The Secret to Youth: Senior citizens mountain biking 50 miles daily in Madison

Local News

This man is 72 years old. He doesn’t look it. His secret? He says it’s staying active. And what he does nearly every day is more impressive than his age.

Tom Cooksy of Brandon rides his mountain bike much farther than the average person drives their car to and from work every day.

“On my intense days, it’s more like 25 or 30 [miles]. The longer days are like 40 to 50.” 

Why is Tom doing this? Wouldn’t it be easier to sit at home and relax in his golden years?

“First of all, I enjoy it. When I ride with other people or a group, there’s competition. It just adds a little flavor in your life. I think, especially when you get older, you need to be active. I have to earn my health back every day.”

He’s not the only one doing it. Tom meets with other senior citizens who are taking their fitness to the extreme. Some of whom are much older than him! One gentleman is 83 years old.

“He can keep up with the group until we start hitting 25, 26 miles an hour, but if we don’t do over that, he can stay with us for maybe 50 miles.”

They often meet up in the mornings at a parking lot in Madison, before hitting the hills and steep terrains in Madison County.

He says he feels younger than his counterparts of the same age.

“I can enjoy my grandkids. Teach them how to ride a bike, jog beside them, whereas the other grandparents couldn’t; all they could do is stand there and watch. So, you know, it just adds more dimension to your life.”

Tom encourages others to join and take charge of their health and quality of life. He says the sooner, the better. 

“Get out and do something; some type of exercise, whatever fits you and whatever you enjoy and have fun doing it… you have to earn your health.”

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