And she says she feels better with each passing year.

"You can ride alongside someone who's 90 or someone who's 18," Malone says. "What you have in common is the road. I love it. It's just so freeing. You get on the bike and you have to power to get places just by pedaling. It's very empowering. You set a goal and it can be achieved through cycling. You just keep pedaling."

That's the lesson the Daleys learned, one mile at a time.

When they purchased their cruisers two years ago, riding a few blocks through their neighborhood left them exhausted. They would see groups of cyclists speeding past their home and think — nice, but never for them!

But after a few times out, they joined a Wednesday night group ride from a local bike shop.

"I thought I was going to die," Darla Daley says of their first time out on the 15mile ride through Hazel Park and northwest Detroit. Now the weekly rides are a breeze for the couple. They do weekend rides of up to 50 miles and weekday rides as often as their schedules allow. In addition, they make it a point to take their bikes to places they used to drive.

"You see things you don't normally see driving by in a car, even in your own neighborhood," Don says.

"I never thought I'd love it as much as I do," Darla adds. "Other bikers wave at you. It's just fun."

Tips for safe cycling

Always wear a helmet.

Be sure your bike is in good working condition.

Properly inflate tires based on recommendations on the tire.

Only ride bikes that fit your body size. If unsure, visit a bike shop to ask what size is best for you.

Stay hydrated. Have a water bottle on your bike and/or take breaks where you can drink.

Do not wear earphones, earplugs or other items that block your ears. You should be alert to traffic.

Learn to ride safely. Join experienced cyclists who welcome newcomers, or take a class offered by area bike shops.

Look out for and listen for traffic. Do not assume motorists see you even if they appear to be looking directly at you. Be mindful of parked cars with doors that may open unexpectedly.

Two websites to visit for more tips on safe cycling: (click on the "Bicycle Safety" link) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (; type "bicycle safety" in the search field).