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Retired Turlock teacher shares love of cycling, photography
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Ray Houlihan approaches the finish line of the 2014 Bay Area Senior Games 5K time trial. - photo by Photo Contributed

If you happen to cross paths with Ray Houlihan you’re likely to hear a story and be shown several photographs. About what depends on the day, but Turlock High baseball and local events are often a safe bet. Long since retired as a teacher, Houlihan spends his time covering the Turlock community with his camera in hand, often chatting up his subjects and getting contact information so he can share with them his photos.

He’s a staple on sidelines and around town, but odds are you might recognize him for another hobby of his too—cycling.

With a three-day a week schedule of riding his bike through town and with several 5K time trials to his name, the now 83-year-old Houlihan has made a name for himself locally with his persistent passion for the roads where, despite being retired, he has continued to provide lessons in determination and a pursuit of fun that defies age.

Recently, Houlihan participated in the 2014 Bay Area Senior Games—his third time at the event— where he joined two other octogenarians on the 5K time trial that took them through the windy, and sometimes hilly, roads of Fort Ord in Monterey.

“These guys come in with great experience and great bikes and I’m just happy to get in there with them,” Houlihan said.

But as would be expected, cycling wasn’t the only thing Houlihan did at the Senior Games. In addition to pushing his body to the limit, he also snapped away at his fellow competitors with his camera, documenting the day and the people involved to no doubt share with others.

“I get to relive what I’ve done and send pictures to people to show them what they’ve done,” Houlihan said. “Just the photography going with the adventure part, I enjoy it.”

Houlihan finished third in his age group when the ride was all said and done. Now, with plans to buy a brand new carbon fiber bicycle, Houlihan is already eying next year’s Senior Games competition with the zeal of a man half his age.

“I plan to go over there and ride it ahead of time to see if I can improve my time,” Houlihan said.