Rod Andrews doesn’t consider himself an athlete. Instead he sees himself as someone who wishes he had discovered his passion for cycling earlier in his life. And, with a twinkle in his eye, he considers himself a “retired beer drinker”. He clarifies that he has retired from drinking beer, not that he has retired to drink beer.

Just weeks ago, at the age of 66, Rod wrapped up his career as a Trades Sales Representative at Cloverdale Paint. His retirement provides him with much more time to rack up hundreds of kilometres on his bike each week. He has committed himself to six rides per week – three 100km+ “killer” rides plus three recovery rides. A long ride might take him from his home in Cordova Bay to Port Renfrew and back. A recovery ride might take him to meet friends for breakfast at a local coffee shop.

Rod meticulously tracks his progress on every cyclist’s must-have cycling app, Strava, which measures distance, elevation, and time of each ride, and cumulates the data to keep long-term statistics. Strava also integrates with Garmin’s app to map out Rod’s GPS locations and routes. He also eagerly checks in with his to-the-second countdown clock to Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria, slated for August 19th, 2018. To qualify for the full 160km ride, he must increase his average speed to 24km/hr. He currently averages 21km/hr.

To supplement his dedicated riding schedule and help him to meet his goal, Rod trains at PISE with High Performance Coordinator, Chris Hinton, every week. Chris has introduced Rod to cross-training, which has enabled Rod to improve his endurance, strength, and balance. A typical workout for Rod includes a dynamic warm-up, resistance training, cardio, and high-intensity interval training. The biggest eye-opener for Rod has been Chris’ emphasis on the importance of recovery time. Allowing Rod’s body to rest between intense rides and workouts has enabled him to improve his stamina overall, and has enabled him to push himself further and longer for his killer rides. Since he began to work with Chris about 5 years ago – in addition to his retirement from beer drinking – Rod has also dropped over 40lbs.

Rod insists that he is not an athlete. He is not competitive. He leaves those monikers to his wife, Shelley, who competed in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics for Canada’s women’s field hockey team. She takes him to task every so often, joining in on a ride, and helps to keep his nutrition in check. Instead Rod sees himself simply as an average retired man with a hobby that keeps him busy, and a craving to see the great outdoors from behind the handlebars of his bike.

~submitted by Andrea Ting-Letts