Bike Fitness / Aging/ and confusing ones ambitions and abilities.

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Bike Fitness / Aging/ and confusing ones ambitions and abilities.

Post  jwm on Sun 16 Sep 2018, 12:12 pm

Haven't had a chance to do much riding since I purchased the GSX1250FA about 4 months ago. The wife and I spent 4 or 5 weeks away in the caravan touring, I was crook with a virus for about 5 weeks after we got home and then I finished up with a bit of metal dust in my eye, which took another 2 weeks out of the equation.
I got out for about 1 1/2 hrs on the bike last week and thought I would push the boundaries a bit further this week. So, I arranged to meet a mate in Goulburn on Friday for lunch, a nice little easy 350km round trip from home, or so i though.
Spent all day Thursday out on Jervis Bay Fishing and felt absolutely buggered that night but never the less got up the next morning looking forward to the ride. Left home and had a nice quiet gentle ride up through the Kangaroo Valley and down to Goulburn, had coffee and lunch with the mate and then it was time to head home via Taraga and Nerriga. By the time I got home I was buggered and here it is 2 days latter and I still feel tired and run down and still dragging my sorry arse around the house.
So, I guess things have changed somewhat over the last 2 1/2 to 3 yrs, which is the period if time I had off bikes. Firstly, I have absolutely minimal bike fitness. Secondly, I'm now obviously  3 yrs older (why wasn't I warned about this age thing). Thirdly, my durability levels aren't what they used to be.

Gee, it only seems like yesterday I could spend all day on the bike and I was doing FarRides and Iron Butt Rides. I wonder what happened to that young man.

In some ways these past few months have given me a great deal of insight into my life as it now is.  I now understand why bears hibernate during winter, as I now find myself detesting winter and wishing I could avoid it completely. I also now understand why many older riders are happy to do just  'short cafe latte' rides, the truth of the matter being that they are probably not capable of going any further.

Never the less, I will push on and be more realistic with more short term ride goals until I get to the the stage where I can build up my durability levels and hopefully get back somewhere near the distances I was previously able to ride.

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Re: Bike Fitness / Aging/ and confusing ones ambitions and abilities.

Post  paul on Sun 16 Sep 2018, 1:05 pm

I'd blame the days fishing  Laughing

Loosing your fitness is super easy as you age , so the more you do the better off you will be ..............more riding will help your body , and your mind as well .

( I feel a bit like I'm writing  my own "dear Dorothy Dix" column  Razz )

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Re: Bike Fitness / Aging/ and confusing ones ambitions and abilities.

Post  Ewok1958 on Sun 16 Sep 2018, 5:35 pm

Yep, I'll be 60 next month and a long day on the Bandit takes it out of me, especially if there are a lot of twisties involved (but hey, who wants to give them up). On non-riding days, if I've been putting in a hard mornings work, I'll take a rest/nap after lunch - good for managing fatigue and getting ready for the arvo.

cheers
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Re: Bike Fitness / Aging/ and confusing ones ambitions and abilities.

Post  jwm on Sun 16 Sep 2018, 6:00 pm

Thank you 'Dorothy Dix' for your words of advice. You jokingly probably hit the nail on the head to some degree when you said, "I'd blame the days fishing  ". I know from past experience of Fishing Days that they usually leave me feeling very flat and un- energetic for a couple of days after the event. I think it's all that wave motion and trying to keep your balance that fatigues you. I guess a day on the bike following the fishing day probably wasn't a great idea, given the time I've been off bikes.

God Ewok 1958, your only a boy. I've got 8+ years on you, I did my Iron Butt SS1600 when I was 60. Never the less, the afternoon nap thing sounds like a good idea.

I keep looking in all the book stores and online for that book, you know the one, 'How should I feel when I get Older. A year by year description'. Sad

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Re: Bike Fitness / Aging/ and confusing ones ambitions and abilities.

Post  Chook on Mon 17 Sep 2018, 1:25 pm

At near on 54 I've had to do some things differently for a few years now

I never leave for a ride 100km or more with out wearing compression skins

Instead of riding from fuel stop to fuel stop, I do a few minutes walk off the bike about every 1 1/2 hrs

Another forum member suggested popping a anti inflammatory pain relief before the days ride, that seems to help a lot, particularly if you are stiff stiff from the day before

A lambs wool seat cover has made a big improvement

I've also learnt to do stretches and exercises while I ride, I can now crack my upper back while I'm riding, also stand on the pegs in most towns
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Re: Bike Fitness / Aging/ and confusing ones ambitions and abilities.

Post  madmax on Mon 17 Sep 2018, 4:49 pm

JWM Last year i planned a ride across to WA. In preparation for this I also planned a few long day rides prior to the trip. Guess what? I never got around to doing them Crying or Very sad instead I was constantly working every overtime shift I could to fill the coffers so I wouldn't have to worry about that side of things.
So although I have ridden long distances in the past, it had been a long time since the last one...

A few mods I did ready for the ride.
Already had a Sargent seat so added a lambs wool cover for it. As Chook said previously, makes a big difference.
Highway pegs. when your out on that long dull stretch of road, they give you an alternative foot position.
Kaoko Throttle lock. Why not give that right hand a rest from time to time. Not recommended in the twisties affraid

Also like chook said, I could easily crank out 2-2.5 hours first up in the morning. After that I was stopping every hour just for a stretch.
The 3rd day after Adelaide I clocked up 1000k

I don't like popping pills but I have been guilty of doing so occasionally.

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Re: Bike Fitness / Aging/ and confusing ones ambitions and abilities.

Post  Chalkie on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 2:44 pm

Spring chickens - I’m 71 and still throwing the leg over (the bike). Keep riding boys!
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Re: Bike Fitness / Aging/ and confusing ones ambitions and abilities.

Post  madmax on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 4:33 pm

@Chalkie wrote:Spring chickens - I’m 71 and still throwing the leg over (the bike). Keep riding boys!



Though I hope its not just the bike Wink

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Re: Bike Fitness / Aging/ and confusing ones ambitions and abilities.

Post  jstava on Thu 11 Oct 2018, 4:36 pm

Yeah, well I've thought about this a lot.  At 67, I'm not as I was, having first had road licence at 15 and ridden more or less ever since. I've been a few ways with this, particularly in the period of ownership of the 1250S - 4 or 5 years.  Dunno, really, Don't really count, and tend to keep bikes a long time.  

The first time I had to deal with this was in 1974, when I bought a 750 Honda.  I'd had a ride on my mate's and immediately test rode the 350-4 the 500-4 and the 750.  I just had to have the 750.  At whatever it weighed, it WAS the heaviest bike I'd ever ridden, with the exception, maybe of a mid 1960s Bonneville.  No longer a teenager, I was starting to think about consequences, injuries etc.  It was intimidating to manoeuvre at slow speeds or push around, and face it, at 65 kg, I wasn't real handy at it at first.  I had the usual brushes and bumps into things while parking it in the drive, tipping over when I put my foot in a hole occasionally - embarrassing stuff with nil actual damage to the bike.  All a part of "getting used to" a larger bike.  At 24, I was unconcerned about fatigue or aches and pains after a long ride, and I did some long ones, always got back, and enjoyed a well earned rest after.  It was a small number of years on the K2 and it had to go to make way for family.  But the need to commute and have a second vehicle came to me and I soon got another to suit the purpose.  

After a succession of bikes not exceeding 600 cc - mostly trail bikes, and retirement, I wanted something with some legs -  I wanted more poke for overtaking and effortless travel out in the open spaces, where I live.  I shopped around and ended up with the Bandit.  It was in many ways like the K2 Honda.  Uncomfortably heavy at a standstill and slow speeds, and a little tall for me, but once away, it was like any other bike, and I immediately wished that I had been able to have one "back in the day" of the K2.  It is in every way a better bike, apart from the lighting.  

Now for the ambitions and abilities stuff.  I was starting to develop arthritis in my left hip from about age 50  This was getting so bad, that it primarily was the reason for parking the SRX600 - It was just too hard to start (kick only).  I loved the bike, but it gave me great pain to start it and the cramped riding position made riding for more than 20 minutes resemble torture. Hey I was on the list to get the hip joint replaced, but knew it mightn't happen any time soon, so I needed to get a bike with an electric starter at least, or give up riding altogether.  This is a hard thing to do when one has ridden more or less all of ones life.  The Bandit worked, at least on paper, and while I was a little skeptical, I got one anyway. I really wanted a VFR800, but couldn't find one I liked at a decent price.  

I went through all the same things with the Bandit I had with the K2 Honda, apart from tipping over by stepping into a hole when stopping, and some of the scarey near misses.  Chalk those up to being rather more conservative at 60 something, than I was when I was 20 something. It was a similar "big scarey" at first, with the weight and height.  I soon got over that.  My comfortable riding time was extended to an hour or so.  I fitted some Renntech engine bars to which I mounted highway pegs, and my comfortable riding time was more or less dictated by the seat/bum interface, due to the fact I could change the position of my legs any time I wanted. The first real test of this was in Going to Nymboida, near Grafton for an Easter meet-up with some friends, some 14 or 15 hours away.  It was fine.  I was tired, and a little stiff, but OK.  The bars and pegs did the deed.  They stayed on until after I got the hip done in Aug of 2016.  By November I was riding around and feeling like I was 20 or something.  Distance was no object and in Easter 2017  I went to Gympie, after having fixed the seat with a Corbin.  While I really didn't NEED the pegs for everyday trips of a few hours each, being able to change my leg and seating position while riding the 22 hours it took me to get there was invaluable.  I was fairly spent when I got there, but it was the travelling around, visiting people until after noon the day I arrived that really did me in.  After 31 hours of no sleep, any time I would sit quietly for 5-10 minutes, I would begin to hallucinate (little pixies).  Any "ride fatigue" I had was inconsequential by comparison.  The ride back (remember, it was Easter) I took a different route and cut the ride down to 20 hours.  Fairly fine, apart from a very rough bit of road North of Dalby and big sleep upon arrival which, once home, I could undertake straightaway.  

Now compared to rides I would do almost routinely on the K2 Honda back in the day, these were approximately equal to the most of the longer ones, and in all fairness, were separated by 3 days, so I got a bit of a rest-up between where previously, I might have done it all taking a long weekend (Friday off) for a party somewhere Sat night to be back at work on Monday.  I reckon I just don't have the stamina (or madness) for that sort of thing like I once did.  Call me getting all conservative BUT there is more to it than that.  

I've mentioned the engine bars/highway peg combination and Corbin seat.  While I don't like the Corbin for everyday use, because of its shape, it is an excellent seat for the long haul, but not so good for mounting and dismounting often as one does when just getting about the place.  There is more to it than that.  I have an aftermarket screen, which is a little higher than the stocker, AND 1 inch risers on the bars, giving me a more upright riding position.  This allows variation in leg position, and is better for the neck and shoulders.  It is a "roomy" bike for my 168 cm frame, but the real key, I think, to riding long distances is relaxation.  If one is not totally relaxed, then those parts which might otherwise, are not are going to fatigue and get stiff and sore long before arrival. Since the hip replacement, I am no longer compelled to stop to give myself some relief from the arthritis, so the trip to Gympie saw me burn 5 consecutive tanks of fuel, with no stops in between, apart from when I got lost in Brisbane and had to get off a couple of times to get my bearings via Google maps.  So the point of all of this is that the ergonomics of the bike matter a great deal. This bike is sorted, apart from the possible inclusion of cruise control.  It is a maybe, but might save me some fines.  It is a break even proposition, in my view, but would cut the fatigue that looking at the dial too much can contribute (like in Victoria) can bring on. That is currently the only significant factor I can see still contributing to ride fatigue that I can do something about.   

The second thing relates to ride imperative.  If someone really wants to do something they will.  They will find a way. It seems most of the older riders I know, unless touring is their thing, really don't have anywhere to go. So they go for rides, and these are typically short ones, and not that often.  This gets us into the area of what the motorcycle is for. Go for rides vs ride where one goes.  With the latter there is a great accumulation of familiarity with the bike in different conditions.  It makes for a much more relaxed relationship with the road/bike/traffic/general conditions than one can ever get where one only goes for "sunny Sunday" rides. Riding everywhere for any purpose, whenever one is only using a vehicle for personal transport, regardless of conditions, is another large contributor to the completely relaxed state of being which allows one to focus their attention for extended periods of time.  Relax the body, keep the mind active, retain alertness.  This is the ideal.  I don't know that I have ever been bored witless when riding.  My preference for riding is due to the whole body immersion in the task, unlike cars which depend almost wholly on the visual. (I actually pull up stiffer from similar long distances stiffer and more sore when I take a car) The mind wanders at times but the eyes never stop looking for the same things that they should. Long rides suit people who can "live in their heads" for lengthy times, or those who know a lot of songs.  I don't use earbuds and music, but if I did, I'd probably only listen to an old favourite track, then sing it for the next three hours. 

Now I don't know whether an old dude like me should be/could be/is in any position to lecture anyone about how to do it.  But that is my approach.  Breaks from riding even for a couple of years does no-ones riding any good. One tends to lose the intimate familiarity one has when riding every day.  Another factor, which I failed to mention is physical fitness.  Fit people have greater stamina and recover more quickly.  Smart, older people know that coffee is not the answer, except for short rides of under 200 km continuous. People who are fit often have a greater awareness of hydration state than others, and are better able to drink the right amount of fluid for the conditions, so they neither have to stop often for a wee or run short unknowingly.  

My take.  Ride where you go. Make your bike fit you as well as you can.  It makes a difference.

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Re: Bike Fitness / Aging/ and confusing ones ambitions and abilities.

Post  paul on Thu 11 Oct 2018, 4:59 pm

Good read jstava , & some very valid points ............Keeping active in whatever your passion, both body and mind can only be a good thing .

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Re: Bike Fitness / Aging/ and confusing ones ambitions and abilities.

Post  2wheelsagain on Wed 31 Oct 2018, 9:14 am

I’ll merge the other thread with this at some point but here’s my take. 

My days of doing 1000km are over. Nothing to prove. 
My days of setting off in shitfull weather are over. Play the odds. 
My days of “putting up with a bike” are over. Comfortable is safe. 

So, ride the bike that gets the job done in comfort and safety. Stop often. Hydrate. Ride in weather you’re comfortable in and suites your riding gear. 

You ride because you love it. Make sure you continue to love it. 

Know when to stop riding and hang up the helmet.

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Re: Bike Fitness / Aging/ and confusing ones ambitions and abilities.

Post  Chook on Wed 31 Oct 2018, 11:33 am

I'll still do the occasional big day but I've backed off a bit the past 12 months or so
Normally I'd do Adelaide - Melbourne straight through (800 ish km), this December I've decided to split it and stay at Horsham ($40 pub room secure bike in CBD) even though I could comfortably be at the Spirit of Tas dock in time to check in, 2 easy days will get me over to Tas far more relaxed and ready to enjoy the trip.
As for Tassie, we've got a couple of big days time wise but not big km, will onlky be on the bikes for part of those big days

As for weather, I've got good gear so if needed I'll keep going, if I can avoid it I'll stop

Last December madmax, Davo1063 and I (with my daughter pillion) pulled stumps in Ceduna due to a dust storm, give me rain and hail over that anyday, that would be up there with the worst 100km of riding I've ever endured
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wrist pain.

Post  braza on Sun 11 Nov 2018, 11:01 am

hi there, hope i am not buttting into conversation. After longer ride i get wrist pain. Arthritis. But also pain up left thumb clutching. I try not to grip too tight

and use legs to grip tank where possible. Upright position with bar risers. I have seen replacement levers but they look shorter .  Wouldnt that mean less leverage.

Even thought may have to go to bike with DCT but last option.  What would be the best way to lessen clutch tension ?   no clutch  just using engine speed Smile

Cheers for any ideas.

Braz.
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Re: Bike Fitness / Aging/ and confusing ones ambitions and abilities.

Post  Chook on Sun 11 Nov 2018, 5:25 pm

@braza wrote:hi there, hope i am not buttting into conversation. After longer ride i get wrist pain. Arthritis. But also pain up left thumb clutching. I try not to grip too tight

and use legs to grip tank where possible. Upright position with bar risers. I have seen replacement levers but they look shorter .  Wouldnt that mean less leverage.

Even thought may have to go to bike with DCT but last option.  What would be the best way to lessen clutch tension ?   no clutch  just using engine speed Smile

Cheers for any ideas.

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Try something to make your grips a larger diameter

I had Grab On grip covers for about 4 years, brilliant but started to get a bit thin, couldn't find them so ordered Pussy Grips, ok, but not Grab Ons, others have gone to Clark Rubber and made their own


BTW, never butting in, it keeps the thread alive and adds to it's value Wink
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Re: Bike Fitness / Aging/ and confusing ones ambitions and abilities.

Post  2wheelsagain on Sun 11 Nov 2018, 5:34 pm

@braza wrote:hi there, hope i am not buttting into conversation. After longer ride i get wrist pain. Arthritis. But also pain up left thumb clutching. I try not to grip too tight

and use legs to grip tank where possible. Upright position with bar risers. I have seen replacement levers but they look shorter .  Wouldnt that mean less leverage.

Even thought may have to go to bike with DCT but last option.  What would be the best way to lessen clutch tension ?   no clutch  just using engine speed Smile

Cheers for any ideas.

Braz.
Make sure your gloves fit well and offer padding where you need it. I can’t see changing leavers making much of a difference. After all how often are you using them? 99.9% of your ride will be holding the bars only. 
I agree with Chook with the bars but trust me shit gloves ruin even a short ride. I’ve just done 600km return from Melb on my Brutale today. Now that thing is a hoot to ride but it’s not built for droning along the Princes Hwy with a concrete seat and rock hard suspension but with proper gear I still enjoyed it.

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Re: Bike Fitness / Aging/ and confusing ones ambitions and abilities.

Post  NZspokes on Sun 18 Nov 2018, 7:12 pm

@braza wrote:hi there, hope i am not buttting into conversation. After longer ride i get wrist pain. Arthritis. But also pain up left thumb clutching. I try not to grip too tight

and use legs to grip tank where possible. Upright position with bar risers. I have seen replacement levers but they look shorter .  Wouldnt that mean less leverage.

Even thought may have to go to bike with DCT but last option.  What would be the best way to lessen clutch tension ?   no clutch  just using engine speed Smile

Cheers for any ideas.

Braz.
I have arthritis in my right hand. Not a problem on my ADV bike but is on my Bandit and Tuono. 

Recently fitted Grip Puppys to the Tuono, takes a bit of re-thinking how to ride the bike but used to it now and a lot more comfortable. 

Check this out, not sure it would work on a bandit but may do. Clake one light clutch. https://www.clake.com.au/which-clake/
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Re: Bike Fitness / Aging/ and confusing ones ambitions and abilities.

Post  paul on Tue 20 Nov 2018, 5:06 pm

I agree with Chook , I have R.A. & use the Clark rubber version to make the grips bigger ,which helps ..............also a throttle lock will let you give your hand a bit of a stretch & help give it a rest , and relax your position as much as you can while riding .

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Re: Bike Fitness / Aging/ and confusing ones ambitions and abilities.

Post  jstava on Wed 21 Nov 2018, 8:42 pm

Yep, Chook knows.  Had the exact same experience myself, when riding an Xt550 Grab-Ons sorted a lot of issues for the hands.  

When they wore out, I DID the Clark Rubber alternative - I marvelled at how cheap it was by comparison, but they are not in the same paddock as the genuine Grab-Ons. I was soon looking for the real deal.   

Good product.

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