The Pedal Pals, a group of older bicyclists in Ozaukee County, stay fit and enjoy the outdoors by weekly riding one of the many bike trails in the greater Milwaukee area. Agnes Grogan from Grafton, a member of the group for ten years, pumps up her bike tires preparing for a 32 mile ride from Port Washington to Oostburg on the Interurban Trail.
Pedals Pals meets every Wednesday. They bike for a couple of hours, have lunch, talk, sometimes do a little sightseeing and then, head back.
“We’ve all aged since the beginning of this group,” says Don Ertl from Cedarburg. He’ll be 86 in spring. “Last week I went riding for three different days and I put on 104 miles,“ he says. With two ‘new’ knees, Ertl has wiped out on his bike resulting in two broken ribs, a punctured lung and a clavicle that still isn’t right. When asked if he had any fear of getting back on the bike after that, Ertl says, “No, you don’t want to give up. Biking is fun.”
At 79, Eve Dicker Eiseman says that sometimes when she thinks it is too cool or it’s going to rain, the others are out there. “It kind of give you hope as a person who wants to keep on biking.” Riding in a group comforts Eiseman to know that somebody is always there should she have a flat or get tired.
In Oostburg at a restaurant for lunch, Chuck Schmidt says that he has been riding with the group for about a year and hadn’t ridden a bike since he was a kid.
As of this year, Bob and Marilyn Jacobs, 85 and 83, are riding electric assist bikes. They still have to pedal but the assist allows them to keep up with the group.
Ron Heinritz from Thiensville says that the next weeks ride will be in Greenfield going along the Root River. “It’s just wonderful that we all make these rides, because it’s challenging,” says Heinritz. “You ride 30 miles in a day. As they say, we’re not kids any more, but you can do it. When you learn how to ride a bike, it stays with you forever.”