story by Nancy Dooley
pictures by Dave Becker
On May 19, 2021, long-time Fresno cyclist Micha Langer completed another 100 mile ride over the roads in and around the Fresno area. What is so unique about this feat is that Micha is 89 years old. He was on another of his birthday rides where he has to ride his age in miles. Every spring, when Father Time ticks through another year, Micha sets off on his bike to log another of those birthday rides.
This year he had three companions along on his outing. Pictured with him at Sherwood Forest Golf Course nestled at the base of the foothills is Norm and Pam Gatineau who rode the majority of the miles. Also along on this trek and at its end is Dave Becker who rode every mile with Micha. He said, "It was an honor for us to accompany Micha on this his 89th birthday ride."
I first met Micha when he was 62. At that time, he was riding across America on his first PAC (Pacific Atlantic Cycling) tour. This is a long distance endurance ride. Each day of this tour is 130-140 miles. The riders start on the west coast and finish on the east. This first PAC went across the country on the southern route. When Micha was 68, he repeated another PAC tour, but this time took the northern route.
I remember his story about being bit by a dog at the gates of Glacier National Park on that northern trip. When his doctor friends learned of this dog bite, they were worried about the possibility of rabies. They called up the rangers at Glacier and had them go out to the mobile home where the dog lived to see if he was still alive and healthy. The dog was okay, so no rabies.
Micha is an incredible bike rider, but he is a man of many talents. In his professional life, he is an extraordinary photographer. He has had many accomplishments in his field: he has worked as a stringer for Time magazine, and had five one-man shows at the Fresno Art Museum.
On a club ride in May of 2014, Ken Herrington's Tues/Thurs group cycled to downtown Fresno to visit City Hall where Micha had a one man art exhibit: People in the Arts - Portraits. The second floor gallery was lined with Micha's work. It was a real treat to see each artist placed in a setting that reflected their discipline - a writer, a sculptor, a painter. Truly beautiful compositions. I love taking pictures and have throughout my life, but to see the result of Micha's work is to realize that he is an artist with a camera and should have had his portrait hanging there with all the others.