While most 80 year olds are content to take a taxi or enjoy getting chauffeured around the place, Sally Mathieson enjoys zooming along on her bicycle.

Sally started cycling soon after arriving in Waikanae 14 years ago having been an active cyclist when she was younger.

When Go By Bike Day, a national initiative supported by local councils, came across her radar Sally thought this would be a great opportunity to go for a ride, join in with a community event, and get a free breakfast at the same time.

Long-time friend Pamela Phillips received a call with Sally asking her to bike from Waikanae to Paraparaumu Library.


"I know I'm mad but you're the only one I can think of that's likely to accompany me," she said.

So last week the two of them joined more than 60 riders who took part in the challenge, from commuter riders and retirees to parents with school children.

Sally's reason for cycling is that it keeps her active and is a 'whole lot quicker' than walking somewhere.

"Sometimes the distance is such that you can do it in 10 minutes on the bike when it would really be a 45-minute walk and you don't want to put that time into it.

"I hop on the bike and I do my errands around Waikanae and have even delivered my Meals On Wheels on it."

Here's just one of many stories from over the years Sally said.

"The day I had more meals than I've had before or since, my husband needed to take the car to Wellington Airport after his Kāpiti flight was cancelled.

"So here I was with 16 meals that needed to be delivered.


"So I put half of them in the oven, put the other half in my backpack, delivered them and came home for the rest."

Sally also likes to keep her emissions down by cycling or catching the train but the real draw card is the feeling she gets when hopping on the bicycle.

"One of the nice things about biking is when you're zooming down the hill. You feel like you did when you were 13 years old on your bike, like being a kid again. It's a nice feeling."