Senior cyclists keep on riding through heat, pandemic: 'It gives me a high'

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Some senior cyclists were out enjoying a group ride in the sunshine Wednesday in Calgary, while also celebrating a special occasion along the way.

“Oh, I am honoured to say how old I am,” cyclist Anne Pal said. “I turned 81 yesterday.”

But Pal’s not the most senior senior in the group.

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“I’m 83,” cyclist Murray Karn said.

“We are affectionately know as the Old Spokes — not old folks, no way.”

The group gets together a couple of times a week, covering some impressive distances on their rides.

“This is going to be 60 or 75 kilometres,” cyclist Doreen Smale said, “and it’s good.”

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Members of the group enjoy hitting the road together year-round.

“Cycling all the way through the winter, spring, right into the summer,” Karn said.

Recent heat waves in southern Alberta haven’t stopped their cycling, they just get an early start.

“I have a favourite ride,” Pal said. “I get up at 9 a.m. and do 60 K and I’m home in time for my peanut butter bread at (noon).”

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The senior cyclists say staying active is helping them get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Just keep moving, don’t stop doing your exercise,” Karn said. “You need it.”

“Oh, it’s so important for your mental health,” cyclist Susan Karn said.

And no matter what the weather might bring, members of the Old Spokes are looking forward to continuing their regular rides together.

“I just love the outdoors,” Pal said. “It gives me a high and it gives me a high to be with my friends. It’s awesome!”

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