A COUPLE whose combined age is 177 has reached a milestone on a tandem in just six months.

Turning 90 last year was an achievement in itself, but for Betty Cox, now 91, and husband Graham, 86, they have marked another milestone by reaching 1000 miles in six months on their tandem.

The married couple, who live in Park Avenue, Rogerstone, bought their current tandem in April.

“We’ve always loved cycling,” said Mrs Cox. "My husband was cycling since he was 10.

“I’ve been cycling for 69 years and my husband for 76 years. We started on the tandem soon after we met and have loved it ever since.

“In 1949 we cycled from our home to Cornwall and back in a week. We also got to Scotland in a few days.”

She added: “Graham tends to go on the front and me on the back. We love going on it.”

Mr Cox, who used to be a gas fitter, said the couple were “quite surprised” when they discovered they had reached 1000 miles this week.

He said: “We had a look at our device that records our distance and it said that we had reached 1000 miles.

“We were quite surprised at it. We’ve never really thought of how many miles we do. And, I suppose, not many people manage to reach that amount at our age,

“We go out on the tandem four days a week and we must do a lot of miles. Over the years we have cycled all over the place from here to Draethen, Machen, Michaelston-Y-Fedw, North Wales and other parts of Newport.

He added: "We have even cycled in parts of Norway.

The former gas fitter believes the couple had reached a ripe old age because of their regular outings on the tandem.

“Regular exercise, like we do on the tandem, is the key to a long and happy life,” said Mr Cox.

“Just look at us. By looking at our ages is proof that exercise really does benefit you in the long run.

“We’ve never been ones for staying in the house all day long.

"We've always found cycling fun and relaxing."

Daughter Marilyn Hall added she is “proud” her parents with their achievement.

“I think they are amazing,” said Mrs Hall. “They are wonderful parents.

“I have a bike in my house and they have put me to shame with their achievement.

“I couldn’t be prouder of them for reaching 1000 miles at their ages.”