Elderly couple puts pedal to the pavement 

What began decades ago as a health kick has now become a passion for Vince Pando and his wife, Marcia.

Every Sunday, the San Mateo couple ride their bikes up Cañada Road as part of their pledge to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The Pandos will be hitting the hills of Coyote Point Park for the Tour de Peninsula recreational bicycle ride on Aug. 1 at 7 a.m.

“I discovered I had high cholesterol and high blood pressure 35 years ago and, in 2002, I underwent bypass surgery,” said Vince Pando, 75. “Cardiovascular and leg fitness are really important to me.”

While still a heart patient, Vince Pando is unable to do as many events as he used to, but he still rides to stay healthy. In his prime, he competed in numerous endurance cycling events, some with distances of up to 300 miles in one day. Marcia Pando, who will turn 77 in August, picked up her husband’s passion for cycling when they got married more than 20 years ago.

Riding her bike is just another item on Marcia Pando’s laundry list of physical activities; she has been involved in aquatic fitness for more than 40 years. Marcia Pando started a business called Water Workout 10 years ago and now teaches aerobics, Aichi and Watsu at two private senior centers and the Peninsula Hospital in Burlingame.

The Pandos are advocates for health promotion in the elderly population.

“I feel strongly that older people should be more active,” Marcia Pando said. “The worst thing you can do is sit in a rocking chair, watching life pass by.”

Founded 19 years ago, the Tour is a family-friendly event and a fundraiser benefiting San Mateo County parks. Between 1,500 and 2,000 cyclists are expected to participate in this year’s event.

The Pandos have been participating in the Tour for years and will be riding the 20-mile course this year. They regularly ride at least once a week, but in preparation for the Tour, Marcia Pando said they have been working really hard to get ready, riding 26 miles last weekend.

“I believe we are the oldest couple in the event,” Vince Pando said. “I’m really proud of Marcia because there are not many women in the TdP who are even close to her age. It’s really important for people our age to maintain physical fitness.”

shaughey@sfexaminer.com



Tour de Peninsula


When: Aug. 1, 7 a.m.
Where: Coyote Point Park (start-finish area at Eucalyptus Picnic Area, near the Coyote Point Marina)

Routes:

  • Kids: 1 to 3 miles
  • Beginner: 20 miles
  • Intermediate: 31 miles
  • Advanced: 63 miles (or consider the 13-mile Simon Says Shortcut, 50-mile option)

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