Breaking Away

The hot spot for active boomers is not the golf course, it's the bike trail, and new gear makes the ride easier

Rob Howard / Butterfield and Robinson

Cyclists tour on the Silk Road in China.

Recreational cycling appears to have peaked in the U.S., its popularity cresting sometime during Lance Armstrong's record runs at the Tour de France. But as the sport has lost enthusiasts overall, a surprising demographic has stuck around and even begun to dominate the trails and bike paths of the U.S., if not yet the world: retirees and near retirees.

People ages 45 to 64 account for 20% of all those over age 7 who rode a bike at least six times last year, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. That's up from 13% a decade ago. Yes, this age bracket...

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