1009 miles

Sun June 1st 55 miles Did not go to Littlehampton as planned because the weather is so atrocious. Mucked about around Hayes and Hillingdon in the morning. Went to the pictures in the afternoon, and then for a ride around the Harrows in the evening.

Mon June 2nd 45 miles Left at about 10.00 with the boys through Rickmansworth, Chorleywood and Chenies to Chesham for elevenses. Here I turned back but the others went on to Henley. I came back through Amersham Common and Rickmansworth and had a blow-out in my back tyre on the canal bridge. I mended it but it went down again so I went home on a flat tyre pumping it up every ½ mile or so.

Tues June 3rd 53 miles Went up to Len Chapman's in the morning with my wheel via Hatch End, but he could not take the block off. So we went home and took it to bits but still couldn't remove it so I bought a block remover from Prangley's. I then built up the Holdsworth and tested it down the road. In the afternoon we went to Harrow and I bought a bell [RTTC regulations in the early 50s still demanded that riders in time trials should have one!]. In the evening we went out training down the usual course. I think that my cold is going.

Wed June 4th 5 miles Went to Pinner fair in the evening.

Thurs June 5th 20 miles Over to Roger Bingham's in the morning after going to Pinner to have a haircut. My tyre blew out again so I went up to Prangley's (twice) to buy special rim tapes and new inner tubes.

Thurs - Fri 6th June Night ride 169 miles left at about 7.00 p.m. with Roger down through Uxbridge, Staines, Woking, Guildford, Godalming, Milford, Chiddingfold, Petworth and Arundel to Littlehampton. Stopped at Chiddingfold for something to eat. We slept for about an hour in a hut in Littlehampton before moving on, at about 4.00 a.m. through Worthing, Goring, Shoreham and Hove to Brighton. We found a cafe open in Brighton at about 6.00 a.m. and then continued up the road through Patcham, Handcross, Pease Pottage (snack at 8.00 a.m.), Crawley, Reigate (rest on top of the hill) and then home via Kingston, Teddington, Greenford and Eastcote. Home at 12.30. A very nice night; it only rained once, at Arundel. I spent the grand total of 2/- for the whole 24 hours!

Sat June 7th 6 miles Went up to Gordon Prangley's in the morning after visiting Alan. I owe Gordon £13 [for the Holdsworth]. Later, I 'phoned Roger to make arrangements for tomorrow's feeding in the WLCA '50'.

Sun June 8th 85 miles Got up at 3.45 a.m. and out at 4.30 with Roger in the bitter cold through Slough, Maidenhead and Reading to Theale and the feeding station near Aldermaston. Fed the riders and met the other club members who had slept at Mac's cafe on the Bath road. Bert was out! We then staggered back to Mac's and got into bed in one of the carriages [Mac's was a justifiably famous transport cafe and overnight stop on the Bath road with old railway carriages for sleeping accommodation]. It rained in the afternoon and we returned down the A 4, had dinner at Edie's cafe in Slough and then went over to the Slough track - but the meeting was washed out! Home by 5.00 p.m. Tom Simpson did a 2.22 this morning in the WLCA '50', but Alan Stratman's stomach revolted, so he packed. On the return leg his freewheel block also revolted so he had to be pushed. Had some beer near Maidenhead which club members has misappropriated (together with a pint mug, half pint glass and two bottles) from a pub last night. A very nice day but disappointing weather.

Mon June 9th 10 miles Club night. I rode up to the club rooms on the 'Green Flash' [the new Holdsworth] and had a burn up on the way home. On the hill I sprinted from last position and caught four blokes, but Brian Huggins beat me by about a yard; the new bike sure can move! I paid for the club '10' on Wednesday and for the inter-club '25' on Sunday. There are 41 riders for this event; I am off no 26 at 6.26 a.m. Received a start sheet for that event.

Tues June 10th 26 miles Went training in the evening round the Watford by-pass - hard. Met Brian in Pinner on his track bike. He's going to ride in the '10' tomorrow night.

Wed June 11th 21 miles Ambled over to the '10' course on the Western Avenue. Off no. 1 and did a 25.59, a 38 seconds improvement and first time inside (just!) 26 minutes, and over 23 m.p.h. I beat Roger Bingham. Brian was the fastest with 25.06, Cliff Brownut second 25.51 and me third. Eight riders all together. A nice evening but breezy. First three riders were on Holdsworths! I hope that I can now disperse the '25' hoodoo on Sunday and do a personal best.

Thurs June 12th 38 miles Went over to Roger's and collected a puncture from a 1" nail on the way! Roger was out, so I returned a long way round to Tom's via Hatch End. Met Tom, Boff, Alan and Len in Northwood and we went out through Eastcote, Southall, Heston to Hounslow and Twickenham, and then back to Hounslow and Twickenham to buy a tandem (for Tom and Boff). They are going to collect it tomorrow night and then break all the club tandem records! Had a burn up coming home, and got in after dark. A very good evening.

Sat June 14th 10 miles Went up to Gordon's in the morning and met the boys. Had some elevenses at Nell's cafe.

Sun June 15th 40 miles Got up at 4.30 a.m., out at 5.30 in the pouring rain. Off number 26 in the inter-club '25', got soaked and staggered out to the turn into the head wind. Frozen. Had to creep down hills and round round-abouts; about six riders actually came off! I was too under-geared on the way back with the strong tail wind but, although I warmed up a bit, could only manage a 1.9.31. Alan Stratman won the event with a 1.4.09 and Brian Huggins did 1.6.06. Roger did an 1.8 and Ken Dopson a 1.7. I came 14th out of 41 riders.

Mon June 16th 10 miles Club night.

Tues June 17th 32 miles Still windy. Went out training with Roger, Len Chapman and Ken Dopson. We first went over to Stan Boyes' house where we had a drink and Ken borrowed his track helmet. We then burned along the by-pass, I winning the final sprint from Ken. We continued up the hill where Ken and Len Chapman got away. Roger and I chased them, but his chain came off and I went on to catch them alone. We sprinted at about 40 mph down Brooke's hill and I outpaced Len on my 77" gear (he was on 82"). I felt super, but it is really against my training plan to do my nut up!

Brian Huggins won the sprint final at Slough track on Sunday against three Actonia riders.

Wed June 18th 25 miles Went up to the '10' course via Brian's. A gale was blowing: I struggled out to the turn on my 86" gear and then flew back to do 26.22. I did the fastest time by 7 seconds, beating Roger into second place. Five riders in all. A very hard night but successful.

Thurs June 19th 19 miles Went for a short ride round through Northwood, Rickmansworth, down the old '10' course to Denham and then home via the Western Avenue and Ruislip. Warmer but still windy.

Sat June 21st 10 miles Went up to Gordon's in the morning.

Night ride to Stonehenge 165 miles Met the club at Nell's cafe at 9.00 p.m. and (after I went home again to get my front light!) pushed off through Ickenham, Slough, Windsor to Bagshot where we caped up because the rain had started. We struggled on in wind and rain through Camberley, Basingstoke, Whitchurch, Andover (cafe stop) and Amesbury to Stonehenge which we reached at about 6.30 a.m. Brian broke a spoke, Alan cut his front tyre and Roger and I both developed squeaks. We then came straight back the way we had come, the rain having eased and the sun coming out. Brian succeeded in bringing me off my bike when coming down a hill into Basingstoke. We had dinner there. Tom, Boff and the rest of the club stopped for tea at Staines, but Brian and I continued on home to bed. A nice night but very 'bonky' because of the wind and rain.

Mon June 23rd 10 miles Club night; went up on the Holdsworth. Gave out new runs lists.

Thurs June 26th 35 miles Went out training through Ickenham, Tatling End and Chalfont to Amersham, and then home via Chorleywood, Rickmansworth and Northwood. Very warm and thundery. Felt sluggish on the way back - thought it was me, but I had a sprint on the Holdsworth when I got in and it went like a bomb. It must be the old bike: I am going to overhaul it soon.

Fri June 27th 15 miles Went over to Roger's in the evening and then out for a short ride. Home at 8.30. A hot day.

Sat June 28th 12 miles Fine and warm again. Went to Pinner and then up to Gordon Prangley's in the morning. Sent off runs lists and then went over to Brian's. Went to Eastcote in the afternoon.

Sun June 29th 83 miles Went for a ride in the morning down the Watford by-pass to Hunton Bridge and then home through Chipperfield, Sarratt, Chorleywood and Rickmansworth. In the afternoon I went over to Slough with Brian and met the club there. Brian Major came second in his 5 mile handicap event after being out in the front with one other bloke for about 11 laps. Drank about four pints of mineral water between the track and home. Very hot and thirsty.

Mon June 30th 10 miles Club night.