Don’t tell Howard Dietzman that he’s too old to ride his bike. The 81-year-old grandfather from New Jersey completed a solo bicycle tour across Canada earlier this fall.
It was his second bike trip across Canada. He’s completed three rides across the US, in addition to a bike tour from New York to Alaska. I guess it proves that if you have decent health, you’re never too old to ride a bike.
Considering that his father lived to 100, the Hillsborough man recently told a reporter in a long interview at the Asbury Park Press:
“I’m good to 100, no problem. That’s why I can tackle things like these long-distance biking trips.”
He also grew up riding a bicycle, taking his first overnight bicycle tours from his home in Wisconsin in his teens.
For this trip, the Hillsborough man carried all his gear. He left Victoria Island in June, passing through Vancouver and heading east on the Trans-Canada Highway. Entering the US in New York, he continued through Pennsylvania to his home in New Jersey. He mostly camped out along the way, although families invited him to spend the night or share a meal.
Depending on the terrain, he covered from 40 to more than 100 miles a day. Crossing the Canadian Rockies, it took him just about all day to climb one 7- or 8-mile pass. The weather was another difficulty Dietzman had to overcome, as was some initial resistance from his family. His daughter Cindy said:
“I cannot say that when my father made the announcement he was flying to western Canada then biking home to Hillsborough, I was supportive.”
Now that her father is home, Cindy is greatly impressed.
“His dream, the mental and physical challenge he set out for himself was a resounding success. Dad proved to me that age is merely a perspective of mind.”