Paul Tetrick, 85, Who Motivates His Granddaughter

“Fast wheels are timeless, and so is my Grampy, ” writes Alison Tetrick, a 31-year-old professional cyclist on the Cylance Pro Cycling. Her grampy is none other than Paul Tetrick who has won more than 12 USA Cycling Time Trial Championships, a road bicycle race where cyclists battle the clock instead of racing at the same time as their competitors.

Paul Tetrick loves time trials. He's got a drawer full of USA Cycling master's national TT titles. 'I don't know for sure, “ responded when asked how many. 'It's more than a dozen.” A longtime runner, Tetrick began bike racing at age 60 because his knees got worse. Now he hopes to motivate other folks in their 80s to get outside and stay active. He definitely succeeded in motivating his granddaughter: Alison Tetrick had been a college tennis player and was pursuing triathlon, but her strong performance on the bike turned her toward cycling. She treasures times when she and her grandfather can be together on their bikes.

'My grandpa is the first person who told me I should race bikes, and it was special to be racing alongside of him because there I was, doing what he had encouraged, and overcoming the odds along the way, “ Alison said. In October 2013, both Tetricks had the opportunity to ride against each another in the Paula Higgins Memorial Record Challenge Time Trial. Paul confessed that he was afraid his granddaughter, who started 10 minutes behind him, might catch up. Though Alison won gold in the 40K event, she didn't catch her speedy grandfather, who crushed his previous time trial record of 34:37.5 in the 20K race. 'She kind of watched what I was doing, and she's a pro now, ” Paul Tetrick said.

Paul keeps track of his granddaughter's races across the globe. He's not on email much, so he calls Alison to catch up. Paul talks proudly of her sports achievements, and that Alison, a biochemistry major in college, is taking an online course to continue her education. As grandfathers often do, Paul offers advice. 'She works too hard. She doesn't get enough rest, “ he says, adding that athletes need to remember that proper rest is equal in importance to hard work. 'She doesn't get that. She's very intense.”

As for his own training regime, Paul rides six days a week for a couple of hours a day. When it's less than 40 degrees, he's on the trainer. Riding around his home in Evergreen, Colorado, keeps him fit and alert. 'We live at 8,000 feet. Nothing but hills here, expect one little spot where it's flat, “ Paul said. 'It keeps you awake mentally when you're riding because you have to be alert around traffic… downhills… big animals.”


Photo: Alison Tetrick