AN 80-year-old British expat is nearing the end of a marathon 1,060 kilometre bike ride to Barcelona – and he has not left his Costa del Sol home.

Partly inspired by Captain Tom Moore in the UK – who has raised £30 million for charity by completing 25 metre laps of his garden at the age of 100 – Robin Drake decided to do 40 kilometres a day on his exercise bicycle.

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BALCONY BIKER: Gus has nearly reached Barcelona! Credit: Dilip Kuner/Olive Press

Known to family and friends as Gus, he told the Olive Press: “Here I was stuck at home in the lockdown and I needed a target to stay fit. So I decided to ‘virtually’ cycle the 1060 kilometres to Barcelona.”

“I would say Captain Tom was a factor in me setting myself the challenge, but I needed a destination target. I picked Barcelona because it is a city I love. When I get there I will cycle down the Ramblas – it should be nice and empty,” he joked.

“What captain Tom has done at his age is incredible – he has 20 years on me!

The former Operations Manager at Heathrow airport, from Purley in the UK, has lived in Spain with his 89-year-old wife Doreen since 2002.

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OLD HANDS: Gus and Doreen have lived in Mijas for 18 years.

Speaking from his Miraflores (Mijas) home, he added: “I have been pedalling 40 km a day for 25 days now – 20 each morning and 20 in the afternoon. So I think I am due in Barcelona on Thursday. We might crack open a bottle of Champagne to celebrate.

“As I was putting all this effort in, I thought I might try to raise some money for charity, so I started getting sponsors with all the cash going to Age Care in Calahonda.”

Wife Doreen said: “They have been very good to us over the past few weeks.

“They do our shopping for us and bring us meals twice a week – they really deserve as much as support as they can get. Most of their funds come from their charity shop and of course that has been shut during lockdown.”

So far Gus has raised €500 through his Facebook site (search Robin Drake Malaga) https://www.facebook.com/kiwigus

Donations can also be made to Age Care through Go fund Me – search Age Care Association https://www.gofundme.com/f/age-care-association

So when he has reached Barcelona, what’s next for Gus? “Don’t give him ideas”, said Doreen, “he can turn round and come straight home!”

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