Herald JournalHerald Journal, Oct. 6, 2003

Senior formerly from area biked 30 miles of Luce Line

By Julie Yurek

Young at heart, former Howard Lake resident Grace McGarvie, and her husband Brian Deick, accomplished a goal that many seniors probably have not.

The duo, who are in their 50s and 60s, biked a 30-mile section of the Luce Line Trail from their Plymouth home to Winsted.

McGarvie was born in Howard Lake and lived there as a child. She still has cousins in the area, she said.

She taught at Wayzata High School for 28 years before retiring.

The duo has biked their end of the trail for many years, but this year they "just started heading west one day, and then the next time we picked up another segment. Only when we got past Maple Plain did we decide to make Winsted our goal," McGarvie said.

They started their trek about Aug. 9, and biked the trail on the weekends.

They reached Winsted Sunday of Labor Day weekend, McGarvie said.

They biked a total of about 10 miles each time they rode; they would ride approximately five miles, turn around, and then bike back to their van. The next time, they started where they turned around, McGarvie said. They would bike the trail between 3 and 5 p.m.

Some of their start and end sites were Long Lake, Hennepin County Roads 19 and 92, Watertown, and Carver County Road 21, she said.

The pair took up biking as a substitute for smoking ­ they quit one year and two months ago.

"We thought the exercise would be a good substitute activity," she said.

The couple encountered other users of the trial ­ horseback riders, dog walkers, families out for a walk, and other bikers.

They saw the most users from Wayzata to Stubbs Bay, and the last 10 miles (five miles to Winsted and back) they saw only one horseback rider and one dog walker, she said.

Since they only biked the Luce Line on the weekends, they would bike every evening during the week, mainly on Plymouth's 68 miles of bike trails, just leaving and returning from their house.

They also biked on one of the hottest days of the year when it was 97 degrees, she said. That day they had dinner at the Ox Yoke Inn, using it as a starting and ending point.

McGarvie and Deick didn't always ride bike this often. Before quitting smoking, they rode about once a week and never for more than five miles. Once they quit, they picked up the intensity and biked almost every day for one hour from July to October.

Last October, McGarvie fell off her bike and had a separated shoulder, so she slowed down on the physical activities, she said. She spent four weeks in a sling.

In the winter, the couple tries to walk about two miles a day. Right now they do an exercise video together in the morning on the weekdays because Deick gets home after dark, and on the weekends they plan to bike until the end of October, she said.

A reason they bike is to stay in shape for all of the traveling they do, McGarvie said. She just returned from two weeks in Russia and the Czech Republic.

They are planning a trip to Egypt in January, and they went to Peru last February.

McGarvie also enjoys reading, gardening, and has composed a CD named "Amazing Grace's Eclectic Quotation Collection" that features 103,000 quotations from more than 10,000 authors.

She has spent about 30 years researching the project, she said.

A sample of McGarvie's quotes from her collection related to bicycles include:

· A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle ­ Irina Dunn

· Bicycles are almost as good as guitars for meeting girls ­ Bob Weir

· Bike riders are close to all of nature. They know what a mountain really is, or what a 30-knot wind means, or how far 50 miles stretches out ­ William Quinn

· Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race ­ H.G. Wells

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