“We’re still married and we’re still cycling,” says Pamela White, 84, who met her husband John at her local cycling club in 1953.
Now, 65 years later, the couple are set to celebrate their 64th wedding anniversary and many happy years of cycling together.
Pamela and John, 86, who’s better known as Jack, met after Pam’s sister introduced them at their local Cycling UK club in Buckinghamshire. Jack was quick to persuade Pamela to join him on some cycling days out and the rest, as they say, is history.
The pair married a year later and remained dedicated members of the cycling group for years afterwards.
Cycling has been the subject of many happy memories for the couple. Jack enjoys the challenges, while Pamela is more interested in the social aspect.
“He’s done timetrailling, everything. He’s cycled over 250,000 miles,” says Pamela. “But for me it’s the social side of it. He’s been racing, I’ve been marshalling and making the cakes and teas. I’ve never been competitive.”
The pair now live in Ludlow, Shropshire, where they try and keep up their mileage.
“I do think it’s been incredibly beneficial; all the cycling we’ve done in the past has definitely paid off now in our general health,” says Pamela. “I’ve heard it said that cyclists appear 10 years younger than someone of a similar age.”
Jack cycled Mont Ventoux aged 73, and then went back and did it again at 83. Pamela secretly thinks he’s a bit mad, but also admires his dedication.
On their holidays, they have cycling days together, and then days apart with Pamela exploring the local village while Jack goes on more strenuous rides.
The couple share their love of cycling with their younger family members too.
“Our two daughters, they had no other option,” Pam says. “We went through the usual stages of a tandem, a sidecar, seats on the back of bikes.
“Then Jack bought a triplet, him on the front, the youngest, Carolyn, in the middle and Susan on the back. We even toured and hostelled with it on the Isle of Wight, taking it down to Portsmouth on the train.
“That was an adventure in itself.”
Along with their two daughters, Pamela and Jack now have four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Four-year-old Issa, Pamela’s ‘shining light’, can already peddle 10 miles. His grandma says it’s in his blood, adding: “It’s lovely to think it’s carrying on.”