On the most recent Social A ride the topic of conversation was…retirement. On club rides you never know what you’ll end up chatting about. More often than not it’s the usual stuff—bike porn, catching up with recent life events, and politics. When I was younger it was usually a running commentary on the hot men we saw as we pedaled along, club gossip, and who was too hung over from partying last night that they missed the ride. But on this ride we broached a topic that never would have passed our lips in the early days of the club. Boy, have things changed. Back in the day the senior crowd in Different Spokes was really small. Only Walter Teague and Gene Howard and maybe a few others were retired due to age. I wouldn’t say the club was uniformly young, but the age distribution was probably centered on the mid-thirties. That isn’t the case anymore and it wasn’t the case on this ride! We were a decidedly older group even if we weren’t all retired.
What provoked the talk was Roy’s imminent retirement and move to Thailand. Retirement may be common but moving overseas to enjoy it much less so. He’s been planning it for years and he’ll be heading for that distant shore this fall. Perhaps we’ll see a local chapter of Different Spokes soon in Chiang Mai? Joe and Lamberto are talking about retiring to Panama or maybe Colombia so notes had to be shared with Roy. Why Thailand? What’s the cost of living? Weather? Many ex-pats there? etc. etc. Roger and I commented on the numerous retired Americans we saw in Costa Rica enjoying the tropical clime and idling away the day playing duplicate bridge. Howard chimed in with his research on retirement communities in the Bay Area. Tiring of maintaining his home he’s thinking of following the Den Daddy’s lead and ditching the single family dwelling with all its irksome repairs and unexpected expenses for essentially a condo that the association maintains so that he can enjoy his idle hours in play rather than work.
In what has to be a record that one topic consumed the *entire* ride and it was the most voluble and chatty Social A ride in history!