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71-year-old Halifax cyclist encourages older people to get on their bikes

11 May 2015

Carol Hare With Residents 1

Encouraged by the excellent local response to the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire, a 71-year-old great-grandmother from Halifax is using her lifetime experience as a cyclist to encourage older people in the town to get on their bikes.

Carol Hare from Hanover House in Halifax joined fellow residents for a cycling themed party at the estate. She used the opportunity to promote the wellbeing benefits of cycling to fellow residents.

Her passion for cycling started when she was just 18 months old. Her father was an accomplished cyclist and although he was married with a family he saw no reason to give up cycling and fitted a child seat to his bicycle.

Carol gradually progressed from a tricycle to a two wheeler bike before joining a cyclist touring club when she was 11 years old.

Over the years Carol and her family have toured the length and breadth of the country. When she became more independent she cycled across Belgium and Holland, before crossing through Spain and France across the Pyrenees mountain range – a setting for some of the Tour de France’s most gruelling stages.

However, Carol’s recent story could have been very different. At 40 she and some fellow riders were knocked down by a passing caravan whilst touring Grassington near Skipton. Carol was taken to hospital with a broken jaw and fractured skull.

Carol says: ‘After the accident many of my fellow riders retired from cycling. Thanks to the surgeons at St Lukes Hospital, Bradford I made a full recovery but have no memory of the accident. In some ways this worked in my favour as I couldn’t wait to get back on my bike.’

Today, Carol cycles twice a week with over 50s group Autumn Tints Cycling Club. She adds: ‘Cycling is well and truly in my blood. The freedom you get with a bicycle is so enjoyable. You set off when you want and get out into the fresh air with friends to get good exercise and enjoy the beautiful countryside.

‘I’d encourage all my friends at Hanover House and older people generally to get back in the saddle.’