Jake Farrell feels fitter and healthier at 71 than he did in his 40s. He credits his love of bike riding for his excellent fitness.
It wasn’t until he was 40 that he took up bike riding and now in his 70s he is taking on his biggest adventure yet – cycling the Camino Trail, in Spain.
People have walked the famous trail to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, for more than 1000 years as part of a spiritual pilgrimage to the grave of the apostle Saint James the Great. Legend says that he was buried at the Cathedral after he died.
“My friends talked about it and I eventually asked, ‘can I join you and can I give it a go?” he said.
“The spiritual side of it for me is important too. I had heard about this trail and it was something in the back of my mind I’d love to do.”
Jake is joining a cycling tour that will ride about 500 kilometres through mainly rural Spain over 10 days. He will need to ride at least 50 kilometres a day to complete the bike ride.
“At one stage I thought it was beyond me. I thought, I’m getting too old to be doing that sort of thing. But now I am getting fitter and feeling quite happy about cycling. The hills don’t worry me anymore.”
Jake moved to VMCH retirement community Shanagolden Village, in Pakenham, after he retired from his cab driving business. He says retirement for him means more time for fun.
“With cab driving you’re working 12-hour shifts and you don’t get a lot of time to exercise. Now that I’m retired I have a lot more time.”
He says the Camino Trail bike ride has motivated him to get on his bike most days and train.
“With the training I am doing for the bike ride, I’m fitter now than when I first started riding,” he said.
“I’m enjoying it even more now. I enjoy the scenery and the freedom. You commune with nature and it’s really wonderful.”
His trip to Spain will be his first time out of Australia and he plans to travel throughout Europe once he has finished the tour.
He will meet some other friends and they will travel to Italy, Austria, Germany, France, England, Scotland, Ireland and Canada
“That will be an extra bonus on top of everything else. The trip of a lifetime.”