82-year-old is the first Brit to cycle a million miles

Think you ride a lot? Think again

An 82-year-old cyclist has become the first person in the UK to cycle a million miles in their lifetime.

Yes, you did read that correctly – one million miles.

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Having initially started logging his mileage in 1952, Russ Mantle, a retired civil servant from Aldershot, has since cycled an average of 14,700 miles a year. Even at the tender age of 82, he’s still cycled 8,000 miles in 2019 .

As Cycling UK points out in its short film about Mantle, that’s the equivalent of cycling to the moon and back, twice, or circumnavigating the Earth 40 times.

Russ Mantle's special celebration cake
If your ride doesn’t end with cake, you’re doing it wrong. Russ Mantle’s favourite is Victoria sponge – let that be a tip for any wannabe mile munchers reading this.
Robert Spanring / Cycling UK

Mantle, a life member of Cycling UK – a charity that has championed cycling in the UK for more than 140 years – completed his millionth mile on Thursday 7 November and, like any decent British cyclist, stopped for cake at a local cafe in Mytchett, Hampshire.

He has no intention of stopping either, saying: “I haven’t really been going for it, the miles have just naturally piled up because I enjoy cycling so much that it’s just natural to be a mile-eater. Hitting a million miles is just another milestone. On to the next one. Maybe when I’m 100 I’ll make two million!”

Russ Mantle's mile logging sheet from 1992
Russ Mantle has been logging his miles in paper diaries since 1952.
Cycling UK

And even though it wasn’t all logged on Strava, we’ll give him a pass. Mantle instead logged all of his miles in paper diaries, including trips to America, Canada and Europe, as well as the results of his many time trial wins during his racing years, from 1953 to 1975.

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Russ is truly an example to all of us who turn the pedals. Congratulations!