Murray Dicks is biking into his 70th year
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.”
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.