HE’S at it again!
Plucky Peter Foster is continuing to challenge himself — and stereotypes about pensioners — by taking on tricky challenges.
After wing-walking and whizzing down the world’s fastest zipwire, the 80-year-old has now tackled a penny-farthing ride.
Peter, of Gough Close in Brecks, rode the Victorian bicycle to celebrate becoming an octogenarian.
“I saw a man on TV riding a penny-farthing and thought: ‘That’s a good idea,’” said Peter. “I’m into things that are a bit different and wacky.”
He contacted a man in East Yorkshire who owns a penny-farthing and was invited to his home to try out the bike.
To get into the Victorian spirit, Peter donned his flat cap, waistcoat and dickie bow for the ride.
He was watched by eight family members including wife Wendy (79).
Also watching on — some through their fingers out of worry — were son Carl (52), daughter Carrie (44) and two of Peter’s grandchildren.
“They are difficult to get on when you are old and not kept up my exercise like I ought to have done,” he said.
“The step to get on is two inches long. You put your left foot on and have to have strength in your left leg, which I haven’t got so somebody had to push my bottom up, to heave yourself up to the seat.”
He added: “It’s really similar to riding on a very thin horse. It’s quite high and your feet dangle down.”
After four practice runs, Peter was able to ride unaided for a couple of hundred yards.
“I didn’t feel safe at first,” said Peter, a full-time carer for his wife, who has Alzheimer’s disease.
“It’s about 5ft off the ground so it’s a long way to fall. It was far more dangerous than my wing-
walk because I could have fallen off the bike.
“When I did my wing-walk people were asking if I was frightened but I had confidence in the pilot. He knows the plane and his wife was there watching and she wants him back in one piece.”
In October, the retired engineer salesman ticked off another challenge when he flew a plane and at Easter he was back in the air again for a gliding lesson — both of which he described as “brilliant”.
Peter’s daring challenges in his later life have been brought on after some advice given to him by an Alzheimer’s support charity.
He explained: “Because I look after my wife 24/7, they kept on saying to me: ‘You must do something for yourself.’
“So I kept doing things that were at the back of my mind and it proves that just because you’re old it does not mean you can’t do things.”
And for his next trick Peter wants to drive a 44-tonne truck off-road. When asked why he replied: “Why not?”
If you’re a trucker and can help Peter fulfil his next ambition contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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