The Atheist Training Bible for Old Bicycle Racers, Chapter 17: Fixin’ what ails ya

I was talking to a buddy the other day. “How are you?” I asked.

“I don’t feel so good.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I can’t ride fast anymore and I’m always tired in the morning and I wear out quick. Plus after a long, hard ride I don’t recover and feel like an old shoe.”

“How long has this been going on?”

“A while now. The doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong with me.”

So I told him what was wrong with him. “You’re just old,” I said.

“No, I’m not,” he protested.

“You sure are,” I insisted. “You are a ball bearing with all the round wore out.”

Then it occurred to me that there are lots of people like him who are pooped all the time especially after 120-mile rides, and they haven’t gotten the memo that they’re too damned old to be sitting on a bike for that long. So I came up with some helpful hints to help you get more out of your riding life.

  1. Don’t ride your fucking bicycle so fucking much. You are an old, worn out shoe, I don’t care how fat and cardiac-arrested everyone else was at your 40th high school reunion. The less you ride the better you will feel.
  2. Slow the fuck down. What’s the dogdamned rush? Where do you think you’re going anyway, besides the grave, and what’s the big rush to get THERE? When you go fast you pedal hard which stresses your systems, which are old and broke down. Give it a rest.
  3. Shoot your gym membership card. Gyms are for young people who can still get laid without paying for it. There is a simple rule for old person exhaustion: The more muscles you use (and you use ’em all at the gym), the tireder you will be. Plus, you look like an old fool trying to balance on that big bouncy ball, and you’re gonna look like a bigger fool telling the doc that you broke your face in half falling off of it onto the kettle bells.
  4. Unless you’re dating her (or him), quit the danged pilates class. Pilates and yoga only make you relaxed and warm inside when your insides are something other than cold, shrunken, icicles of rusted cynicism and despair. This means you.
  5. If you do any activity that rates you based on your age, stop it right now. The only reason Strava, etc. is age-graded is so that you can continue the delusion that you’re not a rickety rackety pile of hollowed out bones that will turn to talcum powder the minute you fall out of your walker. If you’re going to compete, compete with the P/1/2. You will lose so quickly and by such deafening margins that you will immediately see the virtue in birdwatching.
  6. Get some sleep. Remember how your mom used to tell you that you were a growing teen and you needed sleep? Well, she was just lying in hopes you’d not be out prowling the town late at night smoking dope and racing cars. But now you really do need sleep, so instead of prowling the Internet and reading blogs at night, switch all that shit off and go the fuck to bed. This means you, Sherri.
  7. Lay off the booze. You are tired in the morning because you are a drunk. Drunkening is the hardest workout you will ever do, and believe me, it shows. The last time I saw cheeks that puffy was on Mr. Stay-Puft. Lock up the liquor at least for a couple of weeks and you will have ten times more energy and enough money to buy a new tube instead of patching the same one for the fifteenth time.
  8. Spend a morning around some little kids. It will give you more energy than a case of Red Bull, after which you will be wrecked and sound asleep by 11:00 AM, which takes you back to #6 above.
  9. Cancel your new bike layaway plan. You’re already in debt and debt makes you tired, saps your energy, and drains your sex glands. Once you’re no longer saddled with a monthly paycheck deduction and 25% interest compounded hourly, you will sleep better, too.
  10. Quit doping. Doping makes you ride faster, which makes you more tired. Plus, doping makes you a lame-ass cheatbag. Aren’t you too old to still be cheating? No? Then you shouldn’t be cheating at something where, when you get busted, you get suspended from parking-lot crits. You should be cheating at something that will get you a life sentence, or maybe the electric chair. Go big or go pan y agua, baby. 



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24 thoughts on “The Atheist Training Bible for Old Bicycle Racers, Chapter 17: Fixin’ what ails ya”

    1. Ah, yes… The axiom of cycling high KMs, hours at a time, to go faster in events that last about an hour, on pure carbon now with more carbon.

      Be sure those long rides that confirm your slightly-above-averageness are measured precisely with a power meter and then uploaded somewhere to make pretty pictures.

      Unless of course you are THOG and the others. You know, born like that.

      1. Apostasy. My coach said that 600-mile weeks are necessary to develop my base, and the reason those guys are faster is because they all cheat. I’m a natural, and if we can simply improve the parameters there’s no way in heck I won’t win every race I enter. Coach says so.

    2. In order to reach that exalted level of pre-formance we will need to put you on The Program.

  1. I literally had a conversation with my cardiologist that went like this:
    “Why are you here?”
    “I rode 85 miles the other day and was tired afterward.”
    “Get out if my office.”

    1. Ha! 🙂 Good conversation. Pretty sure if I rode 85 miles I’d be comatose, not tired. And Seth, thanks for a delightfully depressing morning read! Getting old sucks! All downhill from here and not pretty. Ha!

      1. Hahaha! I specialize in depression so you don’t have to drink. You can, of course.

  2. 67 years of age, been riding since 1974 and I will tell you getting older is not for pussies. Once you hit your sixties you start aging in dog years. Yeah, I am in great shape for my age but that is not the same thing as being able to go fast like I used to. You need sleep, recovery, riding and even the gym to stay fit. But it will not be the fitness you had before sixty something.

    1. At 107 years of age, been riding since Teddy Roosevelt was president, I can tell you that you 90-y/o whippersnappers never had it so good. And etc.

  3. Love reading your blog with morning coffee. But, now I realize how tired I am. I need Superman to fly around the world backwards really fast and regain my youth.

  4. I don’t know… I don’t think you “old”??? riders remember what you felt like when you were in your prime after a fast, nonstop, century ride. That may be because you recovered a lot faster when you were in your fifties than you do now in your seventies. Endurance is the last thing to go, but when you finally lose it you can still feel young on more frequent short rides on a faster bike that doesn’t hurt you.

  5. Enough with resigning yourself to being weak just because you’re over 50. Jeez. I’d suggest you nut up and go train, except that I saw you finishing up the FLOG ride this morning (and you had a smile on your face – even after La Cuesta), and I’ve seen how hard you race, so I know better than to believe you subscribe to your proffered mindset of acquiescence/submission to fatigue. If you’ve gotten this far, it is because there is a part of your programming that enjoys suffering, and good on ya for that. That’s a big part of why I like you. Just in case, next time giving up and being a sloth seems attractive, consider Charles Eugster. If his experience is similar to yours, Mrs. Wankmeister may appreciate it too.

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