Free wheeling Granville, 78, cycles 164 miles

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RYE Councillor Granville Bantick climbed back into the saddle, aged 78 to pedal an incredible 164 miles in 12 hours.

The feat was made more remarkable due to Granville being out of action for the past three years due to a knee replacement operation.

He was riding in the big event of the year, the KCA 12 Hour Time Trial.

At 78 he was the second oldest competitor in the race and the oldest rider representing his club, Rye Wheelers.

The time trial is known to be a gruelling challenge for any rider. This year 67 riders had entered of which 15, including five ladies, represented Rye Wheelers, more than any other club.

Riders are despatched at minute intervals and ride over a set course for 12 hours over various circuits.

The last few hours are ridden around a finishing circuit which has time keepers at various points. Riders complete as many circuits as possible until the time for that circuit runs out, at which point the rider is directed on to the next circuit by marshals posted all around the course.

When the 12 hours are completed the rider rides on to the next time keeper before stopping. The rider’s final mileage is based on a calculated distance between the last two time keepers. This year the course was generally flat over a wide area from Ashford to Rye. Fortunately the weather was cool and dry for the riders which made it easier.

Granville completed the course, but not without mishap, having punctured near Lydd and a long way from his support vehicle.

A quick phone call on his mobile brought out assistance and a spare wheel was changed over. It meant losing approximately 30 minutes of riding so the ultimate mileage was to be less. Granville battled on to finish having completed 164 miles which was only 8 miles less than his previous best in 2009 of 172 miles even though time was lost with the mishap.

Granville’s advice for riders is: “The importance of regularly taking on liquids and food during the ride is paramount and “pit stops” for changing water bottles before running out is as necessary as having brief breaks from riding.”

When asked if Granville would ride again he was non committal.