Here’s to Marge: Seventy-One Miles and Seventy-One Years Strong

Marge is the tall woman in the back row wearing a fluorescent green vest. Photo courtesy Mindy Dare.

How will you celebrate your 71st birthday? Last week, my friend Marge Gunderson celebrated in style. She invited her friends to join her on a 71 mile road bike ride: Seventy-one years. Seventy-one miles.

Last year, her birthday ride was 70 miles. Next year, it will be 72 miles and so on until she can’t ride a bike anymore. What can you say, except that this woman is AMAZING!

Each year, I try to ski at least as many years as I am old. Hopefully more, but that’s my baseline goal. I shared this with Marge and she just laughed and said, “Oh, I don’t think I could do that. One mile per year is better for me.”

But let me tell you something about Marge: I’m pretty sure she skied more days than my age this season, even if she didn’t make it to her own age. Marge is an adaptive ski instructor with Colorado Discoverability and is an enthusiastic supporter of all of their programs. The mother of adult children, including a special needs daughter who shares her home, Marge is dedicated to her family and to having fun.

The week before Marge’s birthday ride, she and a group of girlfriends took a mountain bike trip to St. George, Utah. When she’s not skiing or biking, Marge is at the gym. I’ve been in pump class with her and let’s just say, she lifts a lot more than I do and a LOT more than her age.

Marge is a good friend, a great mom, a wonderful wife and an adventurous spirit. Her life is filled with joy, faith and love. I’m telling you this because she is my role model. I hope to join her on her birthday ride for many more years. I also hope to keep skiing more than my age and hopefully hers.

She inspires me. I hope she inspires you as well.



© 2012, Kristen Lummis. All rights reserved. Any use or publication of content, including photos, requires express permission.


  1. BonBon Wixom says

    I loved this tribute.

    I am riding the Wonder Woman in September with Marge in Spanish Fork, Utah. She is indeed, a Wonder Woman! Again, thanks for the great post!

  2. marge gunderson says

    Thank you my friend for the accolades but it all comes from the support from my sweet husband, loving friends like you and all the biker chicks, and those wonderful CDA volunteers. I’m having the time of my life!

    • says

      Marge, you are too modest! But, I have to agree you are surrounded by loving, amazing people (I hope that includes me -smile-)! You are indeed my role model and it makes me ultra happy to hear that you are having the time of your life at this time in your life! Cheers!

  3. Trish Mahre says

    Wow- amazing! I even zoomed in on the photo. She looks phenomenal! Best wishes and what great friends!

  4. says

    Septuagenarians ROCK! I love reading stories like this. Feeds my faith that it is entirely possible to stay active as long as you want.

    Going to send this to my mom, who took up stand-up paddleboarding at 69, learned to mountain bike (for reals, log-hopping and all) at 70, and is leading her own women’s MTB club at 71.

    Folks like Marge and my mom inspire women decades younger by taking away their excuses for not trying something. Keep at it, girls! You are motivation to the rest of us.