No place for old men. Or women.

I went to the NPR yesterday and hung on for dear life.

All the people drilling, grilling, and killing were twenty years younger, at least.

All the old farts who used to line it out at the front were cowering, grabbing wheels, wondering when the root canal was going to end.

A whole second NPR has formed now, the Old Fux NPR, consisting of Great-grandfather Time Timmy G., Jim H., and a whole bunch of superannuated bristlecone pines who plod around the course with various hangers-out and hangers-on.

I’ll be joining them before long, it seems.

I can see how some people get depressed at the harsh reality of their doddering weakness and infirmity, and deal with it by riding somewhere else, or creating a secret OF Ride, buying a cruiser bike, or finally, finally, getting serious about golf.

For me, it’s a breath of fresh blast-furnace air to get pummeled by crazy strong riders in their 20’s and 30’s, because that is how it is supposed to be. It is nice to be reminded of the true order of things, which is this:

You get old, you get weak, and you die, if you’re lucky. If you’re unlucky, you just die.

Major Bob and I were laughing about it on the parade pedal back to the coffee shop. “I don’t even know who these young guys are,” he said.

“And I’m pretty sure they don’t know who we are, either.”

“Or who we were.”

“Yeah. It’s just, ‘Get out of the way, old fuck. Your senior citizen seat is at the back of the bus.'”

“That’s the way we were, too.”




17 thoughts on “No place for old men. Or women.”

  1. Yesterday’s NPR seemed faster, bigger and earlier than usual past the Pershing Humps.

    Give it another try. What you are losing in strength may be compensated by experience and cunning. And if that fails—eBike!

  2. Someone close to me competes in running races, but finishes mid-pack at best. Another person I know is a drag racer who is excited to go faster than 185 mph, even though Top Fuel cars exceed 330 mph.

    Why? They love the competition. They love to race, even if they don’t win. They love to beat their buddy, even if they place 45th and their buddy finishes 46th. They love the fact that even in 45th place they’re way, way faster than 99% of everyone else in the world. They crave the “rush” of racing.

  3. So true. I still want to hang. I have resorted to aero tech. There was a time when deep wheels were for race day only. I now show up to a fast group ride with 20K worth of gear. Trying too hard I know (I ignore the raised eye brows) I’m no longer proud but I know there muttering “out of the way gramps! 🙂 I’m getting a jersey printed up with “I’m 55. Fuck Off I’ll pull when I feel like it!”

  4. I’m glad to see young guns going to the front it would be a little sad if it was just us old farts out there.

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