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Senior Correspondent

"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference.  The little difference is attitude.  The big difference is whether it is positive or negative."  W. Clement Stone

Uncle Dick marked his 90th birthday a couple of weeks ago.  Most would agree that reaching 90 is quite an accomplishment.  Reaching 90 and still enjoying great health is pretty cool.  But how about celebrating your 90th birthday bicycling through town with friends and family?  That's exactly how uncle Dick chose to celebrate his 90th birthday, by taking a nine mile bike ride, including a challenging hill or two.

My uncle took up bicycling about five or six years ago.  Oh sure, he cycled darned near everywhere as a kid.  And, many decades later he proved to himself that bicycling is like … well, it's like riding a bike.  You never forget.  At first his rides were a little rocky as he learned how to shift.  Apparently there were no gears on bikes back in the '30s.  Getting on and off the bike without taking a tumble also proved to be tricky.  After a couple of incidents and near misses, he started getting the hang of it.

Uncle Dick began plotting and scheming his birthday ride at the beginning of the year. After procuring a special note from his doctor, also a cyclist, uncle was allowed to enroll in a strenuous class at Revolution Cycles, where he trained hard, along with a few other cyclists just a few decades younger than him.  According to Joe Ferguson, the bike shop owner and instructor, uncle Dick didn't expect any special treatment.  He did all the floor exercises plus the indoor cycling routines, along with everyone else.

Uncle bicycled outdoors at least three days a week most of the winter and worked out the other days in preparation for his birthday ride.  With a little help from Joe, he tweaked his bike, changing out components and tires, to gain maximum advantage.

As uncle Dick grew stronger, his riding abilities and steadiness improved.  The hard work paid off.  And, in the midst of a rainy spell, the clouds broke, the sun shined and cyclists gathered at the city park at the appointed time to celebrate uncle's 90th birthday.

Led through town by Joe from Revolution Cycles, we bikers enjoyed a beautiful spring afternoon ride. Uncle Dick rode strong and finished first.

To make it all even more exciting, uncle Dick was met at the finish line by Mayor Sandy Lucy.  She congratulated him by reading a wonderful resolution prepared by Mary Trentmann, City Clerk.

Just as exciting, Jeanne Miller Wood from The Missourian, our local newspaper, was on hand to take pictures for a story to be written about Uncle Dick, who is apparently our town's oldest known cyclist.  It should be some story.  My uncle is quite colorful and courageous.  He exemplifies personal continuous improvement as he lives his life to the max and inspires those around him to do the same.

As uncle Dick plans his 100th birthday celebration, we wish him and all the folks who came together to help him celebrate his 90th birthday their best decade yet!

"Every day, and in every way, I am becoming better and better." Emile Coue

Your coaching challenge, should you choose to accept it:
Do you have a crazy, impractical dream?  Why not plug into a little inspiration and get on with it?

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