accessibility & help

Ann’s story: Daredevil granny gets new wheels

Tandem granny Ann MalinsonRoy Spilsbury.

When daredevil granny Ann Malinson came off a tandem bicycle at speed and broke her ankle, the Red Cross quickly stepped in with a wheelchair to help her get back to fighting fitness.

The irrepressible 80-year-old – a grandmother of two – became a cropper while out on a rainy group cycle ride at Colwyn Bay in North Wales.

"It was very wet,” Ann recalled. “We were just turning on to the cycle track and there's a wooden bridge you go over. I was pedalling away one minute and the next moment I was flat on the bridge. I must have twisted my ankle to break it.”

Back on wheels

Once discharged from hospital, the cycling-obsessed pensioner was keen to get back to normal as soon as possible – and that’s where the Red Cross stepped in. Ray Benson, a friend who volunteers for the medical equipment service said: “When I heard about Ann's accident, I arranged for her to borrow a wheelchair."

And what a difference it made. She said: "Having the wheelchair meant I was able to be taken shopping by John Arthur – my tandem cycling partner – and his wife. John was my pilot and his wife carried the basket of shopping. I couldn't have managed otherwise.”

On the mend

Ann, who has been cycling all her life, started riding tandem a few years ago. She said: "John asked if I'd like to try going on the back of his tandem because his wife was too frightened. She's even more frightened now that I came off!”

Now Ann is firmly on the mend and impatient to get back in the saddle. She said: "I had to wait until I was 80 to break my first bone – and was in plaster for six weeks. Now I'm back on my feet but I've still got a few weeks to go before I'm allowed back on the bike."

And her next plan? Reaching the summit of Mount Snowdon. She said: "I climbed three quarters of the way up earlier this summer before the weather came in. I fully intend to get to the top this time!"

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