Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

15 July 2015

Post #1500: Does Midlife Have To End?

This is post #1500 of Midlife Cycling.  

When I started this blog, I had no idea of how long it would run or how many posts I’d write—or, for that matter, on which aspects of cycling and my experiences as a cyclist I would focus.

I’m not sure that I’ve focused anything in particular, save for cycling.  I’ve written about whatever strikes my fancy.  In a few cases, it didn’t have much to do with bicycles or bicycling.  Nobody’s complained about anything I’ve done, so I guess I shouldn’t worry.

(Speaking of which:  I’ve published all of the comments I’ve received, except for the ones that are obviously spam or that were filtered and I somehow managed to miss.)

Last month, this blog had another milestone:  five years online.  Time really does march—or roll, or spin—onward.  That fact has made me think about the title of this blog:  Midlife Cycling.  When I posted for the first time, I was what most people would consider “middle-aged”.   I would not resist such a label:  Because of changes in myself, and the world around me, I knew I was past my youth, at least in some senses. And, a few days ago, I was reminded that I am getting closer to what the US and most Western (or Westernized) cultures consider a “senior citizen”.

 On the other hand, because of those changes in myself, I was beginning some aspects of my life all over again.  That was as true of my cycling as anything else:  I knew that I wasn’t going to be the lycra-clad racer (or wannabe) I was earlier in my life.  Then again, I knew that, in some way, I never was that person, at least in spirit.  Sure, I trained and gained the admiration and respect of some of my old riding partners—and a few racing rivals.  But, as much as I love cycling, it was never the only thing in my life.  When I did Tour de France climbs in the Alps and Pyrenees, I was as proud of my ability to talk to local people in their language as I was of making the climbs.

Also, I tried to maintain a classic aesthetic—or a modern adaptation of it—as bicycle technology evolved.  I am not a pedant who wants her bikes to look just like the ones made in 1950 or some other time before she was born.  At the same time, I always wanted my bikes to be pretty—and I don’t consider the Darth Vader shapes or cartoonish graphics of too many parts and bikes made today.  

In other words, I have always been in the process of becoming, as a cyclist and in other areas of my life.  I guess that’s as it should be in the middle of one’s life:  Contrary to received wisdom, I don’t think “middle age” is a time for settling or an interlude between youth and old age.  I think that if you’re in the middle of anything, something is rubbing off on you or you are rubbing it off.  You are then not in a cycle of decay or decline.

That makes me think of something someone—a psychologist, I think—said:  You’re always middle-aged because, as long as you don’t know when your life is going to end, you’re in the middle of it.  So, perhaps, as long as I’m riding or writing, I will reach other milestones on this blog, and in my life, without having to change the title of this blog. 


  1. Justine, 1500 posts - a milestone indeed! Congratulations, and thank you for the bit of pleasure your writing brings to my day.

  2. I thought your last paragraph as I read the post title!

    I love working my way through the blog and as a bonus it has allowed me to tap out my few thoughts and cycling experiences so never have to start my own cycling blog!

    I watched those plastic bikes fly up the Pyrenees yesterday at speeds i shall never attain on the flat but remain like you midlife to the end.

  3. Chris--Thank you. If I'm bringing you, or anyone else, pleasure, I'm happy.

    Coline--I'd be curious to see those thoughts. Maybe you don't have to start your own cycling blog. But that shouldn't stop you, if you want to do it!

  4. "if you’re in the middle of anything, something is rubbing off on you or you are rubbing it off". Great thought, one I will be pondering as I pedal.

    Rebecca (another Midlife Cyclist)

  5. Rebecca--You really know how to make a girl blush! ;-)