One Bike – Good For a Lifetime
There is a saying nothing lasts forever, but try telling that to Nancy Blackman. The Carterton octogenarian’s faithful Raleigh bicycle is still proving to be her preferred mode of transport, even after 67 years.
While spare parts are nigh on impossible to find Mrs Blackman says her trusty black bike is still serving her well.
She was given the bike brand new as a 15-year-old. Living east of Carterton near Parkvale she biked the metal road into town everyday to go to work.
Nearly 70 years later she is still biking a similar distance from the north of Carterton to the south where she helps with “granny reading” at South End School.
Mrs Blackman owns a car, but only uses that for trips out of town.
“I much prefer pedal power,” she says. Her late husband rode a three- speed. Mrs Blackman says she has always been content with the single gear.
“These days some bikes have 10 gears.”
The big advantage of a bike over a car is that they are “quick and easy”.
The bike has been stolen once, taken from outside of church, only to resurface a couple of days later, found leaning on a power-pole.
While motorists are not as courteous as they once were and the roads are a lot busier with traffic, Mrs Blackman says cycling is still relatively safe.
In all the years that she has been pedaling she has only had a couple of spills, and they were usually the fault of inconsiderate motorists.
As for advice for any young budding cyclists, or people of a similar age: “Keep to the left and keep your eyes open.”
– Wairarapa News