Cyclist, 93, still clocks up 150 miles a week and has no plans to stop

Ellen Manning
·3 min read
Ron Longstaff
Ron Longstaff, pictured in 2019, still clocks up 150 miles a week on his bike despite cycling for more than 70 years, and doesn't plan to stop. (SWNS)

A 93-year-old cyclist still clocks up an impressive 150 miles a week after enjoying the sport for more than 70 years, and has no plans to stop.

Ron Longstaff has cycled more than a million miles in total after his father bought him his first lightweight racing bike in 1946.

The pensioner, who now owns 11 bikes, still gets out on the road three times a week and has no intention of stopping yet.

He isn’t the only cyclist to rack up the miles in recent years, with grandmother Mavis Paterson cycling the length of Britain in 2019 at the age of 81.

Ron Longstaff riding a ike - date unknown. See SWNS copy SWLECYCLE: Britain's oldest cyclist still clocks up a staggering 150 miles per week after pushing the pedals for more than 70 years and has no plans to stop - at the grand age of 93. Sprightly grandad Ron Longstaff has cycled more than a million miles since being bought his first lightweight racing bike by his father in 1946. The pedal-powered pensioner, who has a collection of 11 bikes, still gets out on the road three times a week and has no intention of hitting the brakes just yet.
Ron Longstaff used to ride competitively but now just pushes the pedals for fun. (SWNS)

Longstaff is well-known in his local area of Humshaugh, Northumberland, where he’s often spotted out and about in his club colours.

The grandfather-of-seven raced competitively until he was 80 and in 1997 won the Veterans’ Road Race World Championship in Austria, beating ex-professionals.

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A decade later he completed a lifetime's ambition of a 24-hour time trial, covering 326 miles despite losing 90 minutes due to sickness and crashing near the finish.

He raced competitively until he was 80 and now pushes the pedals for fun, getting on his bike at least three times a week, regardless of the weather.

Ron Longstaff riding aged 80. See SWNS copy SWLECYCLE: Britain's oldest cyclist still clocks up a staggering 150 miles per week after pushing the pedals for more than 70 years and has no plans to stop - at the grand age of 93. Sprightly grandad Ron Longstaff has cycled more than a million miles since being bought his first lightweight racing bike by his father in 1946. The pedal-powered pensioner, who has a collection of 11 bikes, still gets out on the road three times a week and has no intention of hitting the brakes just yet.
The 93-year-old has cycled more than a million miles since being bought his first lightweight racing bike by his father in 1946. (SWNS)

He said: “I go out three times a week and ride around 150 miles a week. Where I live, it's very rural so it's quiet but it's quite hilly, so whichever direction I cycle in, I have to take on a hill cold. That's the hardest part of it, taking on the hills.

“When my father was demobbed after the war, he bought me a lightweight racing bike. I began racing when I was 20 and I was still racing at 80.

“I went across to Austria with my friend and stayed in his caravan and won the world championships on the Monday and the European championships on the Wednesday.”

 Ron Longstaff riding in Derbyshire - unknown date. See SWNS copy SWLECYCLE: Britain's oldest cyclist still clocks up a staggering 150 miles per week after pushing the pedals for more than 70 years and has no plans to stop - at the grand age of 93. Sprightly grandad Ron Longstaff has cycled more than a million miles since being bought his first lightweight racing bike by his father in 1946. The pedal-powered pensioner, who has a collection of 11 bikes, still gets out on the road three times a week and has no intention of hitting the brakes just yet.
Ron has had a few close calls and has been knocked off his bike several times by cars. (SWNS)

He added: “I enjoyed the competition. I loved racing against the clock.

“I still have 11 bikes, including one that cost me £3,500. You can pay up to £10,000 for one. One of my favourite bikes is my old racing bike. I did all my best times on it.”

The pensioner’s cycling career hasn’t been without its hairy moments — he’s been in an accident during races and has also been knocked off his bike several times.

Longstaff, who lives on his own, said cycling was one thing he could do during lockdown and it helped him get outside.