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105-Year-Old Cyclist Robert Marchand Is The World’s Fastest Centenarian

He’s too busy shattering records and stereotypes to age

When Robert Marchand was born in 1911, the gas-powered automobile was a mere 10 years old. Just six years before in 1905, Albert Einstein changed the world with his theory of special relativity. Now it’s Marchand changing the world, setting a world record for the 105-plus category (a designation created just for him) by cycling 22.547 kilometers miles in one hour. That’s just a little over 14 miles for nonmetric-system users. So maybe we all can find a little time to get to the gym.

As reported by USA Today, Mr. Marchand has been defying the odds for quite a while. When he was just a boy, he had a coach tell him he would never amount to anything on the bike. At 5 feet tall, Marchand cuts a slight figure. But he was not deterred, and even after years of having no time to practice, he finally picked up a bike again at the age of 68. Soon the Frenchman was hitting the road for long hauls, riding from Paris to Roubaix, from Bordeaux to Paris, and from Paris to Moscow.

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Sports

Right After Making History, U.S. Cyclist Collapses

Kristin Armstrong is the world’s oldest female cycling medalist

Getty Images

Recovering from years of hip injuries, barely making it to Rio after some question of her selection, and with a nosebleed she developed mid-race, Kristin Armstrong just became the oldest female cyclist to snag a gold medal.

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Articles

This Woman Is Biking Across the World to Collect Stories of Climate Change

23-year-old Devi Lockwood is mapping out 1,001 tales of a planet in flux.

Devi Lockwood is on a mission to gather stories about climate change, and she’s doing it all on a touring bike. The 23-year-old American wears signs that say things like “tell me a story about climate change” as she bikes through the United States, Fiji, Tuvalu, New Zealand, and Australia, in the hope of getting people to speak up about how climate change affects their daily lives.

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Articles

Syrian Refugees Pedal for Asylum by Biking Across Norway’s Arctic Border

A legal loophole offers hope for those fleeing from one of the worst humanitarian crises on Earth.

image via (cc) flickr user oldonliner

Along the approximately one hundred and twenty mile boarder shared by Norway and Russia, there sits a single, manned crossing station: Storskog, which lies a few miles east of the Norwegian town of Kirkenes. There, above the arctic circle, travelers and tourists alike flow between the two nations. Lately, however, it is an influx of refugees who have crossed into Scandinavia, seeking asylum. Raising eyebrows, though, is not necessarily *who* is doing the crossing, so much as how.

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Articles

The Confounding Charm of the Tour of Italy

A storied race at a crossroads

Since 1909, cyclists in the Tour of Italy (Giro d’Italia) have been winding their way through medieval villages, lush citrus orchards, glacial river valleys, Roman castle fortresses, and impossibly pristine farmland with sweeping panoramic views. The Tour of Italy is perhaps the most beautiful bike race in the world, but, increasingly, one of the sport’s most fraught. Last year, after being banned from the sport, cyclist Danilo Di Luca made the audacious claim that one could not finish among the top 10 competitors of the race without using performance enhancers, and this year, coverage of the event was plagued by rumors of battery-operated motors concealed within bicycle frames. The images that follow of the storied Giro raise important questions about our relationship with competitive sports today: To what extent can we separate the pleasure of watching with the success-at-any-price actions of its competitors? Can we just sit back and enjoy the ride?

The Marche stage, Castelfidardo

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Features

This Bike Device Pulls Water From Thin Air

An ingenious riding accessory could also become a life saver where water is scarce.

“Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.”

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Articles