899 miles

Tues Jun 1st 63 miles Out training in the evening with Alan, Roger and Paul. We went up the A 40 to High Wycombe and West Wycombe, then up Dashwood hill (I won the prime), then left at Stokenchurch to Marlow and home via Maidenhead and Slough. Got home at 10.00 p.m. and listened to the big fight on the radio – Don Cockell won. A nice night; fast but quite hard at times.

Wed Jun 2nd 30 miles Cycled up to College again today. Met Roger Bingham in the afternoon. Cool and very windy.

Thurs Jun 3rd 36 miles Out training with Roger via Colin Turner’s house at West Hyde (I dropped in my WLCA ‘100’ form) and then through the lanes to Chalfont St Giles and Beaconsfield, and then home through Hedgerley, Fulmer and Ickenham. A nice night but cold later. Met Brian and Ian Major in Ruislip.

Sat Jun 5th 56 miles Hot, still and sunny this morning and I thought that we were in for a good weekend for a change. But at 2.15 p.m. it started to rain with the most violent thunderstorm I have ever seen. Brian Major and I rode down to Farnham passing several stretches of completely flooded road. We got there at 6.00 p.m. and soon found our digs. Tony Standing came down later. It rained all night!

Sun Jun 6th 80 miles Another cold, wet and blustery day! We rode in the ‘25’. I did not finish, suffering from stitch, but Brian did a 1.04.52. Silk won the event with about 59.30. Home by 6.00 p.m. very wet and cold.

Mon Jun 7th 32 miles I stayed in during the morning, trying to remove my handlebars from the Holdsworth, but they were completely ‘frozen’. I could not shift them and will have to take the bike up to Gordon’s. Met Brian and Tony in the afternoon and we went to see the grass track and athletics meeting at Watford. Brian did quite well but not brilliantly. Tony and I came home for tea and then returned to the track in the evening. Got wet again.

Tues Jun 8th 31 miles Went out for a ride in the evening with Paul Stratman through Gerrards Cross, the Chalfonts and Rickmansworth. Got soaked!

Wed Jun 9th 8 miles Got soaked again this evening going over to the South Ruislip’s club rooms. Went up to Pinner fair later.

Thurs Jun 10th 23 miles I went out to watch the junior ‘10’. Brian Hamer won the event with 25.47, Ian Major did a 26.08 and Bill Jacobs 26.10. These were very good times for such a blustery night. It rained all day but cleared up for the evening.

Fri Jun 11th 6 miles Went up to Bob Harvey’s in the evening to produce the inter-club ‘25’ start sheet for June 20th. Also helped with the club magazine. We are going down to the Bath road this weekend to ride in the WLCA ‘50’.

Sat Jun 12th 53 miles Did usual things in the morning, including a haircut, and then left with Brian Major at about 11.00 a.m. for Theale. We arrived at about 3.00 p.m., meeting Brian Appleby on the way. We found our digs and got our bikes ready for the ‘50’ in the morning.

Also staying at the digs were Mr Dimmock, the time keeper, and Fred Dredge, the assistant timekeeper. Fred turned out to be a past world champion (team prize in the 1922 road race behind Dave Marsh Sen.), held competition records at 50 miles and tandem 100 and had over £400 of gold medals at home! Also there was Fred’s wife, Lilian who was a professional cyclist before the war, 11th in the last world’s championships for women and once held the womens’ End-to-end! We eventually got to bed at about 11.00 p.m.

The 1922 World Championships were held in Britain. Being England, the Road Race was held as a time trial rather than as a continental-style ‘massed-start’, over a 100 mile course in Shropshire. It was won, against all odds apparently, by Dave Marsh and Britain also got the team prize. It was to be 43 years before another Briton, the great Tom Simpson (not ‘our’ Tom Simpson, remember!) was to repeat this effort. Fred’s wife Lilian was no slouch either: she was one of the very first female professional cyclists, who crowned her career in 1938 with a ride from Land’s End to John o’ Groats in 3 days 20 hours and 54 minutes, a time that compares favourably with today’s record of 2 days 05 hours and 48 minutes by Lynne Taylor (2001).

Sun Jun 13th 96 miles Up at 4.30 a.m. and off at 6.07, number 67 in the WLCA ‘50’. It was still and cool but the roads soaking. I felt quite fast and soon caught my minute man. I then caught two other riders and nobody caught me. I was up on my 2.16 schedule until Mac’s café on the way back, but then sagged to record 2.18.17 so taking 26th place out of 102 riders, and 9th handicap. I was fastest among the Northwood Wheelers. The event was won by Gibbens of the 29th Wheelers with a 2.6, and Dave Allen did a 2.8! Got very wet. Brian Major did a 2.18.27, Alan Stratman 2.18.43 (albeit with a puncture), Roy Turner 2.19.44, Colin Turner 2.23 and Ken Dopson 2.27.

We came home up the Bath road in pouring rain. A really wet and windy weekend but successful and enjoyable.

Mon Jun 14th 10 miles Club night. Took entry monies for the inter-club ‘25’ with the South Ruislip and played snooker. Roger Bingham cycled over from Halton RAF camp with his new friend – they are going to ride a two-up ‘25’ on Wednesday afternoon.

Tues Jun 15th 42 miles Out training in the evening with Alan Stratman through Beaconsfield, down Glory hill to Wooburn and then home via Cookham, Maidenhead and Slough. A warm night for a change but windy. My new handlebar extension ‘inspires’ me!

Wed Jun 16th 24 miles I went over to Cowley in the afternoon to see about my summer job [at Trimite paint factory] and then home up the viaduct. In the evening I went over to Bob Harvey’s and then to the South Ruislip club rooms to deliver their start sheets for Sunday’s inter-club ‘25’.

Thurs Jun 17th 10 miles Held a committee meeting at Brian Hamer’s house. Nothing special to discuss but many things need doing quickly. A very warm night.

Sat Jun 19th 12 miles Usual things in the morning – met the boys in Northwood for coffee. I got my bike ready in the afternoon for tomorrow’s ‘25’, and Brian Huggins came to dinner.

Sun Jun 20th 110 miles The Annual Inter-club ‘25’ v. the South Ruislip C.C.

Up at 3.45 a.m., out by 4.30 and off number 22 in the inter-club ‘25’ at 5.22 a.m. I went quite well to the turn and caught my minute man, but had no initiative on the way back to do a 1.06.42. Ken Dopson, Alan Stratman, Brian Major and Colin Turner all did 1.3s and Roy Turner, Ian Major and Tony Stratman did 1.4s. Despite this, the South Ruislip won the 6-man team award – mainly because Norman Speechley did 1.01.27!

A nice hot day [for a change!]. We went on the club run afterwards, out for elevenses at the Shanty, Bourne End, and then dinner at Dunstable and tea at Redbourne. We came home a new way through Abbotts Langley.

Mon Jun 21st 13 miles Club night. Took some more money for yesterday’s inter-club event and entered for the Harlequin’s ‘25’ on the 18th July and the South Ruislip ‘100’ – I hope that I get in!

Tues Jun 22nd 33 miles I called for Alan Stratman and helped him do his ‘50’ [form?]; we then went out training to Beaconsfield. We met Brian Major, Tony Standing and Pat Norman. A nice warm night.

Wed Jun 23rd 13 miles Went swimming in the morning with Brian Huggins.

Thurs Jun 24th 30 miles I rode a private time trial in the club junior ‘10’ and recorded 25.50. Quite windy – worth at least 20 seconds by my reckoning. Paul Stratman did 25.27 and Ernie Jeffs 25.35. Home by 9.30 p.m.

Sun Jun 27th 78 miles A nice sunny day, but windy with a few showers at times. Went out with the club to Taplow for elevenses, dinner at Nettlebed and home for tea. We saw some of the Russian regatta team at Henley and a nice smash-up in a car!

Mon Jun 28th 10 miles Club night. I collected deposits for accommodation for the South Ruislip C.C.s ‘100’ from Alan Stratman and Rodney Bridges.