555 miles

Sat Mar 1st 11 miles Went shopping to Pinner and Eastcote in the morning, and then over to Brian's and Alan's later.

Sun Mar 2nd 88 miles The Annual Hard Ride to Winslow. Twenty blokes out today! Left Watford Town Hall at 10.17 a.m. and the bash started almost straight away. We went out on the usual course through Berkampstead, Tring, Aylesbury and Whitchurch to Winslow which we reached at about 11.50. I came in fifth behind Brian Huggins, Geoff Madgewick, Tony Tucker and Brian Major. I felt quite fit.

After dinner at the Doreva cafe in Winslow we went through the lanes via Whitchurch, Back to Aylesbury, then through Princes Risborough, Chinnor, and then over Bledlow ridge (super hills) and down into West Wycombe and thence to Smith's cafe at High Wycombe for tea. We came home at a spanking pace through Beaconsfield and Ickenham. A very good day indeed.

Mon Mar 3rd 10 miles Club night; took bookings for Sunday's run.

Tues Mar 4th 33 miles Left at about 5.25 down through Ruislip and Ickenham, and then up the Oxford road to Gerrards Cross and Beaconsfield. Here I turned left down to Slough and home the usual way. Very windy.

Sat Mar 8th 38 miles It has rained for the last three days and it rained all this morning. In the afternoon it cleared up a bit and I went for a ride over the ‘10' course. In the morning I also went to Prangley's to see about some new shorts, but they were not in.

Sun Mar 9th Rain all day. It was the first club ‘25' of the season, but I did not go out.

Mon Mar 10th 17 miles Went up to the club rooms in the evening via Watford and Rickmansworth, up Rickmansworth hill in 77"! Geoff Madgewick won the 25 mile "swim" yesterday with a 1.8.00 with Brian Major second, 1.8.18.

Tues Mar 11th 40 miles Out by 5.30 p.m. training via Rickmansworth, Chorleywood to Amersham, Little Missenden to Great Missenden. I turned round at the '25' turn and returned through Amersham, The Chalfonts and Denham, up the viaduct through Ickenham and home through Ruislip. Saw Brian Major out doing a crafty bit of training. A nice night but very dark.

Wed Mar 12th 5 miles My 17th birthday. Held committee meeting at Tom's. We are going to do away with food at these meetings – I wonder if I shall survive? We are going for a night ride to Cheddar on March 30th (280 miles round trip).

Thurs Mar 13th 15 miles A very cold day. Went for a short ride in the evening through Rayner's Lane, Northolt, along the Western Avenue to Ruislip, up to the woods and then home.

Fri Mar 14th 8 miles Left at about 6.50 p.m. over to Alan Stratman's and found him in ‘togs' so I went home to change and then back to Field End school to watch the roller racing. Excellent. Brian Huggins won the final sprint (from Joyce, MacMeekin and Meredith). A very enjoyable evening.

Sat Mar 15th 35 miles In the morning I went over to Gordon Prangley's but the people who make the shorts have ceased to do so, so I bought some later at Knight's. Put my money (£6/5/6d) in the bank and did some shopping. In the afternoon Tony came round and we went for a ride through Rickmansworth, through the lanes, Chandler's Cross to Watford and then home via Oxhey Lane. A nice warm afternoon after a rather cold morning.

Sun Mar 16th 70 miles A fine day. Left at about 9.30 a.m. through Moor Park, over the moor to Croxley Green, through Whippendel wood to Hunton Bridge and then to the Shanty at Bourne End for elevenses, via Kings Langley and Hemel Hempstead. We then turned left up the main road, off through the lanes to Potten End, Great and Little Gaddesden to Dunstable for dinner. Had a drink and stayed on the downs for a while after dinner, before coming home the usual way via St Albans, tea at the Marshmoor cafe at Hatfield, Radlett, Aldenham and Watford.

Mon Mar 17th 10 miles Up to the club rooms; took bookings for tea on Sunday (at Staines), and paid Tom 2/6d for the club '25'.

Tues Mar 18th 30 miles Left to go training at 6.20 p.m. through Northwood, Harefield, Chalfont St Peter, over to Jordans and Beaconsfield through the lanes. Straight home down the A 40 by 8.00 p.m. A nice evening but colder than yesterday.

Fri Mar 21st 33 miles First day of spring, very warm and close. Left at about 6.00 p.m. through Northwood, up the hill and down to Watford, Hunton Bridge, Kings Langley, Hemel Hempstead, and then left up the hill at Boxmoor to Bovingdon. I then came home through Chipperfield, Chandlers Cross and Rickmansworth. A very nice night.

Sat Mar 22nd 5 miles Went to Pinner in the morning. In the afternoon fitted my bike ready for tomorrow's ‘25' and went for a short ride. Roger Bingham came round.

Sun Mar 23rd 82 miles Up at 4.45 a.m. and out at 5.30 to ride the club '25'. I was off number 5 at 6.35 and I caught Kennedy's brother and Pete Craft, and nearly caught Len Chapman. Tom Simpson caught me coming home but only dropped me by 20 yards. I did 1.10.06 which beat my fastest by 52 seconds and considering how early in the season it still is, I may even do the 1.7 I hope to do by the end of the summer. Alan Stratman won with 1.5.21, Brian Major second 1.5.29 and Tom third with a 1.7. Brian Huggins came out in his father's car.

In the afternoon we went out to tea at Staines in the rain – disgusting isn't it? Home at 7.20 p.m.

Mon Mar 24th 10 miles Up to the club. Made arrangements for the weekend (night ride) to Cheddar.

Fri Mar 28th 3 miles I did not go to Cheddar because the weather has turned so cold.

Sat-Sun Mar 29-30th 2 miles Three inches of snow on Saturday morning and I cycled (more or less) to Pinner in a blizzard. Did not go out on the Sunday; 8 to 9 inches of fresh snow.

Although I didn't go on the night ride to Cheddar, 5 blokes did. What happened to them is revealed in the following abstracts from the club magazine. The weekend turned out to be an adventure – and a bit of a disaster.

This episode is rather exciting, and is to be found here: The Famous Trip to Cheddar Gorge

Mon Mar 31st 10 miles Club night. It appears that five blokes went to Cheddar at the weekend and a branch fell off a tree onto Tom's front wheel and consequently he is now in Wells hospital! They came home by train.