Retiree celebrates birthday biking Natchez Trace - - Jackson, MS

Retiree celebrates birthday biking Natchez Trace

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James Powell James Powell
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A Jackson retiree isn't spending his golden years on the couch, instead he's on a mission to inspire others.

And after more than seven decades James Powell is still finding new ways to stay mentally alert and physically fit.

"I have the time now to fulfill a goal of mine that has taken me 30 years," said Powell.

He isn't using his retirement years to kick back, but set new goals and challenge his body and mind.

Powell turned 72-years-old on June 17th and set out to bike the Natchez Trace.

The former runner said he laid off regular exercise for a while but purchased a bike for $99.00 and got on a training schedule.

"I've had the bike less than four months, and I have over 800 miles on that bike training to go to Natchez," said the cyclist.

The retired mortgage banker and landscaping business owner said his mission is to encourage others over 65 to get and remain active.

"It's a way to maintain a healthy or good life and my idea of riding 93 miles does not say you need to ride 93 miles, but you need to do something," said the exercise enthusiast.

"He's a great example, and it definitely makes him happy," said cyclist Anna Richardson who dropped Powell off and picked him up at the end of his ride.

Richardson is a garden teacher at Rowan Middle School which is across the street from Powell's home.

"I've gone out a couple of times with him. We did one 30 mile ride and one 50 mile ride, and he's great. He keeps pace and it's really inspiring that he's 72 years old, and he's gonna ride a hundred miles," said Richardson.

On June 23rd he left Osborn's Stand in Jackson and traveled the trace for seven hours and 38 minutes, covering 84.4 miles, averaging 11 miles per hour.

Accomplishing one goal and aiming for another.

"I will go to Lumberton Mississippi and team up with the Gold Coast Skydiving group there and go up and jump out of an airplane at 14,000 feet," added the adventurer.

You are urged to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise regime.

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