About this website

This website documents a sadly now defunct cycling club, the Northwood Wheelers. My father, David Saunders, was a member of the Northwood Wheelers from the late 1940s through to 1955, when adult life "distracted" him from cycling. A large part of this site consists of his cycling diaries (Open Roads) written at that time, and which he has annotated with photographs and editorial comments. You can reach this material via the menu at the top of the website.

Since the original incarnation of these web pages a couple of years ago, I have had emails and phone calls from former members of the Northwood Wheelers. I hope that this new version will encourage others to do the same. 

The tales of cycling presented here are the reason I took up cycling myself, albeit rather late in life (I too got diverted by student life). Not for me the motivation of the exploits of professional cyclists - rather, I was fired by the exploits of my father and his cycling pals, particularly his cycle tour to Scotland with Brian at the tender age of 16, the infamous Cheddar Gorge expedition, and possibly the best example of why you need to pay attention to the chain tension on a fixed gear bike.

 

Robert Saunders December 2008

Photo Gallery

Cover. Once again, a card cover featuring artwork by Frank Patterson. It’s asctually the same image as used for Issue 14! Eight pages of content.

Page 1

Editorial. Cover price raised to 6d, explained by the new covers, and having to purchase stencils and paper. The Club is also after a duplicator. Bob also ticks off an unidentified member who knocked a lady cyclist off her bike when leaving the club meeting. Members are advised to take more care!

Page 2

A list of Club Officials for 1954

Page 3

Report on the Club Dinner. This was held December 1953, which seems to have gone well. The cross-toasting seems amusing.

Page 4

This article is entitled

HAVE YOU A ONE-TRACK MIND?

HOW LOW IS YOUR INTELLIGENCE?

(The top lines haven’t stencilled properly)

I have to confess this article just leaves me baffled! It continues on page 8.

Page 5

The Club Events Programme. The Racing Secretary seems to be making something of an authoritarian stance about when entries are to be received! 

Page 6

Runs List - This is the list of Sunday club runs for February and the first Sunday in March. A detailed listing of which cafe’s are visited.

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More club gossip from Ivor Storey, including a letter from Ivor’s ‘sister’ Uva Storey.

Page 7

Ivor Storey continues in the usual vein on page 7! I am taking a dislike to him after his grumping about tandems - but then again I don’t take the tandem out on club runs!

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Club Roller Contest - Sounds like a lively event. Alan Stratman won the Chapionship with a total of 10 points - first in the 880 yards scratch, first in the 440 yards flying start time trial (15 1/3 secs).

Page 8

Club Roller Contest, continued. A bit illegible, but I can see Roy Turner did the fastes time in the 880 yards, 35 seconds.

Colin Turner came second with 6 1/2 points

ooOoo

Oh gosh, more from Ivor Storey!

 

Northwood Wheelers History

An update on the history of the Northwood Wheelers, and some personal reminiscences, by Colin Turner via email 22/12/13.

In late 1947 Tom Simpson, Gordon (Boff - short for boffin) Empson, my brother Roy & myself were asked to assist with running the cycling section of The Northwood Boy’s Club. I can’t remember if any others were involved at this time. None of us had any experience of running a club, as none of us had ever been a member of a cycling club before. There were so many restrictions placed on what we could do that it soon became impossible to operate within the Boy’s Club. A rather acrimonious break from the Boy’s Club ensued, and in 1948 we formed the Northwood Wheelers.

We soon came to the notice of a local resident, Mr. Fred Reynolds. Fred was a council member of the Road Time Trials Council, the then governing body of time trials in the UK. He helped us get the club on a proper footing. Jack Sharp was another who helped us in the early days - he later became president.

My memories of the early days are rather vague as unlike David I did not keep a diary. Tom Simpson worked with Stan Boyes, a cyclist/tricyclist of long standing. In my memories of the club he was always there, so I am sure got involved at an early stage.

I have my Youth Hostel Association membership card for 1948 and it records eight overnight away rides in that year. Most of those would have been club runs. The one that stands out is Cleeve Hill near Cheltenham, in November - this run subsequently became a regular on the weekend nearest the 5th November.

My first record of racing activity is in June 1949 when I entered the Uxbridge Wheelers 25 on 19th June, I recorded a time of 1.7.55. My first record of a club event is a 25 on the Amersham course on 26.3.50, qhich was won by Alan Browne in 1.6.42. Northwood Wheelers club events that I entered in 1950 were 4 x 25 miles, 2 x 50 miles. 1x 100 miles. We also took part in 4 x 25 mile interclub events against other local clubs. My racing records stop in 1954, by this time I was married with 1 child and finding it difficult to find the time to get fit.

Another early event that we took part in was the Brentwood Road Club’s 100 mile utility event on 6.2.49. There were a multitude of classes from which one could chose, from a Ladies 100 in 9 hours to a double gents tandem in 6hr. 30min. Tom & I entered double gents tandem. A few other club members entered solo in eight hours. It was a hard ride, cold, foggy near the sea at Malden and a niggling cold breeze all day. Tom and I were ahead of schedule so we waited near the finish. Cold and shivering, we had a 3 minute window 6.30 to 6.33 to be classified, we went in and recorded a time of 6. 27 so no certificate!  

Colin noted he had copies of the club magazine from No.2 to No.14 - these form part of the collection of scans listed above.