70 miles at 70: Local celebrates birthday by biking for a cause

Published: Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 04:53 PM.

While many people his age are settling down, Roy Messer is hitting the road for a two-wheeled journey that men half his age would never even attempt, much less finish.

Messer, a self-made Internet domain magnate, will celebrate his 70th birthday this weekend by going on a 70-mile bike ride from his home in Santa Rosa Beach , up the 331 bridge into Freeport and back.

"I've got friends from all over coming in for the 70-miles ride," Messer told The Sun, adding that 15 to 20 cyclists will begin the journey.  “And I know of seven or eight of us that intend to do the whole 70 miles."

For most people, 70 miles on a bike may seem nearly impossible. Messer may barely break a sweat. In 2010, he joined a group of cyclists on a 3,412-mile, 49-day bike adventure from Los Angeles , Calif. , to Boston , Mass.

"It was a blast. It was the happiest I've been as an adult, ever," Messer said. "If you trained, it was a piece of cake."

Messer has only been cycling for about five years. He picked it up when he and his wife were looking for a healthy hobby. A friend invited him to do a bike ride in New Zealand , so he and his wife bought bikes and started some intensive cycling training. Pretty soon they were prepared and took the trip through New Zealand . Since then, Messer has cycled in numerous countries around the world, including Vietnam , Cambodia , Ireland and the Tuscany region of Italy .

He has plenty of time for his hobby now. He makes a comfortable living off the traffic on thousands of domain names he owns, and occasionally sells. A few years ago, he sold the rights to vodka.com to a Russian billionaire for $3 million.

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