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    Posted October 26, 2015 by
    Merritt Island, Florida

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    80 year old man bikes 80 miles on birthday


    Joe Grinarml’s bicycling buddies didn’t buy him any candles for his birthday cake because they jokingly say blowing them out would, “take all day”.


    Grinarml of Merritt Island, Florida turned 80 years old in October and celebrated in a way most 20-year-olds wouldn’t dream of.


    Grinarml rode his bike 80 miles along with fellow members of the “Space Coast Freewheelers”. He did it armed only with a helmet, water bottle and incredible sense of humor.


    “Well this is kind of a special day and I was wondering what I can do that was special and I thought of this and boy I’ve been regretting it ever since,” said Grinarml.


    Before retiring in 1995, Grinarml worked on NASA’s Shuttle program and started his lifelong love affair with cycling.


    Friend and fellow rider, Charlie Stuard of Cape Canaveral, who is a spry 79 said, “Joe is an inspiration for us younger guys. He’s fit, focused and an all-around good guy”.


    The road to an 80 mile birthday ride hasn’t always been smoothly paved. Grimarml has been involved in four accidents while on his bike; one of which landed him in the hospital.


    “I was on the Barge Canal Bridge. I don’t remember what happened, I haven’t the slightest idea but I ended up in Holmes Regional and I was in the operating room and they were sewing up the inner part of my eye and the doctor was telling this student I guess how to do it and that’s all I heard,” said Grinarml.


    But that never caused him to hit the brakes. Even though it might take him a little longer to finish nowadays.


    “I start out in the front and end up in the back,” said Grimarml. But that’s okay with him because he’s always got company.


    “It’s like having a second family,” ,” said Grimarml.


    And for the next family gathering, mark your calendars for October 2035, Grimarml’s got 100 miles to cover.


    More information:
    The Space Coast Freewheelers is a Florida non-profit that coordinates several weekly area rides, several out-of-town rides and two significant fundraising rides - the 170 mile Cross Florida and the 100 mile Intracoastal Waterway Century.

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