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Our kids are upset...

Old 03-26-18, 01:32 PM
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I can think of a handful of times that I counseled my aging father with what I believed to be good advice regarding the same issues as the OP mentioned in his post. In all honesty, I wish I would have wished him a safe and healthy voyage and waved good-bye with a "Call me when you get there" thrown in.
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Old 03-26-18, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
it's been said, during our final days, it's not the things we've done that we regret, it's what we haven't done. here's wishing you good luck, lot's fun adventure, especially new bike rides!

BTW do you know the warning signs of a "transient ischemic attack" (TIA) (aka mini-stroke) & what to do if either of you have one? my 88yr old Mom had one when she was approx. 80. my Dad went into the post office & she stayed in the car. when he returned she couldn't speak, or write. what she was drawing got all scribbly. he took her home & gave her an aspirin. that was not the right thing to do

cpl tips here:

my Mom recovered. anyway, your kids can't protect you or help you quickly when you are so far away. you'll be on your own. that would scare me too. both my folks are fine today & lead active lives & live in their own home. but they don't go on extended trips by themselves anymore. mostly cuz my Dad can't decide which coat to pack. ;-) but seriously, we all know all to well what "getting the call" means. check in with them daily giving them specific locations, names & phone numbers. don't make a big deal about it, just make it matter of course. this way, if you go missing they know where to start looking
I wrote a big long reply just after the OP came out along similar lines. But thought it was too windy and preachy so I didn't post it.

But I'm glad you brought it up, because stroke is one of the things that one set of my cousins in IN had to deal with recently with multiple events happening over the course of about a year for a single parent retired to central FL. It is hard on our children for us to be so far away when things like this happen. They can't just check on you after work. Now they have to take off work and travel.

This and similar subjects probably warrant some discussion with your kids no matter how good your current health is.

But a winter in IN over a winter in FL, well I'm all for Florida! The kid's will just have to "deal with it"!

Even the mild winters in my part of MS are annoying enough to have me considering warmer climes for winter. I'm thinking a sailboat in the lower Caribbean. My wife disagrees.
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Old 03-26-18, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
thought it was too windy and preachy so I didn't post it
figured I would throw it out there from an adult child's perspective. my Wife often reminds me I tell her what to do too much (too much advice, etc). we were stuck home on her birthday this year due to a blizzard & she highlighted several times where I was doing just that. it was her birthday & she had "vito power". what an eye opener. Daughter is in NZ now, heading to Australia for 10 days & Wifey is travelling to NZ to hang with her for a different 10 days. I can't keep up, all I told her was: "please stay in touch!" they are both out of my realm of protection, & I accept that now
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Old 03-26-18, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
We've been spending our kids inheritance for several years.
Ha, Ha, so have we... The whole make your kids life "better" than your own really sucks... IMO
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Old 03-27-18, 12:41 AM
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I hope it's a pleasant and rewarding trip that results in finding that sought-after winter cycling area. The OP won't be the first or the last to make that work. Best of luck to you both.

That said, the prospect of very old people driving cars like they're very young people is worrisome. I remember decades ago a letter to Dear Abby (or was it her sister, Ann Landers? Oh, oh, I'm losing something). Anyway, the gist of the letter was that everyone knew grandpa should no longer be behind the wheel except for grandpa. Everyone was afraid to tell him this for fear that he would react badly, so they all held their tongues. One evening, after a holiday gathering, a grandson ended up pinned between grandpa's bumper and the rear of a parked car; grandpa had put his vehicle into drive instead of reverse and panicked when it went forward. Grandson lost both legs, but survived.

Yeah, I know: preachy as all get-up. We don't know each other, so this isn't personal. However, maybe your children's concern has more to do with not being able to tell you something you should know for fear of your reaction than with trying to live your life for you.

Remember: you don't see what you can't see, you don't hear what you can't hear and your reaction times aren't what they were even ten years ago (including processing time). If a person in his fifties requires twice as much light to see an object as a person in his twenties, where does a person who is nearly 80 fit in?

For myself, I have assigned several youngsters with the duty to tell me when I have reached the point that driving should not be something I do. I do it rarely enough that it won't be any big deal to give it up, but I realized long ago that no one can assess their own abilities in this area.
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Old 03-27-18, 05:43 AM
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Well ... if I thought I person couldn't drive i certainly wouldn't suggest that person get out on the road on a bicycle, eh?

I have several relatives who drove safely until well into their 80s. My father made it safely to about 90, when his concentration started lapsing a bit and he had two minor accidents which made it clear he shouldn't be behind the wheel. but only a year prior, and for a couple decades before that, he drove without issue all up and down the east coast without incident or difficulty.

A person trying hard to drive at 80 is a lot less of a risk than a teen texting ... or the other big one, the teen acting out his power fantasies through an automobile.

On a group ride last Sunday, after what could have been a close call at an intersection, a fellow older rider and I were joking about how often the people doing absurd and dangerous (to cyclists) things in cars often drove Mustangs ... and Mustangs nowadays are cars primarily for middle-aged men.

If the kids don't have courage enough to be honest with mom and dad and are willing to let them drive, knowing they are risking not only their own lives but the lives of others ... then shame on the kids. If the kids are just overly worried ... nobody lives forever.

Just as parents can over-protect kids and ruin their lives for a while, adult kids can try to overprotect older parents and screw up their lives.

By the time you are old, you have worked pretty much fifty or sixty years to get there ... why not enjoy as much as possible before your body finally lets you down and leaves you bed-ridden?

Adult kids are like doctors---"Don't ever do anything which might put you at any risk. Stay indoors, sit on the couch, only get up to do 15 minutes of stretching once a day and only eat rice and cabbage."

Having lost one parent, lots of relatives, and a few friends ... I can tell you we are all leaving one way or another. Eat pizza and ice cream, ride your bike, drive to Florida. Gamble in casinos if you like. Really ... what have you got to lose that you aren't about to lose anyway?

In closing .... 106-Year-Old Record-Breaking Cyclist Hangs up His Helmet (
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Old 03-27-18, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
That said, the prospect of very old people driving cars like they're very young people is worrisome.
The OPs are in their seventies, which is not very old. We've given the power to destroy the world on a whim to people in their seventies so it's hard to suggest that folks of that age should not drive.
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Old 03-27-18, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Isn't Florida noted as being one of the most dangerous cycling states?

Per capita, yes.

Deadliest States For Cyclists: Per Capita Fatality Rates
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Old 03-27-18, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post

Fatalities per capita is pretty useless. Fatalities per miles ridden would be much more relevant.
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Old 03-30-18, 09:50 AM
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Add a month or two to your plans. You will need it. Generally coastal living much more expensive than up and down the middle. The Villages is a good one to check.
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Old 03-31-18, 01:32 PM
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Thanks to everyone for the excellent replies. As I write below, we’ve changed our plans to make our trip safer. Also, no one mentioned this, but: We recently made new wills and assigned our power of attorney to our youngest kid (which probably ticked off the older ones!). She also has direct access to our checking & savings accounts.

Wildwood: Your #1 matches our attitude exactly – do it NOW, not sometime in the vague future. And this IS our Plan B.

Patriot1: Thanks, Patriot. Great advice.

Cliffordk & Shelbyfv & Baldy1953: Good reason to stick to the trails. The area we’re headed has a 45-mile paved state trail. Baldy, I had a similar hit-the-wall ride a few years ago at age 76; I was trying to maintain an above-my-head speed average for 35 miles and had to be rescued 5 miles from my car. I don’t do that anymore, but I was just a kid then. Ha!

BikeJrff: I’ve checked out Ft. Wayne’s bike trails online and always intended to make the 90-minute drive for a weekend there. Haven’t gotten to it yet, but maybe this summer.

John E: Yeah!

Wanderer: That’s a goal for us to aim at.

Canklecat: Yes!

Jonc: Our kids have talked us into changing our plans somewhat. They agreed to pay our expenses if we fly to Florida and rent bikes instead of driving there, hauling bikes 3 days each way.

Qcpmsame: We’re hoping to check out the Panhandle area while we’re there. My wife has heard about the beaches, wants to see them.

FlipFlopRider: You’re right, Rider. So we care what they say even if we don’t DO what they say.

Locolobo13 & JohnE: Is that a new set of lyrics to the old song, “May the Bluebird of Happiness Fly up your Nose”?

Maelochs: My oldest grandson offered the same warning. He says all the really bizarre, crazy things on the news happen in Florida. We’re doing what you suggest: staying out of the cities.

Rumrunn6 &TakingMyTime & Iride01: Excellent reminder about strokes; thanks for the link. Also good advice about staying in touch with the kids – it’s not something we’re accustomed to doing. We both have cell phones they can call or text if they’re at all uneasy. Rumrunny6: Thus far, kids aren’t overly protective, maybe because they’re all within 10 miles of us. But partly because their Mom is always very independent & does what she wants, and I’m still working at my desk 8-10 hours a day.

B.Carfree & Maelochs: Your points are all good and match what our kids said. Their concerns were valid: Our reaction times aren’t what they were; we’ll face a constant series of various obstacles on the highway; we tire much more quickly than we did; we don’t sleep well in noisy motels; we can’t always find nourishing restaurant food that fits our diet restrictions. See my response to Jonc above. Interesting link, Maelochs.

Indyfabz: OMG, Indy! That chart makes Indiana about average, which is a lot better than I figured. Maybe Florida’s bike fatality rate is so bad because it’s got so many retired Hoosiers?

Ctpres: Thanks for the link. My wife mentioned The Villages to me, wants to check them out. I wasn’t sure where they were.
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Old 03-31-18, 06:35 PM
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Ha, Ha, Who cares what their kids think. when their life/lifestile is at stake.. They have, lets say 20 + years less, life experience then you do ... About the "only" thing I care About, is whether the person I appoint as my medical power of attorney, actually has my wishes in mind, As life sometimes seems to last longer when $$$ are involved, or shorter... Life,being the operative word, not just existence... JMO

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Old 04-18-18, 08:18 PM
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Our kids live on the west coast (CA), east coast (NC) and Russia. Some families are very location centric, others not. Our kids were thrilled when we moved to New Mexico because it's way more fun to visit than New Jersey.

We care very much what our children think, as do they regarding us. I'd hate to think we'd raised children that didn't have our best interests in mind. Sounds like RVwriter's kids are doing their job.
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Old 04-23-18, 04:02 PM
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My wife and I (almost 70) took a pair of bikes in a minivan down to FL in January. Had a week to bike and a week with the grandkid in Orlando. Found some nice bike trails. It was pretty flat. I remember we rode parts of the Pinellas Trail out of St. Pete, and also the Van Fleet Trail out of Polk City. Chilly though.

The biggest hill we saw was the causeway bridge to Sanibel from Fort Meyers. Fall to the right and it's 100 foot drop into the water. Fall to the left and it's a 3 foot drop into traffic.. A bit scary and I didn't get to enjoy the view.

Went back to see a golfing buddy last month in the Villages. Took a bike again in my car. What a crazy place. Over 10K golf carts and theyr'e all out there. No fun riding on the golf cart lanes, but it was a pleasure to wind around the subdivisions. Qualatchee trail only 30 minutes away but no time to go there.

Next year will do some more trails.

Did see a lot of bike lanes marked off on the country roads. Just pictured myself run over by a pick up truck. No way.
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Old 04-23-18, 06:30 PM
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My wife and 2 kids, 11 and 9 at the time moved to SW FL in 1986 with NO JOB in place. Made things work even though life was somewhat minimalistic and will not move again. Fortunately both kids are doing better than us at our ages back then and no need to leave anything for them. Son just informed us that 2 more years is it for the Army even if they have plans to W5 him. Just had another Prostate biopsy today after 146 mile ride on Saturday with no plans on slowing down even if the cancer has returned. Kids have no issues with us spending or traveling since we can't take it with us and they trust our judgement.
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