850 miles

Wed May 2nd 20 miles Went for a ride through Hatch End, up Oxhey lane to Watford, left down through Croxley Green to Rickmansworth. I turned left here again and climbed Rickmansworth hill (on 69" gear) and then home through Batchworth Heath and Northwood.

Got to Alan Stratman’s house at about 8.00 p.m. for the club’s 20th committee meeting. The badges have come through – 3/6d each. I will buy one from Boffin on Thursday night. We might be changing our club rooms as we have had a complaint about our rollers! The inter-club ‘25’ with the South Ruislip on June 17th has developed into a quadruple affair: the South Ruislip, the Uxbridge, the Rickmansworth, and us. I think it will be on ‘our’ course. We are going to introduce a definite break on Monday’s club night for announcements and ‘friendly chats’. Going out training tomorrow night with Tom and the club, meeting at 7.00 o’clock.

Thurs May 3rd 33 miles Went out training. Got round to Tom’s at about 7.00 p.m. but he was not in, so after poodling about for a bit, went round to Boffin’s and bought my club badge. I then went back to Tom’s and found him in. After a cup of tea at Nell’s café, Brian, Tony Tucker, Alan Stratman, Tony Standing, Brian Major and Boffin set off through Hatch End to the Watford by-pass near Elstree. Here we turned left and shot at a terrific rate down to Hunton Bridge. Stratman, Standing and Brian Huggins broke away here and we didn’t see them again! We turned left at Kings Langley, through Chipperfield and then home through Rickmansworth, up the hill (62" gear) and Batchworth Heath to Northwood and Eastcote. A nice evening.

Sun May 6th 93 miles Left at about 9.15 a.m. with about 9 blokes down through Greenford, Twickenham and Teddington to Kingston, and from there to the ‘Winning Post’ at Esher for elevenses. We then went down through Ripley, Guildford, Godalming, Milford and up the hill to the ‘Queen of Hearts’ café at Hindhead. Had a super dinner – but it was 3/6d! After dinner we went down the hill to Farnham (where Stan Boyes ‘bit the dust’), and through Aldershot, Farnborough and Bagshot to the ‘Cosy Nook’ café at Egham for tea. There were 17 club folk at tea, including Ken Dopson with a new bike. Alan Stratman did a 26.26 in this morning’s ‘10’. It was very hard in the afternoon coming into a head wind, but nice and easy before dinner. Very warm today, although it rained a bit at Hindhead.

Thurs May 10th 54 miles Left by myself at about 5.30 p.m. through Rickmansworth, Chorleywood, Amersham and Great Missenden to Wendover into the wind. I then continued on to the ‘Marquis of Granby’ and then turned left through Kimble, past White Leaf Cross to Princes Risborough. Here I turned left again, up the ‘Pink and Lily’ hill (on a 62" gear). The country here is beautiful and the view over the Aylesbury plain superb. I think that this is some of the finest Chiltern scenery.

I then continued down the lanes to Great Missenden and back through Amersham, Chalfont St Giles to Chalfont St Peter where I turned left through the lanes to Harefield and home via Ruislip. A really delightful ride, and my ‘record’ for an evening. It was quite hard going out into the head wind, but I got home without using lights!

Sat May 12th 25 miles Went to Pinner, Eastcote, Ruislip and Northwood Hills in the morning. Mr Prangley gave me a new high pressure inner tube to replace the one I took in a few weeks ago. Tony Tucker came round. We went round to Brian’s and in the afternoon went to watch the grass track racing at Cassiobury Park, Watford. Stan Boyes, Bert, Alan Tunaley, Jim Farrell and Alan Browne were riding. Bert and Jim Farrell did very well, especially Jim. Alan Browne made a bit of a flop – it must be the R.A.F.! A very hot day – super, because we haven’t had any fine weather for ages. Didn’t start my paper round until 6.15 tonight. We are going to Harlow tomorrow and I have got a whole week off school (Whitsun holidays) and I am going to try and make it a 200 or 300 mile week (weather permitting!).

Sun May 13th 85 miles left at about 9.15 a.m. with the usuals and another bloke who could hardly keep up a speed of 5 mph! We went out through Watford, St Albans and Sandridge for elevenses at the ‘Lea’ café at Wheathampstead. We then turned left through Hatfield, Cole Green, Hertford, Stanstead Abbots and Roydon to the ‘Gables’ at Harlow for dinner. After dinner we rode through Nazeing and Broxbourne to the ‘Pear Tree’ café at Essendon. It was such a poor tea that we immediately went down the road to the ‘Rookery’ to supplement it! After tea we bashed home through St Albans and Watford. Not a very nice run, partly because of the pace, which made everyone muck around, and partly the weather, and partly my squeaky back brake! I de-squeaked it when I got in and removed my mudguards because they were rattling. I am going as far as elevenses with the club tomorrow: they are going to Westerham.

Mon May 4th 5 miles Left at about 9.00 a.m. with Brian, Alan Stratman and Tony Standing down through Northolt, Greenford, Twickenham and Teddington to Kingston. Here we turned left towards Esher, on to the Leatherhead road, and then right into Leatherhead for elevenses. I left the blokes here and came back into a head wind through Stoke D’Abernon, Cobham, Addlestone, Chertsey, Staines and West Drayton to Uxbridge and home. Stopped at the ‘Cottage’ café in Staines for two cakes as I was suffering from the ‘hunger knock’. After Staines, coming across Stanwell Moor, it was really hard and I had to use my 62" gear!

Thurs May 15th 30 miles Went to Prangley’s in the morning. Bought some new, white celluloid mudguards, came home and fitted them. Cleaned bike. Went round to Brian’s and Alan Stratman’s, and we took Brian’s back wheel into Prangley’s to be rebuilt [perhaps that cured his broken spoke problem?]. We made arrangements for tomorrow night (Pinner Fair) and Sunday morning’s marshalling in the club’s ‘50’.

In the evening I went out training with the club. Tom and Brian Major went out, and three minutes later we started – well, I didn’t (got dropped in the first sprint up Northwood High Street!). I then bashed all around the ‘Hare and Hounds’ course, by myself, and arrived back at Nell’s café only one minute or so after they did, which wasn’t bad considering that I hadn’t got a back wheel to follow.

Wed May 16th 22 miles Messed about in the morning, to the shops and back. Went to Jerry’s to tell him about Sunday’s arrangements, and then went (by bike) to Pinner to see how the fair was progressing. In the evening went to tea with Brian and then to Pinner Fair with Brian, Alan Stratman, Tony Standing, Tony Tucker and Darwood. After the fair I walked home, at midnight, and left my bike at Brian’s house. I will go and fetch it tomorrow morning.

Thurs May 17th 10 miles Walked round to Brian’s, picked up my bike, and we went to Prangley’s to fetch his rear wheel which had been rebuilt. Went to the pictures in the evening.

Fri May 18th 30 miles Left with Brian at about 9.00 a.m. with some sandwiches. We were going to do 100 miles – but when we got to Rickmansworth we changed our minds and took a boat out on the Aquadrome instead! After dinner we poodled home across fields and woods to Denham, and then up the viaduct behind a large horse-van (the fastest I’ve ever been up there, anyway!). We are going to Paddington track tomorrow, and we are getting some training tickets.

Sat May 19th 45 miles Went up to Paddington in the morning. I rode Brian Major’s track bike [probably a bit small for me!]. Brian Huggins did 550 yards (a lap) in 33 secs (33 mph) and I did it in 40 secs. Brian Major did a 35. We then came home via Staples corner. In the afternoon I went round to Brian’s and we bought our postal orders for our summer tour and sent them off [deposits for various youth hostels and C.T.C. places]. We are feeding and sponging at the ‘50’ turn tomorrow, getting up at 5.45 a.m.

Sun May 20th 105 miles Up at 5.45 a.m. and out with Brian, Tony Standing, Brian Major and Jeremy Sexton through Rickmansworth, Amersham, Great Missenden and Princes Risborough to the ‘50’ turn. Saw the riders through (I did the feeding, sponging and collecting the bottles all myself as Tony and Jerry got lost!). We then continued on through Chinnor (elevenses at the ‘Silver Wings’ café), Wallingford, Ewelme, up a ‘not-suitable-for-motorists’ road to Pangbourne, then to Theale and Aldermaston for dinner at the ‘Heatherdean’. After dinner we returned through Reading, Caversham and Henley to Marlow for tea at the ‘Westreet’ café. Here we met the blokes who had raced this morning. Tom Simpson did a 2.17; Geoff Madgewick a 2.20. After tea we came back up Glory Hill (on 62" gear), Beaconsfield, Gerrards Cross and Harefield to Northwood. I called in Tom’s to deposit the feeding clobber, but he wasn’t in. My back light fell off just outside Marlow and a car ran over it! And I had two punctures – the first I have had for a long time on a club run. I shall have to mend the second (a slow puncture) tomorrow night before going up to the club rooms. A nice day apart from the rain at night and the various catastrophes. Stan Boyes rode a gear for the ‘50’ – I never thought that he would become a gear man!

Mon May 21st 10 miles Club night. Took 7 tea bookings for next Sunday. Came home with Brian over Duck’s hill. Going to do a ‘private’ ‘10’ on Thursday (weather permitting) and have a committee meeting on Wednesday.

Wed May 23rd 5 miles Made out a rough copy of the next runs list in the evening and then went round to Tom’s house for the club’s 21st committee meeting which started at about 8.15 p.m. The medals have come through – they are superb. I hope I will get a gilt one for my first handicap ride. Roy has written to the Uxbridge Weekly Post offering our assistance in the Festival week only to find that they had dropped the idea. The price of the clubs ‘50’ has been brought down to 3/6d and the ‘100’ to 5/-. We are going to introduce rides (not training) on Friday evenings: I will put them on the runs list. We are going to get a rota out of the senior committee members to look after the slower ones on club runs, and to keep the games going on Monday nights. I have got tomorrow afternoon off (it’s Empire Day!).

Thurs May 24th 30 miles I stripped my bike down in the afternoon and was off with Brian at 6.00 p.m., up the lanes to Chalfont St Peter by 7.00. The Westerley R.C. turned up at 8.00 and we rode ‘private’ time trials in their ‘10’. I was off number 11 and did a 27.45, screwing Brian down by 17 seconds and my old record by 26 seconds! Very nice, easy coming back from the turn (mainly in an 82" gear). I had another puncture before the start. I must have got the ‘puncture bug’, and must buy some rubber solution tomorrow as I had to borrow Brian’s when it was discovered that mine had dried up. Tony Standing turned up at the finish and we met Alan Stratman and Tony Tucker in Ruislip.

Sun May 27th 50 miles A disappointing day, cold and wet in the morning. Since we had no dinners booked at Leith Hill (sandwich lunch) we decided to go to watch the “Manor mob’s” two-up time trial over 15 miles (three times around a circuit of 5.8 miles, in the lanes around Harefield). Tony Tucker and Tony Standing rode – and of course, won! We then went into the Breakspeare Arms for ½ pint of cider. Had dinner at home. We then met again at 3.00 p.m. and rode out into a head wind to Staines for tea where we met Stan Boyes, Alan Browne, Alan Stratman and Brian Major. They had come up from doing the WLCA. ‘25’ on the Bath Road. Stan had done a 1.5.20, Tom a 1.5 38 and Alan Stratman 1.6.17. Colin Turner had also done a short ‘5’. After tea we rode home in sunshine via Iver and Colnbrook and then up the viaduct to Ruislip and home. This week’s low mileage will bring my average down, but it couldn’t be helped.

Mon 28th May 10 miles Club night. Took only 7 bookings for the Worthing run, although many more people said “don’t book me any meals in case I don’t get there!”. Got an entry form from Tom for the ‘25’ and filled it in. If I’m lucky I might also get a ride as a private in the Herige Wheelers ‘25’ – they are going to pick the names out of a hat. Brian was not up there as he had gone to Wembley (to see the ‘six-day’) with his dad. When I got in I went across to Bill Minion’s to see the television of the ‘six’. Very good – a jam was in progress. Strom and Arnold (Australia) are leading with Bruylandt and Adriaenssens of Belgium second, and Rigoni and Terruzzi (Italy) third. I am going to watch again on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday!

Tues May 29th 58 miles Left by myself at about 5.30 p.m. out through Rickmansworth, Amersham, Great Missenden to Wendover and then on to Aylesbury. Lovely and easy this (tail wind). I did home to Wendover in 1 hour18 minutes (about 25 miles) and home to Aylesbury (about 30 miles) in 1 hour 32 minutes. I came back through Aston Clinton, Tring, Berkhampstead and Kings Langley to Watford into a head wind, and over the hill (62" gear) to Northwood and home. Very hard coming back. I took a couple of sandwiches which I ate near Tring. A very nice ride.

Thurs May 31st 31 miles Went down through Eastcote to the Western Avenue, straight across to Hayes and then right down the A 40 through Uxbridge and Denham to Gerrards Cross. Met Stan [Boyes]. At Gerrards Cross I turned left to Fulmer, left again to the ford where I met a bloke with a puncture. Lent him my H.P. connector. I then carried on to the Denham-Slough road where I turned left to Denham, Harefield and Northwood to Hatch End. Went round to Hayhoe’s to find out if he knew where the Herige Wheeler’s club room was, but he didn’t, so I came home via Pinner. A very nice evening, but hard into the wind.