I admire those that ride across countries, traverse continents and those that just keep rolling. Exploring. Travelling light. Camping mostly. They are adventurous. And, they do it at all ages. Young. And, old.
Years ago, I was working in Castlegar, a small town in BC’s interior. A mill town. One day I went to a cafe in town for lunch and sat outside in the sun enjoying a sandwich and a cup of coffee. As I sat there enjoying the rays, an elderly man rolled up on a road bike. A touring bike not unlike my Roberts. I asked him to join me. What a story. He was 75 years old. Originally from England. That year he had lost his wife. His children were grown and long out of the house. He decided he needed something more to do. And, what did he decide? Cycle across Canada. Alone.
I never heard from him again. I don’t know if he made it but I see no reason why not. He had already cycled the toughest section of the country. I have always remembered this fellow. He has been an inspiration. I am not yet 75 but I am considering retiring soon. My kids are grown and off the payroll. What’s next?
I wonder what retirement might look like? I am not one to sit for long. Golf? Too expensive. House projects? Done that but enjoy building. Volunteer? I can do that. I have useful skills and experience. Grandchildren? I have one and hope to have more. Cycle? I am happiest when on the bike. Retirement includes cycling. A lot of cycling. Every day. Training. Challenging myself to longer, steeper climbs. Longer tides. Day trips. Weekends. A month on the road each year I am able, exploring sea coasts and windy, rolling country roads. The Oregon coast. The California cost. Circumnavigate Ireland. Traverse Scotland. France. Italy. And, Greece.
I can imagine renting cottages in the sun for a few months a year. A place where the kids can visit when they can. And, where the cycling is good. Little road traffic. Rolling, quiet country roads. And, seaside vistas.
That’s what retirement looks like.