At this point the diaries came to an abrupt end, even though I continued active cycling for some time. I continued racing during the 1956 season (albeit with limited success) and completed several more long rides including another trip to Harrogate. The decline in my cycling activities were brought about by several factors. One was the approach of my University ‘final’ examinations in the summer of 1956 which persuaded me to give up being time trial secretary of the Northwood Wheelers. Other factors were ‘serious’ girlfriends (the young cyclist’s ‘enemy’!) and a developing interest in mountain walking which led to rock and ice climbing. In the next few years I climbed in most areas of Britain and made trips to the Pyrenees (1956) and to the Austrian Alps (1957). In 1958 I moved north to Edinburgh to take up my first job, then married in 1959, pursued a career and raised a family.

I remained inactive as a cyclist until 1975 when I bought bikes for my two elder sons – and rekindled ‘the bug’ in myself. I have now enjoyed more than a quarter of a century of active cycling mainly in the Lothians and Borders, but with longer trips to other parts of Scotland.

The author, 50 years on [photo B. Huggins]

Open Roads is © David Saunders