Off road keeps Cyril fit


Cyril Keen thinks being over 70 is no barrier to keeping fit, the trick is to find the exercise that suits you. For Cyril it is mountain biking.

When Cyril retired from sheep shearing at the age of 70 he discovered mountain biking was something he could enjoy and keep up his fitness.

In 2020 Cyril entered the Motatapu mountain bike challenge, a 47km off-road ride from Glendhu Bay to Arrowtown.

“I set off at 10.30am, had to climb 820 feet above sea level, went through the Arrowtown river six times, the distance was 47km and took me seven hours,” Cyril says with a satisfied grin.

The event has been cancelled for the last two years because of covid.

Cyril Keen loves ripping around the Ashburton river MTB loop track.

Now 75 years old Cyril invested in a new electric bike last October from local business Stoked Cycles and has already clocked up 900km’s.

Cyril’s favourite place to have a spin is on the MTB loop track next to the Ashburton River and describes his electric bike as “unbelievable”.

“It doesn’t hold you back, I biked yesterday and I’m biking today, if I was on a normal bike I wouldn’t feel like doing it today.”

Cyril averages around 40km a week on his electric bike and it is still a good workout, biking from his home to the track without power to keep fit.

He takes on the river trail track twice a week.

“This track we have got here is one of the nicest tracks I have been on, the maintenance is unbelievable how they get it right.

“I’d like to say thanks to the council and the volunteers who look after the track.

“Yesterday I met a couple from Hamilton and they thought it was wonderful,” he said.

Cyril would like to see the bike tracks extended and combined into a circuit of town, and has talked to the district council who informed him they have similar plans in the pipeline.

-By Daniel Tobin