How Cycling Changes as You Age?


A picture of Bruce Bussell who cycled across Texas in 2020

Does bicycling change as you age? It may seem ironic, but I believe I am a more proficient bicyclist today than I was two or three decades ago, despite the inevitable physical decline that comes with age. However, it's important to note that I am not a competitive cyclist and do not possess the same racing abilities I once had. As a touring cyclist, I prioritize distance over speed, and I can now ride for longer stretches without much difficulty thanks to the experience I have accumulated over time.

The question of whether cycling changes as you age is a common one. On the one hand, it may seem ironic that you could become a more proficient cyclist despite the inevitable physical decline that comes with age. On the other hand, there are a number of factors that can contribute to your improvement as a cyclist, even as you get older.

Physical decline as a cyclist as we age

As we age, our bodies undergo a number of changes that can impact our cycling performance. Some of the most common physical changes that can occur include:

  • Muscle loss

  • Joint stiffness

  • Cardiovascular decline

  • Balance and coordination decline

These changes can make it more difficult to generate power, pedal efficiently, sustain high-intensity efforts, and ride safely and confidently.

How our age makes us better cyclists

Despite the physical changes that occur as we age, there are a number of ways that our age can make us better cyclists. Some of the benefits of experience include:

  • More knowledge about our bodies, bikes, and the different types of terrain and weather conditions we can expect

  • A greater appreciation for the preciousness of each ride

  • A different perspective on cycling, with a focus on enjoyment and camaraderie rather than competition

How to mitigate physical decline as a cyclist as you age

There are a number of things you can do to mitigate the physical decline that occurs as we age and to continue to enjoy cycling for many years to come. Some tips include:

  • Focusing on strength training

  • Staying flexible

  • Listening to your body

  • Investing in a good bike

  • Riding with friends

Conclusion

There is no reason why you can't continue to enjoy cycling as you age. In fact, with experience and appreciation, you may even become a better cyclist than ever before. By taking steps to mitigate the physical decline that occurs as we age, you can continue to ride safely and confidently for many years to come.

Here is the next post of my blog: Cycling Can Become a Social Event or a Solo Endeavor

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