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Age & Speed?

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Here's the deal...

I started riding MX @ 36.5 years old - I turned 38 on 9-27. 😢 Given the seasonal nature of riding here in Utah, I've made HUGE gains in the past (2) seasons - especially this year.

I'm currently training to gain strength/endurance and rip down to 170lbs over the winter.

Obviously fitness plays a major roll in MX, but I want to know if my expectation of "peaking" @ MX (relative only to myself) around the age of 42 is reasonable. In other words, do you guys think it's resonable for me to expect to continually improve and get faster for the next 3-4 years given good health and training?

I know there are very fast guys out there in their mid + 40s, but they've been riding for decades in many cases. My curve is much, much shorter.

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I think it's all up to you. There are alot of 40+ riders out there that are still A riders. Starting later in life does make it harder but if you work hard enough I dont see why you can't be fast.

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In all honesty, the only thing I see keeping me (or anyone for that matter) back is health and fitness. If my fitness level can increase or even be maintained, all I need to do is spend time on the bike.

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What's your training routine like now, Shifter? Be sure to mix in several different kinds of workouts, or you risk getting repetitive motion syndrom problems. Especially as you get older, you have to be careful not to overwork your bod. Listen to your elders, son. I'm 47 next Monday! 😢

My main workout for many years has been lap swimming freestyle, but my doc (a great sports-oriented doc) kept telling me to mix in other strokes or I risked RMS problems. At the time, I wasn't any good at the other strokes, and didn't like working on them.

But over the past 5 years or so, I've gotten a lot better at the other stokes, and I've mixed in running and weights a couple days a week. My overall fitness is much better, and RMS doesn't seem to be an issue. Heck, I did the first 200 meter IM of my life a few months back, and now 200m IMs and even 400m IMs are routine parts of my group's workouts. 😢

Anyway, I'm just curious what kinds of stuff you're using for your workouts. Hang in there bud! 😢

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I run & walk on the treadmill, walk outside, weights (low weight/high reps) skip rope. I should mention that none of the above have been done w/ the intensity that they should be - that's changing. My wife has challenged me to get to 170lbs and says there's a new bike waiting if I get there (and finish her craft room in the basement). I'd be happy w/ just hitting 170lbs and being ripped - or very close.

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Eric, I am not an expert on this, but being the same age that you are, I too am concerned about this damn age thing. A goal of mine has been to race in the intermediate class. This year I raced in the +25 Jr. and +30 Jr at most of the races I went to. I almost alway finished in the top three ( I have too many 3rd place trophies, my kids ask me why I never get 2nd or 1st) but I finally got one 1st overall back in July at a race in Idaho Falls.

So I feel I can run at the top of the Jr.class but I don't know if I'm going to make it into the intermediate class. Though I am going to keep trying as long as I can.

I know if I could ride more than once a week or so I would improve quickly, but until someone leaves me a sizeable inheritance that is not going to happen..

My point is, I think if one can stay healthy and ride as much as possible the dreaded peak can be postponed indefinitely.

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I started late also, rode as kid but missed twenty some years of riding. I started racing this year at the age of 34. Here in Indiana I race the 250 C class with kids that are a lot faster than me.

They may be changing classes next year. I am hoping for +25 C or +30 C!!! I am getting faster, but I still get scared a lot. Doubles are not bad, the table tops are the problems, I need to be going fast to clear them. Oh well, I will keep taking a beating when I land.

I eat well, work outdoors a lot, play basketball, and just try to keep up with my three sons. I ride once or twice a week. I am in decent shaped. 6' 185#.

I find it real hard to believe we could ever be "A" riders, maybe you could, but my brain is more powerfull than my will, so I keep a nice pace and have a blast. My three sons, wife and business need me, more than the "A" class does.

Sorry to ramble on. So that must not be your picture. It always makes me laugh.

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Shifter,Great subject! I can kinda relate,I raced mx at 15&16 made it to 125A easily, Crashed ran out of funds,crashed again, then Quit untill last year. (I'm 41 now). As far as speed goes, Its my opinion that to get faster you have to rider with faster riders, ( I do all my practicing with young fast A-riders) For fitness, alot of mountian biking,and a whole lot of riding, (on a quality track). Just set reasonable goals for yourself,and keep it fun!!!! Troy-140 vetA

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I started late also, rode as kid but missed twenty some years of riding. I started racing this year at the age of 34. Here in Indiana I race the 250 C class with kids that are a lot faster than me.

They may be changing classes next year. I am hoping for +25 C or +30 C!!! I am getting faster, but I still get scared a lot. Doubles are not bad, the table tops are the problems, I need to be going fast to clear them. Oh well, I will keep taking a beating when I land.

I eat well, work outdoors a lot, play basketball, and just try to keep up with my three sons. I ride once or twice a week. I am in decent shaped. 6' 185#.

I find it real hard to believe we could ever be "A" riders, maybe you could, but my brain is more powerfull than my will, so I keep a nice pace and have a blast. My three sons, wife and business need me, more than the "A" class does.

Sorry to ramble on. So that must not be your picture. It always makes me laugh.

you are right, the brain is powerful. I'm only 31 and I too rode as a kid until about 17 I stopped due to school and funds, then at 27 I got back into it. I know I was a lot more daring at 14 than I'm now, if I had the same drive and guts as back then, I think I could run with the younger kids in the Jr to intermidiate level. I can almost do that now, but for only a lap, then my mind starts to wonder. It's that self preservation. 😢

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When I was a kid my dad made me take the word "CAN'T" out of my vocabulary. Which is probably the best thing he did for me because I have been pretty successful at whatever I do. BUT he didn't know that when I would turn 39 I was going to try motocross. For about 9 months I rode every chance I could and improved to the point where I thought I could start racing. Note that I have never been on a motorbike till now, not even a minibike as a kid. Got pretty daring and was doing 70 foot jumps. I was practicing with some B class racers, keeping pace with them then looped out on a simple double and messed up my shoulder. It's been 3 months since I crashed and I'm back to riding. But to start my second year of riding I think I will at times have to use the word "CAN'T". Soon I'll be 40 so I guess its ok but only at the track.

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125 Shifter,

I'm 34 now, been riding my whole life and racing since I was 28( took a 2 1/2 year break.. baby boy). I race 250B, 25+B & 4 sroke B on most weekends and most likely will move to A next season. This is what I have found. I spend 4 days a week in the gym doing cardio and lifting and ride 2 times a week, and I ride hard. The guy I race with and train with holds a pro license, riding with him really helps. I think your goals are very reasonable. Knock on wood, being injury free is one of the reasons I have progressed.

As far as working out, I do alot of heavy core strength exercises, ie heavy squats, bench pressing, heavy back exercises, arms etc. I only weigh 152 lbs at 5'5", but I can easily move my 450 around. I'm not sore after races, my back never hurts nor do my knees, makes it that much easier to concentrate on my riding when my body doesn't hurt. Work out, stay healthy and ride, ride ride, you'll be as fast as you want to be.

If you ride hard enough, work out and be reasonable with your diet, getting cut(ripped) will come naturally with your training, I sport a 6 pack every summer I race. Oh yeah, I just added mountain biking to my training, awsome way to do cardio!!!

Steve 😢

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I turned 40 in June and have been riding 15 months (less 5 months for the Indiana winter). I tried to ride 2 or 3 times per week this summer (schedule permitting) and felt I made a lot of progress. I can hit 90% to 100% of the jumps at the three tracks I ride regularly.

I am 5'10" 170# and run 4 miles in the morning three times per week and lift weights on the off days. I play ice hockey during the winter to stay and shape and ran the Indianapolis mini marathon the past two years. I dropped down from the A to the B level last year to give to more leeway if I got hurt while riding. I have only missed one game from a riding mishap.

I started riding MX so late in life am not sure I can reach the A level before my body starts to give out. At 35 I could keep up with 20 year olds and semi-pro hockey players on the ice. At 40 I would have to be on my game every time to skate with the young A players.

I would like to be a B level rider in a year or two and race the +35B and +40B classes a few times to try it. I am having so much fun riding now that there is no pressure I am almost afraid to ruin it. I also think my wife would make me quit if I really got hurt riding MX.

Anyways, it is good to know that I am not the only one picking up MX at a late age. I guess you are only as young as you feel and MX makes me feel great! 😢

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For some strange reason at the ripe old age of 51 I have started playing on the motocross track. Actually I got started because my 8 yr old grandson has been racing for 2 years and I thought it would be something we could learn together. I ride in the 30+ beginner class because the 40+ only has a junior int. & expert and I want to be in the slowest class possible. The big deal is I'm having fun and improving each time out. 😢

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All of these discussions are great! I would add that you need to have a goal and make it as aggressive as you want, but practical to fit your life (Family, work and play). I started racing this year at 36 and have never been on a track before or even owned a bike. A friend of mine got a bike this spring and asked me to come out and play on a motocross/harescramble track. He couldn't get me off of the bike once I got on the motocross track. I practiced twice before going to my first race. My goal was not to finish last. After my first race I set the next goal at being in the upper 50% in races by mid-season. Next goal was to get a trophy, and so on. Each goal has been a stretch for me but I am focused on reaching each of those goals everytime I race. I found my self in the top three at the end of the season.

If you want it to happen, you will drive yourself to make it happen. My next goal is to try indoor motocross this winter. Up here in MN the season gets cut short just as your's does, so in order to keep my techniques in form I need to find a different avenue to continue.

Gary Semics videos have been a great help. I have a 4 year old that is riding a PW50 and I try to teach him some of the techniques which help me remember what to do when I am out on the track.

Get out and take a lesson from a pro also. I plan on taking one in the spring to help define my techniques and engrain them so that they become more automatic.

Also, as almost everyone has stated, stay in shape and mix it up. Weights are great but cardio is what will give you the edge to stay consistant throughout the laps. I see so many riders drop off after 2 laps and then its lunch time for those who have the endurance and stamina to race to the checkered flag. Mix up running, biking, climbing (try this to enhance your arm strength and endurance), jumping rope, weights, etc.

The last bit of advise that I can give is to sometimes "Just do it" (I hate to use this cliche too much but it works)! I was scared of some jumps because I thought I was not good enough. Like the guy above said, I removed "can't" from my thought process and conservatively worked out how I could do things. Follow better riders whenever possible, especially during practice before a race. Its funny how many times I look back and laugh at the stuff that I was hesitant to do before. 😢 :cry:

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Hey, uh, what the hell is RMS? something muscle syndrome or wahtever? 😢

Yeah, repetitive motion syndrome. It's where you use one muscle group and set of tendons too much, and they get worn out and inflamed. Kind of like carpal tunnel syndrome for the wrist, but in other parts of the body.

One example is "swimmer's shoulder", where you swim too much freestyle exclusively and do your stroke motion a little wrong (usually in the glide-catch portion, if you pull too hard when your leverage is low).

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125shifter - Just noticed you're from Utah. If I were you and lived near the ski areas I'd be skiing or snowboarding in the winter. Those sports involve balance, speed, body awareness, and if you're high enough hypoxic training. Also another activity would be rock climbing. My son has been doing competative rock climbing for about 4 years and he's got hands and arms of steel. He never gets arm pump from riding. Mixing it up keeps staying in shape more enjoyable. I occassionally do triathalons and adventure races.

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I started racing motocross 16 years ago at age 38. At 54 I guess I'm an old salt now. Advice? Its not about "being in shape" as much as its about "riding smooth". Age will take its toll though in ways you can't imagine. And that is in the summer heat. Regardless of how young at heart you think you are the July heat will eat you up. That is the first sign that you are truly aging. As for strength, well, if you think you need physical strength to ride a moto bike fast then you clearly are just learning. Its all about "the flow". Keep it pinned and speedshift every gear and any engine becomes silky smooth. Clear every jump and you don't even need shocks anymore. Pick smart lines and avoid the novice bumps. And stay off the injury list. Nothing will age you faster than surgery and downtime. So ride smart and don't get talked into doing something dumb before you have the skills to pull it off. I've seen some really ugly stuff out there I don't want to elaborate on here.

.

Its fun being old in MX,

sic

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125shifter - Just noticed you're from Utah. If I were you and lived near the ski areas I'd be skiing or snowboarding in the winter. Those sports involve balance, speed, body awareness, and if you're high enough hypoxic training.

I live only a few minutes away from Snowbird/Park City/you name it. Funny... I was just talking to my wife last night re: skiing again. I used to do GS & SGS in Vermont (Killington) and I know for a fact MX skills can transfer over to skiing. My only problem skiing is that it's a very social sport and my wife doesn't like it (just the cold in general) so I don't do it anymore.

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I think it's all up to you. There are alot of 40+ riders out there that are still A riders. Starting later in life does make it harder but if you work hard enough I dont see why you can't be fast.

I agree, but do you think you are gonna turn national pro when starting so late? Chances are no, but I think older guys can start late and still kick ass.

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