80 year-old cyclist pedalling strong

Josephine Drage is an 80-year-old Sooke resident who is also an avid cyclist. She recently spoke with the Mirror about her passion.

Josephine Drage decked out in her cycling gear.

On May 26, 2014, Josephine Drage — who her friends know as Josie — entered into her eighth decade of life. She celebrated this milestone with over a hundred friends in Esquimalt. And though she might be aging gracefully, she is certainly not slowing down.

Four times a week, 80-year-old Josie loads her bike on the back of her diesel vehicle and drives to Victoria to cycle. She’s on a very structured schedule. On Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays she cycles; on Tuesdays she golfs; and on Thursdays (in the wet months) she curls. Saturdays are her putter-around-the-home days, and then she bakes, cleans, does the laundry and generally enjoys her home.

“I like to be on the move,” she said. And one gets the feeling that sedentary down-time is a very rare occurrence in Josephine’s busy life.

Looking back, she says she led a pretty active lifestyle. Except for when her four kids were younger. Then, most of her time was spent doing things for them.

Josie took up (and excelled in) walking, speed walking and running. And in 2001, at 67 years old, Josephine started cycling.

For her efforts, she received a number of medals spanning the mid 1980s all the way to the late 90s.

She has slowed down a little because of a heart condition (she had heart surgery in 2006), but she’s still going strong.

When asked if she’s going fast enough, with a laugh in her eye she answers with an honest “No.” Aging does have it’s limitations, she admits. Hills slow her down, and when she needs to, she gets off her bike and walks the rest of a climb.

But one thing Father Time cannot take away from Josephine is her stamina.

“You have to have the energy and the will to persevere,” she said about cycling.

Her sister forewarned her that if she was going to ride, she was also going to fall. She’s okay with that.

“I’m not going to stop,” she says, showing the scars of five stitches under her chin. Josie recently took a spill that saw her flying off her bike, damaging her chin and teeth.

“I haven’t broken a bone yet,” she laughed.

Yes, she does go to Victoria to ride.

“This is not a place to be riding,” she said, referencing Sooke. Victoria has a much better infrastructure for cycling.

Victoria also has the support.

Josie is a member of the Cross Canada Cycle Tour Society (CCCTS), a group “formed in 1982,” according to their website at cccts.org.” In 1983, 35 members cycled from Victoria to St. John’s.” And while Josie has not cycled from coast to coast, she does participate in their short two- to three-day jaunts, both here in B.C. as well as in Ontario.

CCCTS meets three times a week in Victoria, on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays. Josie estimates there are about 100  people who periodically participate, ranging in age from 50 and up. On Fridays, Josie rides with a smaller group, also in Victoria.

Anyone interested in this cycling group should visit their website for the local day rides, cccts.org. Their website indicates that “We are a non-profit organization for active adults of all ages. Our members are mainly retired people and others who enjoy recreational cycling.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: James Bay wolf released into wild of western Vancouver Island

Conservation officers confirm wolf is from Discovery Island

Traffic delays: Saturday work added to Highway 1 construction schedule

Work continues on dangerous stretch between Leigh Road and West Shore Parkway

Supreme Court bans Victoria man from practising law

Jeremy Maddock received a law degree in 2016 but never completed articling

Canadian Tire Fix-A-Heart campaign raises more than $75,000 for Royal Jubilee Hospital

Donations will help purchase infusion pumps for cardiac care units

VIDEO: Driver guilty in Saanich crash that left 11-year-old with catastrophic brain injuries

North Saanich woman convicted on one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Police search for man who went missing from Vernon hotel

Jay Rosenberger, 38, was last seen Friday

Filming for Resident Alien begins in Ladysmith

Aliens and excitement take over the streets of Ladysmith during new TV series

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

After four sexual assaults in the same B.C. park, RCMP ask women not to walk alone

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

The Three Bears are down to two after baby bear carving stolen from his perch in Island community

Thief repeatedly kicked it and dislodged it from cement and rebar

Most Read