6 July 2021

A 98-year-old woman raised thousands of pounds for charity by cycling more than 500 miles for 80 days.

Great-granddaughter Diana O’Flynn likes to keep active and was starting to get frustrated with lockdown when she asked her family for a recumbent static bike.

Not keen with a casual pedal, she set herself a target of cycling every day for 80 days, from the comfort of her own lounge.

The retired teacher succeeded in her challenge, pedalling for at least half an hour a day, racking up 560 miles.

Chirpy Diana said tucking a hot water bottle behind her back and watching TV programmes about wildlife and nature kept her going from April 12 to June 30. 

She raised more than £4,000 for homelessness charity West London Mission set up in 1887 by Diana’s great-grandmother Katherine Price Hughes.

Diana, from Ottery St Mary in Devon, said: "I think quite a lot of keeping active is in the mind, but the body’s got to tag along too.

“I feel very lucky that I’m able to do it. I think you’ve just got to fight it. Once you just sit in a chair and don’t do anything you’re on the way out. As soon as you believe you can’t walk a mile then you won’t. It’s really important to keep moving. It’s a long time to commit to cycling everyday. I’ve very much enjoyed doing it. I’m very lucky I’ve found a way of combining cycling, which is good for me, with watching TV, which I enjoy, and it’s raising money for a charity I believe in."

“You always have to have a target ahead of you then you can keep achieving things," added Diana, who walks a mile three times a week and touches her toes 12 times a day.

“I don’t eat terribly well but I’m very lucky because I’m fit. I have a lot of cheese, every day, and I love meringues, but vegetables are too much like hard work.”

Diana and her late husband Paddy had four children, and she has nine grand children, three great grandchildren and four great great grandchildren.

Source: Wales Online