75 is the New 30

Marshall Gordon. Photo by Rimas Zailskas.

Marshall Gordon. Photo by Rimas Zailskas.

The 13th annual American Bicycle Racing National Criterium Championships results summary refer to Hendersonville’s Marshall Gordon as a “former Master powerhouse.”

We respectfully disagree with that adjective. There is absolutely nothing “former” about Mr. Gordon’s power on a bicycle. At an age (75) when most of us consider wheels to be things found beneath a Buick or maybe a wheelchair, Gordon wiped out the competition in the 75-plus category in the organization’s recent Chicago race…and beat several much younger competitors as well.

This was his first race since getting out of the competitive biking scene 16 years ago. He quit back then because he considered the sport to be “too strenuous.” He still rode a bike after moving to the Hendersonville area, but something was missing. “Last summer I weighed 220 pounds. I was the last one up the hill…and I didn’t seem to care.”

Then something “clicked,” he says. He looked into current racing competitions and found that 75 was about the last chance he’d have to race in any serious competition. “I made the commitment,” he recalls, “to get back into shape.” His training dropped him back into his current svelte 175-pound form, made him the top dog in his age group and earned him the championship jersey.

Most of all, it put Gordon — a 40-year-veteran of the sport — back in the spirit of racing. He’s currently training for a major race in Georgia. And after that, who knows? “You can’t just think about it,” he says. “You have to get back in it with both feet.”

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