Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Old Folks on Old Bikes

From the Fresno Bee, via Bike Commute Tips Blog (image: Fresno Bee):

Fred Mathes rides his bike to the post office (which in this neighborhood is inside the local video store), to the local diner, and out through the open fields.

He's 92. His bicycle--a black, still-shiny, three-speed Schwinn--is 56.

Mathes feels no need for a newer bicycle. "Did you hear about the centipede who fell in a ditch?" he asks. "He couldn't get up. He was too exhausted trying to figure out what foot to put first. Same thing with a bike. Who needs 18 gears?"

For his 80th birthday he rode to Oxnard, Calif.--some 380 miles. For his 90th birthday he went for a 40-mile bike ride to Friant Dam and back. He hasn't made plans yet for his next birthday bicycle ride in October, but Friant is in the running because he likes to have lunch at the Dam Diner...His typical out-and-about ride is 14 miles.

He does not favor Lycra or cycling shoes. His riding clothes are whatever he happens to be wearing, usually a pair of trousers (he rolls up one pant leg), a long-sleeved western shirt and a stylish cotton hat from Italy.

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