Cape Town – Age is no obstacle to 89-year-old Walter Hein, who turns 90 on Monday and who will cycle the 36th Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour on Sunday.
Hein is the oldest cyclist participating in the Cycle Tour this year.
“I have cycled the race seven times before,” he said yesterday. He will be cycling on his own bike, not on a tandem.
A widower, Hein lives in Joburg but is originally from Germany, having moved to South Africa in 1950.
“After the war there was a lot of unemployment in Germany, so I applied for a job at the Chamber of Mines.
“After I received a contract I studied costing and mechanical engineering and worked in the mining industry,” he said.
The grandfather started cycling the Cycle Tour after family members took part several years ago and boasted of how they enjoyed it.
“My sons, daughter-in-law and grandsons started 10 years ago. They said it was so fantastic to be cycling along the coast, mountain and sea that I thought I had to try it.”
He added that he had been riding three times a week in preparation.
“I cycle twice on week days – shorter rides – and on Saturday I have a longer ride. I have also been eating food such as protein, vegetables and carbohydrates.
“Before I cycled I used to run. I started running when I was still at school and in the Boy Scouts.”
On Sunday, Hein’s grandson, who has travelled from Russia, and granddaughter will cycle the 109km route with him.
They will arrive in Cape Town tonight, get their bicycles ready tomorrow and then go for a test ride in Camps Bay on Saturday. – Cape Argus