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The people you meet on the road(6 posts)

The people you meet on the roadmike mcmahon
Mar 29, 2001 4:41 PM
This morning, I was wrapping up my pre-work ride. I stopped at a red light next to an old guy (about 70) on a hybrid bike. He looked down at my bike and said: "Oh, you've got those new wheels." Figuring he was just a recreational cyclist who would think of anything other than the typical steel-spoked wheel as "new," I agreed without giving it much thought. He seemed interested in talking, so when the light changed, I cruised along with him for a while. He starts telling me about how he used to ride and how he had a Klein, SERIAL NUMBER 37, built in the early 70s. So, it ends up that he used to be a pretty serious cyclist and seems to know just about everybody who rode and raced in the 60s and 70s in southern California. I could tell from the look on his face and from a few of his comments that he really missed the old days and was not happy about being relegated to putting around because of the toll the years have taken on him. Unfortunately, we were split up by traffic before I had a chance to ask his name. I'll be looking for him again on my morning rides.
A Voice Of Experience...Xeke
Mar 29, 2001 5:19 PM
I have the high honor and distinct privilege of riding (occasionally) with Irish Joe. He's now well into his mid seventies and usually rides an immaculate steel Colnago with down tube shifters and toe clips. Every now and then, he rolls out an old single speed track machine that's older than I am (47). He used to wear a hairnet until it finally disintegrated recently. His stroke is one of the smoothest I've ever had the opportunity to follow and he still keeps a pretty good pace, too.

His accent is still quite thick after all these years here in the States and he occasionally lapses into colloquialisms and phraseology that I have to ask him about. He's amused and patient and full of stories and lore of his riding days in Europe where he was once the Irish National Junior Champ. He would have never told me of his accomplishments; I was filled in by some of other folks in our group. For all of my yapping otherwise, I shut up and listen to this man.
re: The people you meetCliff Oates
Mar 29, 2001 5:37 PM
You never know, he could be a lot older than 70. The owner of the bike shop where I bought my Waterford is 73, and he looks like he's in his mid 50's. He did maybe a dozen centuries last year including the Markleeville Death Ride (all 5 passes) and the Grizzly (10k feet climbing). He's not fast, but he finishes, and he has a pleasant word for everyone he encounters. I'm hoping time will be as gentle on me as it has been on him if I just ride enough...
Sad, but we All will be there someday(hopefully)Largo
Mar 30, 2001 6:35 PM
Some young guys like to rip on masters racers. I'm still pretty young(ish) but i have GOBS of respect for all the masters and over racers out there. I know i will be in my 60's or 70's someday (i hope), and if the flame of competition still burns strong, i will want to race.
Was out for a 150k ride the other day and there was a 42 yr old guy who absolutely CRUSHED the other riders, and these were all strong cat 3 and 2 riders. 42 is still pretty young, relatively speaking, but it shows what desire and comitment can do.
Next time you see an older rider, remember, they are no less an athlete than you.
Sieze the day!
Ride on folks
re: The people you meet on the roadDINOSAUR
Mar 31, 2001 9:13 AM
I'll be 59 this August. I've been putting in 5K seasons the last two years. I hate to say this, but I am feeling the toll on my body. I can't crank out the miles the way I used too, or zoom up the hills. I have experienced more injuries than ever before. The hardest part is getting motivated. I wonder how many more years I can keep this up. I've read about guys who cycle into their 70's or 80's, I hope to be one of them. The sad part is we all grow old, I never thought it would happen to me. Enjoy each moment. Eat right, stretch and cross train with weights. Cycling is not the best all-around exercise for your body. You need to do other stuff in order to balance out your muscles or you will be subject to injuries...
The old man could hardly walkPaulCL
Apr 1, 2001 1:07 PM
I met an elderly gentleman near a bike trail in my early days of riding. He could hardly walk. He hardly had the strength to get his bike out of the car. So,I helped him get his bike out of trunk and we started talking for a while about bikes and about riding. He rode four or five days per week, only on the paved trail. He did the entire 28 mile loop each time. At 83 years old. Amazing. He said it kept him young. I believe it.