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  1. #1
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Met two amazing cyclist

    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.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the great story! And thanks for asking that question at the end. I'm 62 and it's good to know that with some perseverance and luck I can still be riding and drinking beer at age 86.

    I'm curious about that 5K running race. With that kind of handicap, I would expect the winner to be an older distance runner who had kept in shape. Do you know if that's what happened?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gevad View Post
    Thanks for the great story! And thanks for asking that question at the end. I'm 62 and it's good to know that with some perseverance and luck I can still be riding and drinking beer at age 86.

    I'm curious about that 5K running race. With that kind of handicap, I would expect the winner to be an older distance runner who had kept in shape. Do you know if that's what happened?
    The race was won by someone who graduated a few years ago and the 300 meters or so was enough to keep him out front of the pack of current runners. Although one of my era runners did not take the handicap and finished well up overall. (typical for those skinny show-off hill climbing dudes) I don't think the current team was racing full bore since they were mostly in a group and were present in part to support the event.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  4. #4
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
    Sounds like a great reunion to me, AJ, glad you posted your story about it and the 2 brothers from the "Greatest Generation". Give me hope for my future, too.

    Bill
    +1 really nice story.

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
    My Cycling Blogspot

  5. #5
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    86 is the new 50. Great story and I am sure riding with the group brought back fond memories.

    On our trip to France, we met a couple who were 70+, riding their tandem who were great cyclists. It was not so much about their fitness (they were in great shape) but their attitude toward riding and life. They were training hard leading up to the tour getting ready for Mount Ventoux. They had done their research on training for long climbs and were focused and committed. We met them early in the tour at the top of a climb and observing them climbing, they looked really fit on the bike with great spin while climbing. I expected them to be in the 50s. They did really well on Mount Ventoux which is brutally hard on a single but outrageous on a tandem. It is refreshing to meet people of similar age and older who have maturity but a total zest for life and a positive attitude.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  6. #6
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Thatís the kind of stories I like to read. Talk about inspiring, thanks AJ.
    George

  7. #7
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    AJ,

    Sounds almost like a post I did about Mrs. G. She is a winter resident of Canada and spends her winters in Florida. On her way back to Canada, she stops in Ohio to participate in the senior games. Two years ago, she entered 4 cycling events and a triathlon event and gold medaled all 5. This year she entered the same events, but I don't know the results yet.

    She rides at the same MUP that I ride at and rides a custom made titanium Moots with Campy Record groupset. She will ride 25 miles and do a two mile run at least 4 days a week and then goes home and does a one mile swim. She turned 85 this year.
    HCFR Cycling Team
    Ride Safe ... Ride Hard ... Ride Daily

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  8. #8
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    Wow, great story and good news! I was on a 70 mile ride last week and talking to my riding buddy (mid 50's) , we agreed that only ten more years wasn't enough for us but enough to beat the odds.
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

    frankthewelder@comcast.net

    le prix s'oublie,la qualitť reste ,(michel audiard)

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