86-year-old cyclist aiming to complete world record LEJOG ride

Martin Harvey is looking to complete Land's End to John O'Groats in under 14 days

Martin Harvey Land's End to John O'Groats
(Image credit: Martin Harvey)

Martin Harvey, an 86-year-old cyclist from the West Midlands, is aiming to become the oldest male to complete the ride from Land's End to John O'Groats when he sets off on Sunday 4 September. 

Alex Menarry is currently the oldest man to cycle from Land's End to John O'Groats, completing the ride in September 2018 at the age of 85 years and 291 days.

Harvey, riding with his two daughters, Julie Grigg and Michaela Casey, in memory of his wife Jackie, is aiming to beat that and to cycle the route in 14 days. He is looking to raise £3,000 for St Giles Hospice in Whittington, which cared for his wife Jackie before she died. 

Their JustGiving page, aptly named "Martin's World Record Attempt" describes the reason behind him trying to become the oldest man to cycle the LeJog route.

"After some success racing in his youth Martin chose a career in banking over cycling as there was no money in the sport in those days. He retired from Barclays Bank in 1992, and rekindled his love of cycling. Firstly with a mountain bike but he soon traded that in for a road bike," it reads.

"He joined CC Giro cycling club. Taking part in an annual 100 mile sportive in Abervile, France for a number of years. He has also toured the Himalayas, Vietnam, France in 2018 and  the Alps in 2019.

"Many thanks for your support and donations, please help us by sharing and telling all your friends and family. We want to inspire everyone to be more active living a healthy lifestyle , especially as they age. We are all capable of so much more, unlimit [sic] your beliefs, change your expectations. After all, as Martin says  ‘age is just a number!’"

In order to train for the event, Martin has been cycling 200 miles each week. He also has experience of completing the route, too, having done so in 2017 with his daughter Julie.

He told the BBC: "The thing with getting older is you do lose muscle strength and you can slow it down a bit and you can make the best use of what you have got, and that's what I do."

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1