Cyclist Arthur Duncan (85) proves it’s never too late

2020-02-21 14:15
Howick cyclist Arthur Duncan with his grandson Keira, when they took part in the KAP sani2c race together.

Howick cyclist Arthur Duncan with his grandson Keira, when they took part in the KAP sani2c race together.

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Age is nothing but a number. That is what Howick resident Arthur Duncan is proving after winning the South African National Road and Individual Time Trial championships at 85.

Duncan was crowned the winner in the age category 85 to 89 at the recent championships in Mpumalanga. He is also the champion in the same category provincially.

Arthur took up cycling seriously at the age of 65, and he has also completed KAP sani2c race five times, the last time being in 2010.

He has represented South Africa in road cycling and went to the UCI Road World Championships for two consecutive years.

He told The Witness on Thursday that the sport renewed his perspective on life and motivated him to expect greater things of himself. His journey as a cyclist began during a battle with his mental health.

“I was going through a challenging time in my personal life and as a result of that, cycling came into being, something that would exert me to my limit and also get me out of my low place of depression,” he said.

“I was given a book and it forced my mind to challenge myself to do something that might get me out of depression.”

Soon after he started, Duncan challenged himself to keep moving with a bold venture. He cycled 278 kilometres solo from Durban to Thabana Ntlenyana in Lesotho.

At 3 482 metres above sea level, it’s the highest point in southern Africa. Reaching that peak allowed Duncan to realise the full extent of his potential. If he could do this, he could also master his mind.

“Cycling also helped me realise that I was helping myself physically. It has a lot to do with diet and the way we look after ourselves generally. I’ve applied those principles to my life. I’ve experienced wonderful opportunities which wouldn’t have been available if I didn’t cycle.”

The organic farmer said he was thrilled with his recent results.

“It is a confidence booster knowing that the early rising and long hours of training gave me the physical and mental strength to get through the challenging terrain and high temperatures we raced in.

“I want to inspire people [to know] that it’s not too late to start. There’s no reason why anybody else can’t do it. They will never regret making that choice,” Duncan said.

He trains three times a week.

Duncan has now set his sights on the aQuellé Tour of Durban in April.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  cyclist
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