I first published this post on April 20, 2014, almost 2 years ago. I thought this would be an appropriate time to re-post it given I’m now retired. Not much has changed. I feel the same way. I’m happiest when I’m on one of my bikes. Cycling is my antidote. It’s time to make plans. Here is what I said 2 years ago (with a few minor revisions).
I admire those who ride across countries, traverse continents, and 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, mill town in BC’s interior. 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 soaking in 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. What else?
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? I enjoy the game but would rather be on my bike. House projects? I have several in mind. Volunteer? I can do that. I have marketable skills. Grandchildren? I have one, and hope to have more. Cycle? I am happiest when on a bike. And, that’s the thing. Retirement must include cycling. A lot of cycling. Every day if possible. It’s my antidote. Training. Challenging myself to longer, steeper climbs. Longer rides. Centuries. Gran Fondos. Day trips. Weekends. A month on the road each year, exploring sea coasts, and rolling country roads. Coastal trips – Oregon, California, Ireland, Scotland, France, Italy, and Spain.
I can imagine renting cottages in the sun for a few months a year. A place where friends can visit. And, where the cycling is good. Little road traffic. Rolling, quiet country roads. And, seaside vistas.
That’s what retirement looks like 🙂