By Victoria Heywood
Tuesday, 24 September 2019
The 96-year-old couple gave up tandem riding just last year – although Lionel is still cycling. Cycling UK’s Victoria Heywood met them.
Cycling UK member Lionel Joseph and his wife Joyce hit the headlines last year when they revealed that, after a lifetime of cycling together, they were giving up their tandem due to inconsiderate drivers.
Joyce holds her hands up to show a tiny gap. “Motorists will pass you with this much to spare, which doesn’t accommodate a wobble or a hole in the road.” Nor the tandem’s greater length and more deliberate steering.
When they stopped, Lionel and Joyce had been riding tandems for the better part of eight decades.
It was our only means of transport, with petrol rationing and everything. We had the freedom of our bikes.
They bought their most recent, a British-built Dawes, from a cycle and pram shop in Dorking in 1986. Lionel reckons that it’s done around 20,000 miles, touring extensively across southern and south western England.
One of its last big outings was a 20-mile trip to Lionel and Joyce’s joint 90th birthday party. They had to be stopped from riding it home again…