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I ride to be alive. Literally.

Five years ago I was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer. Tumors in my bone and lung. I had 18 weeks of chemo and started life-long androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Together they were supposed to put my cancer “to sleep” for a couple of years. It was supposed to “wake up” in 2018, and kill me in April 2020.

Hah! After finishing chemo, I decided that I would live longer if I started working out. I discovered cycling 3 years ago, and instantly fell in love with it (for all the usual reasons)!

It works. I’m healthier than ever - and for the first time in my life, I consider myself an “athlete”. I have four coaches: one each for cycling, running, swimming and weight lifting. Nate English, my cycling coach, has me on a brilliant training program: intervals, endurance and recovery rides fill most days on my calendar. (Running, swimming and weights fill the rest.)

I put “athlete” in quotes because I’m not strong (bottom third among guys in their 60’s) - probably because my ADT has anemia and weakness as side effects. But I don’t care! As long as I keep getting stronger, I can ride more places and I’m convinced that my cancer will remain asleep.

My big goal is to cycle up Lo Stelvio in Italy next summer. I’m not quite strong enough ... but I’m training for it all year. We’ll see!

—Robert Vogel