A stroke survivor has told how stunned doctors with his recovery after turning to e-cycling to boost his fitness.

88-year-old Michael King, from Rhosgoch near Builth Wells, thought his biking days were over when he suffered a mini-stroke.

But after a spin on a neighbour’s e-bike - which has a battery-powered electric motor to assist with pedalling and take the sting out of hills - he was hooked.

Now he regularly clocks up tours of the Elan Valley to the delight of his cardiologist.

Retired Michael, who used to design medical equipment, said: “Years ago I was a keen walker, but age and, in my case, arthritis get the better of you eventually, and you just can’t do the things you used to.

Michael was relaxing at home in 2013 when he suffered a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) - often called a warning or mini-stroke - which made him go blind in one eye.

The condition is usually caused by clots temporarily cutting off the brain’s blood supply. It can affect speech and vision, and cause numbness in the face, arms or legs.

Health experts advise taking regular exercise to lower the risk of suffering a TIA

But Michael said: “E-biking changed everything. I tried my neighbour’s, then bought one myself and started doing a few miles each week.”

Mr King regained his sight and was having regular, three-monthly check-ups with a cardiologist at Hereford Hospital.

He explained: “Not long after I began cycling, the cardiologist looked at the charts and said ‘something’s changed’. Basically, my heart health had improved. I explained I’d been riding this e-bike and he thought it was brilliant.

“He cut my check-ups to once every six months there and then. Now I’m down to once a year.”

Mr King now cycles almost daily riding between 5-8 miles each time, both on and off road on the hills around his home.

Dominic Brand of the Stroke Association said: “Regular moderate exercise can reduce your risk of stroke by 27%. All adults should try to be active daily. You can choose any form of exercise as long as the activity increases your heart rate and makes you feel warm and a little out of breath."

Anna Heywood of Hay-on-Wye’s Drover Cycles, who helped Michael choose his ‘Moustache Samedi’ e-bike, said: “Michael is an inspiration and proof that - thanks to e-biking - age is no barrier to enjoying the well-proven health benefits of cycling, even when you live in an area as hilly as ours!”
Call Anna on 01497 822419 or email anna@drovercycles.co.uk for e-biking advice.