LOCKED down residents in Atherton have been going for gold by travelling the world on their bikes — all from the comfort of their care village.

With the help of their support workers, residents at Atherton and Wigan Belong care sites have worked hard to cycle their personal bests in this year’s Road Worlds for Seniors, a global competition for older people and those with dementia.

Residents have been exploring landscapes through a linked screen, thanks to the event’s organiser, Motitech, whose mobile bikes make it possible to bring cycle equipment to residents in their households.

The care villages clocked up an impressive 360km (224 miles) between them — about the equivalent of travelling from Wigan to Lee Valley VeloPark in London’s Olympic Park.

Anthony Harley, lead fitness instructor for Belong, said: “Exercise can really transform quality of life and is a fundamental part of life at Belong, so it was devastating for us when our village gyms had to close during lockdown. Since then, we’ve been exploring other ways to continue exercise provision and Road Worlds for Seniors is a perfect opportunity to get everyone excited about exercising, so we were really up for taking part.

“The benefits of regular exercise for older people are well documented, including increased muscle strength and flexibility, decreased stiffness and pain and lower blood pressure. Exercise enhances mood, improves sleep and provides stimulating activity, all of which have been shown to boost the wellbeing of older people, many of whom remain socially isolated from their loved ones. Road World for Seniors has proven to be a big hit with our residents as no matter their ability, they can all take part and many have enjoyed having a bit of friendly competition.”