Giving Up the Bike

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By Louis Borgenicht — I turned 80 on December 29th. It was a definite marker in my life and looking back as opposed to looking ahead I realized that one of the realities of aging is giving up things I had done with abandon up to that point.

I stopped skiing years ago. The possibility of hyper-flexing a bad knee in a fall was daunting.

First was driving. I had three similar accidents, which necessitated giving up the privilege of driving. Three months in a row I hit the driver’s side tire and wheel on a curb. $900 was the cost of each repair. I managed to sell the Nissan Leaf back to the dealer.

Tennis was next. I had played a totally enjoyable doubles game for several years until suddenly I was unable to serve. I took three serving lessons from FD at the Eccles Tennis Center to no avail. So, I stopped playing tennis.

Lou Borgenicht on his Peloton. He is not planning on giving it up. Photo by Jody Plant

Finally, cycling bit the dust. I had a road bike for several years and relished riding in the bucolic environs of Francis, Utah. Then a couple of years ago we purchased two ER-bikes. One day my wife decided that we should ride from our home (9th and 9th) to the Cotton Bottom. The road was rutted and bothered me. On the way home, three blocks from my house my shoelace got caught in the bike chain and I crashed onto my left side. The only injury was road rash on my arm. We called my brother who loaded both me and my bike into his car.

Two weeks later after my rash had scabbed, I took the bike out for a ride. For one reason or another I had a sense of disconsolate anxiety about traffic, and I sold the bike.

So now I walk, take the bus, rely on the kindness of friends, Lyft, and cajole my wife to give me a lift. But it is not without longing for my past when I see cyclists cruising through my Sugarhouse neighborhood. Visiting friends in Emigration Canyon and watching riders adhere to the right side of the road is also daunting. I rode it only once and am now relieved that I don’t have to.

Having mild Parkinson’s, I bought a Peloton bike which I ride every other day. It is safe and the myriad Peloton trainers with musical background are captivating. One of my favorite offerings is the video rides. I have ridden 5 kilometers through London, Puerto Rico, and the Scottish Highlands. All this from the comfort of my house and without the angst of dealing with traffic.

It is not something I plan to give up.

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. Good afternoon sir. May I suggest a fat tad etrike or trike for cycling beyond 80 years old? My mother is 80 years old and pedals daily on her cargo trike (two wheels on the rear and one wheel on the front). My wife is a disabled US Army veteran who positively loves her fat tad etrike. On 11MAY21 she was rear ended by a distracted, uninsured, no license driver that knocked her 67 feet. On any other bike she would have died. She walked away with six cracked ribs, and loves her new fat tad etrike I bought her. I have noticed if I time my rides for before sunrise, I avoid the drivers. You might get back on the road cycling by (1) using a fat tad etrike or trike and (2) cycling during low or no traffic times. Please feel free to contact with me anytime with any suggestions, questions, or comments. I fully intend to be cycling into my 80s, likely on a fat tad etrike or trike. Your article was awesome and I appreciate any advice on aging and cycling that your experience can bring to me and anyone reading Cycling West. You are further down the trail than I am, and if you can call out the potholes for the rest of us it would be AWESOME! THANKS!

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