HALLOWELL — A little more than a decade ago, Austin Moore was looking for a way to exercise without putting too much stress on his aching knees.

Running was out. Hiking was out. But Moore found the perfect solution on his bike, and years later, he hasn’t let up.

Moore, 75 and a farmer from Whitefield, was riding around downtown Hallowell when he stopped first for breakfast, and then to answer some questions, at Slate’s Restaurant and Bakery.


Q: So you’ve gotten into cycling just as a way to stay active?

A: “I didn’t really do it until I got maybe into my 60s, early to mid 60s, when I kind of picked it up again. I don’t really know why. But it just worked out good with my knee problem, and the idea that I wanted to be outside. I’m not really one of these gym guys, going to the gym all the time. I’ve been so physical all my life, and I really don’t like to exercise for the sake of exercising. I like to do something. That’s kind of where I’m coming from.”







Q: What’s the knee problem?


A: “I was a farmer all my life, and it’s very hard on your body. It’s physical and you’re lifting and yanking. I had a dairy farm and you get throwing bales of hay around or yanked around by cows, it’s just wear and tear. Other people, something else goes bad. In my case, it was my knees that wore out.”

Austin Moore rides over a bridge Tuesday on the Kennebec River Rail Trail in Hallowell. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo


Q: How often do you ride?

A: “In the summertime I try to go a couple of times a week, because I can go right from my door yard too, I don’t have to drive anywhere. But it’s nice here, because you don’t have to go in traffic and it’s quiet and some of it’s in the shade. It works out good. I’ve ridden this many, many times. But I also like to go further away, down to Bar Harbor and ride in those carriage trails. Things like that.”


Q: Do you ride the same distances, or do you vary it up?


A: “If you’re just going up here from Gardiner through Augusta, it can be like 13 miles. And then I have a couple of routes at home around town, 10 miles, something like that. And sometimes if I go down to the park, I do it as a day trip. If you get going early in the morning, you can do it and come back. If I go 20 miles, 25 miles at the most, I’m tired. That’s enough for one day.”


Q: Is this for exercise, or do you enjoy it?

A: “It’s both. I need to keep working my knees, but I also want to do something outside that I enjoy. … Bicycling just seemed to work out.”

Austin Moore rolls south past American flags Tuesday on the Kennebec River Rail Trail in Farmingdale. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo


Q: Have you felt the push to get into cycling gear or upgrade the bike? Do you see yourself getting serious about this?


A: “No, I’m just not one of them kind of guys. Cheap is good, simple is better. And a lot of people buy all this stuff and they hardly ever use it, and then they get tired of it or they go on to something else and it sits around. I have no desire to make anything any more complicated than it needs to be.”


Q: What do you like most about it?

A: “Well first of all, it’s exercise. You’ve got to work a little bit. It’s quiet. You’re not going so fast you can’t see what’s going on around you. If I was in a different position, maybe I would have taken up running or boating or hiking, or whatever. But the way my body’s turned out, it seems like bicycling has turned out the best.”

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