Ride Your Age, Old Man

Traditions are traditions, even if they become more difficult to satisfy each year.

Take the SkiZer’s tradition of riding his age. It started in my 50th year when I decided I wanted to ride 50 miles to celebrate.

Every year since, I’ve done the “ride-your-age” thing. So far, it has been no problem, but each year it gets a little harder. Aging sucks — we all know that — but maybe it’s a good thing to keep pushing toward a goal, even one as preposterous as riding your age.

After turning 60 earlier this year, I finally got around to getting my 60-miler in this week on the roads around Seattle. It turned out to be a great ride.

My route

Anyone wanting to do this ride can follow along on King County Regional Trails Map.

I started on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle and headed north through Freemont and Phinney Ridge along the established bike lane. After passing 85th street in Greenwood, I caught the Interurban Trail and rode into Shoreline. At 185 Street, I headed east to the Burke-Gillman Trail, then followed the Lake Washington Loop route south through Juanita, Kirkland, Bellevue and Renton.

In Renton, I skirted traffic — I never have figured out how to get through this town without battling cars — and cruised west to the Green River Trail in Tukwila. From there, I headed north to the Duwamish Trail, then back to Seattle. Amazingly, I hit 60 miles just past Seattle Center, only a half-mile from my home.

Check out these highlights from the ride:

North Lake Washington, just past the entrance to Bastyr University.
Kirkland, looking toward Seattle in the distance.
The SkiZer navigates the concrete jungle of Bellevue.
Just outside the Seahawks Practice Facility in Renton.
The friendly geese of Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park in Renton.
Crossing the Cedar River in Renton.
The Green River Trail in Tukwila.
Peeking through the fence at the Seattle Sounders as they work on drills at their practice facility in Tukwila.
The view of Seattle from the Duwamish Trail.
Seattle’s Myrtle Edwards Park.
Back in Seattle on a perfect late-summer day.




Aches – What a Pain

Today, sadly, there’s no skiing.

Instead, I’m going to the physical therapist to work on a chronic Achilles tendon injury. As I close in on age 60, aches and pains are to be expected.

But they still suck.

As this ski season began, I knew I had to do something. The 10-year-old tendon injury hasn’t prevented me from being active, but it does cause a fair bit of pain. It seemed to be getting worse and I didn’t want it to eventually stop me from skiing, so I finally sought treatment this month.

For active seniors (hey, I guess I’m joining the club!) it’s a fact of life. There will be aches and pains — we just need to take care of them so we can keep going.

That’s my plan anyway. Therapy today, skiing tomorrow.

Wish I was here: SkiZer at Whitefish Mountain last year. (Brian Schott)