Living Stronger: "Sticky Bun Riders" pedal with purpose through Denver

From 18 wheels to 2

Living Stronger is a CBS Evening News series celebrating the people leading the way to longevity  and inspiring the rest of us.    

DENVER -- What's the secret to living stronger? For one man, it's addition by subtraction -- in his case, going from 18 wheels to two. 

The Red Rocks near Denver are breathtaking for tourists. But the steep, hard trail can leave a lot of bike riders grasping for breath -- and that's exactly why 80-year-old Lew Cox loves it. 

"For me, I felt better afterwards," Cox said. "Physically and mentally."

They call their club "The Sticky Bun Riders" because when they formed 15 years ago, they would end their rides at a bakery. The bakery has since closed, but the weekly ride goes on through Denver's thin air at altitudes of 5,000-6,000 feet. 

Most of the men are in their 60s or 70s, doing this roughly 27-mile bike ride with jerseys that say it all: a social club with a cycling problem. 

Lew Cox. CBS News 

"I found out the secret of growing old is just not to die," Cox said. 

Cox's life was once sedentary. His truck-driving job involved mostly sitting. Twelve years ago, after retirement, he saw his son's bike in the garage and took it for a spin. 

Now, he also rides a stationary bike three times a week, and even rides his bike to the gym. It adds up to about 85 miles a week. Over the years, that adds up to enough miles to circle the globe. 

"I want to ride 'til I just can't," Cox said. 

But for now, there is no stopping Cox or the riders who proudly consider themselves the oldest and fittest biker gang in all of Colorado.