Easy rider

Mur­ray Dicks is bik­ing into his 70th year

The Southern Gazette - - Front Page - COLIN FAR­RELL

MARYSTOWN —It’s just after 9:30 on Thurs­day morn­ing, Aug. 2 and Mur­ray Dicks set­tles in for his morn­ing cof­fee, after his usual bike ride.

The fore­cast of rain has caused him to break from his usu­ally route of rid­ing in the evening.

“I got up 6 o’clock and I was out the door 20 min­utes past six, no break­fast so I’m hun­gry now,” ex­plains Dicks with a chuckle. “I sup­pose it came from work, cause after work was the only time you could do it, and I sup­pose that is still in­grained in my mem­ory some­where, that’s my most en­er­getic time.”

Dick, who cel­e­brates his 70th birthday on Sept 2, tells The South­ern Gazette he’s al­ways led an ac­tive life­style, ei­ther walk­ing, run­ning or bik­ing.

“Ex­er­cise once you start it is prob­a­ble ad­dic­tive,

he say, adding, “I’ve been ac­tive all my adult life.”

“I’ve prob­a­ble been what some peo­ple would call an ex­er­cise nut all my life.”

Dicks cel­e­brated his 50th birthday with a 50 mile bike ride. Twenty years later he is thank­ful to still be able to do it.

“I just won­der how I will feel when the time comes that I can’t do it any­more, cause it’s get­ting closer,” he said. “I mean there is a cer­tain real­ity to life, there’s an

end date out there some­where and your health will de­cline... as you ap­proach that end date... so I feel pretty for­tu­nate to be able to do it now as I ap­proach age 70. Many peo­ple are not that for­tu­nate.”

This year he plans to ride to the town of For­tune.

He added for his ride he usu­ally fol­lows the route along the Grand Bank High­way, most times go­ing as far as the in­ter­sec­tion at French­man’s Cove be­fore mak­ing his re­turn.

He says he en­joys rid­ing the hills along that area of es­pe­cially in the near the en­trance to Grand Beach.

“They don’t look it but they give you the fastest ride down of al­most any­where. You’d have to go up around Lawn to get a hill that gives you a faster ride than that.”

He added one of the things he finds the most chal­leng­ing about rid­ing is the wind.

“When I’m rid­ing I like to go out against the wind, and come back with it,” he ex­plained. “No mat­ter if it’s windy or not I ride as hard as I can. By the time I get to Grand Bank I am start­ing to get tired (and) I don’t like com­ing back against the wind then.”

Dicks ex­plained his rea­sons for do­ing the ride are all his own.

“I have no up­per-level mo­ti­va­tion,” he ex­plained.

“It is just some­thing that I do, it is part of my life­style, when I rode across Canada peo­ple asked me what my rea­son was for do­ing it, was I fundrais­ing for some char­ity or some­thing, but no, it was just some­thing I wanted to do.”

In 2010 Dicks, along with 39 other rid­ers from around the globe, spent just over two months rid­ing from Van­cou­ver, Bri­tish Columbia to St. John’s, New­found­land.

Dicks said that ev­ery­one has things they en­joy do­ing. For some it could be sit­ting in the evening and watch­ing TV, but for him he prefers to stay ac­tive.

Apart from his ex­er­cise, he also en­joys play­ing gui­tar, wood­work­ing, vol­un­teer­ing with the church and gar­den­ing.

Dicks said he loves the feel­ing of rid­ing and “just be­ing out there, and the fact that at my age I am still able to do it, I feel most for­tu­nate.

“I feel re­ally blessed.”


colin.far­[email protected]­south­erngazette.ca


Look­ing back Mur­ray Dicks of Marystown says in the 20 years since start­ing the ride for his birthday there haven’t been many that he has missed.

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