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UK News Retired civil servant, 82, is set to become the first to cycle one million miles 67 YEARS after he started meticulously recording his mileage

03:50  06 november  2019
03:50  06 november  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Russ Mantle has recorded his cycling mileage in numerous diaries since 1952. He is set to achieve a On Thursday he plans to make history by reaching one million miles after a mere five- mile route from his home In contrast, four years ago he got rid of his car as he only averaged 50 miles a year .

The retired civil servant , 82 , has meticulously recorded every single ride since 1952 when he “I’ve kept records all my life,” he told the Telegraph. “I first started cycling in 1951 but I didn’t have a Russ Mantle is set to become the first person in the UK to have cycled one million miles in their

Retired civil servant Russ Mantle is set to become the first person in the UK to cycle one million miles in their lifetime - having meticulously recorded his mileage for 67 years Retired civil servant Russ Mantle is set to become the first person in the UK to cycle one million miles in their lifetime - having meticulously recorded his mileage for 67 years

An 82-year-old retired civil servant is set to become the first person in the UK to cycle one million registered miles in their lifetime. 

Russ Mantle meticulously made note of his mileage over his lifetime, and this week plans to achieve the impressive milestone with the Holdsworth road bicycle he has owned since 1964. 

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He has recorded every ride in his diaries since 1952, including his trips to and from work, his participation in cycling competitions and pedalling up some of the world's highest mountains touring across Europe and America. 

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Russ Mantle's 67 - year love affair with his bike has grown stronger with every pedal stroke and on Thursday he created a piece of history by becoming the first Briton to clock up one million registered miles (1.6 million km) in his lifetime. The 82 -year-old retired civil servant rode a mere five- mile

According to Cycle UK, the retired civil servant , who has kept a mile count since the 1950s, will become the first Brit to cycle one million miles . And it’s those memories that make cycling too important for him to ever turn from, even in his old age. CYCLIST proudly showing memorabilia from

On Thursday he plans to make history by reaching one million miles after a mere five-mile route from his home in Aldershot, Hampshire, to a cafe in Mytchett, Surrey. 

a man riding on the back of a bicycle: Russ Mantle is set to become the first person in the UK to have cycled one million miles © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Russ Mantle is set to become the first person in the UK to have cycled one million miles

Mr Mantle - nicknamed 'mile-eater Mantle' by admiring friends in the cycling community - completed a staggering 22,550 miles in 2001, which is nearly enough to circumnavigate the globe.

In contrast, four years ago he got rid of his car as he only averaged 50 miles a year. 

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Mr Mantle, a lifetime member of Surrey's Farnham Road Club and also a member of West Surrey CTC and Cycling UK, is set to be greeted by friends and presented with an award from Cycling UK as he crosses the finishing tape later this week.

The avid cyclist, 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.'

a person riding on the back of a bicycle: 1967: Russ racing in Farnham © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited 1967: Russ racing in Farnham

Diaries containing records of his mileage still take up room in Mr Mantle's house and he now owns five bicycles - two from English company Holdsworth, two by Rotrax and an Allin.

He has only had 10 frames during his lifetime and builds his own wheels and replaces them when necessary. His first bike was a Coventry Eagle.

Mr Mantle has kept note of the miles he has cycled each day, written within dozens of diaries © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Mr Mantle has kept note of the miles he has cycled each day, written within dozens of diaries

Mr Mantle said: 'I started cycling in 1951 and recording in 1952 and since then I've just kept going.

'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.

a person riding on the back of a bicycle: 'In my early days cycling was all I thought about and the natural thing to do was to cycle,' said Mr Mantle, pictured racing in the Redmon 30, 1955 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited 'In my early days cycling was all I thought about and the natural thing to do was to cycle,' said Mr Mantle, pictured racing in the Redmon 30, 1955

'To me it just seemed obvious to record my mileage, that's what a cyclist does.

'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.

a woman standing next to a man in a suit and tie: Mr Mantle receiving his trophy having won the Southampton Wheelers 25 four years running, 1959-1962 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Mr Mantle receiving his trophy having won the Southampton Wheelers 25 four years running, 1959-1962

'My diaries are full with the day's mileage and things like the temperature, wind direction, different routes and the places I have visited, such as a particular cafe.

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

a person riding on the back of a bicycle: Mr Mantle, who worked for the Department of Environment for 25 years until he retired at the age of 57, cycled from his Aldershot home to each of his workplaces over that time - often a 26-mile round trip © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Mr Mantle, who worked for the Department of Environment for 25 years until he retired at the age of 57, cycled from his Aldershot home to each of his workplaces over that time - often a 26-mile round trip

'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.

'My best year was in 2001 when I cycled 22,550 miles. In one year I did 56 100-mile rides.'

a pile of luggage sitting on top of a suitcase: Diaries containing records of his mileage still take up room in Mr Mantle's house © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Diaries containing records of his mileage still take up room in Mr Mantle's house

Mr Mantle, who worked for the Department of Environment for 25 years until he retired at the age of 57, cycled from his Aldershot home to each of his workplaces over that time - often a 26-mile round trip.

He said: 'I would always cycle to and from work. I did of course have a car and I've had three scooters but 90 per cent of the time I would ride to work.

'I've done all the highest passes in Europe, USA and Canada and have some wonderful memories. In the USA I did Mount Evans, which is a 14,127ft climb.

a person riding a bike down a dirt road: 1959: Russ taking part at the Southampton Wheelers 25 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited 1959: Russ taking part at the Southampton Wheelers 25

'One that sticks out in my memory is the Pico de Veleta in Granada, Spain. That was fantastic as it was a fine day and I climbed from 2,000ft to 11,130ft and it was only a 32 mile cycle.

'I found the gradient okay until the last miles and when I got to the top people clapped me. I can remember something similar happening in the USA too.'

Mr Mantle, a fan of the Tour de France, said he regularly competed in races around Hampshire and Surrey.

a close up of text on a white background: Pictured: A note documenting the amount of miles Mr Mantle has cycled over the years © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Pictured: A note documenting the amount of miles Mr Mantle has cycled over the years

He said: 'I was at my peak when I was racing in 1953, I got 13 records from the Farnham Road Club from 1953 until 1968 but then I stopped for three years until I made a comeback from 1972 until 1975.

'My last three races, which were time trials, I won and I have won 40 races locally. They would be anything from 25 miles to 100 miles.

'I had a natural speed on the short races - I was quite a formidable opponent on the track.'

a person riding a bicycle next to a body of water: 1967: Mr Mantle taking part in the Beckenham 25 in London, where he finished first place © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited 1967: Mr Mantle taking part in the Beckenham 25 in London, where he finished first place

Now Mr Mantle isn't able to cycle as much as he'd like due to his age, but still averages 25 to 30 miles every other day.

He said: 'This year I'll do about 8,000 which is going to be my lowest ever.

'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.

a close up of a book: Mr Mantle has kept note of the miles he has cycled each day, written within dozens of diaries © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Mr Mantle has kept note of the miles he has cycled each day, written within dozens of diaries

'I got rid of my car about four years ago. On its last three MOTs it had only done 50 miles a year each time. What was the point in keeping it when I have the bikes?

'The frame I've had for the longest is my shopping bike, a Holdsworth I bought in Wandsworth in 1964. It's still going very well and though I call it my shopping bike it's what I use for short distances.'

Paul Tuohy, chief executive of Cycling UK, said: 'Cycling a million miles is not only incredible, it's almost incomprehensible. Russ never set out to break any records, cycling is simply a part of his life.

a group of people posing for a photo: 1958: Russ on day three of a five day road race for the army at Blandford Camp, Dorset © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited 1958: Russ on day three of a five day road race for the army at Blandford Camp, Dorset

'Cycling UK's mission is to get a million more people out on their bikes, it's amazing that we're celebrating one man's achievement of cycling a million miles in his lifetime.

'Russ is an inspiration and he shows us all what is possible.'

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