Sat Aug 18th 12 miles First day home. In the morning I went up to Prangley’s with my wheel. I also ordered a Carradice ‘camper’ saddlebag and my sprints. When I got in I stripped my bike down completely and even put a fixed wheel on it – it feels very light! Brian came round. His dad has promised to buy him a track bike. They went up to Bunting’s later to order it.

In the evening I went round to Brian’s – and got a puncture on the way! Met the boys and told them about our tour. Luckily Brian had a spare inner tube; I bought that from him as mine was gone around the valve in a great split.

Sun Aug 19th 51 miles Got up at 6.30 a.m. and went round to Alan Stratman’s at 7.30. We then went out to the Polish War Memorial on the Western Avenue to do a time trial in the Manor Mob’s ‘25’, but they did not turn up, so we went back to Alan’s house! We had breakfast here and then cleaned our bikes, doing my wheels with Duraglit. Tony Standing arrived at 11.00 a.m. and we went over to Tony Tucker’s, but he was out, so we spent the rest of the day just mucking about.

In the afternoon we went out to meet the club for tea at Redbourn. There were no teas booked so we had to go to another place instead of ‘The Cricketers’. We went out through Watford and St Albans and back through the lanes to Hemel Hempstead. From here we ‘tore off’ back through Kings Langley (twiddling on a 73" fixed) to Watford and then home via Oxhey Lane, Hatch End and Pinner. Tony Tucker had gone to see the start of the ‘Tour of Britain’ at Hyde Park, and then bashed down to Brighton to see the finish of the first stage!

Since Brian and I have been on tour, club records have shifted somewhat. Alan Stratman broke the ‘25’ record with a 1.03.05 and the ‘50’ with a 2.15! On Wednesday, I’ll show ‘em! (It’s the Junior ‘10’). Bettina did a 1.9.34 for a ‘25’ – the club women’s record.

Mon Aug 20th 28 miles In the morning I went up to Pinner to get a haircut, a piece of sticky patch for my tyre, to take my shoes to be mended, and my shorts to be cleaned. When I got home I mended my back tyre, mended mother’s front brake, and cleaned my bike. I went up to Prangley’s twice during the morning for mum’s front brake and I also asked him to make sure that the left hand locking thread was all right on my sprints, which I am to collect on Saturday, because I have had trouble with it on my ordinary wheels.

In the evening I went up to the club and met Brian on the way. We went for a short ride and arrived at the club at about 7.45 p.m. Met the boys and did a great amount of talking [about our tour]. Got the Touring Secretary’s stuff back from Len Chapman and paid Tom Simpson 1/6d for the ‘10’ on Wednesday, and 2/6d for the next club ‘25’. Also paid Ken Meredith 8/- towards the club dinner. Stan Boyes is in Italy now!

I am off number 4 on Saturday with Alan Stratman in front of me and Ken Dopson behind me – I am pretty sure that I can hold off Ken because he has only done a time 2 secs faster then me, and I hope to improve somewhat this time …..!

Wed Aug 22nd 35 miles Went to North Harrow in the morning to buy some shoe plates and to see Tony Tucker. We attacked the “block” records [unofficial ‘round the houses’]. The “big block” he did in 1 minute and I did it, on his bike with saddle too low, in 1-7sec. The “smaller block” he did first in 51 seconds. I equalled that and then he did it in 49 seconds. I did not have another go. Got my shoes back from the menders and put the shoe plates on.

In the evening I went up to the ‘10’ course. I was off number 4 and at last managed to do a ‘26’ – a 26.37, knocking 29 seconds off my previous best and screwing Brian down by 28 seconds! Alan Stratman was beaten by Derek Speakman (25.27) and by Brian Major who did 24.51. But then Alan accused him of taking pace behind a lorry. He made the complaint official. I fail to understand how he saw Brian Major one minute ahead, behind a lorry. Even if he couldn’t see him, I doubt that he could really see how close he was behind it or how long he was there. Anyway Brian isn’t the kind of chap to do such a thing. He says he was trying to overtake it and another car was coming the other way and he had to drop in behind it again for a moment. Brian has done another ‘24’ on the Western Avenue in a private time trial.

When I was coming home I was caught without my lights – I hope nothing comes of it. It was my own fault really.

Thurs Aug 23rd 52 miles In the morning I went round to Tony Tucker’s and, after helping him do his shopping, went for a ride down King George Vth, left to Pinner Green and then to Mad Bess wood via Northwood. We were going to go further but did not feel like it after yesterday. So we poodled back through Northwood and Pinner and back to his house. I then went home. In the afternoon Brian Huggins came round; he is going on holiday and we will not see him for a fortnight. I went up to Eastcote with him and bought a cotter pin for my old paper round bike.

In the evening we (Tony Tucker, Alan Stratman and Boff Empson) met outside Tom Simpson’s house for a training ride. Tony and I went over (on the tandem) to Mr Reynold’s to get the watch before we started. We then poodled off through Northwood and Harefield to West Hyde to pick up Colin Turner. The tandem had an 81" fixed. Tony and Alan had gears with tops of 88" and 98" respectively, although the latter didn’t use anything higher than 81". Colin had 69" fixed and me 73" fixed. Once we were out on the Oxford road the tandem (Tom and Boff) started to move, Colin was dropped but I managed to hang on twiddling my eyeballs out, right through Gerrards Cross and Beaconsfield to the ‘25’ turn. We then returned through ‘Vengeance Valley’, where the tandem got away down a hill. I thought my legs were going to drop off! I waited for Colin but had to get off to light up – even take my rear light out of my cape roll – but I caught him again going up the hill on the ‘10’ course. We all went back to Colin’s house for a cuppa and a chat. After that we poodled off home via Harefield and Northwood. A very nice evening indeed!

Fri Aug 24th 10 miles Went to Pinner and Eastcote several times in the morning. Tony Tucker came round in the afternoon. He also came round in the evening but it started to rain so we didn’t go out. I am collecting my wheels tomorrow.

Sat Aug 25th 25 miles Went to Pinner and then to Northwood Hills to collect my wheels in the morning. The wheels are super – they only weight 3½ lbs the pair! Tony Tucker and I then went to get my head set and met Tony Standing on the way home. They all came back to help fit it. It feels super not to have to wrench the bars round to steer the bike. The bottom race was in a terrible state – great pits every so often! We are getting up at 4.00 a.m. tomorrow to go out to Winslow to see the club’s ‘place to place’ record attempts.

Sun Aug 26th 40 miles I woke up at 4.00 a.m. only to find it pouring with rain so went back to sleep! Woke up again at about 9.00 to find it still raining, but it soon cleared up so went out to the finish [of the club’s Northwood to Winslow and back] near the club rooms. The tandem (Tom and Boff) came in first – the 75 miles in 3.15.16. Alan Stratman won the solos with 3.33. Came home for dinner and had a little ride down through Rayners Lane and North Harrow.

In the afternoon we met at 3.00 p.m. to go out to tea but we didn’t feel like it and poodled out to Rickmansworth where we had tea in the ‘Oasis’ café. Went to the pictures in the evening.

Mon Aug 27th 10 miles Club night. Took six tea bookings for Sunday. Had a ride on the tandem.

Tues Aug 28th 12 miles Tony Tucker came round in the morning and we were going out for a ride but just messed around. Went to Pinner and Eastcote shopping and then to the pictures in the evening.

Wed Aug 29th 35 miles In the morning I went round to Tony Tucker’s house and helped him take his dog for a walk! About 11.00 a.m. we rode over to Northwood Hills to see Len Chapman about borrowing the club tandem but he was out so we went home. In the afternoon we went back to find Len in, so I left my bike there and rode the tandem back to Tony’s house and he rode his own. Then we fitted the tandem with our own pedals and saddles and rode it back to Chapman’s. Then he rode the tandem back to my house and I rode my own bike so that we had them all at my house! (Complicated isn’t it?). The two Tony’s (Tucker and Standing) are going out on the ‘monster’ tonight, and Tony Tucker and I are riding it tomorrow.

In the evening I went round to Alan’s house for the committee meeting. Stan Boyes was not there so it was nice and quiet! A lot of talk about the club dance. Ken Meredith is going to be on the Harrow Road Safety Committee! The start of Sunday’s ‘25’ is 6.30 a.m. I hope to do a 1.9 or a 1.8, although a 1.7.24 which would screw Brian Huggins down in the junior B.A.R. would be much appreciated!

Thurs Aug 30th 51 miles Tony called for me in the morning on the tandem and we went out on it through Ruislip, Ickenham, down the viaduct to the A 40 to the Havelock café, and then right down the A 413 through Chalfont St Peter and St Giles to Amersham for a snack. We came back through Chorleywood and Rickmansworth. We had one or two amusing incidents on the ‘monster’ when mounting or stopping, and we (him steering) nearly ran into the kerb at his house. We attempted to ride Rickmansworth hill but it beat us. In the afternoon we took it back – we have seen enough of the monstrosity – about 70" wheelbase and a 66° head angle!

In the evening I met the two Tonys and Alan Stratman at Nell’s café in Northwood. We went out for a training ride through Pinner Green, Hatch End and then up Brook’s hill to Bushey. Here we found that Tony Tucker had a puncture. When we had mended it we found that he had no rear light. As it was by now past lighting-up time we had to return the way we had come and straight down an entirely new way home for me (one of Tucker’s short cuts!). We went round one corner at about 10 m.p.h. and Alan and Tucker who were up front came off heavily in about an inch of loose gravel. Alan’s bike was in a terrible mess, back wheel buckled, handlebars and saddle bent, cranks bent and rear brake snapped off. Tony’s bike was not hurt much but both had plenty of small cuts, grazes and bruises – not all small either! Consequently we got home at about 10.30 p.m. with only 15 miles to our credit. A disastrous evening!

Fri Aug 31st 16 miles In the morning I went round to Tony Tucker’s – he is covered with bandages from yesterday. We went for a short ride to Harrow-on-the-hill to try and climb a little path (about 1 in 3) there! I failed in a 73" gear and Tony did not even attempt it. He said that he had done it on a 62" gear! Went to the pictures in the evening with him, Tony Standing and Alan Stratman, the latter being – of course – half an hour late!