Courier Gordon gets on his bike – at 70
A RESTLESS 70-year-old has been coaxed out of retirement – to take up one of Plymouth's most active jobs.
Pensioner Gordon Fulford has swapped a life of leisure for the gruelling task of becoming a cycle courier.
The former bricklayer now pedals up to 20 miles a day transporting documents between city businesses.
"I couldn't just draw my pension and be idle," Mr Fulford said.
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"I started cycling in 1966 and I've never stopped, so I enjoy doing this.
"It's a good way to keep fit, too."
Mr Fulford must cross rivers and tackle steep hills on his regular route for City Cycle Couriers.
The cycling enthusiast sets off from his Staddiscombe home to pick up packages from around 20 businesses in Mutley and Peverell, eight miles away.
He then pedals a further four miles to City Cycle Couriers' Cattedown base to drop off the heavy haul.
"The biking is the easy bit," Mr Fulford said. "I reckon by the time I get home it's usually about 12 or 13 miles – and that's nothing for me, really.
"It's going up the stairs in places like estate agents and carrying the bag that is harder.
"The bag is quite heavy even without the correspondence in it, so by the time I've got back to Cattedown it can be heavy."
Dad-of-two Mr Fulford first got into the saddle when he was in his early 20s, and dabbled with time trials in his younger days.
In 1985, he even cycled alone from Land's End to John O'Groats – in a remarkable four-and-a-half days.
He was riding his bike in Cattedown last year when City Cycle Couriers boss Rob Scott drove by, beeped his car horn and offered him the two-days-a-week job on the spot.
"The first time was a piece of cake but as the months go on it is getting harder," Mr Fulford admitted. "Your body diminishes as you get older.
"I have something called 'trigger finger' in two fingers in my left hand, although luckily I can still pull my brakes.
"My wife says, 'Gordon, you're getting too old for this', but I like doing it. It's a challenge.
"I only wish I was 10 years younger because, long-term, I can't see myself doing it at 75.
"I think it's faith that carries you through and keeps you going," added the Plymstock Chapel regular.