Age is just another number to 76-year-old Demetri Kolokotronis, who’s riding his bicycle from Oklahoma City to New York.
Now 76, Demetri Kolokotronis lives alone on 19 acres near Woodstock in New York. A certified professional ski instructor and former rock-climbing instructor, as well as a descendant of Theodoros Kolokotronis (read up on your 19th-century Greek history), his hobby of choice today is cross-country bicycle riding. But it’s a little more than that.
“I use my bike for transportation. I do all my grocery shopping and everything else on the bike,” he said.
Kolokotronis mailed his 35-year-old and heavily modified bike, a Cilo Sprint-X, to the Oklahoma City home of his high school buddy Clark Elliott, 2003 poet laureate of the Poetry Society of Oklahoma. Kolokotronis took a flight to OKC to visit his friend ” their first encounter in 59 years ” and began his trek back to New York this past week.
“I’m self-supported ” it’s just me,” he said. “So in 2003, I rode from Port Townsend in Washington to Bar Harbor, Maine ” 5,000 miles. That was virtually solo. In fact, I met some Oklahomans on the way and I’m going to be staying with a couple of them as I go back (to New York).”
Kolokotronis said he’s had plenty of encounters during his travels, from simple, inspiring gestures of kindness to late-night chats with potentially unsavory characters. Once, he was without water in 100-degree heat, and towns were few and far between. He chanced upon a house and sought help.
His secret to a long and healthy life, Kolokotronis said, is a continually active lifestyle. This OKC-to-NY trip will be enough for this year, but he’s already forming plans for next year’s tour.
But when will he hang the tire pump up in the garage?
“I never thought that I’d have to stop,” he said. “Jake Dalton