80-mile bike ride for Arkansas man’s 80th birthday

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BATESVILLE, Ark. – A local man on the road to recovery after open-heart surgery – cycles 80 miles as a birthday gift to himself.

“I think a lot of people thought since I had open-heart surgery that shouldn’t happen,” says Larry Bentley, an 80-year-old cyclist.

Bentley recently completed an 80-mile bike ride despite what people told him he couldn’t do.

Before Larry Bentley started cycling, he was an avid runner and ran in races like Boston Marathon.

“I had me a good friend with me during the ride – in case something would have happened,” Bentley smiles.

His family was waiting at the end of his cycling course and surprised him with a toilet paper finish line to ride through.

“He had the biggest grin on his face,” says Mrs. Bentley.

Bentley says he believes age is just a number. He started cycling at the age of 60 after he was advised by his doctor to stop running.

“I left my doctor’s office with a cast on my leg and went to purchase myself a bike,” he says.

Now an avid cyclist, Bentley has been manning the handlebars for decades with a group of fellow cyclists that takes routine rides.

“You’re never too old to start something,” says Bentley.

He hopes his story will inspire others to be active at any age and to not look at aging as something negative.

“Don’t let your age dictate what you do. Let the way you feel and what you want to do dictate your activities, cause you can,” he says.

This isn’t the first time Bentley set a big goal to coincide with his birthday.

When he turned 78 he also did a 78-mile ride.

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Aaron Nolan is a morning show co-host in Little Rock, Arkansas with Nexstar Media Group's KARK-TV. He has a passion for social media and makes it an important part of his daily routine. Click here to read Aaron's full bio.