A BICYCLE made for two has helped a couple reach their diamond wedding anniversary –- after having ridden thousands of miles across countries including New Zealand, the USA and Canada.

Keen riders Graham Cox, 81, and his wife Bette, 86, from Rogerstone, married on September 27, 1952, took their tandem to Denmark, but have also ridden individual bikes in New Zealand, Brittany, America, Sweden, Norway and Canada.

Mr Cox said: “I was a keen cyclist and when I met Bette she used her savings to get a bike to keep up with me.

“Then when we got married we got the tandem.”

The couple met in Barry Island Church when Mrs Cox visited the area where Mr Cox grew up, with her local church.

Mr Cox would then cycle a 48- mile round trip from Barry to Rogerstone to meet up with her.

They got married in Rogerstone and for their honeymoon went cycling in Bournemouth and the New Forest.

They have four children, Gareth, Marilyn, Adrian and David, who are also keen cyclists and the couple would take the children with them on cycling holidays.

They also have nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

The longest cycling tour the couple undertook was in 1981 in New Zealand, covering 1,000 miles in four weeks.

The last tour the couple did was a 600 mile cycle in Norway in 1983.

Since then, they have used their car as a base, instead of carrying tents and supplies on their bikes, to do shorter trips.

Mrs Cox said: “Choosing our favourite place is hard, Norway is one of them, but Canada was also fantastic.

“There is so much beauty in the world, some people just walk around with their eyes shut, but we went out to see it.”

The couple have cycled every county in the British Isles, and enjoy cycling around Scotland, going off-road to discover new sights.

They both would have liked to cycle around Iceland but fear that due to their age they will never get to discover it on their bikes.

Mr Cox said: “We go out on our bikes three or four times a week on local cycle tracks, cycling up to 15 miles.”

The pair still ride on the tandem, with Mr Cox sitting in the front.

He explained that tandems are great for couples as the stronger cyclist can help the weaker one, and believes that it may have something to do with their happy marriage.

He added: “We have been and done everything together.

“We do what we are both able to do together and it creates a strong bond.

“Some women maybe put off going cycling with their husbands if their husbands can cycle further, but we have always compromised so that we can both cycle together.”