Racing in Retirement, Style over Speed

Racing in Retirement, Style over Speed

It’s a well-known fact that cycling is very popular amongst middle-aged men, hence the MAMIL moniker we know so well (although MAMIM is far better – Middle Aged Man in Merino - and let’s not forget the MAWIMs in our midst).

But this overlooks the older riders in the bunch, those lucky retired riders in their 60s, 70s and beyond who have more freedom to ride and train whenever they like, avoiding the pre-dawn starts and nights on the trainer many of us know too well.

Here in Soigneur’s hometown Rotorua it seems that almost all the serious road cyclists are at least 65 years old, no doubt in part because all the younger cyclists here are mountain-biking.

How ‘serious’ are these wrinkly roadies? Serious enough to still be racing, and doing the often painful training that racing requires. Why do they still race, we asked them. Why suffer intervals, hill reps and dietary restrictions when you’re gradually becoming slower and the racing harder? To paraphrase Greg Lemond, “it never gets easier, you just go slower”.

So on a recent Sunday ride we asked them...

Pete said: “I’m a competitive bugger who just likes to keep trying my best”.

Roger said: “It’s just something to do, to give you something to aim for.”

But Greg – who’s been racing since the 1960s - gave us the best answer: “It’s fun”.

It’s worth noting they were all wearing Soigneur jerseys too. As Jon said, “If you’re going to be dropped you may as well do it in comfort and style”.

We couldn’t agree more.

If you want the satisfaction of knowing you’re the best-looking, most comfortable rider at the back of the grupetto, you know what to wear….

Posted: Sun 09 Jun 2024