As a new convert to Bikejournal, I am quite eager to see how many miles I actually do log in a year. Of course I don’t expect to be in Jim and Neil’s league, but some day I too will be retired and able to crank away the miles. On my ride from LaB to Richer this afternoon, I had time to ponder the age thing and its effect on speed. Back in the early 90’s I actually managed a 59′ 39″ 40km unofficial time trial. My fastest official 40km was just over 61 minutes at the Morden Tin Man relay. After a rather pedestrian average speed of 32km/hr on today’s ride, which I blame in part on the pan of Pizza I devoured before my ride, I began to wonder if losing say 15 lbs might make a difference on my speed. I met Tim Woodcock yesterday and he told me he had been up to 235 lbs about eight years ago and now was racing and winning against guys in their 20’s. Tim is 48 and busy competing all over Canada and the US. I don’t imagine myself to have anywhere near Tim’s natural abilities, but I did contemplate what a decent weight loss would do for myself. I can’t of course think about age and cycling without thinking about Maurice Johnson, who was a fellow club rider with Velocity in Edmonton. Maurice also had the genes of a champion; in the 1920’s he set a long standing hour record in New Zealand. He was chosen to represent New Zealand in the Olympics but World War II intervened and the games were cancelled. The following is copied from Canadian Cyclist…”When he was 75 years old he was still doing the 40km individual time trial under the hour and last year at the age of 82 (months before he was killed by a motorist) he managed a one hour, one minute and 12 second fourty kilometer time trial.” Every summer Maurice gives me hope that speed can still belong to the MIT youngsters. I say we make our 50,000 km. club goal, drop some pounds along the way, pick up the pace and see if we can’t do a 40 km. group time trial in 60 minutes.