Magnificent seven for record-breaking cyclist at Gosling
PUBLISHED: 12:29 14 September 2008 | UPDATED: 22:26 26 October 2009
WHEN it comes to being a record breaker, age is not a barrier. Just ask John Lee, who has notched not one, not two, but SEVEN national cycling speed records - at the ripe old age of 79. He raced his way to the fastest times for his age at 5km, 5 miles, 10
WHEN it comes to being a record breaker, age is not a barrier.
Just ask John Lee, who has notched not one, not two, but SEVEN national cycling speed records - at the ripe old age of 79.
He raced his way to the fastest times for his age at 5km, 5 miles, 10km, 10 miles, 20km, an hour and 25 miles on the outdoor cycle track at the Gosling Sports Park.
John featured in the WHT two years ago when he smashed five records for the 77-year-old age bracket at the same WGC venue.
This time round he had a different strategy.
"I was a fraction off what I did two years ago," he said.
"I was told to ease off because I was going for the hour.
"If you go flat out to start with you start struggling near the hour - well, you do if you're a bloke my age!
"But I'm chuffed to bits, because the hour record was the target.
"One of the guys there, who is in his 50s, was quite astounded I was able to do 21.1 miles at my age."
Cycling is enjoying something of a golden period at the moment, with Team GB dominating the sport at the Olympics in Beijing.
And John, who is president of the Icknield Road Club, said gold medallists like Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton could still be pedalling at his age, should they want to.
"There's no reason why they shouldn't," he said.
"Age is only a number and is no barrier to fitness. Providing you're lucky and keep yourself in shape, you can keep going as long as you want to."
John, of Luton, fully intends to live by that motto, as he is not planning on hanging up his saddle.
"I don't intend to give up," he said.
"I'm 80 next May and will go for all the records again - that's definitely the target.
"I just enjoy doing it. I'm blessed by the fact I can drive myself right to the end and keep going."
Here are John's record-breaking times
5km: 8 minutes 37.8 seconds
5 miles: 13mins 51.9secs
10km: 17mins 17.8secs
10 miles: 28mins 3.5secs
20km: 34mins 58.9secs
Hour: 21.10 miles
25 miles: 1hr 11mins 28.9secs