News

With photos playing a seemingly ever-increasing part in our ride reports it’s becoming difficult for people to get their reports in as early as in the past. So from now on the target day for the newsletter will be the Wednesday (early evening) following the ride. But as ever it can be delayed a little longer if someone can give a realistic ETA that’s a bit later. On the other hand, obviously if I have all the expected reports and other material by Tuesday, Monday, (or even Sunday evening) I won’t wait till Wednesday before sending it out. If this is likely to be a problem for anyone please let me know.

It looks as though our initial fears that bikes would be banned for all Southern trains until early September were premature. But after my recent experience trying to get sense out of Southern about the Chichester ride the day before the London to Brighton (anyone do it this year, by the way? If so let’s have a report) who can be sure? (Come back British Rail – all is forgiven!) So I’ve put myself down for a ride based on Polegate station for 12 August, but I do have a possible local (trainless) ride in mind if that’s not possible.

Much appreciation (awe and congratulations) for Jenny’s John O’Groats odyssey. [scroll down for Jenny’s report]. It inspired Peter Roscoe to send on her report to various people he thought would be interested. It seems to have awakened memories. First here’s Peter’s message:

Clarion Friends

I enjoyed reading the attached so much I just has to pass it on.

I had to smile when Jenny remarked about the Brompton with only 6 gears – well I suppose it was a Brompton.

In the first half of the 50’s we rode one single fixed wheel for everything. By the 1960’s I had conceded but on a tour of Norway in 1961 with Bury Clarion there was also a Prestwich club using roughly the same route – one of their members was on fixed – 60 inches as I recall!

Peter

And here’s a reply that Jenny’s report and Peter’s comments inspired.

Peter,

My father tells a fantastic story of his days in Keighley Velo which he formed in the 1940’s with his mates, including Doug Petty who went on to ride the Tour of Britain. They rode from Keighley toScotlandand back in a day. It must have been 250 odd miles. He did it on a 3-speed bike and survived on jam sandwiches and water. I mentioned this to Doug Petty a few years ago. He said it was ridiculous looking back on it but then again they were all hard as nails in those days. He said they turned it in to a night-ride regular but had to pack it in because they lost someone.

My father always boasted of being a professional cyclist. He was a telegram boy for the Post Office, riding a bike 8hrs a day!

Great stuff!

Nigel Clayton

Always good to hear about cycling in times past. Talking of which I came across a section in Swiftsure’s cycling notes about lamps in the Clarion, 2 November 1895. Very detailed – a bit like a Which report before such things were invented. But I fear it wouldn’t have been much use to Jenny on one of her night rides. At the end of evaluating the best available products of the day he concluded, ‘more depends upon a perfect wick and the oil used than on anything else.’

Ian

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