Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Features / Living

September 16, 2012

Larue Barnes: Pedaling for endurance

77-year-old Cecil Cammack bikes more than 20 miles three days a week, all for his health

 

You may have seen a tall, slender man riding his bike early in the mornings. Cecil Cammack of Cleburne is dedicated to pedaling more than 20 miles three days a week. He is 77.

“It’s not as easy now as it was five years ago,” Cammack said with a smile. “If it is raining or really cold I switch to a stationary bike at home. I have it set up for inclines that more or less match my ride. It’s not as interesting — I put my Kindle on a stand and read while I ride. I enjoy getting out and seeing things.”

About 10 years ago he was working at his computer all day and had gained weight.

“My blood pressure and cholesterol were high. My doctor said I needed exercise and a heart-healthy diet. I decided to do something about it. I bought a bike at a discount store and began to ride short distances — no farther than the post office. It took me six months to lose the weight and increase my endurance. I began to go out early in the morning when it was cooler.”

He takes no medication for his blood pressure now and takes a fairly low dosage of Lipitor for his cholesterol.

“I find the ride to be pleasant. I enjoy getting out — and take my iPod with me. My music is random, from the 1930s to current. People wonder if I can hear traffic sounds with my head phones on, but I can.” 

He soon got dissatisfied with his inexpensive road bike.

“It kept dropping the chain and it got out of adjustment. I knew I wanted to continue to ride, so I purchased a $350 standard trek bike. I’m comfortable on it because the handle bars go straight out and make me sit straight. That’s easier on my back. I cover several routes on highways and roads rather than in-town riding. “

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