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Some Things Remain the Same

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Some Things Remain the Same

Old 06-09-22, 08:56 PM
  #1  
obrentharris 
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Some Things Remain the Same

Today I rode 70 hilly miles on some of my favorite roads to mark my 70th birthday. On a long ride like this I have plenty of time to think. In the 57 years since my first long bike ride there have been changes, some of them quite unpleasant. Old friends with whom I have shared some fine bicycle adventures will never again turn a pedal. I need bigger gears now, and I get a little slower with each rotation of the calendar.

But today was a beautiful day, leading my mind to explore the joys of riding that remain unchanged from that earliest 50-mile ride until now.



The soft sound of my tires on the pavement of a quiet road is as mesmerizing as ever.

The battle between my hands which want to grab the brakes and my brain which knows better, in the apex of a downhill curve which I entered a little too quickly, still holds every bit of its old exhilaration.

I still find new views on roads that I have been riding for decades.

The joy of a well-tuned bike that becomes so much an extension of my own body that I almost forget it's there.



I'm sure you can add your own experiences to this list.

Brent
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Old 06-09-22, 08:59 PM
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repechage
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70 for 70, way to go.

applause.
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Old 06-09-22, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by obrentharris View Post
Today I rode 70 hilly miles on some of my favorite roads to mark my 70th birthday. On a long ride like this I have plenty of time to think. In the 57 years since my first long bike ride there have been changes, some of them quite unpleasant. Old friends with whom I have shared some fine bicycle adventures will never again turn a pedal. I need bigger gears now, and I get a little slower with each rotation of the calendar.

But today was a beautiful day, leading my mind to explore the joys of riding that remain unchanged from that earliest 50-mile ride until now.



The soft sound of my tires on the pavement of a quiet road is as mesmerizing as ever.

The battle between my hands which want to grab the brakes and my brain which knows better, in the apex of a downhill curve which I entered a little too quickly, still holds every bit of its old exhilaration.

I still find new views on roads that I have been riding for decades.

The joy of a well-tuned bike that becomes so much an extension of my own body that I almost forget it's there.



I'm sure you can add your own experiences to this list.

Brent
And on a better bike I think it could not have been.

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Old 06-09-22, 10:10 PM
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Happy Birthday, good sir!
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Old 06-09-22, 10:20 PM
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That's the attitude that we all ride bikes to try to get to. Sometimes it takes a kilometer, sometimes it takes 30 miles, sometimes it takes a rainstorm, and sometimes it takes the memories of your friends. Good for you.
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Old 06-10-22, 03:17 AM
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Very nice and well stated . Happy Birthday and I’m so glad that you were able to get that ride in. I’m not far behind you in years, this year I will turn 68 , but I won’t be riding 68 miles or….maybe not. You may have inspired me to do so! I do get the whole mental floss of riding my bike. The bike, the road , the adventure, and ,yes , the thrill. Even while struggling up that last hill to my home I feel the same joy that attracted me to cycling when I was young. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 06-10-22, 04:49 AM
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Thanks for taking the time and the photos for this. I’m about 6 months ahead of you and am quite mindful that there are more years behind than ahead. I’ll do my 72 miles sometime in the fall (top shape for the year) but I feel like you just did on every ride. Well written.

“Stay strong, keep moving, stay away from the bad fuel.”
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Old 06-10-22, 05:28 AM
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Happy birthday, Brent!
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Old 06-10-22, 06:35 AM
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Happy birthday, Brent! My uncle (who got me into road cycling) and the handful of retired fellows he rides with do this every year for each of their birthdays, with a couple of them going on 80 now. It's a good tradition!

-Gregory
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Old 06-10-22, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Prowler View Post

“Stay strong, keep moving, stay away from the bad fuel.”
And try not to breathe any exhaust fumes. 😁😉.

Happy Birthday to you, sir. 🥳
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Old 06-10-22, 07:38 AM
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Happy Birthday!!!
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Old 06-10-22, 09:06 AM
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Brent,
The best roads are winding because one never knows where they will lead or end.
Ride on for many many more years!
Best, Ben
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Old 06-10-22, 09:16 AM
  #13  
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Brent lives in what I consider the greatest cycling area in the US. I typically plan my TdMIL rides in that area, and now I'm thinking I've missed out on meeting him several times!

Brent, next time I'm in the area maybe we can hook up and get a ride in!
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Old 06-10-22, 09:36 AM
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Great job

70 for 70.
Long past the days of hoping hills will go away.
Long past the days of wondering if wind will wither.
Still in the habit of whoopee on the descents, tempting fate and physics.
Still in the grips of the elegant simple approach to moving across the earth with fluid effort.
The days of admiring engineering that connects humans directly to distance are not over.
The days of looking forward to the next time being both the same and different are not over.
Savory.
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Old 06-10-22, 09:42 AM
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Happy Birthday and best wishes for many more, Brent.
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Old 06-10-22, 10:02 AM
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Sherman,
Good on ya! for the ride and the shared memories. Some days after passing 70 it gets a bit hard to get motivated, but once on the bike the mind clears. Glad you shared with us.
Professor Peabody
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Old 06-10-22, 01:06 PM
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I've been doing year = distance birthday rides since around when I turned 50, I believe (I turned 62 this year). What I want to know is if I get credit for the miles I ride on those days beyond my age. I'm going to need them for when I turn 70!
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Old 06-10-22, 02:04 PM
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Impressive af, beautiful bike, sweet scenery and happy birthday!
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Old 06-10-22, 02:10 PM
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Impressive, nice ride and happy birthday!
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Old 06-10-22, 02:37 PM
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Major congrats on all of it. The birthday, the mileage, the attitude, the bike, the location (altho still 2nd to Santa Cruz and Monterey county, IMHO )

70 on 70 I made, although in kilometers.
71 on 71 won't happen.

Keep on rolling.
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Old 06-10-22, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post

Brent, next time I'm in the area maybe we can hook up and get a ride in!
Absolutely!
Brent
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Old 06-10-22, 03:12 PM
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Congrats on the first 70, Brent! Thanks for sharing the past ten with us.
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Old 06-10-22, 03:50 PM
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Congrats on the ride and Happy Birthday.
Wishing you many more rides and birthdays.
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Old 06-10-22, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Brent lives in what I consider the greatest cycling area in the US. !
I just now looked at that thread a bit, and have to agree, there's some excellent riding in that area. 👍 I posted a pic somewhere on the forums, awhile back now, of Francis Ford Coppola's "grape ranch",which I found by accident. 😎 It's well marked on the security gate, which made me wonder if they hold tours or anything like that. 🤔
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Old 06-11-22, 06:25 AM
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Happy Birthday Brent!!!
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