Why I need to get back on my bike

From the Scotsman:

Older cyclists are streets ahead in race for life

NOT everyone can emulate ­Sir Bradley Wiggins, but serious cycling may help keep you young, scientists have discovered.

A study of fit amateur cyclists aged 55 to 79 found that many were physically and biologically much younger than most people of the same age.

The 81 male and 41 female participants underwent tests of their heart, lung, neuromuscular, metabolic and hormonal functions. Their reflexes, muscle and bone strength, and oxygen uptake were also measured, as well as mental ability and general health and well-being.

The results showed that among the cyclists the effects of ageing were far from obvious, with younger and older members of the group having similar levels of muscle strength, lung power and exercise capacity

Interesting stuff which accords with what Susan and I have seen in the mature cyclists we have been out cycling with in Israel. They definitely look a lot younger than their age.

I was interested in what standards they were using for their tests. According to the article:

The cyclists were recruited ­deliberately to exclude effects from a sedentary lifestyle that may cause changes in the body capable of being confused with those due to ageing.

Men and women had, respectively, to be able to cycle 100 kilometres in under 6.5 hours, and 60 kilometres in 5.5 hours, to be part of the study. Smokers, heavy drinkers and people with high blood pressure or other health conditions were excluded.

On a road bike, on a non mountainous route, that’s a standard I can match. However, I wonder how close I can get without a road bike? I can see a little experiment in the offing.

Read the whole article here.