Gran turns 90 with abseiling and motorbike ride

Daredevil gran Dot Nobbs. Picture: Greg Macvean

Daredevil gran Dot Nobbs. Picture: Greg Macvean

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Daredevil granny Dot Nobbs has celebrated her 90th birthday with a high-speed motorbike ride and a bout of abseiling.

After completing a 70mph journey, Supergran Dot headed to a climbing centre where she completed two 25-metre abseils.

Dot, who lives in Liberton, said: “We were sitting around my granddaughter’s table on New Year’s Day and she asked me if there was anything I wanted for my birthday.

“I said I would like to go on the back of a motorbike, I was just thinking around the block. It was just something that I wanted to do.

“As for abseiling, I’ve always thought I would like to do that.”

Her granddaughter, Samantha ­Gilhooley, 40, organised Dot’s birthday dream with some help from her husband Michael’s motorbike club, the Bondu Rats.

Last Sunday, Dot set out with the club’s Bob Ritchie on a Pan European 1100 – having got on to the bike with the aid of a small stepladder – with outriders Mike Atkins and Michael ­Gilhooley.

“When I set off on the motorbike I was holding on like grim death, but 
as the bike got going I started to 
relax a bit,” said Dot, who turns 90 on Sunday.

“I was told if it was too cold I was to put my visor but I really enjoyed feeling the wind in my face.”

After riding pillion from her Liberton home all the way to Ratho, Dot headed to the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena to get strapped in for some abseiling.

Daring Dot then tackled a 25-metre drop – twice.

Ms Gilhooley, from Livingston, said: “My gran is tiny, about four feet eight, and it was comical watching her use the steps to get onto the bike.

“When she arrived at Ratho the guys just actually lifted her off.”

“She absolutely loved the motorbike ride. She was bouncing around when she got off.”

Samantha admitted she was surprised by her grandmother’s request.

“She has always liked to have a good time and a good life but this was really out of the blue.

Normally we would take her out for lunch for her birthday so this was really different.

“When she gets to 100, I don’t know how we are going to top that.”

Dot celebrated her birthday with her granddaughters Samantha, grandchildren Sam and Mandy, and great-grandchildren Lewis, Darrell. Abby, Ellie, Finn and Lucy.

And while she enjoyed the thrill, Dot said her motorbiking days are over – for now. She said: “It was a great experience, but it’s definitely a one-off, although I keep telling my family I’m saving up to buy a bike of my 
own.”

Skydiving’s the limit

A 97-year-old man from Dorset became Britain’s oldest skydiver after jumping out of a plane at 10,000ft in 2009.

George Moyse landed safely on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire.

Last year, Britain’s oldest clubber, Tom Parker, spent his 90th birthday partying until 4am after popping home to put his wife to bed with a cup of Ovaltine. He danced into the early hours with his grandchildren at a club in St Albans, Hertfordshire, where he has been a regular for more than 30 years.

In 2011, Britain’s oldest tennis player, Frank Kent, 92, retir­ed after ­winning his final game at his club in Stubbington, Hampshire.

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