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Bicycle Racing

Age doesn't have to keep you from getting fit

Age doesn't have to keep you from getting fit

When he first got on a mountain bike 20 years ago, Fred Schmid could barely pedal up the 100-foot hill leading to his house. Today the 82-year-old Schmid logs 200-mile training weeks on the dirt roads around his home in Waco, Texas, and is working toward his ultimate goal: to be the first 80-plus-year-old to complete the annual Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race in less than 12 hours.

A retired surveyor who wasn't particularly athletic before taking up cycling, Schmid has a resume packed with age-group titles. "I feel like I'm at the forefront of older athletes competing," he said, "and it looks like there's a whole tsunami of athletes following me."