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Met an old guy on a single speed......

Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

Met an old guy on a single speed......

Old 09-07-09, 08:11 AM
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Met an old guy on a single speed......

A few years ago while out training on my geared bike. I had to answer a call of nature while riding through a small country town, so I pulled into the rest rooms at the local park. I noticed him sitting by himself with his old heavily laden bike near a rotunda so I went over to have a chat and a bite to eat.

His bike was an ancient SS with a back foot brake, upturned drops and homemade pannier racks B & F for his plastic gerry cans which he used to carry water, food and clothing.

He was a little guy, his face, arms and legs were etched and tanned by years in the sun, wiry and fit and not a scrap of fat on him, a real friendly likeable fellow. He greeted me with a warm welcome so I sat on a log next to him and we traded stories of life and cycling. I sat in admiration as he told me of his journeys from Queensland (Australia) to Victoria, his tales of sleeping it rough with his swag, ( I don't know what you Americans call swags, they are a canvas bag that you crawl into for camping). He had lost his wife a few years before this, so he sold everything he had, loaded up his bike and started riding, he went where he fancied, slept where he wished and harmed nobody.

He was very concerned that people considered him as a bum or hobo and went to great pains to appear clean and well presented, I assured him I saw him as a nice old guy and wished him well on his journeys as we parted.

I left him, thinking to myself, never judge a man by appearance because your life can be made so much richer if you take the time to listen to other's life stories.
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Old 09-07-09, 08:27 AM
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Sweet story. We should have a bike related creative nonfiction section! BIKEFORUMS OWN ZINE!
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Old 09-07-09, 08:34 AM
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"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares"
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Old 09-07-09, 08:54 AM
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cool story bro
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Old 09-07-09, 09:04 AM
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Nice thread.
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Old 09-07-09, 11:16 AM
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Such a poignant story... He must have missed his wife not to stay in one place.
His bicycle is his solace now.
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Old 09-07-09, 01:27 PM
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I think you met Fred.
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Old 09-07-09, 01:35 PM
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aren't old people on bike who have seen the world the coolest.
i met a guy once when I was lost in north fla who rides between georgia, fla, and alabama on the weekends for something to do.
he had some of the best advice i was ever given.

"take your time enjoy the scenery, it will be there when you get there."
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Old 09-07-09, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares"
I do believe that.

I think his name was Bob, I sometimes wonder how he's going. Has he found somewhere to settle or will he ride to the end? Will he be found somewhere remote sleeping the long eternal night and wrongly considered just another old vagrant?......I hope not.
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Old 09-07-09, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by c0urt View Post
aren't old people on bike who have seen the world the coolest.
i met a guy once when I was lost in north fla who rides between georgia, fla, and alabama on the weekends for something to do.
he had some of the best advice i was ever given.

"take your time enjoy the scenery, it will be there when you get there."
Sage advice.
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Old 09-07-09, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by time bandit View Post
cool story bro
Bandit... This was funny the first 1000 times you did it.
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Old 09-07-09, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by c0urt View Post
"take your time enjoy the scenery, it will be there when you get there."
I totally agree. I rode 25 miles on saturday with my brother, we went slowly, so he could comfortably keep up, and it was the most fun I had in a long while. Instead of flying down the road, it was enjoyable to go slowly and enjoy the scenery.
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Old 09-08-09, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares"
Bible quote. Impressive.
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Old 09-08-09, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by oldfixguy View Post
Bible quote. Impressive.
Yes, when we lived simple lives we apreciated it's wisdom.
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Old 09-08-09, 08:01 AM
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whoever wrote it must have been drunk...is there a translation there somewhere?
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Old 09-08-09, 08:19 AM
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Maybe we should get back to the subject about old guys on bikes.......

Met another old guy who rides a fixie on local cycle paths, well into his 70's and very healthy. Turns out he was a road racer in his day and competed against many Aussie greats. A gentle and polite man, I enjoy the chats we have when we meet.

Or another old guy who rides his mountain bike every day around local roads. I've had numerous conversations with him as we ride along, me in my lycra "super hero" outfit and him in an unfashionable fluro jacket. Great guy and very determined to keep cycling. We often wave as we pass on the road.

These guys remind me of a song from an old surfing movie called The Morning of the Earth, the track is called "Simple Ben".
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Old 09-08-09, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jakerock View Post
Bandit... This was funny the first 1000 times you did it.
thanks.
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Old 09-08-09, 02:52 PM
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It's amazing how many old people are out there doing cool stuff and hardly anybody notices.
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Old 09-08-09, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by nahh View Post
I think you met Fred.
Haha, +1.

Just goes to show, if you take Fred-ism to its furthest extreme, you might wind up in some bizarre situation where by your sheer degree of Fredness you somehow become awesome.
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Old 09-08-09, 03:31 PM
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Years back on my morning commute I would always see this older guy going riding the other way with no shirt on; every day, year round. He always had a big smile and a big wave for ~everyone~ he passed. The first few times I thought he was freshly off his meds or something. Mind you in Seattle riding shirtless in winter is doable, but nippy. Anyway this went on for a couple or so years so when I stopped seeing him I became concerned. I'd tell the story once in a while, and one day somebody tells me they knew his sister or something and it turns out he's just this guy who rode to work every day shirtless. He'd retired by then, but he still inspires me.
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Old 09-08-09, 08:29 PM
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Did the old guy look like this?

 
Old 09-09-09, 05:33 AM
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And yet another old guy I met when I first started road racing.

Arrived early at a race one day, saw an old couple at their car, the guy was getting his bike ready so I went over and introduced myself. He had legs like the above pic and turns out he has raced since he was a junior and still going in his 70's. I learnt quickly this man could push a huge gear and sprinted like guys 30 yrs his junior. No big ego, no boasting about his many successes, just a humble and friendly man.

Most amazing thing about him is, while chatting about racing one day I mentioned my grandfather and uncle were pro cyclists in their day, he asked me who they were, when I told him he said "Your grandfather gave my wife and I board when we were first married" I was totally blown away.

He had lived from one side of Australia to the other, so to go to my hometown was freaky!!
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