1263 miles

Sun Aug 1st 80 miles Got up at 5.00 a.m., out of the house by 5.45 to ride in the Norlond Combine ‘50’. Off at 7.13. It was a reasonable morning and I only really staggered in a few places. Roger caught me at 30 miles (by 3 minutes) but I then dropped him up Digswell hill, which did not worry me in the least – in fact, I enjoyed it – and I proceeded to drop him by a further 7 minutes to finish in 2.16.56. This is my personal best and the fastest ‘50’ in the club so far this year. Colin packed it in. We had some food at the Beacon and then came home for lunch. Went to see my sister and her new baby in the afternoon.

Mon Aug 2nd 52 miles I met Roger at 11.00 a.m. and we cycled over to Crystal Palace to watch the motor racing. A windy but warm day.

Tues Aug 3rd 54 miles Usual work miles plus an evening training ride with Paul Stratman and Ian Major out to the ‘25’ turn on the Amersham road. Ian is doing the checking there on Sunday. Boff (Gordon) Empson came round when we were out with the start sheets. It was a warm and sticky night with many small flies.

Thurs Aug 5th 48 miles Out again with Paul in the evening through Wembley, Cricklewood and Hendon. A cloudy and warm evening.

Fri Aug 6th 14 miles Rain all morning, cool and windy later.

Sat Aug 7th 12 miles Cool and very windy; it does not look too good for tomorrow’s ‘25’. Went up to Northwood to meet the boys and got my bike ready in the afternoon.

Sun Aug 8th 102 miles I got up at 5.15 a.m., out at 5.45 and off number 2 in the club ‘25’. I caught my minute man and thought that I was going fast – but did yet another 1.7 – a 1.07.45. Paul Stratman caught me almost on the line and won the event with 1.04.48. In the afternoon we went out to tea at Ripley. A warm but windy day, rain at night.

Mon Aug 9th 24 miles Club night. Boffin is ill – I had to go round to his house to get the ‘30’ start sheets done.

Tues Aug 10th 32 miles I went over to Colin Turner’s house at West Hyde in the evening to get an entry form for the WLCA 12 hour event on September 5th. I met Brian Major, Derek and Ian out training at Rickmansworth.

Thurs Aug 12th 25 miles Went down to Jock’s Box in the evening to meet Ernie and Harry Jones about the inter-club ‘25’ against the Herige Wheelers [on 29th August]. I cold night; met Derek.

Sat Aug 14th 26 miles Went up to Gordon Prangley’s and to Pinner in the morning. The first hot day of the year! Went out to West Hyde, Rickmansworth and Ickenham with Tony Standing in the afternoon, finishing up at the Stratmans’. A nice day.

Sun Aug 15th 88 miles Up at 5.45 a.m. to ride in the club ‘30’. I was off number 4 at 7.19. It was hard on the way to the turn, although it was quite warm and sunny. I passed Tony (his tub had fallen off!) by the Water Hall and we then battled to the turn. I stripped my 83" cog at the turn so had to come back on 88". Tony got the bonk and I dropped him at Amersham. I finished with a 1.21.03 [personal best], an improvement although still not fast. Paul Stratman won the event with 1.18.18 and I took second handicap.

Roger Bingham and I then went over to the track at Slough and opened up the premises. The club track championships started at 2.30 p.m. I came second in my sprint heat behind Ken Dopson but didn’t qualify for the final. I did a 1 min 29.3 sec in the standing start 1000 m time trial which Ken won with 1 min 23 sec, and then came third (out of 8 riders) in the 5 miles. I was really pleased with this last result as I sprinted past Pete Kennedy and Alan Beere and almost had Roy Turner who was second. Alan Stratman won the sprint final and the 5 miles and hence the omnium.

We finished up for tea, beer and snooker at the Slough Centre. I downed a pint in 5.6 seconds which I claimed as a club record! An excellent day.

Mon Aug 16th 20 miles I took my rear sprint wheel into Gordon’s [to be straightened up]. Met Brian in the afternoon and went up to town to the pictures. Club in the evening; took entries for the upcoming club ‘100’ on August 22nd.

Tues Aug 17th 91 miles I left home, by myself, at about 9.00 a.m., down through Hillingdon, Staines, Chertsey and Woking to Guildford where I had some elevenses. I then continued on through Albury, Shere and Abinger to Leith Hill where I had a sandwich lunch. I then came home through Dorking, Leatherhead, Stoke D’Abernon, Cobham and Chertsey. A very nice warm day although a bit windy. I will have to do a good ‘100’ on Sunday and then a 1.4 for a ‘25’ if I am to win the club B.A.R. competition. Brian Major has only to do a 5.2 on Sunday, and Alan Stratman a 5.3, to take the lead, however!

Wed Aug 18th 34 miles I went up to Northwood to collect my wheel from Gordon’s, to see Boffin (Gordon Empson) and to collect a watch and timekeeper’s sheet in the morning. In the afternoon I took the watch etc over to Colin Turner’s, and in the evening went round to Alan Stratman’s. A windy, miserable day.

Thurs Aug 19th 28 miles Another cold, windy day – the coldest August day since 1946 and only 54ºF at noon! I went to Pinner in the morning and then stayed in all the afternoon. Went out for a ride with Tony Standing in the evening through Ickenham, Harefield, Rickmansworth and Watford. Rain again at night.

Fri Aug 20th 5 miles Warmer, sunny in the afternoon. Went to Pinner and Eastcote in the morning and up to town in the afternoon.

Sat Aug 21st 15 miles Up to Northwood in the morning after calling for Alan Stratman and Paul. Got all the food and drink sorted out for tomorrow’s ‘100’.

Sun Aug 22nd 123 miles Out of bed by 5.15 a.m. and rode out to the start of the club ‘100’. I was off number 9 at 6.59 a.m. I caught one rider at Stoke Mandeville then rode most of the way round with a chap who had caught me (but then dropped back near Thame). I passed Brian Major who was in the hedge! I got ‘the knock’ between 60 and 80 miles and hence staggered, but finished strongly to record 4.55.11 to take second place behind Ken Dopson who did 4.47.18. Alan Stratman was third. This meant that I lost my ‘100’ championship and am now about fourth in the club B.A.R.!

Went over to Northwood in the afternoon with Brian to help with the production of the club magazine.

Mon Aug 23rd 96 miles Went to Pinner in the morning and then over to Chertsey with Paul Stratman to deliver a WLCA 12 hour entry form (Alan’s) to the event secretary. We eventually found his place after crossing the river several times in a small ferry! In the afternoon we went over to Ephgrave’s where Paul ordered his new frameset. It rained again in the evening; took money at the club night for the inter-club ‘25’ against the Herige Wheelers on August 29th, and the ‘25’ on September 5th [the same day as the WLCA 12 hour].

Tues Aug 24th 10 miles Up to Gordon Prangley’s in the morning and then met Paul. We went to the cinema in the afternoon and held a committee meeting in the evening. More rain!

Wed Aug 25th 45 miles Cleaned my bike and front wheel today. Spent the morning at Paul Stratman’s and then went out training in the evening with Tony Standing through Stanmore, Apex Corner, Bignall’s Corner, Ryder’s Corner and home through Garston and Watford. A nice night, but I have caught a cold.

Thurs Aug 26th 37 miles Went to Northwood with Paul in the morning and to Ruislip Lido with him in the afternoon. In the evening I timed the club junior ‘10’. Paul won with 26.04, Ian Major did 26.20 and Danny Power 27.09. It was a fine night but not easy coming back from the turn. By his own reckoning, Paul got out to the turn in 12 minutes 10 seconds.

Fri Aug 27th 27 miles Spent most of the day in the sun! Went out in the evening with Tony Standing through the lanes around Rickmansworth and Croxley Green. A nice warm night for a change.

Sat Aug 28th 10 miles Up to Prangley’s in the morning to pick up Roger Bingham’s frame and to arrange marshals for tomorrow’s inter-club ‘25’ against the Herige on the F 4. Tony came round in the evening and we got our bikes ready for the morning’s event.

Sun Aug 29th 80 miles The Annual Inter-club ‘25’ with the Herige Wheelers

Rose at 3.54 a.m. (!) and got out of the house by 4.30 to ride to the start of the F 4 course. I was off number 25 at 6.25. It was fast all the way to the far turn and then home into a rising head wind to record 1.05.50, my fastest time this year but still not good enough.

Harry Jones of the Herige won with 1.03.35. In our club, Alan Stratman recorded 1.04.45, Brian Major 1.05.39, Roger Bingham 1.05.48 and Ken Dopson 1.05.51. So we got the team prize (six riders) and I got 5th place. We then put our bikes together and went out on the club run through Wheathampstead for elevenses and Luton for dinner. A nice day but rather windy.

Mon Aug 30th Went to Eastbourne in the Stratmans’ car; no miles.

Tues Aug 31st 43 miles Went to Ruislip Lido in the morning and then out training with Alan Stratman through Watford, Kings Langley to Berkampsted, and then home through the lanes in the dark and in the ‘old style’! Dropped the watches in at Colin’s and stopped for a cuppa at Nell’s café. A very hot and sunny day for a pleasant change!