Nova Scotia motorcyclist, 96, doesn't plan to slow down anytime soon
'I've just never grown up,' says Wyman 'Bun' Betts, who has been riding motorcycles for 50 years
A 96-year-old Wentworth, N.S., man says age doesn't keep him from pursuing his passion — so long as he can keep the bike upright.
"When it's moving about 15 km/h … everything goes fine, but it's heavy," Wyman "Bun" Betts told CBC's Information Morning on Wednesday.
A sedate pace is the preferred speed for Betts, and not just because he said it gives him a chance "to look around" as he drives through the countryside.
I've just never grown up.- Wyman "Bun" Betts
It's also the pace at which he was travelling last weekend as grand marshal in the parade for the Bordertown Biker Bash, a motorcycle festival in Amherst.
Betts said he first got started on two wheels about 50 years ago, when he bought a scooter to help him get back and forth from a nearby sawmill.
"It didn't work good, but anyway, I kept it around," he said.
'High in my standing'
Betts said he never went very far on the bike, but it's helped him make at least one significant move. His partner, Jean Wood, said the bike is part of what caught her eye 27 years ago.
"I always thought a lot of him and his bike, and after I was a widow in 1988 and he was a widower, why — he started taking me places," she said.
"Bun Betts has always been very high in my standing."
Wood said she doesn't get on the back of the bike very much anymore, "although the other day it was awful tempting when he started off on the bike in the parade."
Since his early days aboard a motorcycle, Betts has traded up to a larger model — a 2003 black and chrome Honda Goldwing, which he said he got after a salesman persuaded him to trade in an older bike.
Bun Betts has always been very high in my standing.- Jean Wood
"So that's what happened — you do stupid things," he said.
"That wasn't stupid, dear."
Either way, Betts said the bike stands to be a fixture in his life for years to come.
"It's a good bike and it will be a good one for quite a while yet," he said, adding that he was told the bike, which currently has around 52,000 kilometres on it, could log up to 500,000.
Meeting that potential is a tall order — but he isn't ruling it out, and he isn't planning on giving it up either.
"I've just never grown up," said Betts, who will turn 97 on Aug. 15.
With files from CBC's Information Morning