Bob Guthrie riding full-speed ahead into his golden years |

Bob Guthrie riding full-speed ahead into his golden years

SILVERTHORNE – Bob Guthrie claims he sleeps, but it’s not clear where he finds the time.

Guthrie is a self-described computer nut, a well-known local cyclist as well as a spinning instructor, skier, snowboarder, hiker, mountain climber, inline skater and partially retired doctor. He’s also about to become, for the second time in his life, a groom.

Guthrie and fiancee Bonnie Saunders will marry in August in their Eagles Nest home on her 60th birthday.

It’s a hectic enough lifestyle for a man of any age – much less one of 63. Guthrie thrives on it, so much so that he doesn’t even take time to think about trivial details like birthdays.

“Age is only what you let it be,” he said. “I never worry about that. When I passed 40, I was a little concerned. But I sailed right by 50 and 60 without even thinking about it.”

Silverthorne Recreation Center spinning enthusiasts know the gray-haired, slight senior citizen as a tough instructor. He’s also among the most animated, leading the class with a deep, booming voice and often bursting into song.

“I think you’ve got to impart that enthusiasm out there to the class and into whatever it is you’re doing,” he said.

Throughout his life, Guthrie has done just that, excelling at almost anything to which he’s put his hand.

“I’ve always been sort of a leader in whatever I started to do,” he said.

The Iowa native spent the bulk of his career working as a radiation oncologist at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo, Iowa, helping launch a cancer treatment center that has become a model for other such centers. He served as chief of staff and on the center’s board of directors.

He also raised two boys and was married for 33 years to a nurse he met while he was a medical student.

About the time he turned 40, his son encouraged him to take up cycling. Like everything else he’s done, Guthrie gave it his all. He raced in an over-40 group for many years, taking first place in single-day road championships for 10 years running. Eventually, his son quit racing. Guthrie kept going.

“I am competitive by nature,” he admitted. “But it was also something I enjoyed. My field was difficult because half my patients died every year. Bicycling took my mind off of that. When I was riding, I didn’t think about patients.”

Eventually, however, Guthrie said his work began to permeate his life.

“When I began to take it home with me, I knew it was time to quit,” he said.

Several things changed in his life in quick order. In the mid-90s – when Guthrie reached his mid 50s – he retired, he and his wife divorced, and Guthrie moved to his Dillon condominium.

He hasn’t entirely given up his medical practice, however. Guthrie spends two weeks a year back in Waterloo, filling in for vacationing doctors and helping to finance his frequent travels.

“I enjoy it,” he said. “It forces me to stay up on current treatments.”

Two years after he moved to Dillon, he met Saunders.

“We met in the middle of a blizzard,” she said. Both were skiing at Copper Mountain as members of the resort’s Over The Hill Gang. “We were in hats and goggles. You couldn’t see. Just to be friendly, I said, “hi,’ and he flipped up his goggles, and said, “Bonnie, it’s Bob.'”

Guthrie said the two met a year before, but Saunders didn’t remember.

“I guess I didn’t make an impression,” he said.

He’s more than made up for that since then, however, they agree.

The romance and impending marriage has taken them both by surprise. Saunders was single 14 years before she met Guthrie, and Guthrie didn’t think he would ever marry again.

The other members of the Over The Hill Gang knew better, however.

“We were an item (in their minds) long before we knew we were an item,” he said, laughing.

On the days they skied, Guthrie “would save me a spot at lunch,” Saunders said.

“I knew,” she said. “He was the only one who didn’t know.”

Guthrie may be settling down again, but he’s hardly standing still. He continues to be an avid skier, and during the summer, Guthrie rides about 100 miles a week.

While bride-to-be Saunders – an inline skater, skier, hiker and cyclist – is no slouch herself, she knows better than to try to keep up with Guthrie on a bicycle.

“He’s given up asking me to ride with him,” she said. “When he asks, I’ve said, “Why would I want to ride alone?’ I ride like a normal person.”

Jane Reuter can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at

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