1119 miles

Sat May 1st 48 miles Left in the afternoon with Tony Standing, Brian Major and Brian Hawkridge, down through Slough and Maidenhead to Reading and on to Theale. We stopped for some refreshment on the way down and eventually found some digs in Theale. Went out to a pub in the evening, but did not have too many beers!

Sun May 2nd 88 miles Woke up at 6.30 after a night of thunderstorms, and out into cold wind and hailstones! I started at 8.19 in the High Wycombe ‘25’ and struggled out to the turn in about 37 minutes. It really was hard, wet and cold, but although I could not go fast, I did not get the bonk – so I must be getting fitter! I came back with the wind in 32 minutes to record 1.09.11. Brian Major did 1.07.05 and Tony 1.09.23. Brian Hawkridge did a magnificent 1.02.55 to take first handicap (I think). Bernard Higginson won the event with 59.57, so you can see just how hard it was! Ron Powney did a 1.4 and did not catch me until the Towers on the way back.

We got really wet and cold. Had breakfast at the digs and then came home down the Bath road. A nice weekend but lousy weather and ride.

Mon May 3rd 13 miles Club night. Took entries for the next club ‘25’ on May 16th and had a small committee meeting about handicapping.

Tues May 4th 32 miles Out training through Watford and Hunton Bridge to Kings Langley, and then home via Chipperfield, Croxley Green and Rickmansworth. A cold wet day and an evening which seemed to drain one’s body of all energy.

Wed May 5th 30 miles Cycled up to College today without incident. Got caught by the wind and rain on the way home.

Thurs May 6th 39 miles Another hard training ride out through Rickmansworth, starting from Alan Stratman’s house. Home through the Chalfonts and the Western Avenue. We called on John Davis about our club ‘30’. A better night, although showers at times.

Sat May 8th 48 miles Did usual things for a Saturday morning, and bought some short white socks. Met the boys at 2.00 p.m. to ride out through Chalfont, Amersham, Missenden and Wendover to Aylesbury where we found some very good ‘digs’. We are riding in the North Bucks R.C. ‘25’ tomorrow on a new (for us) course. A nice warm, sunny day for a change.

Sun May 9th 89 miles Got up at 6.00 a.m. and off number 68 at 8.08. Blunsdon, who had started just behind me, caught me on the way out and I got to the 13 mile turn in 30 minutes! There was a 20 m.p.h. wind behind us on the way out. It really caught us on the return leg and I staggered back into the teeth of the wind to record 1.07.50. Brian Major did 1.05.08, Alan Stratman 1.05.58 and Tony Standing 1.07.57. The event was won by Paul Baulch with a fine 59.12.

We came home via Marlow where we met the rest of the club for tea. A really warm and sunny day today – got sunburnt – but a stinking hard morning. If the wind had been from the other direction I am sure that I would have done a 1.05!

Mon May 10th 24 miles I went up to the club via Ickenham and Colin Turner’s house at West Hyde (to collect the canteen clobber). Climbed Rickmansworth hill on my 72" gear. Took money for the next club ‘25’ on May 16th, gave out the start sheets and took entries for the ‘100’ on May 23rd. Also I discussed marshalling and feeding for this event. Ernie Everett came up about the inter-club ‘25’ with the Herige Wheelers which we will now hold on August 29th on the F 4.

Tues May 11th 53 miles I met Alan Stratman at 7.00 p.m. and together with Brian and Ian Major, rode out through Ickenham and Gerrards Cross to Beaconsfield (where Brian and Ian turned off) and then on to High Wycombe. We then turned left, up the hill, down into Marlow, over the hills again and then home via Maidenhead, Taplow, Stoke Poges, Wexham, Fulmer and up the viaduct. A lovely warm night, and a very nice ride.

Wed May 12th 30 miles Rode to college again, as last Wednesday. It took me slightly longer this week because the traffic was heavier. Another hot day (79ºF), but thundery by the evening.

Thurs May 13th 28 miles Went out to Chalfont in the evening to help with the Junior ‘10’. I would have liked to have ridden but I did not have time to get my bike ready, and I had a very large dinner before setting out! There were several surprises tonight: Firstly young Ian Major won the event in 26.49, beating Brian Hamer. Tony Standing did a private time trial in 26.22 and Brian Major 27.03 on a 72" gear. Secondly, Pat [Norman] did 29.11 to win the ladies’ event. We came home through the lanes via Ruislip.

Sat May 15th 17 miles Went up to Pinner, Eastcote (twice) and to Northwood in the morning and generally messed about. In the afternoon I got my Ephgrave ready for tomorrow’s ‘25’. Went to the pictures in the evening and then got to bed early.

Sun May 16th 76 miles Got up at 4.45 a.m., out by 5.30 and off number 7 at 6.37. A headwind to the turn, but easier coming back. I used an 86" fixed. It was not too tough and I could keep it going nicely without undue strain, but I could not find the speed I need, and finished with [another!] 1.07.40! I am fit but cannot seem to find that shine to my performance – I am on a sticky patch, I think.

We went out to meet the club for dinner at Slough and then went over to the track to watch some racing. After this, Brian, Tony and I went for tea and snooker at the Slough track centre. A cold and windy day.

Mon May 17th 11 miles Up to the club rooms. Took money for Sunday’s ‘100’ and made the final arrangements for marshalling and feeding – I think that we can cover it satisfactorily. Played snooker and lost. Had a committee meeting about the club dinner.

Wed May 19th 91 miles Cycled up to college and back in the morning (30 miles), and then left Eastcote at about 3.00 p.m. with some grub and drink to go training through High Wycombe, Saunderston, Princes Risborough, Great Kimble, Wendover and then home via the Missendens and Amersham. A warm, but cloudy evening, but a headwind all the way out and quite hard up the West Wycombe to Princes Risborough stretch.

Thurs May 20th 20 miles Went round to Colin Turner’s with some money and entry forms for the Farnham ‘25’ and the WLCA ‘50’. Called in at Nell’s café on the way back for a cup of coffee.

Sat May 22nd 14 miles Up to Pinner, Eastcote and Northwood Hills in the morning. Got my bike ready for tomorrow’s ‘100’ in the afternoon.

Sun May 23rd 146 miles Up at 6.00 a.m. and made my way up to the Havelock café [event headquarters] to change for the club ‘100’. I started number 5 just before 8.00 a.m. and caught Alan Stratman at Chalfont St Giles in pouring raOutside the Havelock caféin. We then passed Roy Turner and Stan Boyes, and the Alan also dropped back (he got cramp) and I pushed on alone through the feeds. At the far turn Ken Dopson was apparently 2½ minutes up on me. At Princes Risborough on the way back I was about two minutes up on my 4.45.00 schedule and at Walton was still level with it. However, I then sagged a bit although I caught Ken near the Chalfonts and beat him by 5 seconds to record 4.50.08. This was slower than I hoped, especially as I had been so close to dipping below 4.50, but at least I registered a personal best and won the event. I may be able to get my finger out now.

In the afternoon I met Tony and we went to meet the club for tea at Stacey’s (Chalfont). Home by 7.30 p.m. after a successful day.

 

Mon May 24th 3 miles No club tonight because there was a council meeting at the Grange. I went for a short ride.

Tues May 25th 21 miles Out for a short ride through Rickmansworth, down the by-pass and through the lanes to Tony Standing’s for a committee meeting. Home at 11.30 p.m.

Wed May 26th 45 miles Cycled up to College in the morning without incident. Roger Bingham ‘phoned up in the afternoon – he is home from camp and came round later. It has turned out warm again. Met Tony Standing later and we went over to the South Ruislip’s club rooms.

Thurs May 27th 31 miles I rode a private time trial in the club’s junior ‘10’. We caught the calm between two storms and some excellent times were recorded. Tony Standing (PTT) was fastest with 24.56, but Ian Major won the junior event with 25.15. I was third fastest with 25.37 – a personal best; Paul Stratman did 25.47, Roy Turner 25.51 and Pat Norman 28.13. I caught Alan Beere and Brian Proctor.

It poured with rain after the event and we got really soaked. My rear tub blew out down Red hill and I changed it in pouring rain with much cursing. I made it home safely, however: a night of mixed fortunes!

Fri May 28th 8 miles I had the afternoon off from college so went up to Pinner to buy some new trousers. I then went up to Gordon Prangley’s to get a new tub (he said that my Leone was irreparable) and one or two other odds and ends. It rained again later and all the evening.

Sat May 29th 18 miles I spent half the morning at Bob Harvey’s helping him to crank out the club magazine. In the afternoon I went down to Eastcote House where the club organised and rode in a roller contest for the local scout fête. Pete Kennedy and Alan Stratman were the most prolific winners, yours truly coming nowhere. Went dancing (!) at the Greenwood in the evening with Pat, Roger, Mac and Roy.

Sun May 30th 86 miles Left Northwood with the club (6 riders) down through Staines, Windsor and Ascot to Bert’s café at Bagshot for elevenses. We met the South Ruislip here. We then pushed on to Guildford (dinner at Young’s café) and spent some time by the priory. We then came home via Woking, Chertsey, Staines (tea at the Cottage café), Iver and Denham. A nice warm day with no rain!

Mon May 31st 12 miles Club night. I took entries for the annual inter-club ‘25’ against the South Ruislip (June 20th), 21 riders in all! I paid Brian Major 2/6d towards our digs reservations for the weekend. Came home via Ruislip Gardens. Alan Stratman, Roger Bingham and I are going training tomorrow night.