Russ Mantle, who has ridden one million miles since 1952. Credit: Robert Spanring / Cycling UK
With the advent of Strava and the host of other means to map and record rides it's become much easier to keep track of mileage to brandish for bragging rights, training or even just for personal challenges. But this advent of automized uploading and collating of our ride data doesn't mean you can't keep record the old school way, right?
Russ Mantle, one hell of a chap from England, was the spark for this week's poll question. This year the 82 year old reached the one million mile milestone. One bloody million. It doesn't matter which way you look at it or in which units (just over 1.6 million km), it's an astounding amount of riding over the course of a lifetime. Tip of the cap.
According to the Telegraph article, he's kept records all his life. And his handwritten ride records, started in 1952, include fantastic little details of temperature, wind direction and which lovely little villages he passed through. I find it utterly humbling to read the story of Russ and his quotes and responses depict a man who just got on with it, no grumbling. None more so than when he suffered a heart attack three years ago and now 'only' rides every other day.
Mr Mantle's paper records from 1992 and him racing the National Championships 25 mile Time Trial in 1955.
Converting this number of digits into tangible feats is where it really starts to hit home about how far this bloke rode. He's circumnavigated the Earth 40 times and has done the equivalent of back and forth to the moon, twice! And with a flavour of saving the environment, he's ridden a bike double the amount that your average driver will likely drive in their whole lifetime.
Curious as to how many people know or can speculate how far they've ridden in their lifetime, and as a nod to Russ, this week's question is: "How far have you ridden in your lifetime?"
Most of us haven't kept meticulous records like Russ, but at the very least this might spark some thought into just how far we've each ridden a bike.