854 miles

Sat June 2nd 15 miles Went to Pinner and Eastcote in the morning and Brian and I sent off the C.T.C. bookings for our summer tour. In the afternoon we went for a short ride around Ruislip etc. I watched television again in the evening (the Wembley ‘six’). Albert Bruylandt and Rene Andriaenssens (with a broken collar bone!) won with Alf Strom and Reg Arnold second, one lap down. Strom and Arnold were really doing their nuts up to get that lap back in the last hour but they could not quite manage it. Very thrilling!

Sun June 3rd 142 miles left at about 8.15 a.m. with the usuals down through Ickenham (where we picked up Tony Standing), Hillingdon, Greenford, Twickenham, Kingston and Chessington to the ‘Old Forge’ at Leatherhead for elevenses. Geoff Madgewick punctured here (tubs!). After elevenses we continued down the A 24 through Dorking, Holmwood, Capel, Horsham, Dial Post (where we stopped in a pub) and Washington to Worthing for dinner at the ‘Pier’ café. Here we met Pete Kibbles!!

After dinner we went down on the beach. I paddled; the two Brians (Huggins and Major) went in a paddle boat. Finally we left Worthing at about 3.30 p.m. and returned the way we had come because we were late. Jerry punctured twice and we didn’t get to tea (at the ‘Parkgate’ café, Newdigate) until 6.00 p.m. Here we met Tom Simpson, Boff Empson, Stan Boyes and Tony Tucker. Stan had done a 2.16.23 in the ‘50’ (club record) and Tom 6 seconds slower at 2.16.29.

Left tea at about 7.00 p.m. up through Leigh, Reigate, up the hill to Burgh Heath, Epsom, Surbiton, Kingston and home via Greenford and Ruislip. I am racing in a ‘10’ on Wednesday, a ‘25’ on Sunday and the Sunday after that, and then another ‘10’ on the following Thursday. Four events in 15 days! A very nice day; got in about 9.30 p.m.. Really caught the sun today and my arms and legs are very brown.

Mon June 4th 10 miles Club night. Took 7 bookings for tea on Sunday. I am first off out of our blokes on Sunday [in the Herige Wheelers ‘25’] with Mike Brambleby after me. I broke my gear cable going up to the club – I will have to get a replacement tomorrow.

Wed June 6th 30 miles met John LeBon at Acton’s [Eastcote] at 6.30 p.m. and we poodled out through Ruislip and Harefield to the ‘10’ start on the Denham by-pass. I was off number three and I caught my ‘minute man’ – the first time I have ever caught anybody! Nobody caught me and I did 27.17, screwing down four blokes out of eight, and improving my old time by 28 seconds. Alan Stratman won with a 25.29. I think this is a very fast course. This was a trial event so that it can be approved by the RTTC. Apart from the hill by the film studios (which is not at all difficult to climb) the course is fairly flat and provided that there is no wind, should produce some very fast times.

Thurs June 7th 42 miles left at about 7.00 p.m. out through Watford, Hunton Bridge, Kings Langley, Boxmoor and Hemel Hempstead to Berkhampsted and just past to Northchurch. Here I turned back and came home the same way as far as Hunton Bridge where I turned right to Chandlers Cross and Croxley Green, and then home through Rickmansworth and Batchworth Heath. A very nice evening but blustery, much harder than last night. I went up the ‘25’ course – I think it will be quite fast on Sunday [a private time trial with the Herige Wheelers] if the wind drops.

Sun June 10th 90 miles Up at 4.45 a.m. and out at 5.30. Went up to the start and was first off (in our club). Brian Major and Mike Brambleby caught me and I nearly caught my ‘minute man’. I did a 1.12.08 in the end, not as fast as I had hoped but an improvement. Quite hard at times, especially coming home and when it rained at Berkhampstead. I lost my tools at Hunton Bridge [they fell off!]. I didn’t stop to pick them up but rode on and then went to pick them up after I had finished, but could not find them.

After dinner at home we went out to tea at High Wycombe, out through Gerrards Cross, Beaconsfield and Loudwater. Had egg and chips for tea. Came back through Hazlemere, Coles Hill, Chalfont St Peter and Harefield. A very nice day indeed apart from the loss of my tools!

Mon June 11th 10 miles Went up to the club. Took five tea bookings for Sunday. Gave my name in for club ‘10’ and gave out runs lists. Tony Tucker earned £8 last week doing night portering at Euston station – and he spent it all today on his bike! I made arrangements with him and Brian for our annual night ride to Stonehenge, June 30th to July 1st. Had ½ pint of mild at ‘The Gate’.

I bought some new tools today to replace those I lost yesterday. On Sunday (the inter-club ‘25’ with the South Ruislip) I am going to strip my bike down to bare necessities, buy some glucose, consume it, and do my nut up – and if I don’t do a 1.10 I shall …..! Dave Keeler did a 57.15 yesterday [new competition record]; I did a 1.12.08!

Tues June 12th 22 miles Went out training tonight but when I got to Chalfont St Peter I saw a delightful lane on my right. I turned up here and came right back to the ‘10’ start by (to me) completely new lanes through Horn Hill. I turned down another lane here by the water works, over the canal, and up a huge hill which I walked because the ‘road’ had disappeared leaving a flinty track, much the same as the one near Pangbourne. Eventually it came out at Harefield where I turned left, down the hill and home through Ruislip. We have got a committee meeting tomorrow at the Meredith’s house.

Wed June 13th 21 miles Had the afternoon off. I went to Eastcote and then over to West Harrow to look in Clarke’s [bicycle shop]. I had heard from somebody that Andriaenssen’s ‘six-day’ bike (a Dayton) was in the window, but I couldn’t see it.

In the evening I went a long way round to Ken Meredith’s, up Sandy Lane, down the hill, left to Moor Park, and left again to his house. A very good meeting – nice and short! In bed by 11.00 p.m. We are going to start a discussion period up at the club on Monday nights now that the table tennis has disappeared. I saw Ken Dopson coming home – so he’s out of hospital. I wonder whether he will be racing on Sunday. I am off number 24 at 7.04 a.m. with Tony Standing in front and a South Ruislip merchant behind, and then behind him, Mike Brambleby. He has been somewhere just behind me for the last three ‘25s’ and he always catches me – but not this time!

Fri June 15th 32 miles Went out through Rickmansworth, Chorleywood to Amersham, then left down the ‘25’ course through Chalfont St Giles and Chalfont St Peter to the A 40. Here I turned left and went straight down to the roundabout and then up the Western Avenue as far as the airport, then home via Northolt and Ruislip. It was quite windy at first going out, but the wind then dropped. Tomorrow I shall buy some 1½d stamps and send the runs lists off. I will also buy some glucose and strip my bike down for Sunday. A very nice ride tonight. P.s. finished exams today!

Sat June 16th 15 miles Went to Pinner in the morning, bought stamps and sent off the runs lists. I stripped down my bike, Duraglitted it, fitted tyresavers, and then went round to Brian’s. We have three more replies [accommodation for our summer tour] to come. Went with him and his parents over to Wealdstone where we had a cup of coffee at Kerswells.

In the afternoon I went to see the grass track racing at Headstone Lane. Met Tony Standing and Dudmesh on the way, and we called at Tony Tucker’s. Leo [?] and Brian turned up later. A very good meeting, although I could not stay until the end (I had my paper round). I am getting up at 5.00 a.m. tomorrow.

Sun June 17th 95 miles Up at 5.00 a.m. and I was off number 24 [in the inter-club ‘25’ with the South Ruislip]. I did a 1.11.39. Jim Farrell and Derek Speakman caught me. Colin Turner won with a 1.4.25. Stan Boyes also did a ‘4’, Derek and Alan Stratman did short ‘5s’ – and Brian did 1.7.50! Tony Tucker did 1.7.51. The Northwood Wheelers got the first eight places (6 in a team) wiping the South Ruislip. Very hard coming back.

After this we went to the ‘Havelock’ café, then home. I then went out with Roger Bingham to dinner with the club at the ‘Shanty’ at Bourne End, where we met Stan and a friend of his. After dinner we went through Water End, Hemel Hempstead, Leverstock Green and St Albans to the ‘Marshmoor’ café for tea. Met the rest of the club here, and afterwards we came home the usual way through Radlett, Aldenham and Watford. A very nice day.

In the future I am going out training on Tuesdays and Thursdays, timing myself up the ‘25’ course (I have another event on July 8th ) and I shall see if I can get down to Brian’s times – I ought to be able, anyway! The event is an ‘open’, London Clarion ‘long-markers’, for those not having beaten 1.8.0.

Mon June 18th 12 miles Went swimming with Brian in the morning, and then up to the club in the evening. We had a debate, and I took six tea bookings for Sunday. I gave Tom 1/6d for Wednesday’s ‘10’ and 2/6d for the ‘25’ on July 8th. Had a ‘tear-off’ on the way home.

Tues June 19th 36 miles left at about 9.00 a.m. up through Hatch End and Stanmore to Apex Corner, then left along the A 555, and left again to Borehamwood and Radlett. Here I turned right up the lane to Shenley and Ridge, and out on to the A 6. Left again through London Colney to St Albans where I visited the Hertfordshire Museum – I was in there for over an hour, very interesting indeed. Home through Watford (three buns for 3d) and Northwood. It must have poured in Northwood because I got soaked because my wheels threw up half of Sandy Lane onto my bike and legs (no mudguards because of my recent racing). A very nice ride.


Wed June 20th 35 miles Mucked about in the morning and afternoon. In the evening went and rode a ‘10’. I started number 9 at about 8.09 p.m. and did a 27.43 as I did not feel all that good. Brian did a 26.27.

Fri June 22nd 23 miles Went swimming in the afternoon. In the evening we (Brian, Tony Standing, Alan Stratman, Tony Tucker and myself) met at Nell’s [café] at about 8.00 p.m. When we had got the ‘gen’ about the ‘100’ feeding and the ‘25’ course, we rode up Mount Vernon hill to Rickmansworth, through Chorleywood, then right to Sarratt down a tiny lane and up a huge hill. Here we commenced to roar down the lanes in the old style, nearly stacking up on every corner. In fact, Alan did stack up on the vicious corner on the hill coming down into Chenies. When I came round the corner (at about 30 mph) all I could see was a bike stuck in a bramble bush – and then Alan’s head popped up! He was alright but he had buckled his front wheel, which Tony trued on the spot, and increased his head angle to about 75. Came home through Rickmansworth, after stopping for ½ pint of cider at ‘The Gate’. Very nice ride; got in at 10.25 p.m. (no lights, although lighting up time was 10.20).

Sat June 23rd 20 miles Went to Bunting’s [cycle shop] in the morning with Tony Tucker and Alan Stratman. I the evening I went round to Brian’s to see how many more C.T.C. places have yet to reply – one, so we sent them a letter. After a bit we went round to the Stratman’s, and with Tony, Leo [?] and Tucker went for a short ride. It rained at night. I really stripped my bike down and cleaned it today and it gleams – I wonder how long it will stay like it?

Sun June 24th 62 miles Left at about 8.30 a.m. out through Northwood, Rickmansworth and Chorleywood to Amersham. We had a drink of coffee here and then went to the top of Amersham hill to do the feeding in the club ‘100’. Tom Simpson packed it in because of stomach trouble, but ‘Fausto’ Madgewick did a 4.47 and Alan Stratman 4.51. Tony Tucker and I then burned all the way home via the start. We got from the ‘100’ finish to home (6 miles) in 18 minutes!

After dinner I met the blokes round at Alan’s and we put their bikes together again, and then went out to tea with the club at the ‘Shanty’, Bourne End. Here we met Tom, Geoff Madgewick and several others. Brian and I had a ride on Boff’s tandem. We rode a 78" fixed gear and we had it going quite fast apart from the fact that the ‘stoker’s position’ was adjusted for Boff [Empson] and so my knees kept hitting my chin!

After tea we came home through Kings Langley and Watford. It poured with rain, and me with no mudguards and flint catchers! I got my lovely clean bike absolutely filthy again; I will have to clean it again tomorrow.

Mon June 25th 10 miles I had the afternoon off from school, so I cleaned my bike (again). Club night. Took 6 bookings for Sunday. We made arrangements for Saturday night [the annual night ride to Stonehenge]. We are meeting at 9.00 p.m. and hope to be at Stonehenge by approximately 3.30 a.m. We might even stagger out to tea with the club at Marlow! I hope that I will be fit after all this!

Wed June 27th 25 miles Went to the South Bank exhibition during the day, and then rode a ‘10’ in the evening. As I was riding to the start (at Eastcote, to be exact) my gear fell to bits with a terrific clanging noise! Luckily Leo [?] was coming along at the same time and he towed me round to Alan’s house. I found that I had lost a nut, so fixed a cotter pin nut on it instead.

In the ‘10’ I was off number 3 and did 27.06 (personal best), screwing down nine blokes out of 16 (including Stan Boyes!), and my old record by 11 seconds. I thought that I had only done a ‘28’ because it was so hard, so it was a nice surprise. For the last two ‘10’s I have vowed that I would do a ‘26’ but I haven’t got down there yet – but, anyway, there is always a next time. Alan Stratman won the event with a 25.48. I am going to ride in the club ‘50’ on July 15th. P.s. Alan Stratman’s gear also fell to bits coming home! We must both have got the ‘gear bug’!

Thurs June 28th 39 miles Went out training in the evening through Hatch End, Stanmore and up the A 555 to Bignall’s corner (South Mimms). The start of the ‘25’ on July 8th [London Clarion Long-markers]. I then turned left through Shenley, Radlett and Letchmore Heath to Watford. I had a short look in Bunting’s [cycle shop] and then came home over the hill through Northwood. Mended my gear during the day and fitted mudguards and bottle carriers for the week-end.