Saturday, May 31, 2008

I Wanna' Be Charlie

One of the wonderful things about riding a bike is that I meet a lot of fine people and learn a lot of things about them in a very short time. The bike is a vehicle -- literal and figurative -- for a common understanding between individuals that likely would not occur if say, people just happened to be walking next to each other on the street. Striking up such acquaintances and carrying on conversations while cycling is a remarkable way to while away the miles, especially on a very long ride.

Well today, I met a man who was an amazing inspiration. I met Charlie.

I passed Charlie on Grant's Trail. I noticed his bike right away because it was a lovely bright yellow Cannondale road bike. I also noticed he was an older man, but one who looked fit for his age. I called out to him I was passing on his left and he thanked me for the courtesy. A short while later, I was stopped at a traffic light. He pulled up on my left and we began to talk. So, when the light changed and we could cross, I hung with him and we started chatting.

It turns out that Charlie is 76 years old.

Charlie has had two hip replacements.

He had neck surgery last year.

Most amazing of all, Charlie said he was planning on riding the MS150 this September. He said this will be his 19th consecutive MS150. He simply rides as his own one-man team. In addition to riding in the event, he also volunteers for a variety of other events related to MS150.

Charlie has raised over $250,000 in the 19 years he has ridden the MS150.

I wanna' be Charlie.

Click to view my MS150 page.

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