Russ Mantle in 2019

Lifelong Cycling UK member and ‘million-mile man’ Russ Mantle passes away, aged 86 

The lifelong Cycling UK member and ‘million-mile man’ Russ Mantle has died aged 86.

Mantle, who was heralded as the first Brit to cycle 1 million miles in their lifetime in 2019, died on May 1, 2023, after several years of ill health. 

Having started cycling at the age of 15, Mantle competed in bike races from 1953 to 1968, and from 1972 to 1976, thriving in the time trial discipline. 

Mantle was also a keen club rider, a life member of the Farnham Road Club, West Surrey CTC, Cycling UK, and the 300,000 Mile Club. He acted as the run leader for West Surrey CTC for 20 years from 1970 to 1990.

Cycling UK’s CEO Sarah Mitchell said: “We were saddened to hear that Russ had passed away, his death is a loss to the entire cycling community and our thoughts go out to Russ’s family and friends during this difficult time. Cycling UK was incredibly lucky to count Russ as a life member and we will remember his astounding achievement of cycling over a million miles, a feat that is unlikely to be matched again. Russ didn’t set out to break records, cycling was simply a part of his life; he showed us all what was possible and he will continue to be an inspiration to all who cycle.” 

On November 7, 2019, Mantle came to the attention of the wider public, as he completed his millionth mile on a bike, surrounded by friends and supporters. 

The achievement saw Mantle average 14,700 miles for 68 years. 

He was able to achieve this remarkable feat in part thanks to his cycle touring, having cycled throughout the USA, Canada, across mainland Europe and the UK and especially enjoyed cycling in the French Alps. 

Read more: Parliamentary Bike Ride returns with stakeholders discussing Active Travel and infrastructure

Mantle had also had a successful racing career, finishing 6th in the 1955 National 25 Time Trial Championships, with a time of 58:35.

He is survived by his brother Roger, sister-in-law Sue, nephew Stuart, and niece Hannah. 

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