'Keep eking out little performance gains and you can progress at any age': Tips for riding better than ever, at 49

'I enjoy the process more now than ever,' says Simon McNamara, as he closes in on 50 - though to emulate him, you may need to cut out the booze and biscuits

Simon McNamara leads the bunch at Goodwood motor circuit
Simon McNamara leads the bunch at Goodwood motor circuit
(Image credit: John Lampard photography)

Cycling is an activity, or sport, you can enjoy at any age. Fitness writer Hannah Reynolds has been speaking to cyclists in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond, bringing tips, advice and inspiration from cyclists who are still pedalling as the decades progress. 

Simon McNamara has been racing and riding since he was a junior but now at nearly 49 he feels he is riding better than ever. Having taken second in his age group at the 2023 gravel nationals, and setting his sights on a sub-18 minute 10-mile time trial, he’s still racing some of the UK’s most prestigious road races as he closes in on 50. 

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Hannah Reynolds

Hannah Reynolds interest in cycling began while studying for a degree in Sports Science at the University College Chichester and surrounded by elite level cyclists. She is now undertaking a PhD at Sheffield Hallam University investigating the use of e-bikes by older people. 

A committed dabbler whose passion outweighed her talent Reynolds has competed across all disciplines of cycling bar BMX. In the very distant past she has been south-east road race champion, southern cyclo-cross champion and finished third in the European 24hr Solo mountain-bike champs in 2011. She was also the Fitness Editor of Cycling Weekly for 15 years. 

Hannah Reynolds is author of several cycling books, France-en-Velo a guide to the ultimate 1000 mile cycle route from the Channel to Med; Britain's Best Bike Ride. LEJOG1000; A 1000 mile journey from Land's End to John o' Groats and 1001 Cycling Tips