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The Following Story Appeared on My Insurance Company Website

by on June 9, 2015

In early 2009, I was thoroughly disgusted with my weight (190 lbs on a 5’5″ frame) and overall health (52 years old with high blood pressure). I focused on a weight loss program and was able to lose 40 lbs. It was quite an effort. Thankfully, it only took a few months for my blood pressure to drop enough that I could stop taking medication.
Knowing I couldn’t let my weight creep up like that again, I decided to get in shape. Running was out of the question. My knees couldn’t handle it and I had a bunion that made walking painful. Instead, I bought a bicycle in January 2010 and started riding.

At first, 30 minutes on the bike — about 8 miles — was more than enough. I came home exhausted and yet a little proud of the accomplishment after so many years of sedentary life. I set a goal of doing a 100-mile ride in October of that year, but managed to accomplish that distance by June. I joined a local cycling club that rode every weekday morning at 5:45 a.m. That became a perfect time to ride and I gradually got stronger and faster. I also joined Randonneurs USA, a long-distance cycling club.

In 2011, I volunteered to be a crew member for a friend who was racing in the Race Across America (RAAM) as a solo rider. What an inspirational experience! I decided at the end of the race that I wanted to at least qualify for this race by the time I was 60. My long distance rides increased. In 2011 I rode 235 miles in 24 hours. In 2013 I rode 385 miles in 2 days. In 2014 I rode 630 miles in 3 days. Over the past 5-1/2 years I’ve ridden about 38,000 miles. That’s more than 1 ½ times around the earth.

In late 2014 I began discussing with friends the possibility of entering as a team in RAAM. We settled on a 4-person team consisting of a married couple (who hold records in long distance cycling races), another friend, and me. Together we formed RAAM Team Beau, Babe, & Buds. Our average age is 62.5 — I’m the youngest at 59; Nancy is the oldest at 65.
It is a little odd to be entering this race as I approach age 60. I’m in the best physical shape I’ve been in for at least 30 years, and maybe my entire life. Who knew that starting at age 52 with a few miles a day on a bicycle one could eventually become a world-class ultracyclist?

RAAM 2015 teams start June 20 in Oceanside, Calif., and cross the country, ending in Annapolis, Md., just 10 miles from my home. Team Beau, Babe, & Buds plans to cover those 3,000 miles in under seven days – and hopes to set a record speed.

From → Cycling

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