Then, one day in 1992, somebody backed into Upshaw’s car.
Getting it repaired, he wound up pulling out the 10-speed he had purchased for his oldest son during junior high. He rode it about 25 miles. And so, at age 51, the love affair began.
Fast forward Today, Upshaw has just returned from Washington, D. C. where he celebrated his 72nd birthday with a bicycle tour. Back in Anderson, it’s not an atypical weekday.
He rode his bike about 60 miles. He also played two hours of full court basketball. Upshaw has biked 7,000 to 9,000 miles each year for most years since 1992.
He’s been a member of the Anderson Spoke and Wheel Club since that time, with whom he served as ride leader for years. He continues to ride locally several times a week with his bicycling compadres, and on lengthy tours.
Chuck Baden and Upshaw go back 15 years or more. Baden, current chairman of Madison County’s Spoke and Wheel club, calls his riding buddy, “Eccentric. Eclectic. A distinct character of his own kind.”
“He knows what he wants to do and doesn’t particularly care what it looks like,” said Baden.
“Rex is the anti-cyclist,” laughed fellow S&W rider, Dave Crandall. “Clipless pedals. No bike shorts.”It’s true, Upshaw’s riding attire is likely to include denim shorts and topsiders, but he never fails to wear a helmet. That’s a happy thing, especially since Upshaw’s rides have not all been smooth. He was hit by a deer while on a tour in Michigan.
“I got T-boned,” said Upshaw. He also suffered a concussion after being hit by a car in a roundabout near Noblesville. “I flew through the air and I landed on the pavement. I should go out for the Olympics because I stuck my landing.”