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Who Needs Bingo? Elderly Cyclists Smash Expectations With Mega Trips

Who Needs Bingo? Elderly Cyclists Smash Expectations With Mega Trips

One multiple sclorosis sufferer cycled with a titanium knee to his 50-year high school reunion. Retirement used to involve less activity, not more, but times…

Thursday, Sep 22

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One multiple sclorosis sufferer cycled with a titanium knee to his 50-year high school reunion. Retirement used to involve less activity, not more, but times have changed. Among certain retirees, long-distance cycling — and we mean seriously long distance — has replaced gardening, golf, and lawn bowling. One elderly man rode from Scotland to Mongolia. Another man and his wife started cycling around the world the day that they retired.

Why the shift? Australian retiree Tilmann Waldthaler believes that at least some cases, 80 is the new 50. Tilmann Waldthale, 80, says he feels like 50. Photo: SBS Australia “I don’t look like an 80-year-old, I don’t think like an 80-year-old, I don’t act like an 80-year-old,” says Waldthaler.

Waldthaler has cycled more than 520,000km through 143 countries. With “the body of a 50-year-old”, he shows no signs of slowing down.

For Waldthaler, the life-altering moment came in 1972. He was on his way from Cairns to Darwin when he noticed a person bike-packing. The sight fascinated him. Ever since 1977, he’s biked around world. During one stint, he rode more than 55,000 from New Zealand to the Arctic Circle in Norway via Asia and the Middle East. It took him five years.

Waldthaler has been held at gunpoint in Iran and hit by a bus in India. In 1982, he met his wife in the Sahara. The couple don’t have any children. But they have 14 bikes. The Jensens began their bike adventure the morning after their retirement began. Photo: Market Watch […]

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