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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Turning 40 has been difficult for me. As I age, I am trying to find my footing because I tend to push my body. As a result, I've recently suffered a succession of injuries. Today's ride was important to me. It was my first long ride as I rebuild my body and figure out how hard I can ride without injury. I decided to escape the Denver heat and ride the Soda Creek area near Swan Mountain in Summit County Colorado.

I chose Soda Creek because the map indicated the climbs were reasonable so it was less likely my legs would act up. I started at the Summit Cove trail head with the goal of riding Soda Creek trail to the Colorado Trail. I intended to ride to Gold Hill and then loop back. As you can see the trail flows through rolling mountain meadows.



I quickly found that the area contained many trails which were not on my latitude 40 map and made route finding interesting. There were no signs. I found it quite funny that almost all fellow mountain bikers had no idea what any trail was called. But they all seemed to know which direction I should head in order to reach the Colorado Trail. Turn left, then right, then two lefts, and a right, then more lefts and more rights. It was confusing so I just matched terrain to my map as I rode.

You may notice the dead trees in the photos. Summit County has been hit hard by the lodge pole killing pine beetle.






Here you can see the areas where trees killed by the pine beetle have been cut down. I assume this is the work of the forest service. Summit County still retains its beauty. However, the beetle out break has changed the landscape.



In this area many dead trees have been cut down or been blown down. Hopefully the pine beetle is through with this stand of trees.



Eventually I found the Colorado Trail and rode to Gold Hill. I then rode back the way I came. I was very pleased with how my legs felt. In fact, here is a view of the steep switch backs I rode up on my way back to Summit Cove from Gold Hill.



I'm not going to try to break any land speed records anymore. I just want to stay healthy and see some cool places. Today was a great day. I didn't even get bummed when the check engine light came on while drive up toward the Eisenhower Tunnel on the way back to Denver. Indeed, I am going to get my engine checked out. Next week I am going to make an appointment to have my cholesterol checked, get a heart check up, and a colonoscopy. The colonoscopy sounds particularly fun. I guess that's what I'm supposed to do now that my thirties are behind me.
 

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2006 Yeti AS-X
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As long as you are enjoying yourself at whatever speed you are comfortable with then that is all that matters. I admit i am far from a fast rider myself.
 

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Titanium junkie
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I enjoy stopping and looking around, taking the scenery in,
as opposed to the break-neck speed I used to ride in my 30's.
Trails take on a whole new meaning when you are looking around
instead of just looking ahead.
 

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40 ain't nuthin, kid. Wait till you turn 60.

By all means, get yourself checked out. It may take a little longer to attain optimal fitness, but if you ride consistently and take care of yourself, and assuming you have no extreme health issues, you still have plenty of quality rides left in you.
 

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Don't sweat turning 40. It's really not a big deal. You sound like you're willing to take care of the health matters that should be checked and that's half the battle. Think of a birthday as another milestone reached. I'll be turning 60 in a few months and if anything, I'm enjoying and appreciating riding more than ever. I'm faster than I've been in years, but at the same time I've gained enough maturity to let myself go slow sometimes and savor my time in the woods. Going fast all the time just makes the ride end sooner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Better category. That's funny. Heart disease runs in my family. I have many members of my family who are just like The Superfans. Many years ago I dedicated myself to staying fit and active. Its ironic that now my "health" issues are actually from athletics. Still, I'm going to try to ride cool places injury free. To do that, it seems my approach to riding will be evolving.
 

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Titanium junkie
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I think some of you are missing the point, as stated the
O.P. is enjoying the ride, not worrying about the speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I enjoy stopping and looking around, taking the scenery in,
as opposed to the break-neck speed I used to ride in my 30's.
Trails take on a whole new meaning when you are looking around
instead of just looking ahead.
I agree. Today I found myself stopping and really taking in the scenery. It was much cooler then Denver and absolutely no bugs. I even enjoyed finding my way with the map. In the past I would have been irked that I had to stop.
 

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I agree. Today I found myself stopping and really taking in the scenery. It was much cooler then Denver and absolutely no bugs. I even enjoyed finding my way with the map. In the past I would have been irked that I had to stop.
Yep, This is how I feel as well. Used to be all about keeping up or dropping my friends. Now I will stop and snap a pic or rest. course I also ride alone most the time these days so I don't feel my pace is pushed as much as back in the day.:)
 

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Only 40?! Turn off the Doomsday Clock, by all means have check ups and listen to your body but that is hardly old unless you have a family history of serious medical issues.

A check engine light? Could be as simple as an automatic trigger for an O2 sensor at a certain mileage. My last car had the light on for the past 20k miles for a code no one knew a definition for.

BTW- Nice pics of a great ride- next time go in on the Aquaduct trail(s) and out on Soda Creek makes a nice loop
 

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loose gas cap will show leak in evapo system and throw a code.

I'm 52 now...And I never really tested my limits physically in my life so I can't really say how much I've deteriorated. Other than a little more fat.. I never felt pushing the limit was good for my body to do on a continual basis. I will say playing my drums for 30 years (never in a band) has been a real help in my conditioning. I try to play at least 3 times a week. Do you have an active job? Not that one can change that easily but a lot of sitting during the day is hard to undo with the available time left in the day. One might try to make up for sitting daily by overdoingit when working out. Just conjecture...
 

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^ I am coming of a string of injuries as I used to have a really active job and had no trouble staying fit. Now in my third year of a desk job, I really push myself every time I get a chance to excersize and have been overdoing it. Light came on in my head the other day that maybe I need to spend a bit more time trying to build my base up again before hammering all the time...see, age is not a bad thing...I'm getting smarter...sure it took a while but...whatever!
 

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With respect to age, what other option does one have? My Dad would say when rape is inevitable, lay back and enjoy it. But that was back in the 60's. Just insert politically correct version where applicable. Remember, you never have been as old as you are right now...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've pretty much had to start over building my fitness after ankle surgery last fall. Usually I'd find a way to ride or climb during the off season. However, recovery from ankle surgery side lined me all winter. When my ankle was better I worked back up to my usual rides. However, I did that too quickly and experienced other leg injuries. Now I believe I am back on track but my approach to riding had to change. Part of the challenge for me is that the majority of my local rides consist of pretty difficult climbs which are hard on the body.
 

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Still feeling strong at 53. Keep riding all the other things will work themselves out. Colonoscopy at 40? A little young for that but I guess it can't "hurt".
 

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hey, op, All good things and vibes your way. mother nature's gonna get the last at bat anyway so keep swingin' and runnin around those bases! haha
 

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A check engine light? Could be as simple as an automatic trigger for an O2 sensor at a certain mileage. My last car had the light on for the past 20k miles for a code no one knew a definition for.
Got me beat, my old Mazda pickup had the light on for 15K. Fixed the problem with some black electrical tape.
 
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