Or, a cyclist rolling over sixty years and many thousands of miles.
|No lenses were cracked in the taking of this photo.|
Seems rather anticlimactic. Several of the folks over at the Mad Dog Pickle Barrel are far ahead of me. Since we are all cyclists, age is more of a gentle reminder that the other shore is coming up rather than a debilitating fact of looming infirmity. Andy, Steve, Larry, both Patricks, and Veloben are all either in the pack or in some cases, off the front, as is Patrick O'Brien, or Maynard Hershon, who at 72, looks like he is ready for a double century and a motorcycle trip.
|2012 Biker Rally, State Capitol, Santa Fe|
I rode down on the K1100RS
So in addition to the usual egocentric and narcissistic reasons we bloggers blog, this post is to remind cyclists and non-cyclists alike that those dollars and miles are not spent in vain. They are spent in the Local Bike Shop and out on the road or trail, and are good insurance at keeping us healthy, happy, and fit for a lot longer than if we were only riding the Lazy Boy and railing at losing football teams instead. I guess you can even put that newfangled LANL pedometer on your ankle and get credit for cadence as well as steps. That's good.
|My very first bike.|
That's my kid brother Steve learning to ride it,
assisted by our dad. Couldn't find a pic of me on it.
Cycling is nothing new to me, but I had the usual layoff upon reaching 18 and converting to The Church of Internal Combustion. I rode the wheels off my Sears single speed bike as a kid and teen. Like most, that bike got banished to the garage ceiling of my parent's house as soon as I could afford something motorized. In my case, a Honda CB-450 motorcycle. Later it was augmented by a 1969 Ford Mustang that my parents traded me for a bottle of wine and a dozen donuts, as the car was a rustbucket held together with duct tape and prayers. The straight six and 3 speed manual transmission, though, were strong and sound. Those two buggies got me through undergrad school.
|My second bike. Early-mid sixties.|
Sears Crusader with the "gas tank" and built in headlight
Web photo. Shit, we could never afford a 911.
Unlike many who decide after a bad crash that cycling is too dangerous, I kept riding, occasionally kicking myself for not handling that crash better, given my years on motorcycles, both road and dirt bikes. Lesson learned. Plus, riding was fun. Riding out to the east end of Long Island and back helped me get through the breakup with Robin and focus on self-improvement and finishing up graduate studies. In 1985, I got my first road racing bike, the original black Cannondale aluminum boneshaker, an SR300, to go with the reconstructed Motobecane commuter that had the decal of the VW Bug embossed on it from that '79 crash.
|Road from Amsterdam to Den Hagg, 1986|
Motobecane Mirage lived a long life after dueling with the Volkswagen Bug
Its been a long and interesting road. Hopefully, it will go on for a while. Age does have its issues. A bad back from a 2005 disk herniation has me in a more upright posture on the road bikes and had me retire the hardtail for a double boinger. There is perhaps less endurance (or more laziness) than in times past. Recovery is longer, but the blood pressure and rest pulse are quite good. The wheels keep on turning. I feel great.
|President of the Hawaii Bicycling League, ~1998. Haleiwa Metric Century|
|Hana Highway Trip, Maui. 1999|
|With Meena out for a tandem ride, late '90's|
|Bike to Work Day, LANL, 2006|
|Holy Smokes. Where did the time go?|