An 80-year-old paperboy has postponed retirement after being given an electric bike.
George Bailey had been planning to retire from his 2.5 mile loop in Headcorn, Kent. He says the e-bike has given him a “new lease of life”.
British cycling companies Raleigh and Evans Cycles stepped in and offered George the bike after seeing him in the news in January. The Raleigh Motus Crossbar E-Bike will give him up to 250% of his pedal power, and speeds of up to 15.5mph.
George, who is one of Britain’s oldest paperboys, now hopes to continue his daily route until he is 90.
When he was 11 years old Mr Bailey picked up a paper round like many other boys his age.
But his return to the route as a pensioner puts him in rarefied company as certainly one of the oldest paperboys in the country.
A new lease of life
Previously the trip was taking him around an hour a day and saw him getting up around 6am. He says he is ‘thrilled’ with his new e-bike.
“Knowing I can now continue doing what I love, with a little help from modern technology, is fantastic, especially on a Raleigh, a brand I’ve always admired growing up.”
Michelle Jakeway, from Raleigh, adds: “When we heard George’s story, we felt compelled to give him a little boost.”
David Greenwood, from Evans Cycles, says: “We recognised what the daily routine of riding meant to George and so were more than happy to help him continue to enjoy the ride.”
Mr Bailey’s varied life has seen him work as a stockbroker, at manufacturer Unigate for nearly 10 years and on a local golf course.
Last month he celebrated his 80th birthday, an occasion made more special by getting the coronavirus jab just days before.
The benefits of e-bikes
E-bikes are increasingly popular with senior citizens as they offer continued freedom and mobility as fitness levels decline.
“Modern e-bikes open up so many new opportunities for people of all ages,” says Greenwood.
“Offering a little electrical assistance when needed, they increase enjoyment and ultimately encourage riders to ride more often.”