Lessons From the 91-Year-Old Carl

At 91 years old, Carl Grove of Bristol, Indiana, has accomplished more in the last 10 years than most people ever will in a lifetime. But for him, it’s just business—or rather, life—as usual.

In August, Grove broke two cycling world records for the 90-94 age group. First, he set the hour world record—or the Best Hour Performance, as it’s called by UCI—at the Colorado Springs Velodrome with a distance of 21.44 miles, breaking the previous mark of 18.9 miles, which was held by French cyclist René Gaillard. (He and his team were able to rent out the velodrome using the proceeds from a GoFundMe page set up by his training partner and U.S. Paralympian Bruce Gordon.) Grove’s record will become official after the results of his drug test come back.

Then, just two days later, Grove broke the world record for the fastest 20K time trial at the USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships in Colorado Springs with a time of 32:59.09, six minutes ahead of the previous mark. This record is already official, Randy Shafer from USA Cycling confirmed to Bicycling.

Be aware of the beauty around you

Last year, Grove came close to picking up two more official records, but was stripped of those titles after failing a drug test when he tested positive for epitrenbolone and clomiphene. Grove and his team determined—and the United States Anti-Doping Agency acknowledged—that he unknowingly consumed the banned substances through tainted meat (liver, specifically) that he had for dinner one night.

Hang out with younger people

Grove has had a long history with cycling. He started riding at 5 years old and proved to have a knack for it right from the start.

Just keep pedalling

Instead of riding less as he aged, about 10 years ago Grove decided to fully dedicate himself to training.

I don’t care what you do, as long as you do something

At this point, Grove has lost track of how many races he’s won. He gives his medals to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. For him, the most important part of continuing to ride and race has been to show others what’s possible, even as they age.

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