Truckee woman has only begun her life’s adventures at 73
When 73-year-old Glenna Hunter dipped her toes in the Pacific Ocean off the San Diego shore on March 17, she wasn’t sure if she’d make it across the country on her bicycle to do the same in the Atlantic two months later.
Hunter, who lives in Truckee most of the year, trained daily, riding her bike around town when there was no snow on the ground. When there was snow here, Hunter headed to Moloka’i, Hawaii, where she pedaled the length of the island ” almost 50 miles ” daily.
But despite her preparation, Hunter said the 3,135-mile trip across the southern United States was more challenging than she had anticipated.
“It was more than I expected,” she said. “I envisioned Texas as being flat, and Texas wasn’t flat. It’s hill country. I thought I would be fine once I got out of California.”
The trip, organized by Woman Tours, went from San Diego to St. Augustine, Fla. in 58 days. The cross-country bike ride is for women older than 50, and Hunter was the oldest in her group of 20 women.
During the cross-country tour, Hunter and her fellow riders stayed in motels and ate like queens, she said.
“One of the best parts of [the tour] was we had a chef,” she said. “As you’re going along, you know there’s a good meal at the end of the day. You could eat 3,500 to 4,000 calories per day, and most of us probably lost weight.”
Hunter formed relationships with her fellow riders, most of whom were much younger than she.
For many of the women cyclists, the cross-country tour, which is a fund-raiser for breast cancer research, is a great accomplishment and bonding experience, said Sandra Packard, vice president of Woman Tours.
“It can be a life-changing thing for many of the women,” she said. “It’s a great adventure.”
Packard said Hunter is one of the oldest participants in any Women Tours bike rides.
“It is pretty unusual for someone that age to take on such a great task,” Packard said. “She’s one in a million.”
Next year, Hunter will return to the cross-country ride to help with the support and gear car. She will ride three days and drive the car every fourth day.
And on the final day of the tour, she will get to dip her toes in the Atlantic once again.
“I felt so good,” she said of her cross-country adventure. “I could say it was an experience of a lifetime, but I’m going to experience it again.”
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