Jim Cost, soon to be 90, is our oldest member. He rode the Century with his daughter last weekend (25 miles). Here is a message from Jim to our members and an article about him that appeared in the ABQ Journal just before the Century.
Dear SOB Members,
It is with great pleasure that I accept the honor you have awarded me as a SOB member to reach 90 years (well, in roughly four months).
[And it goes without mention that I also highly appreciate the honors you have arranged commemorating those of us Golden Oldies that are octogenarians.]
Our club keeps aging well, as do we.
And we can fully expect more nineties-type members in the future.
Again, thank you for recognizing my aging experience. It did not take a lot of skill, fortitude or planning; it just sort of happened.
And please know that being a SOB is especially important to me; it is so much more fun than racing.
And may many of you also be so recognized in years to come.
Also here is the text of the ABQ Journal article on Jim:
SANTA FE, N.M. — When the Santa Fe Century bicycle tour rolls around on Sunday for the 33rd time, Jim Cost will be like so many other cyclists, taking his bike out for a stroll, riding the 25-mile portion with his daughter Heidi Cost by his side.
The thing that sets Jim Cost apart, however, is he’s 89 years young.
“I’ve been biking for so much of my life, it all sorts of fades together,” he said. “Basically, I’ve done a lot of centuries. Not just here, but back in Indiana when I lived there.”
And Cost doesn’t just like to ride, he likes to ride fast. He is the owner of a 20-kilometer road time trial record for those 65 and older, completing a stretch near Moriarty in 28 minutes, 43.50 seconds.
“The beautiful thing about Cost is he describes himself as a cyclist,” said Santa Fe cyclist Jeff Della Penna, who organizes the vintage bike portion of the Century. “He’s a local legend. Many of us in our 60s now in Santa Fe remember him 20 years ago, we remember him as this older guy that would kick your ass. There was no screwing around. It’s all about pushing himself and riding hard and going fast. He’s not the kind of guy that likes to get out and cruise.”
Although his distance riding is somewhat curtailed to his annual endeavors in the Century, Cost still rides a 6-mile course near his house every day.
“I take my dog out every day,” he said. “I call it my Rosy ride. My dog’s name is Rosy. I’m very proud of my Rosy ride … . It’s only about 15-20 minutes, but I did it all winter long, rain or shine. She needed her exercise and so did I.”
With some health issues that make walking a chore, Cost said he relishes his time in the saddle.
“I’m very lucky to be able to ride a bike,” he said. “I don’t walk very well, but I still have enough to be able to ride a bike. I probably can’t walk a full football field, but I can ride 25 miles.”
While Cost can’t remember the number of full centuries he’s ridden, or how many times he’s participated in the Santa Fe Century, a ride a while ago in Albuquerque stands out.
“I compete in bicycling,” he said. “Some of the things that I’ve done, national cycling federation, won a couple of races, set some records. But what’s really interesting is when I used to do centuries, I did the century down in Albuquerque. Completed it on my own in under four hours, averaging 25 miles an hour. I got in with a pack of guys all cruising along pretty fast and I just got sucked along so you don’t use too much energy. I was in my mid-50s then, so about 35 years ago.”
Those days, however, are well in the past, he claims.
“I don’t race anymore,” Cost said. “Now I’m just lucky to be riding.”
He will be astride a vintage Zinn bicycle made specifically for him in the 1980s by noted frame maker Lennard Zinn, who Cost had befriended while working in Los Alamos.
Zinn bikes are “very much in demand,” Cost said. “It’s a design he made for me and he put all sorts of special stuff on it to make it a real winner of a bike. I used to race on this bike.”
The bike had fallen into some disrepair before Della Penna restored to its former glory so Cost can ride in style once again.
“When he gets on a bike, he’s chiseled out of stone on there,” Della Penna said. “The thing about Jim, he’s got a real need for speed. He was a jet fighter pilot right out of college. He’s not a daredevil, but he really loves pushing the limits. He got out of flying after college and started bicycle racing in Indiana. He loves to get on a bike and go fast. That is his thing. Going fast is a big part of his life.”
From his perspective though, Cost said he’s just going to enjoy his riding alongside his daughter.
“I’m really looking forward to doing it with my daughter because I haven’t gone on a ride with my daughter for many moon or many a year,” he said.