I did 5 laps around the Stanley Park seawall in honour of Tony, the 90 year old cyclist I mentioned earlier that does 6-7 laps each and every day.
I met Tont today. I knew I would. He was resting on a bench at Hallelujah Point with his bike. He is sharp as a tack and talked my ear off for half an hour telling me he had been cycling seriously for 10 years and has gone through 3 bikes in that time. He just rides the Seawall these days. He finds the climb up to Prospect Point on the road too difficult.
Tony is an inspiration. He lives alone in the West End adjacent to the Park. His wife is gone and, his children have moved away. He says “I cycle for exercise and, besides, how else I am to spend my time?”. Indeed.
I decided to cycle 5 laps around the Seawall in honour of Tony. If he can do it at 90 certainly I can at my age. The conditions were perfect. It was warm but overcast And, there were very few people on the Seawall. No wind. No grade. Perfect.
I intended to pace myself but the conditions were so good, I could ride without stopping for 10 km straight. I was on the commuter. Instead of an easy pace, I sprinted each lap averaging 25-30 kph. Not bad on that bike. I stopped at Third Beach after each lap to fill my water bottle and empty my bladder when necessary. After the 5 laps, I wasn’t tired. I could have done more.
I look forward to speaking with Tony again. I noticed his bike needs cleaning and some tuning. I would be pleased to do it for him if he will let me. Every time I cycle in Stanley park, I will think of him.