Too old to cycle
Kenneth Taylor, from Bolton in Lancashire and 92 next March, has finally thrown in his cycling helmet. Ken was a keen cyclist in his youth and took the activity up again in his 60s when his knees gave way as a result of many years of fell running and climbing all the Scottish Munros (often accompanied by his wife Françoise). A few falls off the bike from losing his balance, he decided enough was enough.
Here's Ken in 2008 cycling in the Lancashire lanes. At the time, he was cycling over 10 miles per day, but he cycled longer distances during regular holidays in Wales and Scotland. In fact his recent falls were nothing serious, usually going sideways into the hedge without injury, but at that age it's confidence as much as anything, and he lost it.
Oddly, he didn't cycle for fitness but only to 'collect' the miles – a numbers game with his daily totals recorded in a notebook. The ten or so daily miles would be achieved in several outings, including shopping, visiting the local library, etc. Even more oddly, Ken now cycles his ten 'miles' per day on an exercise bike in his living room, purely for fitness.
It's a characteristic of riding a bicycle that for older people it's often easier than walking, and it seems a pity that so few take advantage of this encouraging fact. A lack of funds is no excuse either. Kenneth Taylor's bike – a ladies' model – was given to him for free by his LBS, the Green Machine in Horwich, Lancashire, who also maintained it at very low cost.
[ Ken died aged 93 on June 7th, 2011 ]