CyclesUK and British Triathlon get veteran cyclist back on his bike


Veteran Cyclist Les Johnston is back on his bike after two years with the help of CyclesUK, British Triathlon and the Triathlon Trust. 87 year-old Les has Alzheimer’s, and despite a life-long history of success, cycling on the road is no longer safe for him. However, a trip to the London Triathlon show last week has got him back in the saddle. Les and his wife, Barbara, spotted the turbo trainers setup as part of the GO TRI Gym Challenge and Les was more than keen to take part. 

He spent around 20 minutes pedalling, whilst Barbara spoke to some of the British Triathlon and Triathlon Trust team; showing photos of Les from the 1940’s and 50’s racing on steel frame bikes and out on social club rides. Barbara told the team how much he misses cycling and talks about it every day, it was clear by Les’ reaction that he was happy to be back on a bike.

CyclesUK already helps provide bikes and turbo trainers for the Triathlon Trust, British Triathlon’s official Charity, so when we heard about Les we were happy to send him a CycleOps trainer free of charge. The turbo trainer arrived a couple of days ago and Les is now back on his beloved bike after 2 years off. 

Peter Skelton, Cycles UK - “At Cycles UK we are all cyclist ourselves. When we heard Les’ story we knew straight away that we wanted to get him back on his bike.  A turbo trainer is a great way for cyclists who can no longer ride on the road to keep active and keep their love of cycling going”.

Mike Jubb, CEO of the Triathlon Trust, said: "The Triathlon Trust normally focuses on providing young people with opportunities to become more active, in fact we’ve delivered events to over 100,000 children in recent years, but it was great to be able to see 87 year-old Les enjoying riding our bikes at the Tri Show. The minute he sat on the bike you could see that he was in his element. It's superb that we have been able to link him up with our bike supplier CyclesUK who have now set him up with a turbo-trainer, so that he can enjoy riding his own bike in the safety of his own home. We hope that it brings him many hours of pleasure"

Paul Graham, Head of Customer Experience at British Triathlon – “To meet Les at the London Triathlon Show was an absolute pleasure, what an inspirational man. Alzheimer’s changes lives forever and to see what getting back on a bike did for him was truly amazing. We loved hearing his stories and are pleased to be part of bringing cycling back into his life and keeping his mind active”

Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, but not the only one. There are currently around 850,000 people in the UK with dementia. It mainly affects people over the age of 65 (one in 14 people in this age group have dementia), and the likelihood of developing dementia increases significantly with age. However, dementia can affect younger people too. There are more than 42,000 people in the UK under 65 with dementia. To find out more about Alzheimer’s please click here



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