ACTIVE AGEING: Keeping young on the road
BAD KNEES and aching backs don't keep this bunch of old blokes from maintaining almost athletic fitness.
They put on the Lycra (black, the only colour befitting such a group of mature gentlemen) and cycle anything from 85km to 100km three or four times a week. That's a lot of pedalling for a group of men with an average age of 70 and with a lot of dodgy knees between them.
"We ride for a couple of hours three or four times every week," Gary Trevithic said. With fellow cyclist enthusiast David Peel he is founder of the group which he says although is 10 years old, does not have an official name.
"We are very fit even though some of us couldn't walk five kilometres. Cycling does not put stress on us."
Up just before daybreak, the bokes like to be on the road as soon as it is first light.
They change routes to keep things interesting but could go to Kin Kin, Cooroy, Pomona and back through Boreen Point to Noosa, or up through Eumundi to Yandina and on to Bli Bli and then back along the David Low Way.
"We come back and meet for coffee," Gary said. "We are like a mob of teenagers as soon as we get back. We all get our phones out and compare."
All the men have the Strava app on their phones which enables them to track their riding routes and times with GPS.
"Strava is used around the world by cyclists and runners," Gary said.
"It follows your route through GPS. All our guys try and beat their previous times.
"Because it is competitive it keeps us young."
The group members connect with each other through their phone app before setting off.
"Anyone can use an app and set up their own group," Gary said.
"We post what we are going to do, look at the weather and decide the route, whether we want to come home with a tail wind, what time we are going to meet.
"It's informal. Not everyone comes on each ride.
"There might be someone recovering from an injury who can't come to one session, or someone away."
Gary strongly believes the competitive streak in all of them makes the cycling more interesting and definitely more fun.
"There are a lot of tactics used," he said.
"Some of the guys will sit behind, some take the lead, some fox it and stay behind and then come into a spring at the end and charge ahead."
Although it is not strictly a men's club and they welcome women, it is usually a regular bunch of eight or nine blokes that ride every week.
When Senior's Newspaper visited them after a big ride, a lone female, Kay Passenger, had joined them and looked like she was one of the blokes as they bantered over coffee at Gibson's in Noosaville.
"The camaraderie is an important part of it," Gary said.
"We solve the problems of the world over coffee."