Age isn't anything but a number - BMX racing into their 70s
June 4, 2018 9:10 PM   Subscribe

posted by Afghan Stan at 12:26 AM on June 5, 2018

This is great! BMX racing in the UK is such a friendly welcoming sport. My son recently started racing BMX a few years ago and I started trying it out as well in the last six months. It's very tough, high intensity bursts of energy with a surprising amount of technique and finesse required as well as the raw power. I've backed off a bit recently as I've been doing more road cycling but I really should get back onto the pump track and figure out how to get round faster!
posted by Stark at 12:41 AM on June 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

25 or so years ago I rode the Alaska Marine Highway System ferries for the first time. As one does on the ferry, I would periodically strike up a conversation with other passengers who, like me, were out on deck admiring the scenery. (You must do this if you ride the ferry, it's a key part of the magic of the trip. Everyone has a story about where they are going and they are generally excited to share them..) Many years after the fact I still remember my conversation with a couple of retirees from Eureka, California, who were headed to Glacier Bay. It seems they'd retired and soon found themselves bored, so they signed up for a class at their local learning annex -- watercolor painting or something like that. That was alright, they said, but they soon got bored with that as well. As the conversation went on, they described progressing through a series of more and more active and vigorous hobbies they had adopted, until, at the time I met them, they were on their way to go do an unguided 5-day kayak-camping tour of Glacier Bay in their mid-70s.

Decades later I still think of them and wonder where they wound up and what other adventures they had after my chance encounter with them and when I think about how I'd like to age they're the image that comes to mind.

Good on Mr. Mounsey and long may he ride. We need more people like that to inspire the rest of us hopeless slackers.
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:56 AM on June 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Fascinating. Thanks. I'm 61. I used to be morbidly obese, for years. Then I discovered that waling up hills felt good instead of bad, while living in Switzerland. HA! Now I'm slender and my cardiologist is envious. I bike off-road as well, but not wild. One of my early rides involved an accident. Recently noticed, that was when my reading and posting here dropped to almost nothing. Well, time for a brain-scan.
posted by Goofyy at 5:00 AM on June 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

And here I've been thinking I'm too old to try BMX for the first time in my late 30s. Maybe I should reconsider that.

Also: wow, a StoryCorps story that isn't sad. Slept through that one a few weeks ago, so thank you for posting it!
posted by asperity at 7:28 AM on June 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Huh. I'm 43 and in my dream life where I grew up a boy, I was a motocross racer (and a DJ but I digress). Maybe there's still time.
posted by AFABulous at 7:54 AM on June 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

My dad, himself approaching 70, recently started taking guitar lessons in what he jokingly called his midlife crisis. DJ Sumirock started DJing at 70, and that was a decade ago. Age ain't nothin' but a number, it's never too late to do things that make you happy!
posted by filthy light thief at 9:26 AM on June 5, 2018

Another example of older people getting it done is Hulda Crooks. Called Grandma Whitney, she climbed 14505 ft Mt Whitney 23 times between the ages of 65 and 91 and has one of the nearby peaks named after her. At 82 she set a world record in the 1500m race in the Senior Olympics. Here she is climbing Mt Fuji at 91.
posted by peeedro at 9:59 AM on June 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

AFABulous: I helped start a supermoto series out here in the Northwest. One of my co-founders and the absolute stone-cold badass of the club in terms of dedication is a grandmother in her very late 50s, and she's not slow. We've got a dude in his 60s who stomps everybody in the asphalt-only class, and can hold their own against the pros. Vet 40+ is one of the most hotly contested in the series; there's a lot of us fast old farts out there (I run that class too). It may be too late to go pro, but you're never too old to get on a bike and line up at the gates.
posted by hackwolf at 11:42 AM on June 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

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