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If you think that being in your eighties will stop you from cycling, think again!

David, who is 86, is a familiar sight in Poole, riding on his electric trike around the town. In this blog, he tells us how his electric trike gives him freedom, enjoyment and independence.

David on Trike 2 SmlLike most people I first started cycling when I was a child. Later on in life, my wife and I took up cycling together to explore the countryside and get some fresh air and exercise.  It’s something I’ve always enjoyed. But when I started to develop arthritis, as well as a condition which caused the loss of my sense of balance, cycling became much more difficult. My daughter suggested buying a basic e-trike, which worked well for a while. But that too eventually became difficult, so I bought my Jorvik e-trike which I ride to this day. You do have to pedal a bit to activate the electric motor assistance, but that is great as it helps to keep my limbs moving.

Getting out and about is very important for me, my trike is my independence and I would be stuck at home without it. It’s my only means of transport and it gives me the mobility to get to the shops in Westbourne and my local supermarket, straight from my front door, as well as sometimes to Poole town centre. Activities that most people do every day without any trouble are often difficult for me as I can no longer drive and can only walk a very short distance before I need a rest, so my e-trike is an essential mobility aid.

But I also use my trike for pleasure, to get out of the house and get some fresh air. Mostly I go to Whitecliff and Baiter Park but sometimes I go as far as Poole Quay. Many people stop and say hello and have a chat with me when I am out and about. They are very interested in my trike and ask about how it works and what it is like to ride, so there is this positive social element as well.

The recent improvements that BCP Council have made to the cycle path in Baiter Park are absolutely wonderful. It’s like riding on a billiard table! I know they are building more cycle paths like this across the area so I am looking forward to trying those out as well. They will definitely make cycling a lot safer for people like me as the traffic can be a bit intimidating.

I would like to go further on my rides and have often thought about going across the ferry to Purbeck for a bit of a day trip. The batteries on the trike are good for about 30 miles so I am sure I could do a pleasant tour around the countryside. The e-trike has five levels of pedal assist and seven hub gears, which enable me to cope easily with hills and headwinds. Walking is always difficult and uncomfortable and it’s a huge delight to be able to get about so easily and effortlessly.

I do think that there needs to be a change in the perception of cycling. For many people it is a sort of fringe activity, whereas I think it should be seen as part of your ordinary everyday routine. It’s a mobility tool just like a car or public transport. Another really important benefit of cycling is the exercise.

I do feel better after a cycle ride, it gives me a bit of a glow. The trike gives me independence and above all else it is terrific fun to ride. It is freedom, independence and enjoyment, it’s great!


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