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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 10-12-17, 10:20 AM   #1
BluesDawg
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62nd Birthday Ride

One of the things that drew me to the Fifty Plus forum was the tradition of riding your age in miles on or soon after your birthday. I joined this forum and started doing that back in 2005 when I turned 50. A couple years later I made it my tradition to add at least one extra mile "to grow on" to my age. I've kept this up every year, including my 53rd birthday in 2008 while I was undergoing chemo and radiation treatment for throat cancer. My long rides have been down somewhat this year as I've been having a series of minor surgeries to increase my airway due to scar tissue resulting from that treatment. I spent the first 4 months of this year with a trach in my throat and I'll soon have the hole from the trach (stoma) surgically closed since it has never closed up completely on its own. But I've been riding through it all, just not as many long rides as usual for me.

I set out for a solo 63 mile mixed surface (paved/unpaved) ride on my 62nd birthday on 10/9. It was a warm and humid day with overcast skies and a very small amount of very light rain early and late in the ride. But the roads were great, the scenery was terrific, the traffic was light to nonexistent and the ride was wonderful. I carried 3 water bottles on my All-City Cosmic Stallion gravel bike and carried 2 bottles of Ensure Plus and a gel flask full of honey for my nutrition and hydration needs. I only passed one store on my route at about 20 miles where I refilled one of the bottles and drank a bottle of Gatorade.

I took it easy, stopping for pictures and rest/feeding along the way and was out there for over 6 hours overall. It was hard and I was tired afterwards, but I'm glad I did it. It was a great ride.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1222979959

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bluesd...57687135615890

finished by Benny Watson, on Flickr

Griswoldville Rd by Benny Watson, on Flickr

Griswoldville Rd by Benny Watson, on Flickr

Skinner Rd by Benny Watson, on Flickr

Joe Miller Rd by Benny Watson, on Flickr

5th Rd by Benny Watson, on Flickr
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Old 10-12-17, 11:33 AM   #2
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Congratulations on your effort, and for continuing to be dedicated to riding through your medical challenges.
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Old 10-12-17, 11:48 AM   #3
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ride on dude! and good luck in the future
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Old 10-12-17, 11:54 AM   #4
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Nice. I'll be doing one of those B-day rides in the near future.
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Old 10-12-17, 12:10 PM   #5
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Your indomitable spirit is inspiring! go, Go, GO!
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Old 10-12-17, 12:13 PM   #6
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Great job! I'll have my 71st birthday on Sunday and will be doing my birthday ride twice in two 80 mile rides in the C2C Cross Florida Ride in two weeks. I'm just thankful that I'm still able to do an 80 mile ride, let alone a back to back 80.
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Old 10-12-17, 12:59 PM   #7
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One heck of a ride Benny! Way to go.
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Old 10-12-17, 04:10 PM   #8
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Nicely done.

As one ages, one usually becomes wiser. Some years ago when younger, I too rode my age and the "pinch to grow an inch" extra. As I grew "wiser" I figured that AGE SHOULD HAVE FEWER BOUNDS so I decided to double up and then add the pinch. This past July I became a truly wiser older man with a triple plus. The reason is simple, through grimace and pain I wage my personal war against my body's deterioration. So far I am victorious, but tomorrow dawns another day.

Good luck with your lengthening rides and may you have a century looming in your future.
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Old 10-12-17, 04:46 PM   #9
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Nicely done.

As one ages, one usually becomes wiser. Some years ago when younger, I too rode my age and the "pinch to grow an inch" extra. As I grew "wiser" I figured that AGE SHOULD HAVE FEWER BOUNDS so I decided to double up and then add the pinch. This past July I became a truly wiser older man with a triple plus. The reason is simple, through grimace and pain I wage my personal war against my body's deterioration. So far I am victorious, but tomorrow dawns another day.

Good luck with your lengthening rides and may you have a century looming in your future.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas
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Old 10-12-17, 05:08 PM   #10
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Congratulations, great story and very inspiring! Beautiful pics also ��.
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Old 10-12-17, 05:20 PM   #11
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Great news Benny, good to hear from you again. Sounds like the road and gravel are being kind to you still, and seeing that jersey reminded me of why I look up to you and several others here. Good job on your accomplishment.

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Old 10-12-17, 05:22 PM   #12
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Hey, that's a great idea bringing a flask of honey! Maybe I'll think about doing it. How many miles were dirt road? I've never done a long distance on a dirt road. Happy Birthday, Blue!
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Old 10-12-17, 05:26 PM   #13
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Hey, that's a great idea bringing a flask of honey! Maybe I'll think about doing it. How many miles were dirt road? I've never done a long distance on a dirt road. Happy Birthday, Blue!
You can bring your own flask, or there are the small packets you find in restaurants and fast food places. One of the American professionals has a pure maple syrup packeted product out. Someone will be along to put the name out here, my old worn memory cannot get the neurons to fire that deeply.

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Old 10-12-17, 05:42 PM   #14
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Nice ride!
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Old 10-12-17, 06:27 PM   #15
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Thanks for the ride report! Great pics.
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Old 10-12-17, 09:58 PM   #16
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Great to see you're posting again, BD. I love that your pictures never have any cars.
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Old 10-14-17, 05:58 PM   #17
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Thanks for the kind remarks. This forum has been a great resource for encouragement, information and entertainment for me over the 12 years I've been a participant.

About the honey, I normally carry gel, usually Hammer, in my flask, but when I'm out of that, I use honey as a decent substitute. I've tried the maple syrup packets, but wasn't really impressed as it was very watery and the flavor didn't really suit me on a ride.

The route I rode was about 26 miles dirt and gravel with the other 37 paved.
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Old 10-14-17, 10:36 PM   #18
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Those roads sure look inviting. Great photos, great inspiration, not necessarily in that order.
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Old 10-14-17, 10:46 PM   #19
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Excellent! I couldn't even finish my planned metric century Saturday and bailed out after 45 miles -- and I don't even have a good excuse.
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Old 10-15-17, 01:19 PM   #20
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You've been an inspiration for many years.
Thanks BD.
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Old 10-15-17, 03:24 PM   #21
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Well done, dude! Congrats!
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