Valentine’s Day story: Cycling UK member still married and still cycling more 60 years after meeting his wife on a ride

Pamela and Jack
Pamela and Jack with their bikes
Pamela and Jack with their bikes

Valentine’s Day story: Cycling UK member still married and still cycling more 60 years after meeting his wife on a ride

Embargoed until 00.01am Tuesday 13 February 2018
  • Couple met through Cycling UK club in Buckinghamshire in 1953
  • Still ride together around their home in Shropshire
  • Images available

With shared love of cycling. Pamela and John White prove that simply heading out together on bicycles can be the start of something very special.

Pamela and John, known as Jack, met in 1953 at the tender ages of 19 and 22. They came together through a cycling club, with Pamela’s sister introducing them. Jack was quick to persuade Pamela to join him on some cycling days out, and the rest, as they say, is history. The pair married a year later, and stayed as members of the South Bucks District Association, a Cycling UK member group, and had children.

“We were so lucky in the South Bucks DA,” says Pamela. “It was like one great big family. It was full of young couples like us, and lots of children. It had a lovely family section.

“Our two daughters, they had no other option. We went through the usual stages of a tandem, a sidecar, seats on the back of bikes.

“Then Jack bought a triplet, him on the front, the youngest, Carolyn, in the middle and Susan on the back. We even toured and hostelled with it on the Isle of Wight, taking it down to Portsmouth on the train. That was an adventure in itself!

“That week we became notorious on the island with that triplet, with motorists tooting their horns and waving. We had to stop and build sandcastles of course to keep the children happy.”

Cycling created so many happy memories and continued to be a central part of Pamela and Jack’s lives – although sometimes for very different reasons.

“He’s done timetrailling, everything. He’s cycled over 250,000 miles,” says Pamela. “But for me it’s the social side of it. He’s been racing, I’ve been marshalling, and making the cakes and teas. I’ve never been competitive!

Pamela and Jack have also seen cycling change completely over the decades.

“The bikes, the equipment, the clothing, everything!” Pamela says. “Hostelling has changed too; you used to have to get there under your own steam and now almost everyone uses cars. I think it’s changed for the worse, but that’s probably just a sign of growing older!”

Along with two daughters, Pamela and Jack now have four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Four-year-old Issa, Pamela’s ‘shining light’, can already pedal ten miles.

Pamela says it’s in his blood. “It’s lovely to think it’s carrying on.”

Today Pamela and Jack live in Ludlow, Shropshire, where they try and keep up their mileage. Jack is a life member of Cycling UK – and showing no sign of slowing down just yet.

“I do think it’s been incredibly beneficial; all the cycling we’ve done in the past has definitely paid off now in our general health,” says Pamela. “I’ve heard it said that cyclists appear ten years younger than someone of a similar age.”

Jack cycled Mont Ventoux aged 73, and then went back and did it again at 83. Pamela secretly thinks he’s a bit mad, but perhaps their secret to happiness is that little bit time apart. Now on their continental holidays, they have cycling days together, and then days apart with Pamela pottering around the local village whilst Jack goes on more strenuous rides.

Now, as they approach their 64th wedding anniversary in July, Pamela says what I’m sure lots of our Cycling UK couples hope to one day: “We’re still married and we’re still cycling.”

ENDS

 

Contact information 

For more images and information contact the national Cycling UK Press Office on 01483 238 315, 07786 320 713 or email publicity@cyclinguk.org

Images can be downloaded from this Dropbox link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/f2k7h4ap9q51afu/AABYKUj2UXSeWxiwzQB0RlBIa?dl=0 

Notes to editors 

Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. www.cyclinguk.org

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