Feature: Elderly Chinese enjoy the cycling life

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-23 19:54:15|Editor: Li Xia
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YINCHUAN, May 23 (Xinhua) -- After finishing a 1100km cycling-tour in 31 days in Zhejiang province of east China with her old fellows, 67-year-old Wang Peng felt exhausted but excited.

"Riding makes me so happy, I wish I had started riding earlier," said Wang.

Wang retired from an electricity company in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region ten years ago and joined a local cycling club in 2011. The club has over 260 members, about 50 of whom average 60 years old and ride every week.

However, riding wasn't easy and pleasant for her at the beginning. She still remembers the first time she rode over 20km with a 70-year-old partner.

"It is my partner who inspired me; I believed I could do it!" said Wang. She later upgraded her family-use bike to a mountain bike and learned shifting skills from other experienced cyclists.

With professional equipment and determination, Wang became an "iron old lady" in her neighbors' eyes. She made riding her lifestyle, and even rode over 100km in search of snacks and fresh dates.

One year later, she began to take on long-distance riding. "1000km is the minimum," said Wang.

Despite the difficulties of riding, such as bad weather or flat tires, each journey provides both mental and physical benefits.

Before the 62-year-old Wang Zhijuan started to ride 6 years ago, she suffered from high blood pressure and a cerebral infarction. "I feel I became younger now, and others always kid me that I am 18 on my bike," said Wang Zhijuan.

The seniors often feel lonely and lost after they retire, but riding is a healthy way to make friends, she added.

As they become more experienced, the elderly cyclers began to change their approach. "At first we liked to compete at high speeds and even gales couldn't stop us, but gradually we came to understand that the goal of riding is not to torture our bodies, so we care more about safety and sightseeing now," said Wang Peng.

The senior cyclers even took thier sport abroad last year to Laos and Cambodia.

"This experience has given us more confidence, and our next riding journey abroad has been planned," said Wang Zhijuan. "There is so much beautiful scenery, so if I become too old to ride a bike, I will continue my tour on an electric one," Wang added.