Biker humor: Jack and Jill were riding a tandem up a hill, but making heavy weather of it. At the top, Jack said: I didn’t think we’d make it! Jill replied, Neither did I – what a good thing I kept the brakes on, or we would have slid all the way back down!
While riding my bike on a trail near my home, I have several times passed an older couple coming towards me on a tandem bicycle. They are always wearing matching outfits. Last time I saw them it was striped shirts. Today it was green plaid shirts and jean shorts.
Today my husband and I encountered the couple pulled over; we stopped to see if they needed help. While the gentleman was putting a bandage on his wife with tape from my husband’s medical kit (their chain had slipped off cutting her leg), I decided my chance had come to satisfy my curiosity.
Previously, my husband and I had debated the age of the riders. They are gray haired under their bike helmets and sit stooped over the seat and handle bars. But they are pedaling away. Turns out they are 78 years old. And they have been riding like this for 15 years. Most days, they go for 30 miles. Thirty miles at any age is quite a ride! Today they were only planning 25 since that is exactly how many miles it would take to bring their total to 55,555 miles. Yes, you read that correctly. Over 55 thousand miles of tandem riding for these senior citizens. (And, they proudly shared that they reached the 55,000 milestone on their 55th anniversary!)
Several thoughts went through my head. First, my husband and I were clearly slacking with our own rides of between 21 and 25 miles lately. Second, I saw our future. Maybe not on a tandem bike, because one of us has control issues. (Both of us really have control issues but only one of us will admit it and she knows she would not like riding on the back of a bike with no way to steer.) But still working out and still doing it together.
Maybe hubby and I won’t be biking. Maybe we will be walking or doing yoga. Something, anything, for our bodies. And I hope that we will be young for our years, thanks to taking care of ourselves now. I love the idea that we will be staying fit together, riding off into the sunset as the music plays. And at the end of the day we will gently lower our exercise weary bodies into a pair of rocking chairs on our porch overlooking the water as we anticipate a visit with our grandchildren. (Okay, that part did not run through my mind until I was sitting here typing. But I like the image.)
Do you have a vision for yourself and your exercise routine years into the future?