Care home residents clock up 348 miles cycling around the world on a stationary bike

CARE home residents in Bradford on Avon have clocked up 348 miles cycling around the world on a stationary bike from the comfort one of their lounges.

They could finish in 41st place out of 200 care homes worldwide in a global Road World for Seniors cycling competition.

The scheme kicked off on September 2 with a launch at the Wiltshire Heights care home where around 20 residents took part. It ended on Friday with the presentation of medals to everyone who participated.

The medals were presented by Lucy Millar, the chairwoman of Bradford on Avon Business group, who is herself a keen cyclist and fitness fanatic.

Mrs Millar said: “Congratulations to everyone who took part. The exercise you enjoyed will help benefit your mental wellbeing.”

The 20 residents cycled a total of 348.5 miles or 561 kilometres.

The top cyclist was 94-year-old Sylvia Harris, who cycled 36.6 miles (59km) after six hours and five minutes using the machine supplied by Norwegian-based company Motitech.

In second place, was Nina Croft, who cycled 23.6 miles (38km) in two hours and 20 minutes, and in third place was Pat Papworth, who cycled 21.5 miles (34.7km) in two hours 51 minutes. Albert Wilkes finished fourth with 12.4 miles (20km) in four and a half hours.

Residents were able to cycle wherever they wanted to go – with popular destinations including Australia, Canada, Dubai, Italy, Romania, Thailand and Venice.

After being presented with her medal, Mrs Harris said: “Don’t bother going to Dubai. It’s not worth it. There’s too many skyscrapers.”

The aim of the programme is to encourage seniors, particularly those living with dementia, to stay active and improve their fitness.

Wiltshire Heights’ customer services manager, Libby Miles, whose idea it was to bring the Motitech bike into the home, said: “It has been a fantastic month.

“I am so pleased that residents have embraced the cycling equipment here and have gone around the world exploring new places. It has been lovely and the good thing is the equipment is here to stay.”

Globally, 4,300 people took part in the competition, cycling more than 6,213 miles (100,000km) – more than twice around the world.

Matt Archer, Motitech’s UK market and business developer, said: “I am delighted with the number of residents who have taken part.

“Our equipment allows them to virtually cycle through a choice of 1,700 locations on stationary bikes via a video projection that plays while the person pedals.”

The company has run the competition in the UK with help from British Cycling and Sport England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

It enabled Motitech to provide equipment to a number of care homes around the country, encouraging as many people as possible to get involved in physical activity which has a significant and positive impact on physical and mental wellbeing.

Wiltshire Heights was the only one of the 16 care homes owned by its parent company, Porthaven Care Homes, to install one of the stationary bikes.

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