Newbe middle aged man

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    • #246937

      Hi, I’m pretty new to the sport. I bought a second hand Commencal El Camino a few weeks ago and I’m just getting the feel of it on local trails at weekends. Longer term plans are to get out of mountain trails in the Peak District, Lake District and North Wales as these areas are fairly easily accessible from Manchester where I live.

      My question is, am I being realistic by expecting to learn a whole new sport at 47 years old? I’m fairly fit and strong and I am perfectly capable of riding a bike. I’ve been really enjoying riding local trails but I do want to graduate to proper mountain descents. Is this a realistic goal at my age? Has anyone else here come to the sport at mid forties?

    • #246938

      That’s when I started. I don’t think you should expect to compete on Red Bull Hardline or Rampage, but you will find your skills continuously improve and that process is fun. Even if you aren’t “highlight reel” caliber, you’ll still be having a blast. It took me about a year of regular riding before I started feeling comfortable at higher speeds and I am still working on skills.

    • #246939

      Absolutely Sean!  Age is just a number.  It does not define a person nor what they are capable of.  I started MTB’ing 5 years ago (I was also 47 then).  The fact that you are fit and strong is a great starting point.  As an avid runner that regularly trained with weights my fitness was high when I started and that certainly helped.  But early on the sport kicked my a$$.  It challenges you differently.  But like anything else, the more you ride the better you get.  There are plenty of guys (and girls) in the sport in their 50’s, 60’s and even 70+.  Just get comfortable on the trails and progress your riding as you gain confidence and skill on the bike.  The only real age-related issue i’ve found is that the body just doesn’t heal as quickly from injury.  Go have fun & welcome to the sport!

    • #246940

      im 46 and have been riding forever- but you should never limit yourself due to a number ! I just started hitting jump parks this year and it has been a blast!!  Just start out slow and be careful and do what you are comfortable with- MTBing is my favorite sport of all time!! I broke my back 20 plus years ago and live with chronic pain for 12 years- biking loosens me up and makes me feel great!  I will ride to my death im sure!

    • #246941

      Thanks for the positive comments. I’m encouraged to read that I’m not past it yet and don’t need to be put out to pasture. The more I explore this sport the more I feel I’m falling in love with it. There are so many wonderful aspects to it. Let’s hope I can get a few good descents completed before the winter arrives.

      • #246942

        I started last Oct at 62.

    • #246943

      I live about 1/2 miles from the Great Divide Mountain Bike trail which goes from Banff, Canada to Mexico. . You’d be surprised how many of the folks doing the 2800 mile route are retired. The oldest I’ve personally met was 75. There are also many middle-aged riders, and a large percentage of these are European (I suspect because of the difference in vacation times between US vs European workers). I ride several times a week and am 68. Now the Divide trail does not have too many severe technical descents but these older guys climb a total of about 200,000 feet on the journey on bikes loaded with camping gear, rain gear, extra clothing and food. Your age is not an issue. Have fun.

    • #246948

      +1 on all other posts.  I was 5o when I got started.  One of the best decisions I have made in my life.

    • #246976

      I returned to the sport last year (2017) at age 64.  I’ve been coming up to speed and enjoying the new technologies in the bikes. Don’t let age stop you.  Work to your ability and try to push to get better.  Be willing to say, “That’s above my skill level” and walk it – but always with the goal to come back when you get better at it!.



    • #247001

      I’m 45 and became hooked on riding singletrack last summer shortly after turning 44. Mountain biking has become my favorite thing to do of all time and I notice improvement in my skills and ability on just about every ride.

      One thing I can vouch for that someone else mentioned, it certainly takes longer to heal than it did when I was in my 20s, so one lesson I’ve really had to force on myself recently is to take it easy and take time to heal if you get injured. Better to take a few weeks off than hurt yourself to the point you’re off the bike for a whole season or for good.


      Edit: PS – I didn’t realize how many of us on this site are such old geezers!!! haha

    • #247021

      Another old geezer here… 57… riding since the late 70’s and just getting started 🙂

      Like I keep telling everyone, “you didn’t quit riding because you’re old, you’re old because you quit riding” (from an old Glacier National Park MTB t-shirt).  I plan on riding forever.  And when the day comes I can’t, I will go OTB spectacularly into a bottomless canyon.

    • #247022

      I am 60.  Been riding since I was in my mid 30’s. I still love it and ride at least 20 miles of trails a week. You are never too old to ride the trails. It is the best fun I have.

    • #247142

      If you really want to enjoy your riding invest in a good bike that fits you properly and matches your type of riding.

    • #247281

      I hope to keep learning entirely new things the older I get. Being fit gives you an advantage in any new sport. The number one thing I believe would help most new riders is practicing balance. Good balance is the difference between cleaning the line and tumbling down that line. Fitness won’t overcome skill on descents.

    • #247367

      So I may not be quite qualified to comment here, but at 36 years old I have observed my father age extremely well.  Now quickly approaching 70 he has become an avid white water kayaker.  He first went on a rafting trip when he was 50, loved it and has progressively become more and more obsessed.  So, its not bikes, but it was something totally new to him, and now he is very, very skilled at whitewater kayaking.

      Keep riding and remember, it takes practice to get good at something.

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