Preparing for the 2018 Cycling World Championships
Well, I have had two goes at winning the UCI Masters Mountain Bike World Championships and come up short each time. The first was in Norway three years ago and the last in Andorra earlier this year. Andorra was tantalisingly close - just 30 seconds separated me from the winner. If only I had not been seeded last in the field!
You can read my Andorra report here: http://www.garymoller.com/single-post/2017/06/23/A-Ferrari-beat-me-at-the-UCI-Masters-Mountain-Bike-World-Championships
I'm on a mission to prove that I'm the fittest and healthiest over 60 year old in the world. I reckon I am; but it sure is proving harder and more expensive to demonstrate than I could ever have imagined four or five years ago.
For the last ten years, I've been researching what drives the decline that is called 'ageing' and figuring out how to slow, halt and even reverse what we have traditionally thought to be outside of our control.
The medical experts have got it all wrong and I'm out to prove it
What blows me away constantly is the constant brainwashing that goes on that the solutions to our numerous health problems are to be found in the next billion dollar patent medicine, or a wonder surgical procedure. There is this mistaken belief that you can beat and poison a person into good health. We are on the constant search for the 'Cure'. We fight cancer, we fight arthritis, we overcome heart disease. This is wrong. It is making us all less healthy and most of us all the poorer financially.
"You can not beat or poison a person into good health"
I certainly have my detractors. I've even been accused of being a quack. How wrong they are. Before I publish anything, I ask myself:
"Would I be prepared to defend this in a court of law?"
If the answer is 'Yes!", then it will be published.
I'll argue for the science behind what I do any day but this is becoming increasingly tiresome. What better way to prove I'm on the right track than by walking the talk:
Anti-Ageing vs Healthy Ageing
The term 'anti-ageing' is inappropriate because this is implies that ageing is a disease, just like cancer or heart disease, that is to be fought. It is negatively phrased for what should be a healthy pursuit. 'Anti-ageing' is a medical term for harmful drugs-therapy, such as the use of hormones that plaster over unpleasant symptoms while ignoring root causes.
'Healthy Ageing' is just that: no drugs, no surgery, just good-old healthy living with a generous dose of the smarts - using the latest discoveries in functional nutrition and our growing understanding of what drives ageing. It is not the fool's pursuit of immortality. It is the use of smart nutrition and lifestyle measures to slow the inevitable process of decline. The goal is to have a long, productive and enjoyable life. Nothing less than that. And this is possible for all.
Why choose a dangerous sport like mountain-biking?
I've chosen mountain biking as the best demonstration of the combination of fitness and health that constitute 'healthy ageing'. Mountain biking requires the fullest range of human qualities that tend to decline with ageing:
Powerful cardiovascular output and endurance.
Strong, flexible muscles that do not tire.
Strong bones and ligaments, and joints that are not arthritic.
Quick reactions and even quicker decision-making.
Ability to heal well.
It could also be argued that cycling is hardly a 'soft' sport to contest at any age because it has been around for a very long time and it has countless fanatical participants. In the 60+ age categories the riders at the top are the toughest of the tough. Many are former professionals and champions. They are the survivors. They are tough competitors. None of them like being beaten. Yes - I could have chosen an easier sport, but that would be weakening the message behind my quest:
Most of the decline that happens with ageing is
controllable to a surprising degree!
My goals for 2018
Next year, I become a pensioner and I get my 'Winnie Card' - woo-hoo! I also move up into another UCI age group. At the world champs this year I was almost 20% faster than the rider who won the next age group up, so that is encouraging. However, I still want to beat all the 60 year olds. That is my goal - to beat the best younger ones in the world.
There are three UCI Masters World Championships cycling events that are most enticing and which I think I have a good chance of winning:
Olympic-style multi-lap mountain bike championships in Andorra
Marathon World championships in Italy
Cyclocross World Championships in Belgium
It really comes down to finding the time and the money for these lengthy expeditions to the other side of the world and then it's all on! If funds are too tight to do all three, then the race in Italy is the most attractive, partly because we all start together, rather than there being in separate races for age categories.
I'm already training for 2018, practicing my bike handling skills, putting in the big miles, getting more race experience and working on my health. I'm in better shape now than when I was in Andorra, so the morale is high.
Here is a video of what I did yesterday: https://www.relive.cc/view/1176542382
130 km, averaging 20 km/hr in wet, cold and windy conditions, over a combination of gravel trails, steep climbs and endless highway tarmac. It was a tough ride but I feel fine today. It is looking good for 2018.
UCI official website: http://www.uci.ch/