much faster, fitter, and younger riders in 24 hours simply because I don't stop* or they burn out. Always remember it's not how you do the lap that counts, but how many.

    *That's the advantage of riding unsupported on a rigid singlespeed, no one to lure you into the pits and nothing to break. You don't want mechanicals at dark o'clock when your brain is fried and rain is slashing down.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  13. #13
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    I've participated in a number of races (before I hit 50 and a few in the 2+ years since) and did so with no thoughts of making a podium. I have once and that was cool, but my primary objectives are: contribute to a good cause, have an error free ride and loads of fun too.
    【ツ】 eDub 【ツ】

  14. #14
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    I'm 51 will turn 52 later this year. I started riding mountain bikes in April of 2017 and started racing two months later. I used to race dirt bikes (motorcycles). I wish more 50 plus guys would race. I live in California, lots of people and lots of mountain bikers however not many people over 50 race. I also raced cyclocross last year which was interesting because I never had a road bike/CX bike until the first cyclocross race. There is a little better turnout in the over 50 group for cyclocross. Sea Otter xc race had a nice turnout for my age group. 54 guys. Most races 12 guys and one series which is a great series only 2 or 3 50 plus guys show up. Great series but it's a lot more fun to race with and against more people. Racing is the best part of two wheel anything for me.

  15. #15
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    XC and gravel for me.
    You can't get a suntan on the moon...

  16. #16
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    I'm 53 and race every mtb and gravel race I can find within a few hours of me. Living on the Outer Banks of NC means I have to travel. I always race up a class in mtb races as a race represents a considerable investment of time. I dont want to travel several hours to ride one seven mile lap. I consider it participating more so than racing. I'm generally back of the pack but I'm in the woods on a bike with likeminded people and that's a good time to me. I'm usually on a singlespeed also.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by td9323 View Post
    I'm 53 and race every mtb and gravel race I can find within a few hours of me. Living on the Outer Banks of NC means I have to travel. I always race up a class in mtb races as a race represents a considerable investment of time. I dont want to travel several hours to ride one seven mile lap. I consider it participating more so than racing. I'm generally back of the pack but I'm in the woods on a bike with likeminded people and that's a good time to me. I'm usually on a singlespeed also.
    I too refuse to travel far for an event that is short in duration while also factoring in the cost.
    You can't get a suntan on the moon...

  18. #18
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    I am 58 and ride every one of our local enduro races. I am not fast, but I manage to not come in last and it is so much fun. There are usually a couple of other old guys that I can race against. I think I enjoy the BBQ and beer just as much as the race.

  19. #19
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    At 50, three years ago a local riding buddy challenged me to race at the MO State XC Championships. I entered just for fun/life credits and placed 2nd in Cat 3 50+. I couldn't make it the following year. Then last year I made it back out for the race and won. MO State Cat 3 50+ champion. I'm really not that fast but a few things worked in my favor.
    The race isn't that well known and it is Missouri, I have no delusions of grandeur that if the race had been in Colorado, Utah, Oregon...I'd have been limping in home in last
    place.

    Enter a race or two...give it your best and have a blast, you just might end up with some fun hardware to brag about. But you'll definitely have some stories to tell.
    GoatRidesBikes.com
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    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me

  20. #20
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    Got the StrathPuffer 24 Hour coming up in just over a week.

    Swithering over whether or not to use gears (always done it singlespeed). This year so far has been mild and we haven't had the usual deep fall of snow so there probably won't be the usual carnage of frozen derailleurs, ie SS not a reliability advantage, but I like the not having to think advantage of SS, especially at stupid o'clock.

    Decisions, decisions...
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  21. #21
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    I started racing when i was 18 and have never really stopped. Now i just turned 50 and race 20-25 times a year. Mostly XCO, CX and road..crits mostly. You gotta consider your age for the right events. I used to race SS MTB but i think its a young-light guys sport. Likewise with 100's (althought i do at least one a year) those things are torture unless you can train properly for 'em.
    MyRides - Santa Cruz Tallboy CC, Van Dessel Ramble tamble SS, Look 986 1x10,

  22. #22
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    I'm racing the McDowell Meltdown tomorrow. 60+ Cat3. Prerode the really fun course yesterday.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by YJ Bill View Post
    I'm racing the McDowell Meltdown tomorrow. 60+ Cat3. Prerode the really fun course yesterday.
    Go get it!
    GoatRidesBikes.com
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    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me

  24. #24
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    66 and been racing for years.Local series has 40+ as oldest age group so I usualy race ss. No age group there at all .No mercy on the old guy.But I have fun.Especially if my time on rigid ss put me mid pack cat 2

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