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Another Amazing athletic feat
Old 01-13-2014, 01:58 PM   #1
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Another Amazing athletic feat

Saw this article today in all St Journal about team of 4 guys in their 70's who did a bicycling event called RAAM. It is the Race Across AMerica bicycling 3,000+mi nonstop from west to east coasts. Not only did they finish, but AVERAGED 19mph (inc rest/stops/etc.). Accompanying interview says they trained by riding 1200mi per month.

Don't these guys know they're OLD

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303949504579262711575922246
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:22 PM   #2
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:33 PM   #3
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Wow. If that's not an incentive to keep me going to the gym I don't know what else will work better.
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:47 PM   #4
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RAAM has different race categories, solo racers and 2-4-8 person relay teams. The solo racers are what you normally see when/if they televise it, they ride the entire route. These guys were part of a 4 member relay team, only one member of the team rides at a time. They get to rest in between rides but it's still quite an accomplishment to do it at that age for that distance and average 19 mph. I struggle to average 15mph during my 3 hour bike rides.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:23 PM   #5
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My enthusiasm for cycling goes down with the sun.
Taking a pull on the graveyard shift would play havoc with my circadian rhythm not to mention my septuagenarian sensibilities.
I have known a few ultra-athletes including past RAAM solo record holders. They are cut from a different cloth for sure. When they say I am going for a weekend ride, they mean it literally - the whole weekend.
Broken down, their ride does seem a little more manageable - 3,000 miles/4 = 750 each and would have allowed for 39 hours of sleep. Still very impressive.

Edit to add - I see they slept in pairs. They could theoretically sleep 78 hours, a big advantage to going solo, as sleep deprivation is one of the biggest obstacles to overcome.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:30 PM   #6
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That one's on my bucket list. Well, at least a supported cross-country ride, say San Francisco to Charleston, SC.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:20 PM   #7
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Article did say that 1 guy missed some time due to electrolyte disorder so the 3 remaining team members rode >750mi. That's ave >115mi/day for almost a week. I much younger, ride multiple centuries (100 milers) annually, & have done several 150+mi weekends. The 6 straight 115+mi days these 70yo's rode would be MUCH tougher.
Also- My hat's off to their support crew members. It's a huge job to support a riding team 24/7 for a whole week.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:07 PM   #8
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That is fantastic for their age. If you don't cycle you can't really appreciate fully the tremendous effort it takes to average that speed. Now I'm sure their were plenty of long downhills that ramp up the average but if there is a down hill there was most likely a hill that had to be climbed first. I'd have to look it up but remember when I rode a lot of long distance, the difference in effort (watts) from riding at 15 mph vs 20 mph was huge. If the four were riding together as a mini peloton than this is more easily achieveable but as single rider not drafting I find this impressive. I loved distance cycling but cervical surgery, thoracic disc issues, knee and ankle surgery have made this just a memory for me now. Thanks for sharing the article.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by twolfy View Post
That is fantastic for their age. If you don't cycle you can't really appreciate fully the tremendous effort it takes to average that speed. Now I'm sure their were plenty of long downhills that ramp up the average but if there is a down hill there was most likely a hill that had to be climbed first. I'd have to look it up but remember when I rode a lot of long distance, the difference in effort (watts) from riding at 15 mph vs 20 mph was huge. If the four were riding together as a mini peloton than this is more easily achieveable but as single rider not drafting I find this impressive. I loved distance cycling but cervical surgery, thoracic disc issues, knee and ankle surgery have made this just a memory for me now. Thanks for sharing the article.
One word.....recumbent. Many people with body issues (including me) have gone this route. The back.....neck....and in a little way knee issues can often be solved with these bicycles. They are starting to be involved in the RAAM style races as well.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:32 AM   #10
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Age is such an individual thing.
This is Miyazaki "Golden Bolt" Hidekichi, a Japanese man who ran 100 meters in 34.1 seconds.

At the age of 103.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Golden Bolt.jpg (89.2 KB, 5 views)
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:35 AM   #11
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That one's on my bucket list. Well, at least a supported cross-country ride, say San Francisco to Charleston, SC.
Me too. Supported by something like a captain's seat in an RV.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:50 AM   #12
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That one's on my bucket list. Well, at least a supported cross-country ride, say San Francisco to Charleston, SC.
+1

Maybe we could start 'Team FIRE'
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:38 AM   #13
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I average around 12mph on my 20-30 mile rides...
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