Lyttelton man's prized Ford Mustang takes a back seat to bike

Ronnie Kelly, 72, may have taken up biking to improve his health - but says it will never replace his love for his treasured Ford Mustang GT.

The Lyttelton resident started biking last month, 15 or so years since he had last been on two wheels.

"It doesn’t balance it out, but I do feel a little bit less guilty about taking the Mustang out for a drive now that I’m doing some cycling,” he said.

While he is renovating his house, his Mustang, imported from the United States, is stored in a garage, meaning he has only been taking it out once a month.

Meanwhile, his bike is being used almost every weekend - “unfortunately,” he laughed.

Ronnie said he is still regaining his confidence on a bike.

"The reason I wear gloves isn’t because of the cold – it’s to protect my hands from gravel rash if I fall off,” he said.

"I’m a bit wobbly when I first get going, but I get better.

"I’m okay once I’m on it and travelling along at a reasonable speed, but going really slowly or getting the bike started is still a little bit of a problem.’’

He is diabetic and recently bought his bike to improve his fitness and lose some weight, which he gained while recovering from a broken leg.

The Coastal Pathway is his trail of choice.

"I love it as it’s nice and quiet and offers great views.”

Ronnie Kelly from Lyttelton has picked up cycling to improve his fitness, as well as balance out...
Ronnie Kelly from Lyttelton has picked up cycling to improve his fitness, as well as balance out his guilt over driving his beloved Ford Mustang GT. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Ronnie said he is currently enjoying short, gentle bike rides, but as his fitness improves he is hoping to explore more terrain.

"I’ve always enjoyed biking, but I got out of the habit of it,’’ said Ronnie.

"I like the pace of it and being able to look around.

"It’s quite a leisurely thing. I’m not out to go really quickly or anything like that. I just like the feeling of it.”

Ronnie confessed he had thought about biking down to the Lyttelton shops recently but then changed his mind as biking back up seemed “a bit too much.”

"Lyttelton’s a bit too hilly for me. Maybe if I had an electric bike.”

The Otago Rail Trail is a potential future goal of his.

"I’ll just have to persuade my wife though, hopefully an e-bike would help,” he said.

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