Thursday, 25 April 2013

Olle Ahnstrom, nonogenarian biker.

This guy is an inspiration to us all... Olle Ahnstrom has been riding motorcycles for over 60 years and there's no sign of him hanging up the leathers yet.

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Ice racing returned to Hallstavik in Sweden back in February 2013, the first meeting at the track since 1959. The meeting was won by Ornskoldsvik, who featured 15 year old prospect Ove Ledstrom in their line up. At the other end of the age spectrum was 94 year old Olle Ahnstrom who took part in some demonstration laps aboard his Jawa machine prior to the meeting. He proved that he can still handle an ice bike very well and rode almost as fast as some of the less experienced riders in the league match that followed. Ahnstrom was born in 1919 and first rode speedway for Tigrarna in the Swedish dirt-track league in 1948. He regularly rides with a group of like-minded racers in Sweden, guys who are definitely NOT growing old gracefully... see more about the Veteran Ice Racing and Speedway scene in Sweden here

Olle with his wife Marta in 2006

Olle getting it sideway on the dirt
Vitali Russkikh organised a veterans meeting at the Russian Lukhovitsy track recently too, which featured some legendary ice racers from the past 50 years. Dubbed the Race of Legends, the championship was held as a memorial to Russian racer Vladimir Tsibrov. The average age of the competitors was around 55, and at 64 years old, Per Olof Serenius of Sweden was the only rider who is still riding competitively. His race fitness paid off as "Posa" won the meeting with maximum points. The meeting featured 8 former World Ice Speedway Champions including Serenius, Jarmo Hirvasoja, Sergei Tarabanko, Vladimir Suchov, Juri Ivanov and Kyril Drogalin with the two Czech riders Antonin Svab and Milan Spinka as meeting reserves. The oldest rider in the meeting was 69 year old Conny Fastesson. Going by the example of Olle Ahnstrom, these guys will still be riding for many years to come.

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Whitehaven, Cumbria, United Kingdom
Disenchanted City Boy who rode out of the fast lane and into the back lanes! Life on Two Wheels is so much fun.