Friday, February 28, 2020

Best Things about Cycling into My Senior Years

There are many advantages to cycling in our later years beside the obvious: benefiting physical and emotional health. Aches and pains are a given but the wisdom gained from experience lends a certain comfort. I expect to continue riding for many years to come, and when I think about it, there are aspects to aging that should help me keep the momentum going.

I no longer care about mileage or speed. As long as I can get to work, have mini overnights/or tours where I arrive before dark, or embrace the multi-modal mindset - what matters is having adventures and moving.

Bicycles are for riding and not for show. I've discovered it's more about riding a comfortable bicycle and less about aesthetics. As we age, a bike may no longer fit like it once did when we were more flexible. Best to sell/donate/part with a bicycle that's unused so it puts a smile on another's face.

Being able to afford and store multiple bikes. Remember when we were thrilled to have even one bicycle? (Mine was a Schwinn Continental.) And while I believe owning too many bikes and dealing with maintenance can be overwhelming (because, remember, bikes are to be ridden), it's nice to have a back-up when one requires repair.

Unafraid to tinker. Being able to change a flat tire is liberating, and often the first step toward freedom for some who'd love to pedal beyond the radius of a LBS. I can repair more things now than when I was 25 years old, of course. I have on many occasions used a LBS to fix my mess or repair something more complicated (anything to do with wheels!). I continue to add bicycle-specific tools (love a recently acquired master link removal tool) as necessary to my overflowing toolbox.

Adaptation is key, life-long learning required!  It's necessary to have new experiences for personal growth. I'm a traveler at heart and my goal is to visit at least one new place every year. It doesn't matter if it's in an adjoining state or in a different country. For adventures close to home, I explore coffee shops, parks, beaches, get groceries by bike, There are Meet up groups galore: over 50, all women, WTF, etc. Attend a maintenance class at a local bike shop. I've tried a cargo bike, fat bike, folding bike, bike share, e-bike, etc. We may not have time on our side but we currently live in a era of bike styles up the wazoo, which means if our physical needs must adapt to a different style of bike, that ought to keep us older riders going for a long time.

What do think is cool about being a senior cyclist?


  1. Cycling in later life has many health benefits too, keeping you fit, testing your reflexes and some studies indicate that it helps your mental ability. Keep going and enjoy.

  2. All good points although I don't necessarily abide by number 2 but I'm trying. I am making changes to many of the bikes that I originally built to make them a little more practical and comfortable. Another for many seniors is being retired. It allows me much more time to bike for pleasure and better times of day for riding errands which I didn't do near as much when I was working.

    1. Ah yes, I haven't entered the retirement years just yet. My husband is "retiring" after our relocation so he'll be able to ride when he wants. I suspect he'll commute a lot more then - he's talked about getting a bike trailer so he can schlep our recycling and trash!


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