The indomitable, unstoppable, in·de·fat·i·ga·ble Ted.

Another year, another MS150 ride, another instance of amazement at my friend Ted

Ted’s my riding buddy. Fifteen or twenty years ago, he got me back into bike riding in a serious way. We started riding the MS150 together, and it’s become an annual tradition for us.

Ted’s been training hard this year, getting into pretty great shape. He decided we’d do the century option on Day 1 of the MS150 here in Colorado last Saturday, and I had no doubt he’d do it well and fast. It was me I worried about. My longest ride of the year so far had been 65 miles, and I’d done very little climbing. So of course, as I expected, once we started getting into the hills on Saturday, Ted took off and I didn’t see him for a while – not until the hills were over somewhere around 85 miles into the day, and I caught up to him as he napped under a tree, waiting for me at a rest stop.

Sunday wasn’t much easier, as Ted felt compelled to chase down every young lion who passed him, catching them just for the fun of it, then waiting for me to catch up. Although there was no century option on Sunday, (thank god for that), Ted pushed our pace all morning, and they weren’t even finished setting up lunch when we hit that stop. We finished the ride by 10:30 in the morning. Needless to say, there were very few people there by that time…

So not that big a story really, until you realize that Ted is 74 years old. Of course, here in Colorado, us old guys ride a lot, and some of us are reasonably good riders. I generally don’t think of myself as a slouch on a bike – I’m 62 and recently cycled across the country for example – but there was no way I could keep up with Ted over the weekend.

Ted, at 74, was chasing down the ones he calls the young lions… And catching them.

Not bad for an old guy, right?

But wait, there’s more, says the man with a tiny little fishing rig in his hand…

Did I mention this – Ted has Leukemia. Was diagnosed close to 20 years ago, and has gone through several rounds of chemo in that time.

So here’s to the old guys – the ones who are indefatigable.

adjective: indefatigable
  1. (of a person or their efforts) persisting tirelessly.
    “an indefatigable defender of human rights”

A cross-country bicycle adventure is the canvas for this tale of discovery along the winding backroads of America’s heartland. The second book in the “Cycling Reflections” series, Pilgrim Spokes tells the story of the eastern half of the trans-American trek, continuing the saga begun in Neil’s award-winning previous book—Pilgrim Wheels—which reconnoiters the western half of the journey.

More than just a journal of a bike ride across the country, Hanson’s delightful and beautifully written story takes the reader on an engaging pilgrimage of observation and reflection. Often hilarious, sometimes poignant, and always inspiring, it’s a must-read adventure that will stir your soul.