A THRILL-seeking great-grandmother roared through the countryside on the back of a motorbike on her 100th birthday.

Sassy centenarian Mary Downing climbed on the back of a bike on Thursday and clung on as a motorcyclist whizzed her along roads near Abingdon.

Three generations of her family watched as the pair zoomed out of the car park at Premier Bikes in Wootton, which treated her to the trip for the second birthday running and bought her a cake.

Grandmother-of-four Mrs Downing, who lives in Dry Sandford, said: “I was hanging on for dear life – we were belting along.

“I had to hold on tight – my glasses got steamed up and I couldn’t see where we were going.”

Sporting a helmet and heeled boots, the glamorous gran gracefully stepped up to the saddle of the KTM 1290 Super Adventure, and sped off on a 20-minute round trip.

She fixed her hair on her return and put her hearing aids back in, before staff at the dealership sang Happy Birthday and she blew out candles on her cake.

She said: “When I was very young my husband and I did all our courting on motorbikes, and he would take me down to the seaside.”

Her late husband Stan Downing, who died eight years ago, owned a motorbike when the pair met and she would often ride pillion.

When the couple had children, they gave it up for something more practical.

Keen gardener Mrs Downing has a great-grandson aged nine and a great-granddaughter aged two-and-a-half, Tiana, who was among those who attended the ride.

Also at the bike shop were her daughters Heather Levell and Susan Tuson with their husbands.

Mrs Levell, 70, who lives in Botley, said: “She has always been very fit and used to do a lot of dancing.

“She still does her gardening and walks for at least 20 minutes a day, and does her own shopping.”

Her husband Dave Levell said his mother-in-law was ‘buzzing for weeks’ after her 99th birthday bike trip.

Mrs Downing’s granddaughter Zena Tuson, who also turned out to watch, helped to arrange the ride.

The Abingdon resident calls her grandmother ‘naughty nan’ as she loves treats like cream cakes, sherry and chocolates, and also has a great sense of humour.

Mrs Downing grew up in Durham but moved to Oxfordshire as a teenager, and has lived at her current home for 71 years.

Premier Bikes general manager Andy Valentine, who led the ride, said: “We wish her a very happy birthday.”