Susan’s Inspiring People – Active Seniors

A Long Life With Bikes

At 89, Neil Rides 4,000 Kilometres Each Year …

Neil Graham is 89 years young and still rides a bicycle, as he has done for most of his life, clocking up a remarkable 4,000 kilometres every year!  

Neil began track cycling as a teenager in Melbourne but didn’t do his first long distance ride until he was forty-nine.  That year, he and a friend flew to Adelaide and rode back to Melbourne via the coast. The next year Neil rode solo to Sydney. It took him eleven days riding through the Snowy Mountains. He travelled light, carrying just a few clothes, tools and snack bars, and says at 52 kgs, he had no trouble cycling up mountains. Neil rode from Melbourne to Sydney a further five times, his last ride at age sixty-eight. When asked about challenges he said, “I enjoyed it that much, challenge didn’t come into it.”  

He has some advice for younger people: “If you get the thought to do something (out of the ordinary) don’t hesitate. It’s not as hard as it appears!”

Neil Graham, 89 years young, riding his bicycle (Photo by Marjorie Graham)
Neil Graham, 89 years young, riding his bicycle (Photo by Marjorie Graham)

“I’m Chasing Neil!”

At 70, Ces Rides Up To 100 Kilometres A Day …

Does growing older have to mean losing mobility and freedom?  Some seniors say “No!”  The later years can mean more freedom to do what they enjoy.  

Cecil found that retiring from work gave him time to ride.  He exchanged his Triumph motorcycles for push bikes and now rides five days a week.  

I met Cecil (Ces for short) one morning at the Village Green on his way home from a 40-kilometre ride. He told me he rides up to one hundred kilometres in a day. He later introduced me to Neil, a fellow cyclist, who is eighty-nine and still riding.  

You might think Ces has been riding bikes all his life, but not so. He only started riding seriously about twelve years ago. Ces, a fit 70-year-old, says cycling keeps his brain alert, body working and helps him with balance.  He finds it is good for his mental health too. Ces also has a passion for fixing things. Repairing, maintaining and building bikes keeps him busy on the days he can’t ride.  

When asked how long he thinks he can keep riding, Ces laughs and says, “I’m chasing Neil!” 

Cecil, 70 years, rides up to 100 Kms a day!
Cecil, 70 years, rides up to 100 Kms a day!

By Susan Alexander (Inspirational Writer)