Cross this off the list for this year.
by Doyle Ranstrom on Apr 18, 2021
A couple of years ago I read about a guy who had an annual goal to bicycle his age every year. He had just finished achieving the goal for that particular year. He was 87.
When I owned my firm, I had a client who was in his 80s had an annual goal of golfing his age every year.
So, a couple of years ago, I made a goal to either bike or golf my age every year. Given my health history and the sorry state of my golf game, it is very unlikely I will live long enough to golf my age, so biking it is. And no, I am not in my 80s or even 70, yet, thank you for asking.
This past week I biked my age. Now for the record, I have bicycled this distance or longer hundreds of times over the years. In fact, I have biked twice my age many times in the past. Most recently at age 60. But I do not see that ever happening again unless I can find a really long downhill with a great tailwind.
Over the years, people have often asked me if I bike with a group. The answer I give is with a couple of exceptions, almost always no. The are several reasons for this with a primary one being if you bike with other people they have an annoying habit of talking to you. Worse yet, they expect you to talk back. Seriously.
I remember one year a guy I knew from previous tours, a really great guy, decided to bike with me on a long day. After a few miles of conversation, I slowed down. He slowed down. I sped up. He sped up. I got off my bike and stretched and he got off his bike and stretched. By the end of the day, I think my jaws hurt more than my legs and butt.
I know for many riders, biking with others was the best part of the tour. And for the record, over the many tours I have completed, I made many really great friends, spent lots of time visiting with them, but that's what campgrounds are for. I remember the first time our son did a week-long tour with me. It was the summer before his senior year in high school. The day we got home after biking about 450 miles, he walked into the house, looked at his mother, and said "dad likes people, and people like dad. Who knew." Shook his head and walked into his bedroom.
But I liked my alone time on my bike. Enjoying the solitude.
At any age, or maybe all ages, we need goals. The goals can change as we get older or health changes, but they are important. Every time I did a tour my first goal was finishing the tour and riding every mile. Of all the tours, only once did I not finish a tour. Every other one I biked every mile. The one I did not finish was in Glacier and though I knew I did not feel well starting out, like any thoughtful intelligent man, I ignored it. After about 30 miles I remember seeing stars which struck me as unusual as it was a sunny day with no clouds. They found me by the side of the road. The doctor said I had a virus and when it had run its course, I would be fine, but no more biking that week. I have often been told I am stubborn, which I have never understood.
My goal of biking my age is done until after my next birthday. It is possible I could golf my age. It is more likely that I will become tall dark and handsome which gives you a comparison of the probability of both. Maybe I will take another run at Glacier. Unfinished business and all that.
The last twenty miles were a grind as mostly uphill. But I turned on my classic rock playlist on my phone, cracked up the volume, and took off. By the way, I do not use earbuds when playing music on my phone when biking. I can hear the music playing on the phone, but I can also hear everything else which seems both prudent and polite.
We all need goals that are personal to us. Not work-related. Not goals someone else gives us or are expected of us. But simply a personal goal. And if someone, family or friend, says you cannot. Answer back, "maybe, but I can try",