For over a year now, Ruth Olga Halvorsen from Norway has cycled to be in the best possible shape for this year's Road Worlds for Seniors. No one can say anything about her impressive passion for training. Twice a week, she has sat on the bike and covered 625 km in 60 hours!
- Yes, I'm looking forward to the World Cycling Championships, it will be nice. It's amazing what this does to me, says the lively lady who turns 101 at the beginning of October.
Cycled since she was 15 years old
Ruth was born in Arendal, Norway, but has lived and worked in Stavanger all her adult life. Among many other things, she can look back on 25 years as an employee in an architectural firm. Her leisure time has been spent traveling at home and abroad to find motifs for her passions of painting landscapes and floral motifs.
No matter what phase of life she has been in, cycling has always been involved.
- When I was about to be confirmed, I asked my parents to get money for a bicycle instead of a present. I got it and bought myself a used bike that I rode everywhere with, says Ruth.
When WWII broke out, her family had to evacuate from her hometown, leaving Ruth without a bike for a few years. But Ruth found her husband during the war and when the war was over, it was back on the bike seat!
- We cycled many nice rides together, both before and after our son was born. We got on the bike immediately after dinner. On Sundays, we packed a lunch and cycled for longer trips. Once, we cycled down Setesdal to Kristiansand and on to Arendal with our food and equipment on the bikes. We went so fast on the gravel roads in Setesdal that we had to cut a small tree to act as a counterweight down the steep slopes, says Ruth.
Tre trip from Stavanger to Arendal has a distance for over 320 km.
"Now the day is saved! I think so when I get to ride a bike and watch a movie. I definitely feel better and feel great joy. The days I cycle, I look forward to. I feel tired in a satisfying way, it is important!"
I can trust my own legs
Ruth has greatly appreciated the opportunity to cycle again after coming to a nursing home. She is fully aware of the importance of the activity.
- It's good for my legs. It strengthens the muscles and I experience better balance. I know that well after the last year of cycling. This allows me to trust my legs and move in a safer way.
The well-traveled lady also appreciates the Motiview videos and constantly travels on the virtual tours.
- I like cities and movies where a lot of things happen - preferably movies from places I've been. Then it's nice to change to the mountains, the sea and the fjords. Through the films, one disconnects everyday life in a way. Just like entering another world. The cycling goes by itself when you watch a movie, says the lively 101-year-old.
She often goes pedaling with others at her home and thinks it is nice to be able to be together and to share experiences through Motiview.
A great inspirer
Hilde Gustavsen, the Activity and Volunteer Coordinator at Slåtthaug nursing home, is very impressed with her cyclists and highlights her as a great inspiration to others.
- I find her steadfast and passionately engaged in cycling. She inspires other residents, and me too! Her eyes are shining and her smile is bright. It’s a great pleasure for me to observe from the sidelines. Through her experiences of physical mastery, several residents of the house have gained confidence, and started cycling too!
When Hilde and Ruth are together in the room with the bikes, there are often good chats about everything from world history and personal experiences to social conditions in different countries.
The physical benefits of cycling are well documented, but it is still important to shed light on”, Gustavsen believes.
- It gives me pleasure to see that several of their functions are maintained, and that they can be trained so that they can keep their independence and security in themselves in transfer.
Gustavsen also adds that they also have a lot of fun during the sessions.
- There will be good stories and life wisdom shared, and you get to take part in those golden moments. This is a great experience, says the activity and the volunteer coordinator.
"Meeting the films and the community in the bicycle room is affirmative and reinforcing on cognitive functions. As a staff member, my experience with Motiview is an enrichment in my work and in the interaction with the residents”