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August 1, 2013

3

FRONT CRANK – REAR FEET: Finessing Septuagenarian Bullies

by profbartling1

This spring on an initial bike jaunt my balance was not as stable as it had been. Not too surprising for an 85 year old octogenarian. My children noted I had referred to this and questioned whether it was safe in riding my upright long treasured bike. A fall is a particular danger with consequences for the elderly. For my 85th birthday my children presented me with an EZ 3-trike tricycle. Several weeks I ventured with this trike with growing frustration, slow and difficult negotiating hills. My children living along a bike path sold the tricycle on Craig’s List.

Finessing Bike Path Bullies

One morning ride I came upon a posse of septuagenarian cyclers.  Stopping together they suggested that I not pedal too fast. Obviously a cutting sarcastic bullying remark.  One bully caustically noted: “That man ahead there is 83 years old”.  Clearly implying why was I pedaling a tricycle. Tricycles, it was implied, are childhood starter bikes.  My reply: “Well, I’m 85”. My musing on this bullying reminded me of the bullies encountered on the school grounds as a youth. These septuagenarians had not learned that “agism” is a recent addition to social issues. Seems for some “once a bully always a bully-  leopards don’t change their spots”.

Searching about for  suitable wheels I purchased a TREK Front Crank – Rear Feet bike. This model is easy to mount, adequate speed, can manage most hills, seated close to the ground both feet are easily planted on “terra firma” . Balance question adjusted. So in spite of inevitable questions  that come with the aging process I can ride without harassment from Septuagenarian bullies.  Exercise biking still an option. As the adage has it: “use it or lose it”.
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3 Comments Post a comment
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  2. Victoria Bartling
    Aug 2 2013

    Way to finesse the bullies, Dad. You leave them in the dust with your wisdom and pedaling power.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous
    Aug 2 2013

    Uncle Fritz, Have no fear! Your child spirit is the “you” I have always loved and admired. These bodies that house our “self” sure do leave a lot to be desired though! Although, even at 85 years of age, I still think yours is pretty cute!
    I’m looking for some travel deals so Terry and I can come visit. Love to you and Aunt Ruth.

    Victoria Marie

    Reply

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