I recently attended a college track and field team reunion that included a bicycle ride in addition to the usual running race against the current cross country team. In the running race alumni get a head start of 50 meters for every year graduated in the 5K race. If I could run I would have a 1,900 meter head start in the 5,000 meter race. Even in my prime I donít think that would be enough of a lead for a decathlete to beat the cross country runners.
I choose the bike ride option since several of my classmates were doing it too. The ride was a group road ride of 30 miles on rolling Western PA roads. When we were assembling I noticed two older gentlemen (Iím 60 and these guys were much older) getting their high end road bikes off the rack on their car. To me they looked like pretty fit 70 yr olds. The ride got started with about 25 riders of various ages consisting of men and a handful of women. As soon as we got out of campus the women attacked and stretched out the riders a bit. I worked my way up towards the front and one of the older men was on my wheel and we got back into the front group. From there the pace backed down and the riders regrouped at stop signs every few miles. When the ride encountered hills the brothers would not be able to keep the speed, but they then would catch back on once on the flats. The pace wasnít fast but it was not slow either. One can imagine getting a track and field team together and not having little pissing contest no matter the age.
The two older guys were usually near me on the ride and I began to talk to them. They are twin brothers who graduated from the college in 1951, two years before I was born! One of the brothers lives in Utah and the other in Michigan and winters in Azorina. They said they are 86 yrs old and got a late start in college due to serving in WW II. I canít believe how fit, strong and impressive they are at their age. I want to be like them! My parents are their age and we are in the process of convincing them to move to assisted living.
I just had to ask the brothers a question and did so at the risk of not hearing the answer I wanted to hear. Yes, they both did drink beer and one still does while the other stopped 5 or 6 years ago due to some stomach issues. All is well, keep on truckiní.