“Age is of importance only if you’re a cheese.”
I suspect that some of my friends and acquaintances wonder why I would would want to spend the first full year of my retirement training for and doing a bicycle ride across the United States.
Why not go to a nice beach, sit in the sun and watch the waves? Boring.
If you have to do a bike ride, why not sign up for one of those cushy bed-and-breakfast tours in New Hampshire or the California wine country? You’d ride maybe 20 miles per day, have a leisurely lunch and spend the evening eating gourmet food and sipping Cabernet Sauvignon or a good Chardonnay. Maybe some day, but not now: Very expensive and no challenge.
Throughout a long, fulfilling — if not financially rewarding — career in journalism, I was guided by the motto on my coffee cup: “Life is good. Do what you like. Like what you do.”
I’ve been blessed with good health: no knee replacements or arthritic joints. The heart, lungs and legs — knock on wood — seem to be in pretty good nick. And daily training rides aim to keep them that way.
I know a time will come when I can no longer do the things I love to do now. And I don’t want to be sitting in a nursing home some day grumbling that I coulda, shoulda, woulda done that bike ride across the country when I was able to do it … if only.
Life is full of “if onlys.” Do your best to minimize them.
For me, the planets are now aligned. My health is good, my wife and sons are supportive and I have the time. So I follow the aging cyclist’s adage: “You don’t stop riding because you grow old. You grow old because you stop riding.”