597 miles

Mon Feb 2nd 10 miles Club night. Paid 5/- to Brian Major for the Slough track league, gave out runs lists and took dinner bookings for Sunday’s run to Nettlebed. The cross-country [Cyclo-cross] race on Sunday has been cancelled due to lack of entries. I played darts and read some of Dick Houston’s 1918 Cyclings. Tony Standing was up at the club rooms – he had to leave at 8.45 to get back to camp.

Tues Feb 3rd 5 miles Committee meeting at Tom’s house; the new committee took office. It was an interesting meeting, but a very cold night.

Fri Feb 6th 11 miles Went for a short ride in the evening through Pinner, Pinner Hill to Northwood and home over Duck’s hill and Ruislip. A very cold night. I went up to Queen Mary’s College, Mile End Road, during the day for an interview.

Sat Feb 7th 12 miles I met Brian Huggins in Eastcote – he looks just the same [probably apart from a very short RAF haircut?]. Then we went up to Gordon’s: I paid him another £1 towards my account.

Sun Feb 8th 78 miles There were 12 club members out today, including Brian. We went out the usual way to Marlow for elevenses at the ‘Westreet’ café for elevenses. We then continued up the hill to Lane End on the Stokenchurch road. It now started to snow, so we turned off through Fingest, Turville (a pint) and Northend to dinner at Nettlebed. After lunch we went into Henley, up the hill and over to Maidenhead and thence to tea at the ‘Southdown’ café at Taplow. The snow was quite thick on the ground by now, but it later turned to sleet. Came home via Slough and Ickenham. A very cold day, but enjoyable.

Mon Feb 9th 10 miles Up to the club rooms; very cold again. I did not take any dinner or tea bookings for Sunday as it is the Rickmansworth ‘rough-stuff’.

Fri Feb 13th 20 miles It has been snowing or sleeting all this week and tonight was the first occasion that I have been able to get out. Went over to Roger Bingham’s first with his track vest (they arrived this morning) and we then went out through Pinner to Rickmansworth, down the hill, left along the Denham by-pass (twiddling in my 62.1" gear) to the A 40. Here we turned left again and came home up the viaduct and through Ickenham. A nice clear night but still very cold.

Sat Feb 14th 37 miles In the afternoon Roger and I went out to the Rickmansworth ‘rough-stuff’ course. There was about 2" of snow at first, but a thaw later. I have never known 12½ miles to be so tough! I should think that this is the worst year ever; there is about a foot of mud everywhere and where there is road it is covered by several inches of snow which makes things even more treacherous. If it freezes tonight, I pity the poor riders. Got the bonk struggling round the course and did not get home until well after dark. We went to the pictures in the evening.

Sun Feb 15th 34 miles In the morning we met at 9.00 a.m. and went out to watch the ‘rough-stuff’. Johnny Cranston won with a 51 minute ride. In our club, Roy Turner did a 1.2, Roger a 1.4 and Bob Harvey a 1.6. Stan Boyes did not ride. Cleaned my bike in the afternoon and did not go out again.

Mon Feb 16th 10 miles Club night. Paid 2/6 for the first time trial of the 1953 season – the ‘Twiddler’s’ low gear ‘10’ and another 1/- for the club darts tournament. I have been drawn to play Brian Major in the first round.

Tues Feb 17th 39 miles Weather much improved. Called for Roger at 7.00 p.m. and we went up Oxhey Lane to Watford and on to Berkhampstead via Kings Langley. We came home via Watford and the lower road. A nice warm night! We did the stretch from Berkampstead to Apsley (4½ miles) in 18 minutes. We plan to go to Rickmansworth tomorrow night to watch some roller racing at the cycle show.

Wed Feb 18th 13 miles In the evening, Roger and I went over to Bury Hall, Rickmansworth, to see the cycle show. They had some good stuff there. We also saw the 50 minute Polish film of the 1952 Warsaw-Berlin-Prague race in colour. Ian Steel and Les Scales were there and I got Ian’s autograph. We met Dick Houston, Brian Hamer and Pete Kennedy there. A very nice evening.

Fri Feb 20th 93 miles The first real day of spring coinciding with the start of my half-term holiday! In the morning I took off via Chalfont, Amersham and Great Missenden, reaching Wendover in 1 hour 26 minutes. I then turned for home through Great Missenden, up the hill and down to Chesham where I had some elevenses. I then came home along the lower road to Chenies, Rickmansworth and Harefield. The sun came out when I got to Amersham going out and it remained sunny all the morning. Everything seemed very beautiful and I got home by 12 noon.

In the afternoon [not content with that ride!] I cycled out through Uxbridge, Iver and Datchet to Windsor into a head wind, and then home via Slough. I bought some sweets in Windsor to keep me going. A very nice day, although cloudy and cooler in the afternoon.

Sat Feb 21st 15 miles Knocked about in the morning. Gordon Prangley is apparently in hospital with sciatica. However, Tony Standing was home [from the RAF]. We had elevenses in Northwood, and again in Eastcote.

Sun Feb 22nd 78 miles The first time trial of the 1953 season – a low gear (63") event, the ‘twiddlers 10’. I got up at 6.45 a.m. and out of the house by 7.30. I was off number 5 at 8.35 and twiddled round in 29.23. Colin Turner won the event with 27.40, Brian Major was second 28.18 and Roger third with 28.20. Alan Stratman was fifth and Tom Simpson beat me by 1 second! A very nice event but very hard work keeping the 62.1" fixed moving.

In the afternoon five of us went out through Watford and Berkampstead to Tring for tea. A nice run, very easy coming home. I climbed the hill over from Watford to Northwood on 77". My front bulb blew – I had to borrow Jim’s.

Mon Feb 23rd 25 miles I put the Holdsworth together again in the morning and then went out for a short ride; it feels super and lively. Went to Pinner and up to Gordon’s in the afternoon and bought some new cotter pins and a lamp bracket for the handlebars. Over to Harrow later in the afternoon. In the evening it was club night. I lost to Brian Major in the darts tournament.

Tues Feb 24th 35 miles Out for a ride around South Harrow, up and down Harrow hill (twice) and then to Kenton, Wealdstone, Pinner and Hatch End. I then called for Roger Bingham and we went out to Rickmansworth the usual way, down the by-pass and the Western Avenue to Northolt and home via Ruislip and Eastcote. A very nice night but not so warm as of late.

Thurs Feb 26th 40 miles Went training up the A 40 as far as High Wycombe. I got there in 1 hour 9 minutes and back in 1 hour 4 minutes. A nice night, calm but cold. I saw Brian Major out at Beaconsfield and about a dozen other cyclists out doing some early season training.

Fri Feb 27th 6 miles Over to Tom’s to tell him that I would not be able to go over to see him this evening because of a meeting of the school ‘Stag’ society.

Sat Feb 28th 25 miles A glorious day. I have only 15/- more to pay on my account at Prangley’s. Received club magazine from Bob Harvey and went over to his house in the afternoon with some magazine ‘gen’ for future issues. Over to Brian’s but he was out. It is the annual ‘Winslow bash’ tomorrow!