KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Reaching 100 years of age is quite an accomplishment. Fred Webb tacked a 75,000-mile biking accomplishment onto the special birthday.
Webb isn't letting his age slow him down. He says riding the stationary bike in his basement each day is his secret to longevity.
Fifty years ago, Webb purchased the Schwinn Exerciser stationary bike at Greenlee's Bike Shop in Knoxville. Since then, he's pedaled toward the now-met milestone.
The bike sits in Webb's basement. He usually steps down the stairs and into the seat for 5 miles a day, 7 days a week.
He knew he wanted to hit the 75,000 miles on his 100th birthday, so had to slow down on the mileage during the days leading up to the big day.
As the mileage tracker ticked from 74,999 to 75,000, Webb's son exclaimed, "You did it!"
Webb's family of five generations had a front-row seat to his success. They even presented him with a certificate to commemorate the accomplishment.
His activity doesn't stop as he dismounts from the drive. He mowed his yard and did work outside for 4 hours the day prior.
He says staying active is the key to a long life, though he says he "doesn't know" how it feels to be 100 years old, because he doesn't have a feeling to compare it to.
"This honors the Creator, I think," Webb said. "If you want to be thankful to the Creator for making you, then I think you've got to put forth some effort, you know?"
The lifelong member of City View Baptist is blessed. He's thankful to be alive and believes he's the oldest member at the church just a few steps from his door.
As he sits and reflects on his life in his living room, he thinks about his time in World War II. The veteran has plenty of stories from hiding out and fighting in Europe during the war.
"A lot of us thought we shouldn't even have been over there, and that's still a big question, but we felt that our being there probably won the war," Webb said.
His mind wanders to thoughts of those he's lost, like his wife, Mary.
"We had 72 years together," Webb said.
They were married when she was 16 and was 19.
While his wife died in 2013, he still remembers her fondly for the beautiful woman, mother and wife she was.
Webb still has a song to sing. He has written, produced and sung dozens of songs throughout his life. Many times, he sang every part of the songs he created.
Equipped with a recording studio in his basement, Webb's multi-talented layers shine through the speakers.
Most songs are religious, but there are also some from his younger days, like when he would sit on the porch and men would come whittle away. He drew inspiration from everyday life when writing his songs.
Whether Webb is riding a bike, or humming to a beat, he is gladly celebrating a century of life surrounded by the things he loves.
After that big milestone, Webb and his family ate lunch at Mcdonald's to celebrate. He said it's his favorite spot in North Knoxville.