912 miles

Sun May 1st 66 miles Got up at 5.45 a.m. and off number 48 at 7.18 in the ‘50’. It was a beautiful ride to the turn [with a tail wind] – 30 minutes to the ‘25’ turn; 51 minutes to Walton Corner and 1.03 to the far (24½ mile) turn, so I must have done at least a 1.04 for the first 25 miles! At Walton Corner on the way back I was still clocking 1.13 so was thinking in terms of an improvement. However, the helping wind on the outward leg now gave way to a head wind and grew stronger. I sagged over the last few miles to record 2.18.47. I caught four other riders and only Poole of the Middlesex R.C. passed me. I felt quite fit and think that I would have done a ‘flyer’ if the wind had not risen so. Potty won the event with a 2.07.17. Among the Northwood Wheelers, Brian Major and Ken Dopson packed it in and Roger Bingham did not ride – so officially this is a win for me! It started to rain on the way home, and blew even more strongly.

Mon May 2nd 10 miles Up to the club rooms. I took entries for the inter-club ‘25’ against the South Ruislip on May 22nd.

Wed May 4th 41 miles Cycled up to college today through the rain and the wind. Went over to the South Ruislip’s club rooms in the evening to discuss the forthcoming inter-club.

The ‘pin’ mill at Brill

Thurs May 5th 32 miles Rode to college again: more wind and very hard on the way home.

Sun May 8th 110 miles Got up at 5.15 a.m. and out at 6.00 with Bill Gurney through Beaconsfield, High Wycombe, Stokenchurch and Thame to Long Crendon and Brill to join the H 13 course just this side of the turn near Bicester. We then rode down to the start and saw the boy’s finish. Roger Bingham did 1.06.19, Ken Dopson 1.07.23 and Brian Major 1.07.35 so it really must have been hard. The wind was very blustery by now and it was apparently a side wind all the way round. Vic Gibbons did 59.35 but was beaten by a new chap from the Ruxley Wheelers, who also won the handicap! He also beat Billy Holmes, Paul Baulch and Hutchins.

We then went back to their digs, had some breakfast and then came home for dinner through Wendover, Amersham and Ickenham. Bill, Ken and I then went out to meet the club for tea at Farnham Common – but they failed to turn up! Came home via Gerrards Cross, Chalfont St Peter and the lanes. A warm day, but a strong wind.

Mon May 9th 7 miles Club night. Took entry monies for the inter-club ‘25’. I am timing the junior ‘10’ on Wednesday evening.

Tues May 10th 32 miles Cycled up to college, down the Western Avenue and Kensington; home early by 4.30 p.m. Brian Hamer came round in the evening with the club watch; I am timing the Junior ‘10’ on Wednesday.

Wed May 11th 66 miles Rode to college again down the Harrow road. Cold in the morning but warm and sunny later – a nice change after the spell of wet weather we have had lately.

In the evening I rode out through Rickmansworth, Chorleywood and Upper Chalfont to Amersham and then back to Chalfont St Giles to do the timekeeping in the club junior ‘10’. Johnny Moore did the excellent time of 25.40 in quite blustery conditions. We then rode home through the lanes to Ruislip and Brian Major and I then went over to the South Ruislip club rooms where we met Ken Dopson. I am off number 29 on Sunday [in the club ‘100’] one minute in front of the scratch man, Brian Sealy! Another quite warm day.

Thurs May 12th 76 miles Cycled up to college again, down the Western Avenue and home up the Harrow road. Much warmer but still windy.

In the evening I went out training along the A 40 through Beaconsfield, down Glory hill to Wooburn Green and Marlow, and then up Winter hill, down to Cookham and Maidenhead, and home via Slough and the viaduct. A nice night, although windy and it started to rain slightly at Ickenham.

Sat May 14th 8 miles Went to Pinner in the morning and then up to Gordon Prangley’s to buy two straps for my saddlebag. Got my bike ready for tomorrow’s ‘100’ in the afternoon. Still quite windy.

Sun May 15th 120 miles Up at 5.15 a.m. and off at 6.59, number 29, one minute in front of Brian Sealy. He caught me just before Amersham and went on to win the event with a 4.33. It was very cold to start with and blustery all the way round. However, I felt very fit and, whereas most riders were way off their best, I did a 4.51.48 to win the Northwood Wheelers club event. I caught at least 12 or 14 blokes and only Sealy and Nuttgens passed me. I started number 29 and finished about 8th and at that time I was about 5th in the event – so I must have come quite well up in the finish sheet of 48 starters. Five juniors rode in the ‘25’ this morning, John Moore doing a 1.7.
Brian Huggins was out this morning. He did quite well at Herne Hill yesterday even though there was no sprint. In the ‘unknown distance’ (which turned out to be 10 laps!) he finished in the bunch only because he had no sprint left after such a hard pace behind Johnny Tressider and a really hot ‘international’ field. He is also riding at Slough track next Sunday.
Did not go out with the club in the afternoon but, in the evening, went over to Jim Burgin’s house to fetch the inter-club start sheet. A very windy day but quite successful.

Mon May 16th 8 miles Club night: rain. I took my racing shoes to Alf’s [Nell’s husband] to be mended and gave out the start sheets for Sunday’s inter club ‘25’ with the South Ruislip. Got wet coming home.

Tues May 17th 16 miles It poured with rain nearly all night and for most of today - ¾ inch altogether! I did not bother to go up to college – I couldn’t face the rain and couldn’t afford the train fare. I was going out training in the evening but only got as far as Colin Turner’s at West Hyde (to deliver a start sheet) before the heavens opened again. It was a really cold night with some snow! They have had several inches of the stuff up in Yorkshire and Scotland.

Winning the club ‘100’ with 4.51.48

Wed May 18th 38 miles Went to college today, by bike, via Shepard’s Bush and Chelsea. I have been entered for the British Universities Cycling Union (BUCU) massed start championship at Cambridge on June 12th. I came home up the Harrow road and went over to the South Ruislip’s club rooms in the evening.

Thurs May 19th 43 miles Rode up to college again today by the same route as yesterday. During the lunch hour I went down to the YHA shop and bought a new handbook and a guide to the Scottish Highlands [for my tour in the summer]. It has been showery and very cold all week and I only managed a few training miles in the evening before the rain set in again.

Fri May 20th 32 miles Up to town again via Kensington and Westminster. Another cold day with prolonged showers, including a very heavy one at about 2.30 when I was coming home. I hope it gets warmer by Sunday – I start at 5.21 a.m. in the interclub ‘25’ against the South Ruislip.

Sat May 21st 11 miles Up to Pinner and then to Northwood in the morning. My shoes were not ready so I had to go back in the evening to collect them, after getting my bike ready for tomorrow’s event.

Sun May 22nd 69 miles Got up at 3.45 a.m.! Out of the house by 4.30 and then off number 21 at 5.21 in the interclub ‘25’. It was really freezing and I could only do a 1.08.53. Norman Speechley of the South Ruislip won with a 1.03.06 and the South Ruislip won the team prize again.
In the afternoon we went out to Chalfont St Peter for a game of cricket with the South Ruislip and we beat them easily. Home at about 7.00 p.m. Spent absolutely no money at all today!

Tues May 24th 35 miles Cycled up to college again via Kensington and then home via Charing Cross Road, Regent’s Park, Marylebone and Baker Street. A much warmer, sunnier day.

Wed May 25th 46 miles Cycled again today. Warm and sunny. I timed the junior ‘10’ in the evening.

Tues May 31st 35 miles I spent the Whitsun weekend at Juniper Hall, Boxhill without my bike [a college trip]. Cycled up to college today by the usual route. We have exams in a fortnight.