416 miles

Mon Feb 1st 10 miles Up to the club; continuing very cold. Played snooker.

Tues Feb 2nd 5 miles Held a committee meeting at Alan Stratman’s. I took office from Tom as time trial secretary. It was quite an interesting meeting and they have given me plenty of work to do! At last we are going to have two touring sections, the ‘hard riders’ and the usual club run. I am going to lead the latter next Sunday.

Fri Feb 5th 28 miles Out training through Rickmansworth. I descended the hill into Rickmansworth like a bomb and would not have touched the brakes had it not been for a car at the bottom! Continued out through Little Chalfont and through the lanes to Chalfont St Giles, Chalfont St Peter and then home up the viaduct, Ickenham and Ruislip. Not quite so cold tonight but our pipes are still frozen and it was cold enough to make your feet unbearable by the end.

Sat Feb 6th 16 miles Met the club in Northwood, gave out lists of this year’s events and saw some photographs taken at the roller contest. They are very good; I shall buy a couple (6/6d). I then went over to Ruislip with Brian, Alan and Paul to buy mouth-organs and some records (them, not me!).

After lunch I went up to Gordon’s to collect a tyre that I had left there in the morning. Went to the pictures in the evening at Ruislip and then walked home.

Sun Feb 7th 18 miles Woke up this morning to find it raining, with a ‘silver thaw’ – ice all over the roads underneath the water. I phoned the Stratmans’ but they were still in bed so I stayed in all the morning, thawing our pipes out and doing some work. In The afternoon I rode round to Alan’s and then to Brian’s. We were going out to tea with the club but it started to pour with rain, We spent the afternoon at Brian’s listening to records. It had all frozen solid again by the evening and become very dangerous, but we cycled up to Nell’s café in Northwood. A disappointing day.

Mon Feb 8th 10 miles Club night. Eleven people are riding in the 63" gear ‘10’ on Feb 21st so far. I have not contacted the Chesham boys yet. I worked out a points system for marshals when I got home – I shall show it to Colin next week. Another frosty night but somewhat milder than of late. It is the Harp R.C. hilly 100 mile reliability trial on Sunday. Fifteen of us have entered for the ‘100’ in 6½ hours group [the hardest section, I believe] ; I hope that the weather is kind!

Wed Feb 10th 31 miles Went out training through Rickmansworth and Chorleywood to Amersham, and then home via Chalfont St Peter, Ickenham and Ruislip. A warmer night but wet roads in places which made my dynamo slip. I wrote to Ken Lane when I got in about this year’s events.

Sat Feb 13th 11 miles It was raining very heavily when I awoke; it has not stopped since last night’s rain which prevented me from going out training. The rain stopped when I went up to Gordon’s in Northwood Hills, the sun came out but the day remained mainly cloudy. Met the boys and conducted all my [time trial secretary’s] business. Went to the pictures in the evening with Roger Bingham.

Sun Feb 14th 95 miles The Harp R.C. hilly 100 mile reliability trial I left Pinner at about 9.30 a.m., along through Hatch End and Stanmore to the start at Spur road. I found that I had a slow puncture, but it was so slow that I chanced it!

Started at 10.25 with about 15 members of the club and got to the first check point, the Shanty at Bourne End, successfully. I had to stop to pump up my tyre so I could not stop at the café – and did not stop until dinner in Tring. It was a really hard course – and I really suffered! Only six riders left the dinner checkpoint with the intention of carrying on. Roy Turner soon punctured, leaving five of us. Brian Hamer and I then stopped with ‘parcels’ and we both had flat tyres. We mended them and had some grub. It was now too late to continue so we came straight home via High Wycombe and Beaconsfield. Stan Boyes, Albert and Paul Stratman went on, but most of the others got the bonk including Roger and Alan. Stan, Albert and Paul finally packed it in at 71 miles. Only 10 riders actually finished within the 6½ hour limit and there were only 55 finishers in total out of 150 starters. This course is far too hard for a 6½ hour schedule!

Mon Feb 15th 10 miles Club night in the evening. I collected final money for Sunday’s ‘10’, worked out the start sheet and gave it to Sheila to print. A nice evening.

Wed Feb 17th 3 miles Took my wheel into Gordon’s.

Fri Feb 19th 31 miles It has been raining all this week, heavily at times, otherwise a thick drizzle! This, coupled with exams at college, has kept me in against my will. I had today off so I went out for a short ride but got soaked. I was stranded in Pinner for some time in the library. Went up to Gordon’s in the afternoon. Met the club at Nell’s in the evening and 17 of us went out to Stacey’s at Chalfont St Giles for supper. An excellent run, super food, good Benskins over the road, and Tom Simpson was unbeatable at darts: no-one could get near him. Got home at midnight.

Sat Feb 20th 10 miles Did the usual things this morning, and collected the photos [of the roller contest] from Bob Harvey. A sunny day at last; very pleasant!

Sun Feb 21st 68 miles Up at 7.00 a.m. and off number 10 at 9.10 in the club low-gear ‘10’. I managed to improve last year’s time to 28.58. I was screwed by Albert by one second and by Roger by 4 seconds, but still came sixth. Brian Major won the event with 27.51. It was a very calm morning but cold with chilly rain at times. We stopped for tea and cakes at the Marshmoor before coming home for lunch.

In the afternoon we met and went out to Stacey’s at Chalfont St Giles for tea. We met the rest of the club here; they had been out to Chinnor for dinner. We sloshed home and met again in Eastcote at 7.15 p.m. to go ice skating at Wembley. A very nice day.

Mon Feb 22nd 10 miles Up to the club rooms. Got some entries for the next event and gave Pat (via Alan) my old saddle.

Wed Feb 24th 36 miles Went for a ride in the afternoon with Paul Stratman through Ickenham to Beaconsfield where we turned right, over the hill to Amersham and home through Chalfont St Peter and the lanes. A warm and sunny day for a change.

Fri Feb 26th 20 miles Went out training past Sandy Lodge, down into Watford and Croxley Green and home via Rickmansworth. A cold night.

Sat Feb 27th 8 miles Went over to South Ruislip to see Johnny Davis.

Sun Feb 28th 75 miles The annual Winslow ‘bash’ Left Northwood at 9.20 a.m., through Watford by 10.10. The real bash started at Tring where five of us (Tony Standing, Alan Stratman, Paul Stratman, Roger Bingham and myself) got away from the bunch and finally finished in Winslow about 5 miles ahead of Roy Turner, Brian and the others. Alan won by the largest margin yet – 55 seconds [by his reckoning?]. We then came straight home through Aylesbury (dinner) and home for tea,