(Reuters) – Russ Mantle’s love affair with his bike has grown stronger with every pedal stroke and he is now poised to become the first Briton to clock up one million registered miles in his lifetime.
On Thursday, Mantle plans to create a piece of history by reaching one million miles after a mere five-mile ride from his home in Aldershot, to a cafe in Mytchett, Surrey.
The 82-year-old retired civil servant has recorded his mileage since he got his first bike – a Coventry Eagle – in 1952.
He has meticulously made note of every ride in his diaries as he made short trips to work, participated in local races and pedalled up the mountains in Europe and America.
“I started cycling in 1951 and recording in 1952 and since then I’ve just kept going,” he told Daily Mail.
“In my early days cycling was all I thought about and the natural thing to do was to cycle. I loved getting out in the countryside. To me it just seemed obvious to record my mileage, that’s what a cyclist does.”
Mantle conceded he is not able to cycle as much as he would like due to his age, but still manages 25 to 30 miles in the saddle every other day.
“This year I’ll do about 8,000 which is going to be my lowest ever,” he said.
“These days I cycle about 25 to 30 miles every other day, I’m used to doing so much more. My fitness has always been great but over the last three years it has deteriorated.”
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)