Over 50, Outdoors

Adventure, fitness, travel, gear
Worst Beatles song ever?

Worst Beatles song ever?

This is way outside our wheelhouse, but nevertheless worthy of note. After years of uncritically embracing Beatles songs, it has been brought to our attention that occasionally, like all mortals, they could—and resoundingly did—suck.   Here’s an example: a recording of John Lennon singing the (deservedly) rare “India India.” No...
The crayon-colored hills of Zhangye Danxia

The crayon-colored hills of Zhangye Danxia

There are many pleasing outdoor wonders to visit, and most them are closer to your home than the multicolored land formations of China’s Zhangye Danxia, where you’ll find what the Atlas of Wonders calls “perhaps the greatest gathering of different pigments in natural stone in the world.” But if you’re...
Bill Clinton is going to make you a vegan

Bill Clinton is going to make you a vegan

Bill Clinton is a very persuasive man. He’s persuasive in the way every good salesman is persuasive, which is that you don’t know you’re being convinced of something until it’s all over. There’s a good chance you might not even know then. You might be pretty sure it was your...
Biking might allay Parkinson’s symptoms

Biking might allay Parkinson’s symptoms

Human bodies age like a saddle: they get comfortable and develop character, but they also start to break down.   The older they get, the more problems they have, one of which is Parkinson’s disease. An estimated one percent of people over 60 are affected by this degenerative nervous disorder....
Never forget the Icy Finger of Death

Never forget the Icy Finger of Death

You’ve been baking under the sun for a few weeks now. There’s more to come. Summer feels like an energy leech, sucking away your strength, your enthusiasm, your life force. You long for winter. So it’s time to remind everyone that cold, though attractive right now, can be as terrifying...
Work makes you crazy; retirement causes dementia

Work makes you crazy; retirement causes dementia

Let’s begin at the end: you are screwed, regardless. That is the rational conclusion you can draw from a recent and huge (half a million participants) study in France.   What the researchers found was that you have two life choices, neither of which is good for you. You can...
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    AAA now assisting bikers (!?!)

    AAA now assisting bikers (!?!)

    The American Automobile Association—that venerable proponent of auto safety, auto insurance, auto touring maps and roads-roads-roads (sometimes at the expense of walking and biking trails)—is slowly changing. Over the past six years, a number of chapters have expanded their services to include roadside assistance for bikers.   It wasn’t that many years ago when AAA...
    Why does the South hate cyclists?

    Why does the South hate cyclists?

      Walk Score has published its list of the Most Bikeable Large U.S. cities, based on a methodology  that includes infrastructure, hills, connectivity and “mode share”—meaning how many fellow bikers are on the road.   No surprises here. You know who wins this: Portland, San Francisco, Denver. But dig a little deeper into the site’s...
    Retired park rangers: Don't drill, baby

    Retired park rangers: Don’t drill, baby

    U.S. Park Rangers are trained to work in extreme and dangerous environments, in deserts void of human touch and uncivilized wildernesses, among mindless beasts and insects. So they are prepared—or at least better prepared than most of us—to operate at the fearsome intersection of federal bureaucracy and the oil industry.   A group of retired...
    When 5% less means obliteration

    When 5% less means obliteration

    You can probably cut your caloric intake by 5 percent and be just fine. (Maybe better.) Some other things you can easily cut by 5 percent:  Time watching TV. Old t-shirts. Beer. Caffeine. Old books.   Cut some other things by 5 percent and you’ll feel the bite, but you’ll survive: Time with loved ones....
    A third of Minnesota’s lakes have cocaine in them

    A third of Minnesota’s lakes have cocaine in them

    Minnesota—a relatively unpolluted state if you don’t count the iron mine tailings and farm run-off—today released Pharmaceutical and Endocrine Active Chemicals in Minnesota Lakes. This study of 50 lakes looked at the presence of 125 chemicals, including DEET (found in 76 percent of the lakes, making it the most frequently discovered chemical), bisphenol A (second...
    Hiking for thrill-seekers

    Hiking for thrill-seekers

    How did the walkabout become benign?   A hundred-and-some years ago, “a long walk” could have meant raw-boned pioneers thrusting themselves into uncharted territory. Predators, starvation and meteorological calamities. Today, it usually means something so safe you could do it on a first date with a stranger you met through Match.com.   You don’t get...
    High adventure at low altitude

    High adventure at low altitude

    There’s a difference between summer peaks and winter peaks.   In winter, you summit quickly because the peaks you reach are typically found at the end of a chairlift. You start the day at sea level in San Francisco, let’s say, and with a little luck and a tailwind you are standing at the top...
    Before they’re gone: A different kind of bucket list

    Before they’re gone: A different kind of bucket list

    Normally, a bucket list is litany of things you want to see or experiences you want to have before you are no longer of this earth. Or, more precisely, before you are too much of this earth.   Now the Weather Channel has given us a list of things you want to see before they...
    Kiss your sweet pass goodbye

    Kiss your sweet pass goodbye

    Do active old people—those who hike, bike, ski and get about outdoors—think of themselves as self-reliant, fiscal conservatives? Do they see themselves as people who are proud to pay their fair share?   Probably not. Or they shouldn’t, if they do.   We’re not talking about Social Security or Medicare here. (Yes, those programs do...
    Boomers are all about the couch

    Boomers are all about the couch

    A post earlier this week contained a startling public health nugget: most Baby Boomers—52 percent—report zero physical activity. No jogging, no biking, no backpacking. No walking the dog. No wading in shallow water. No golf with a cart.   This is head-swiveling because (one) it’s an intellectual challenge to conceive of zero physical activity and...
    Amazon wants your money, oldster

    Amazon wants your money, oldster

    Jeff Bezos has built Amazon, the web’s premier online retailer. He’s recovered Apollo engines from the bottom of the ocean. He’s building a spaceship. And now, because he’s a man who loves a challenge, he’s setting up an on-line store for seniors.   The problem with this business model should be obvious:   Current Amazon...
    Coming at You: The Recreati Mindset 2013

    Coming at You: The Recreati Mindset 2013

    We’ll be launching the second edition of the Recreati Mindset next week. The Mindset is our little welcome to all those who turn 50 this year. (If you haven’t noticed it before, check out the section labeled Pages, at the top of the right column below.) If you know someone who reaches this golden threshold...