They came toward me, swarmed around me, and passed me at the stop sign, the fellow with the long, grey beard leading the pack, keeping them in line; making sure they were all close at hand.
"I teach History at Owasso High School. I’ve been teaching since 1972; these are my students. I had been biking with my kids on and off from ‘72 to ‘86 and then more frequently after that. Then, in 2005, I started a biking-mentoring program called the ‘Geezer Challenge.’
"During eleven weeks of each summer, and during holidays, I bike four nights a week with a different group of 10-15, each night. Many of my former students continue to bike with me even after they move on to college…"
I scanned the crowd and saw shirts from Oklahoma Baptist, Tulsa U, Vanderbilt, Oregon, and K-State.
"Since 2005, over 700 different students have taken the Geezer challenge. The summer of 2014 will wrap of ten years of this madness! Every Labor day weekend, on Saturday, for the last nine years, we have done the ‘ULTIMATE Geezer Challenge’; we ride at LEAST 103 miles in a single Saturday.
He smiled. “This coming Labor Day will probably be my last for the Ultimate Challenge.”
The picture taken, he made some small complaint about his knees and the lads (who all lovingly call him ‘Grandpa’) gingerly lowered him down from the roundabout.