81-year-old's inspiring bike tour is a lifestyle; not a one-time event

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If you're looking for inspiration to get out on the bike, look no further than Bill Anderson.

The 81-year-old cyclist from Yuma is pedaling the 2,000-mile perimeter of Arizona over the next two weeks to raise money for Yuma's Crossroads Mission, a charity for the homeless.

This would be quite a feat for someone half his age, but for Anderson it's pretty much par for the course. The former boxer, WWII vet and construction executive is an excellent example of how a lifetime of exercise can keep someone active for many years.

Active life

Anderson is no ordinary 81-year-old. On most days, you'll find him bicycling 50 miles and lifting weights for an hour.

He started lifting when he was a teen-ager, working for his dad's construction business. Anderson's biography at the Crossroads Mission website says he started with two, 5-gallon buckets filled with concrete attached to a pipe.

His love of cycling started later. After turning 55, he started accumulating USCF titles and Senior Olympics championships in several Western states. I counted more than a dozen 1st place finishes in statewide events, and medals in regional and national cycling contests.

Bicycle touring

Anderson is no stranger to bike touring, either. According to the Yuma Sun, in 2006 Anderson bicycled from the Mexican border to Canada, then back again. In 2004 he bicycled from Canada to Mexico, then from San Diego to Jacksonville Beach, Florida. All the trips were fund-raisers for the Yuma Crossroads Mission.

On this bike tour, to escape the early summer Arizona heat, Anderson left Yuma on June 4 in the evening. Why that date? It's his 81st birthday. Followed by a support vehicle, he reached his destination in Parker at 4 a.m.

He told a Yuma Sun reporter that the terrain has been steep, the weather windy and the truck traffic constant.

Other towns on Anderson's two-week early summer bike tour around Arizona include Page, Kayenta, Sanders, Eagar, Safford, Douglas, Nogales, Tucson, Ajo, Gila Bend then home to Yuma.

If  you'd like to support Anderson in his fund-raising cause, you can donate at the Crossroads Mission website.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2007/06/13/81-year-olds-inspiring-bike-tour-is-a-lifestyle-not-a-one-time-event/

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