Consider it just another bike ride for Larry Entwistle.
Having completed a cross-country trek about five years ago, the 71-year-old speaks about his recent 1,120-mile trip from his Colorado Springs home to Wheaton College as if it's no big deal.
He was just enjoying himself with another fellow Wheaton College alum as they made their way during the 12-day journey. They arrived at the college Thursday afternoon.
"Physically, you never feel better than after four or five days of riding a bike," Entwistle said. "It's about as good as it's going to get. It's a great feeling there."
For nearly two weeks, Class of 1961's Entwistle and Class of 1982's Andy Krumsieg made their way across open rural lands in hopes of reaching their destination for the school's Alumni Weekend. As Entwistle rushed for his 50th reunion, Krumsieg wanted to make it for his daughter, Christine's, graduation on Sunday.
It could be argued that the trek had been 50 years in the making. A classic Schwinn Entwistle used to cycle through Europe after his graduation was restored about a month ago. He had intended to ride that bike but instead left it hanging on his wall.
"This ride kind of closes the loop at Wheaton College," he said. "I have just been blessed with real good health."
Entwistle said he met fellow Wheaton grad Krumsieg randomly during his cross-country ride in 2006.
The companionship during the trip made things go smoother.
"We just have a lot in common and similar values," he said. "It makes it twice as good with someone else."
Entwistle said there was no itinerary for the trip and it took them from many rural areas into St. Louis and up the Mississippi River, where the high-water levels flooded some of the bike paths.
"We just made it up as we went along," he said.
But once he arrived, he said it was nice to see his old friends again, something he tries to do at least every five years.
"That makes (the rides) sweeter when you get to a place that means something to you," he said. "It was kind of emotional pulling up to the college. I'm just thankful that at 71 I'm still in good enough health to do it."