Age no barrier for North Beach BMX rider

Daryl "Daz" Rapley (70) took up BMX riding four years ago. Photo: Martin Kennealey

AGE was of no concern when Daryl ‘Daz’ Rapley (70) took up BMX riding four years ago.

The North Beach resident, who is a keen kitesurfer, road cyclist and swimmer, joined Westside BMX Club in Balcatta to spend more time with his son and two grandchildren.

He is the oldest licensed BMX rider in WA and possibly Australia.

“I just love being in it with the kids,” he said.

“I was looking for something to do when the sea breeze wasn’t blowing. This is always exciting.”

Mr Rapley has done many sports throughout his life, including motocross and go-karting, and despite finding BMX racing a little scary at first, encouraged older people to give it a go.

“If you can ride a bike and are a little bit athletic, then you can ride BMX,” he said.

“I never was a particularly good athlete and you don’t have to be, just get out and do it.

“You get aches and pain as you get older… but the more (activity) you do, you find you’re not so sore and the aches and pains aren’t so bad.”

Daz Rapley in action at Westside BMX Club in Balcatta. Photo: Martin Kennealey

Daryl’s son Dave, who is club vice-president, said his father inspired himself and many adult riders at the club to continue riding.

He also enjoyed having three generations together on the track, and said his 11-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son loved their grandfather being involved.

“They love it. They’re so proud of him,” he said.

“The great thing about the sport is you don’t need to be riding at an elite level to get started.

“He loved it straight away.”

Mr Rapley said while broken bones could stop him “temporarily”, he had no intention of giving up the sport anytime soon.