By Jonny Long
80-year-old paperboy George Bailey has postponed his retirement after acquiring an e-bike, saying his new ride could potentially keep him going until he's 90.
Likely to be the UK's oldest paperboy, Bailey has been delivering papers in Headcorn, Kent, for the best part of 50 years, through all weather and during the coronavirus pandemic, even on his recent 80th birthday, which was also the day he received his Covid-19 vaccination.
"I've been here 50 years, most people who meet me have a laugh and a joke, 'there goes George,'" Bailey told the BBC.
"Basically, it's to try and keep fit. Otherwise, I would be at home, a little bit of gardening, and I'm not one to go jogging at my age so the bicycle keeps me fit.
"I am thinking of [retiring], when they can find somebody that's reliable, they've found people before but they do it for a few days, they get a few days of rain, and they say 'this isn't for me'. So I carry on again."
That was before Bailey was given a brand new e-bike, however, which will keep him going on his 2.5-mile delivery loop for years to come.
Evans Cycles and Raleigh teamed up to give him a Motus Crossbar E-bike, which offers an assisted energy output of up to 250 per cent of his pedal power, at a maximum speed of 15.5mph.
The gift couldn't have come at a better time, as Bailey says his 80th birthday had made him think long and hard as to whether he should continue delivering papers in his local community.
"I’m truly thrilled with my new Raleigh E-bike. After celebrating my 80th birthday I was seriously considering whether it was time to now ‘hang up my boots’ and retire from the paper round," Bailey said.
"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! I might even still be doing this when I’m 90..."
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races. I'm 6'0", 26 years old, have a strong hairline and have an adequate amount of savings for someone my age. I'm very single at the minute so if you know anyone, hit me up.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab, reporting about students evacuating their bowels on nightclub dancefloors and consecrating their love on lecture hall floors. I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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