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How It All Started
January 13, 2020
Topics: Aging, Bikes, Blog, Exercise, Health, Retirement, Cafe Diem
Remember Cheers? Gymrats don’t drink. Well, they drink Coffee, not booze. But the social part is the same. Everybody knows your name. remember that?
I went into the Cafe Diem ( a local coffee shop ) to buy a pound of Guatemala Dark. They offered me a free cup of coffee. So, I added cream, and sat down to sip. The fellow next to me sat down his book and got up to visit the restroom. I peeked at his book. It was “65 Things To Do When You Retire.” Or something like that.
When he got back I teased him about it. He said, “Oh that. My mother-in-law gave me that. She is worried I am bored.”
“OK, What’s it about?”, I asked.
“It’s about my portfolio. How I am to build and manage my portfolio now that I am retired,” he said. I thought he meant financial portfolio, something I am very interested in. Only later did I learn he meant “Life Portfolio.” I shall call him “Pepsi” because he had a career related to Pepsico.
In the ensuing conversation the six gentlemen sitting next to him got involved. Turns out they are a cycle club (hereafter dubbed The Crew), and they meet for coffee after every weekend ride. They ride bikes over the Rocky Mountains and down the other side! The main speaker is an orthopedic surgeon. I will call him Fargo ( because he later demonstrated an apple watch for tracking bike and exercise). And there is another doctor in the group. I call him Bones because of a discussion about increasing bone strength. There is a master plumber (Plumb Bob), a master sergeant (“Sarge“), an education administrator (whom I shall call Quincy because he reminds me of that old TV character), and a Lt. Colonel (Col). They are all retired, or almost retired. All ride bikes to keep their sanity and for health.
We talked at length about life as a retired person and aging. The surgeon , Fargo, recommended a book, “Younger Next Year.” I went out and bought the book. It is fascinating.
That changed EVERYTHING.
Thanks to this book I am exercising 6 days a week.
My A1C numbers came in. At 9. WAY UP. Yikes! I have to DO something. The book came at a timely point in life. Winters are brutal on my weight and health. I will be journaling my progress on the exercise among other things.
Monday (Week 4)
Feb 3, 2020
This was the 4th Monday I stopped by, and the guys were there, so I joined them. I feel a bit like a groupie! 😉
I mentioned there is Dr. Fargo. Why call him Fargo? Because of the tech gadgets that he has, and his science approach to things like sports medicine and aging.
I have been extremely bummed lately. After this group I actually felt energized. You can see my (boring) exercise results posted on my EXERCISE page. i do want to talk about what i have learned about this most important subject.
Fedex Your Bikes? (Week 5)
Sunday, Feb 9, 2020
The Crew are sending their bikes by Fedex to Palm Springs, California. There is a big event on February 14th. I’ll drop by the Cafe Diem on Monday to see if they are there. I show up to meet the crew, which is a bit of a flash crowd, to get updates and inspiration. And to report on my workout results – as inspired by Younger Next Year. This maybe is a form of group therapy, I don’t know. I’m not likely to go bike riding with the crew. My goal is to hike mountain trails. It just so happens where I hike is a place where they ride. Rocky Mountain National Park. And, if you go up the tram at Palm Springs, you arrive at a high country I have hiked! Except I climbed up the tarils on the back side of that mountain. So we have several things in common. We also have science, sports medicine, aging, and retirement in common. I sure hope The Crew accepts a groupie and doesn’t think it’s too weird. 😉 I think Pepsi might be a groupie too.
New Friends (Week 6)
Today Mac and his friend Jerry came in and I sat with them. The Crew sat down the way just a bit. Pepsi joined us. What was new was mention of Knights of Columbus as a portfolio item. jerry lost his wife last year and is trying to cope. He has joined Knights of Columbus. I guess this adds meaning and networking.
Lonely Groupies (Week 7)
Monday, Feb 17
The Crew have been in Palm Springs on bike tour. Bones had said he would drop by the Cafe, but didnt. I drank Peruvian Dark for about an hour and was ready to leave when in walks Pepsi. We chatted for about two more hours.
So, it was just us two groupies today.
Pepsi said he had friends or relatives who posted on facebook rage after rage about how horrible Trump is. But nobody ever comments on their posts. We speculated people in Pepsi’s life are averse to the entire subject. Nobody even wants to venture a like for the posts.
This is in stark contrast to my particular mix of facebook friends, many who post the opposite types of posts, or even if they don’t they like the ones who do.
We talked about how facebook kills your mental health. I am burned out on facebook to the point I almost could not work on any computer anything today.
All Alone in the Cafe. (Week 8)
Monday, March 2.
Today it’s JUST ME! YIKES! Maybe my idea of commaraderie is just too weird. Maybe they are all avoiding me? Am I paranoid? Am I dead? Quick – check the pulse. Besides, I cannot be a ghost – the barista charged my credit card.
They’re Baaaaaaack. (Week 9)
Monday, March 9.
Pepsi showed up. Turns out he was in Aruba last week.
C3P-M (an industrial engineer who worked at 3M and is my human equivalent of C3P-O from Star Wars) also came. He explained the crew had rented a house in Palm Desert California and biked around the desert for 12 days. The story is about 30 guys were there on the desert riding activity. No wonder things have seemed so quiet. Also Fearless-Leader (The Crew organizer) came. The most miles ridden was about 770 miles aroud the Palm Springs area. I am just jealous. But I was able to share mountain experiences with them as Idywild is the town on the back side of the mountain above Palm Springs. And I have been to Joshua Tree National Monument a lot.
Corona-Strike (Week 10)
Monday, March 16.
Quarantined at home by order of the governor. All businesses are closed. Grrrrr.