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82-Year-Old Man Becomes First Person In UK To Cycle One Million Miles

The athlete, who has never married and said cycling is his 'true love', said: "It is quite the achievement I suppose. When I think about it, it is quite remarkable."
08 Nov 2019 10:13
82-Year-Old Man Becomes First Person In UK To Cycle One Million Miles
Russ Mantle is set to become the first person in the UK to have cycled one million miles in their lifetime. Photo: Solent News and Photo Agency

For most pensioners in their eighties, an eight-day stay in hospital would be a sure sign that it is time to pack in any strenuous or taxing hobbies, Telegraph News reported.

But not Russ Mantle, who tomorrow will become the first Briton to cycle one million miles in his lifetime – and is still riding 25 miles every other day.

The retired civil servant, 82, has meticulously recorded every single ride since 1952 when he completed his “lowest ever mileage” of 18,500 miles.

He told Telegraph News: “I’ve kept records all my life.”

Russ Mantle, who tomorrow will become the first Briton to cycle one million miles in his lifetime - and is still riding 25 miles every other day. Photo: Solent News and Photo Agency

Russ Mantle, who tomorrow will become the first Briton to cycle one million miles in his lifetime – and is still riding 25 miles every other day. Photo: Solent News and Photo Agency

“I first started cycling in 1951 but I didn’t have a diary then, I started my diaries in 1952.”

Mr Mantle’s diaries, which take note of every time he cycled to and from work, competed in races and pedalled up some of the world’s highest mountains during tours across Europe and America, still take up room in his home in Aldershot.

According to Independent News, the former carpenter said the thing he loves most about cycling is the “sheer mobility of it” and the fact he can spend all day exploring the mountains.

Mr Mantle, who worked for the Department of Environment for 25 years until he retired at the age of 57, added that he even notes temperature, wind direction, cafes and villages he passes through.

According to the 300,000 Mile Cycling Club, the next Briton to aim for the title is still 204,917 miles behind Mr Mantle.

Nevertheless on Thursday, he will be joined by the cycling community as they complete the mere five-mile route, that will see Mr Mantle ride his millionth mile, from his home in Aldershot, Hants, to a cafe in Mytchett, Surrey on his cherished Holdsworth road bike which he has owned since 1964.

Telegraph News: Making cycling history, the lifetime member of Farnham Road Club [Surrey] and also a member of West Surrey CTC and Cycling UK, will be greeted by friends and presented with an award from Cycling UK as he crosses the finishing tape.

Mr Mantle racing in 1955 Photo: Solent News

Mr Mantle racing in 1955 Photo: Solent News

The athlete, who has never married and said cycling is his ‘true love’, said: “It is quite the achievement I suppose. When I think about it, it is quite remarkable.”

“When I started recording in 1952 I had a cyclometer that made a ‘tick-tick’ noise and in the 1990s I replaced it with a more modern one which goes on my handlebars and records my miles.

“At one point I was doing 400 miles every week.

“In the 1990s I did 265 miles in one day, which is my biggest day ever, when I cycled from Aldershot to Monmouthshire in Wales and back again.

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