Altona’s Hans Peisl can still out-pedal most 20 year-olds as he spins towards his 85th birthday on December 16.
Mr Peisl was born in Germany, where he was a professional motorbike racer competing at elite level, including the 1953 European Championship. He came to Australia in 1955 and moved to the Altona area five years later.
A diesel mechanic by trade, he did a stint on an oil rig in New Guinea before starting a building company with his uncle, and was known as the “builder who walked with bare feet and wore khaki pants”.
Mr Peisl became a successful property developer, building houses and flats from Williamstown to Werribee.
After retiring, he was invited to join the Victoria Police Cycling Club – even though he wasn’t an officer.
“I used to ride bikes – a lot,” Mr Peisl said.
“My longest ride was in 1996 from Adelaide to Ayers Rock.”
When his knees gave up, he substituted a road bike for spin class at BayFit Leisure Centre in Altona North, where he goes five days a week, except when Morning Melodies is on.
He also pumps iron after starting weight training in his mid-70s.
“I enjoy sport, I enjoy playing with people who have got the same interests, like fitness,” Mr Peisl said. “Ten years ago, I got a knee replacement, and two years later I had the second one on the other knee, and exactly 18 months ago I had a heart valve replacement.
“I think that this type of exercise is helping me with my health, plus I like to be with people who have got the same hobby.”