Bathers in Buenos Aires’ Fountain Of Youth - part 3

Argentina has a strong group of older cyclists called masters. Maybe it is the Italian bloodlines. Many have been riding and racing all their lives. At fifty-nine I am the second youngest in an informal group of around twenty-five friends. The majority of the riders are well into their seventies and four are over eighty. Most are retired or people that make their own work schedules, so we meet down there around noon. I have been training on racing bikes fairly consistently since I was fifteen. If I miss more than two weeks I struggle to keep up with this group. I’m always curious about their ages. Fortunately they usually ask me mine first. Likely some are interested, but I get the impression that more often their real motivation is to watch the shock spread across my face when they tell me theirs. They have every right to be proud. It has nothing to do with being patronising: I typically guess they are ten years younger than they actually are. It’s not only the lack of pudge, but also the way they move and act, on as well as off the bike. There is no weakness in their voices when they speak. At lunch they move around in their seats and gesture like college kids trying to make their points. They walk with the gait and posture of people twenty years younger.