A Military Epic Pass Discount Special Became A Big Motivator To Get Back In Shape.

Marc—The Inspired Biker—Liebman

Last winter and spring, like many others, I watched the ski season melt away. For those who went before the big shut down, good on you. For, me, the only hopes I had of skiing was in late April or May or June at Mammoth.  And, poof, that was gone.

Slowly, I had been building back the stamina I had from a persistent infection I was fighting since the previous summer, but at 74 and more than a half, what was gone was gone, never to return.

Yet, I had hope.

Hope came from several sources. One was that medically I knew I was beating the bug. Another was from the emails from ski areas saying they just received X inches of new snow. Snow wasn’t going away. That was comforting.

Another inspiration came from an odd source. One morning, my inbox has an email from the people who run Epic Pass offering a steep discount for an unlimited pass assuming I could prove that I was a member—active, reserve or retired—of the U.S. military. I read the fine print, called and then had a long online chat with the online person before I plunked down my credit card data for an Epic Pass that cost about what I would spend for two days of skiing! The purchase was a no brainer.

So, with that in hand, so to speak, I was even more inspired to regain as much as I could the way of fitness for the season to come. At the end of June, I was finally off the medications and cleared to start exercising more “vigorously” than walking.  Since Covid had shut down all gyms and even when they re-opened, they were considered high-risk for a septuagenarian.

What was left? Summer in North Texas was here, and I pulled my bike down from the rack. The tires were flat and when I tried to pump them up, I popped both tubes. Since it hadn’t been ridden in a year, I took it to a bike shop which recommended that I replace the brake pads, (cracked and split and soon wouldn’t work) and the chain which was showing some signs of wear.

How long to fix? Six weeks! Egads! Everyone was rehabbing their bikes, it seems. So it was back to walking.

But, beginning in August, I was on the bike four or five times a week. The goal, get back to 20 miles a ride. Now, before you are impressed, the elevation change of the route I take is a whopping 94 feet. I’m averaging about 10.6 miles per hour so I am not riding like a bat out of hell. Eleven miles takes roughly an hour.

The most important thing is that I am riding and am, as of this writing, doing about 12 miles a ride. Still working on getting to 20. Next challenge is figuring out how to get to the slopes to make use of my Epic Pass.

Now that’s an inspiration.


  1. yes, and your story is an inspiration to all of us. Here’s to you skiing in 2021!

  2. Marc,

    Glad you’re recovering and looking forward to skiing, again.

    A change of topic. What is the title of Josh Haman book 4 and why isn’t it on Amazon or identified as book 4 on Amazon?


  3. Cansnowplow says:

    According to my physical therapist doctor, bike riding is good cardio, good for legs, especially quads but is lacking for upper body development, i.e. your thorax area. Running with arms pumping or walking while swinging your arms aggressively helps stretch and strengthen your upper thorax and is better for it than biking. I was told the rib cage looses flex when the thorax isn’t taxed. Heavy breathing on the bike alone doesn’t flex it adequately and as we age, it is the stiffening rib cage that stops the lungs from inflating as they did when we were younger, thus we tire quicker. Keep walking and add the swing if you haven’t been. Bike for fun!

  4. Murray Jacobson says:

    Hello Mark my name is Murray Jacobson under the accessory column in the senior ski magazine I have a couple very good articles again ER exoskeleton. I have two shoulder Replacements two knee replacements and other work done for military service. I live at Big Bear and Snow Summit ski areas but I ski it mammoth many times during the year. Would like to talk to you my phone number is area code 909 283 8223, over the last two seasons I’ve been able to ski over a hundred days with the support of wearing my exoskeleton, look forward to hearing from you thank you so much your article is very inspirational

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