Do you see yourself getting to 90 years old? If you do, how do you see yourself spending your days? For 90 year old Arthur Warner from Worcester Park, getting out into the fresh air and cycling is what life is all about. Neil chatted to Arthur earlier this week at the Cycling Made Easy showroom in Coulsdon to find out more from this remarkable nonagenarian…
Neil: Hello Arthur, I know it’s a bit of a rude question but how old are you?
Arthur: I am in my 91st year.
Wow! So when did you get your e-bike?
Late September/October 2017. I came down to Cycling Made Easy and got it. My daughter said “Why don’t you get an electric bike?” I said, “Well, I don’t know, they’re quite a bit of money”. At first I went to a big chain store. Never again! They couldn’t tell me much about it and you want information, don’t you?
Indeed! Had you been cycling before that?
I’ve cycled all my life, from about the age of 5 or 6. I used to live in Woodmansterne and way back in the 1930s there were no buses. Everyone had a bike to go to Banstead. During the war of course, with no cars, you had to cycle to go to work. So, I’ve had a bike all my life but I’m not what you’d call a racer.
How often do you go out cycling?
Everyday, weather permitting. I try to do 5 miles a day. Most days I do 7 miles. I get disappointed if it’s raining or if there are things like doctor’s appointments that get in the way.
Every day! That’s great! So, what sort of journey do you take on your e-bike?
Mostly out and around the local parks. I go shopping of course. I go from Worcester Park to Stoneleigh. The thing is I can’t walk very far. I’ve got a bit of arthritis so the bike is perfect for getting around.
Yes, we have a lot of customers who can cycle now in spite of arthritis, which is great. Would you say shopping is easier on your e-bike?
Oh yeah. I’ve got two panniers on the back which you can get quite a lot of stuff in. It’s surprising!
I’ve got three ‘modes’. If I want to get further quickly, I take my scooter. Parking a car can be dreadful so I can take a bike or scooter instead.
I have cycled down to the Cycling Made Easy showroom which is 9 miles each way. I had to think to myself, Am I up to an 18 mile journey? but it’s so easy on the e-bike.
—See also our video on shopping with an e-bike—
—Interview continues below—
“It’s the exercise too…”
What’s been the biggest change in your life since getting your e-bike?
The fact that I go out everyday. I wouldn’t go out everyday on an ordinary bike. Sometimes you don’t feel as energetic, especially as you get to my age. On the e-bike, I just have to choose a power setting and I’ve got it easy. It’s the exercise too. It keeps the old knees moving and gets you puffing!
What would you miss the most if you didn’t have your e-bike?
I would miss going out everyday. I would miss it greatly. It would be a long time before I got rid of it. I mean, there’s gonna come a day. With my 91st birthday coming, you think something’s got to happen but let’s hope it doesn’t happen when I’m on the bike!
Yes, let’s hope not! What would you say to someone who’s on the brink of getting an e-bike?
Don’t hesitate. If they can, ask somebody who’s got one. I pulled into the Waitrose car park and, blow me, I was next to a bloke who was getting off an electric bike. I had a word and asked How do you find it? and he said exactly the same as I’m saying: it was “absolutely great”.
As you say in the showroom You won’t appreciate an electric bike until you’ve tried one. We went up the short road up there and it was great. At least go for a test-ride. That will convince you. No doubt about that.
—See Nicola’s review. She also says ‘Don’t Hesitate’—
—Interview continues below—
What should people know about electric bikes?
You don’t need to have it on full power all the time. People should really know how to use the gears alongside the levels of power assistance. As long as you’re getting along easy [as you pedal], you won’t use up all of your battery.
I try to get into the habit of getting into the lower gears coming up to the traffic lights so I’m ready to get away quickly. Those kind of things you really get to know and then you’re away, no hesitation. Any doubters, you can ring me up!
Haha, I’ll let people know! How many miles have you done?
I’ve coming up to 300 miles…which is the same as cycling from here to Cornwall! That fascinates me. I do like to know how far I’ve been. You get a shock sometimes!
What are some of your recommended places to cycle?
Nonsuch Park, Motspur Park and dare I say it Morden Cemetery. You’re off-road and you don’t have the traffic.
Thanks Arthur! We think you’re a real inspiration and I hope that more people follow in your footsteps…or rather tyre trails…and get e-biking! Whether you’re a 20-something or a 90-something, we have an e-bike for you!
Arthur’s E-Bike of Choice: