At 65, most people are thinking about getting a senior citizen bus pass. But for Montana woman Ethel MacDonald, that’s when she took up tour cycling.
Fourteen years later, the retired French teacher has covered more than 10,000 miles across Europe and North America and she’s not stopping yet.
CNN spoke to her by phone in Galway, during her recent tour of Ireland’s coastline. “I like what I like to do without having to wait for someone else to be ready,” explains the 78-year-old great-grandmother. The appeal of biking alone on the open road, she says, is “just feeling like I’m my own boss.”
Just some of the European destinations MacDonald has visited.
Her companion on her Ireland trip is a pink Brompton folding bike, which she’s used on five trips around the US south. She keeps another bike with a friend for her tours of mainland Europe.
This seasoned biker reckons she’s traveled at least 10,000 miles. “Usually my trips are close to 1,000 miles in three to four weeks,” MacDonald says. “I’ve been doing it for 13 years, and I’ve done at least one trip a year and often two. It would easily be closer to 13 or 14,000.”