502 miles

Mon Mar 1st 10 miles Club night. I took money for the medium gear (72") ‘25’ and gave the start sheet to Sheila for duplication. We have bought our own duplicator.

Tues Mar 2nd Committee meeting at my house.

Wed Mar 3rd 10 miles Tried to get out training but only got as far as Northolt before torrential rain overtWith Tom Simpson (back) at the ‘Case is Altered’, just before his  departure. ook me. I got soaked without mudguards. A miserable night, but at least the snow has turned to rain.

Fri Mar 5th Went up to Dirty Dick’s with Tom Simpson and the boys, to give Tom (and Sheila) a send-off to Canada. We had green cheese, pickles, Russian salad, draught Guinness and a jolly good time! We left a Northwood Wheelers’ roller contest ticket, duly signed, attached to the wall, and we all bought Dirty Dick’s balloons. Home by midnight.

Sat Mar 6th 12 miles Up to Gordon’s in the morning, then got my bike ready in the afternoon for tomorrow’s medium gear ‘25’ which starts at 8.00 a.m.

Sun Mar 7th 31 miles Got up at 6.30 a.m. to find it pouring with rain (again). Decided to go up to the start at 8.00. Boff Empson, Alan and Paul Stratman, and Rodney Bridges turned up but we decided to call the event off. We crept home to wring our clothes out. It cleared up in the afternoon but we all felt so fed up we went to the pictures.

Mon Mar 8th 10 miles Up to the club rooms and took entries for the next ‘25’ on March 21st.

Wed Mar 10th 46 miles A nice sunny day at last; went for a long ride out through Beaconsfield. Coles Hill, Amersham, Heronsgate, Chorleywood and Croxley Green. Home through Rickmansworth and Northwood. Very enjoyable.

Fri Mar 12th 21 miles I went out training (to celebrate my 19th birthday) through Ickenham, along the Denham by-pass to Rickmansworth and then home via Moor Park. Met Tom Simpson at the Northwood Hills hotel and had a drink with him – he is getting married tomorrow! A warm day, but still cold at night.

Sat Mar 13th 12 miles Cold and wet at times, with some sleet. Very different from Wednesday and Thursday! Saw Tom and Sheila’s wedding present which the club had given them – a lovely 8-day travelling alarm clock in a pale leather case. I went up to Northwood again in the afternoon and then to the pictures in the evening with Roger.

Sun Mar 14th 73 miles About eight of us out today even though it was very cold and raw. We went out the usual way through Slough, Maidenhead, Reading and Theale, and then home the same way. Elevenses were taken at the Southdown café in Taplow, and lunch at Mac’s café on the Bath road. Nothing eventful happened except the exceedingly slow pace which gave me the chills in more ways that one. Paul Stratman and I came home fast after tea (at Eddie’s café, Slough) in order to get warm. Alan Stratman, Brian Major, Tony Standing and Colin Turner were racing this morning in the Norlond combine 72" gear ‘25’.

Mon Mar 15th 10 miles Up to the club. Took money in for the next ‘25’ and gave it to Alan. Alan did the fastest time yesterday in the Norlond medium gear event – 1.10.05. Quite good really considering the conditions and the course; the winner did 1.5.55.

Wed Mar 17th 38 miles Still cold. I got home from town late and missed Paul so went out by myself through Stanmore to the by-pass and home via Watford and over the hill to Northwood. Later in the evening I took round about 8 start sheets to different people’s houses and finished up at a Social sub-committee meeting at Alan’s. Very windy.

Fri Mar 19th 28 miles It poured with rain all the afternoon and evening. I met Alan at 8.00 p.m. and we went out to Stacey’s at Chalfont where we met the club for the supper run. Had a nice meal, a pint and a few games of darts. Got very wet but enjoyed it.

Sat Mar 20th 10 miles Still raining in the morning although it cleared up by the afternoon. Cleaned bike and got the Holdsworth ready for tomorrow’s ‘25’. I hope that its not raining!

Sun Mar 21st 76 miles Got up at 6.45 a.m. and off number 8 at 8.38 in the club ‘25’. Stan Boyes started 30 seconds behind me and he apparently could see me by the Chalfonts, so he caught me. I caught Alan Beere and finished with a 1.07.40. Colin Turner won with 1.06.39, Stan second, 1.07.09 and Alan Stratman third with 1.07.18. I was fourth and won 3rd handicap. It was a warm but cloudy morning with only a slight wind and bright intervals.

In the afternoon Paul Stratman, Tony Standing and I went out to tea at Staines via Slough, Windsor and Runneymede. After tea, where we met Ken Dopson and Maureen, we came home through the lanes via Iver Heath and Ickenham. A nice warm afternoon.

Mon Mar 22nd 10 miles Club night. Finished up at the Clifton for a few beers with Tom Simpson before we finally said goodbye.

Wed Mar 24th 23 miles Out for a short ride in the afternoon through the lanes, and then to the pictures in the evening. A cool and windy day.

Thurs Mar 25th 31 miles I completely cleared my shed out in the morning. In the evening I met Paul Stratman in Eastcote, and then Brian Proctor and his two friends in Ickenham, and went out training. It came on to rain, however, so we cut it short and finished up in a café in Chalfont. It never came on to rain much, only showers, so we got home without putting on our capes. Brian got a puncture.

Fri Mar 26th 11 miles I called in to the post office and the hospital about possible jobs for the summer. Sent off 5/- to the YHA, enquired about my bike insurance, and visited Gordon Prangley’s where I bought a new tub. A nice dry day, sunny at intervals.

Sat Mar 27th 11 miles Tom and Sheila leave for Canada today. I went up to Northwood in the morning, called on Bob Harvey and saw the boys. Paid £3/10/- into my ‘account’ at Gordon’s and looked at some road shorts. We went to the pictures in the evening. A lovely sunny and warm day – the first day of spring?

Sun Mar 28th 40 miles Got up at 7.00 a.m. and met Brian Major at 7.45 to ride private time trials in the Marlboro’ ‘25’ on the Amersham course. Brian started a minute behind me and caught me. He did 1.06.30 and I did 1.07.30 so we had a battle for the line. It looks bad doesn’t it! I was just faster than last week even though the conditions were less favourable, with some rain. I am quite pleased with this performance. Got very wet and cold, and came straight home after the event.

Mon Mar 29th to Fri Apr 9th A week’s trip to the Isle of Man with a group from King’s College. No cycling, but a very enjoyable trip.