Spencer Halper

man in bicycle gear & helmet

Philadelphia is located about 60 miles from Freehold.

Spencer Halper will ride that distance on his bicycle—

plus 25 additional miles.

Philadelphia is located about 60 miles from Freehold. Spencer Halper will ride that distance on his bicycle— plus 25 additional miles. Spencer Halper will be spending his birthday on Friday, October 4, a little differently than most people turning 85-years-old. He’ll spend a great deal of the day on his Scott carbon fiber 22-speed road bike pedaling 85 miles, one mile for each year of his life.

He began this annual tradition at age 80 and is still going strong.

“I started running at age 49 but developed a foot problem, so I took up biking at age 71,” Spencer explains. “I continue to enjoy it and I’m convinced it helps keep me healthy.”

Riding with his local bike club, the 600-member Princeton Free Wheelers, it’s not uncommon for him to ride anywhere from 25 to 45-mile rides. “I often ride with a couple of other octogenarians, but am also motivated by riding with younger riders as well.”

Building Bone Strength to Prevent Injury

Spencer Halper

Moving with wife Gladys to Applewood last year from an adult community in Monroe Township, Spencer also makes good use of the CentraState Fitness & Wellness Center on rest days.

“I spend my off days lifting weights, which helps to strengthen my bones in the event of a fall,” Spencer explains.

“I also recommend the Applewood Fitness Center to help my friends and neighbors get started with weight-bearing exercises.”

His strategy is right on target—the Cleveland Clinic touts the value of lifting weights to offset osteoporosis, improve balance and strengthen aging bones https://health.clevelandclinic.org/7-tips-for-healthy-bones-2/

The former sales and marketing executive rides 12 months a year since he and Gladys spend their winters in Lake Worth, where he is a member of the 400-member Boca Raton Bike Club.

“I street ride about 7,000 miles a year.”

Spencer Halper

The Ride Plan for October 4, 2019


About 20 other cyclists from the Princeton bike club will ride with Spencer. The group will leave a park destination in East Windsor at 7 am and make brief stops every 22-25 miles.

He estimates the group will ride 13 to 14 miles per hour.

In the past five weeks, he has chalked up one 90-mile ride and two 85-mile jaunts, so he should be primed for next week.

Spencer estimates the group should return to their starting point between 2-3 pm.

As of now, the weather is slated to be cool in the morning and reach the 60’s by afternoon. In the unlikely chance it rains, the ride will be postponed.

Making Bikes Affordable for the Less Fortunate

Like many residents at Applewood, Spencer also serves his community.

He is active in the Trenton Boys/Girls Club Bicycle Exchange, a volunteer-led enterprise that repairs donated bicycles and sells them at modest prices in low-income neighborhoods.

Sal Milazzo, his friend and Applewood neighbor, has also contributed his efforts by helping to repair bikes and ready them for resale.

“Since 2009, we’ve repaired and sold 18,000 bicycles and raised $1,000,000 to support the Boys/Girls Club,” Spencer notes.

Why Biking?


Spencer says the rigor of distance biking leaves him feeling mentally uplifted and he likes the comradery of riding with younger people who see him as a cyclist, not just an older person.

“But first and foremost, I bike for my health,” Spencer explains.

“Without my riding, I wouldn’t have the good health and mobility that I enjoy.”

Fitness and Well-Being Amenities Abound at Applewood

Working-out and regular exercise becomes even more important later in life. And a little goes a long way in keeping you limber and agile. If you haven’t tried a fitness class or stopped by to meet Matt, our Fitness & Wellness Coordinator, stop in!

At Applewood, we emphasize living a healthy lifestyle in everything we do. Call our friendly team at (848) 233-4283 and make plans to visit, have lunch and tour our apartments and cottage homes.