I hope we'll all be around and capable of a 2020 Hard Day.
I will try to get some engraving done for the trophy -just a plaque with the names of the past winners. It is still in my possession, but I'd be happy for some one else to be 'custodian'. It would be sad if it got lost, especially if it has been engraved.
You may remember I had the idea (actually during this year's ride) that it might be possible to get a cycling celebrity from the past to come to the pub to make the presentation. I had Martyn Roach in mind (if you don't know this name try googling), because he is local and did a great deal of 'Hard Day' style riding on fixed. As it turned out Martyn was at the CTT prize presentation dinner that day which was the reason I couldn't get hold of him. There are other possiblities, but I think most of them would be at that dinner, so if other people think the 'celeb' idea is worth pursuing we will need to avoid a clash with the CTT next year.
While I'm here, let me recommend Keith Bingham's Blog.
Keith is always worth listening to because he was on the staff of 'Cycling' (as Cycling Weekly used to be known) for many years and had a long stint as their chief reporter. He's about my age and has retired from the mag. but, I'm happy to say, he just can't keep away from cycling journalism.
The current post is relevant since it includes a description of the Harp Hilly 100, and other early season rides of this type. Although he doesn't mention the year he's writing about the names he fefers to will tell you it was some time ago.
Gerry Butterfil (referred to in Keith's article), although not a rider I knew at all well, is some one I rode with occasionally. I remember riding back to the HQ with him after a Vets' road race in Surrey during the 1990's. I think it would be fair to say that neither of us had distinguished ourselves during the event and we were both 'f.m.b'. on the result sheet. For some reason Gerry saw fit to engage me in conversation "I've ridden against Eddy Merckx you know ". It was certainly true he had ridden as a pro, but what followed was a bit surprising: "Yes, and I know how to deal with him - when you're at the front with him, just don't let him half wheel you."
I really didn't know what to say to that - I couldn't bring myself to say "OK, I'll keep that in mind when I come across him in a vets' race somewhere".