Avatar for clubman


Member since Jun 2008 • Last active Jan 2017

Most recent activity

  • in Rides & Races
    Avatar for clubman

    Dennis White (Swindon Wheelers) got comp. record for 24 hours with 484.75 miles in 1958. This was done on fixed, and I believe his gear was about 78". There is a report of his ride somewhere in Coureur (aka'Sporting Cyclist') which I've seen, but don't have it to hand at this moment.

    This record stood until 1964 when E. Matthews (Altringham RC) recorded 490.03, but I have a feeling this was done on gears.

    So I think White's record is probably the best ever (well, up to now) on fixed. Given modern kit, perhaps someone from the forum could improve this figure.

  • in Rides & Races
    Avatar for clubman

    Thanks for your kind words.

    I'm sorry I didn't get to speak to everyone, let's hope we can put that right soon.

    I have two suggestion:

    There are still people around who I learnt from, and who may be better qualified than me to pass information on. The two I have in mind were a great deal more successful than me as competitors.

    Supposing I could set up a meeting where they could give a short talk and answer questions, how many would be interested? This would probably be on a Tuesday evening at the Hounslow clubroom at Staines. I suggest as a title Traditional Early Season Training Rides. Let me know - I think we'd need half a dozen or so to make it work.

    We might also have a "Quite easy day in February" so that I can actually get to the cafe stop. I do have somewhere in mind.

  • in Rides & Races
    Avatar for clubman

    Saturday was certainly a glass half full day for me.

    It was disappointing that I did not feel able to do the whole distance, but it wasn’t a shock. Considering my age and the small amount of riding I managed last year, it’s surprising I got as far as I did.

    It seemed to me you had an excellent group – in fact just the sort I’d hoped for when I planned the first open Hard Day. My impression was that there was a high level of both fitness and competence: the group felt like an ‘olden days’ training run.

    Which brings me to an important point. In the past when I did this sort of riding with clubmates it was always seen as a preparation for racing. On that very first ‘hard day’ in 1959, our run leader was John Aldridge who went on to ride the Tour of Britain later that year. For us these early season training rides were not a one off annual event, they were every Sunday (sometimes Saturday as well) for at least a couple of months. To do only one ride like this is to have a sufferfest just for its own sake and with no view to progress.

    I don’t know how many of you are planning to compete in 2017, but I’m confident that if you do many rides like Saturday’s you would soon be able to put in some respectable performances. This raises the question – where would you find other rides like the Hard Day? Hippy’s excellent listing of reliability trials elsewhere in Rides & Races is one obvious source, but if you want to ride fixed you will really need other like minded people. Long ago, when I was younger and fitter, I tried to ride the Harp Hilly Hundred without gears – I got round, just about, but I don’t recommend the experience.

    Maybe this forum could provide more of these rides. As I proved on Saturday I’m limited in the riding I can do, so you would to find other run leaders. I could at least offer some routes and cafes, if you wish. Bear in mind these would only be suggestions and would not be ‘Risk Assessed’.

    And as for leaders, didn’t YAL do a brilliant job? I first met him on the 2012 Hard Day, and I thought then that he had potential as a rider, but needed a bit of development. There has clearly been a lot of development in the riding department, but he has shown great organising ability as well.

    At the moment club cycling in general is struggling with the fact that my generation is coming to the end of the road as organisers, and the younger (i.e. middle aged) people are showing a reluctance to come forward. That’s exactly what YAL has done – I just wish he lived far enough West to join the Hounslow.

  • in Rides & Races
    Avatar for clubman


    We'll have to see on Saturday morning.

    It looks as though there may be snow lying about - this would be photogenic. Don't forget any report will look better with pictures. Some one should take on both these jobs.

  • in Rides & Races
    Avatar for clubman

    I'm becoming less hopeful that I'm going to make it on Saturday because of heavy non cycling commitments. However it's still possible, and I really do want come because if I don't make it this year I think it's unlikely I will in the future (increasing age!).

    Assuming I'm not coming, there is a point I'd like to make now:

    Your route seems to go across the big roundabout near the M25 about half a mile West of Staines bridge. I have ridden round this many times without injury, but I've also waited by it for an injured clubmate to be taken off in an ambulance (she wasn't seriously hurt btw.) It is a danger spot since it's large and very close to the motorway so that some drivers think that slowing down to 60mph is reasonable.
    I'd like to suggest that you consider using the B376 (turn right immediately before crossing Staines bridge) going though Wraysbury and Datchet to Windsor. There is a back route from the centre of Windsor past the leisure centre and through Clewer Village (marked with green dots on OS map sheet 176) which will take you onto the A308.
    From there it's only about a mile to the B3024 which will take you to Twyford.
    I would certainly not want to lead a group of tired riders across that big rounabout, especially in failing light, so perhaps this route should be used both ways.

    A few other small points:

    Is there a mobile phone number everyone should have in case they get separated?

    Has anyone checked that the Big H Cafe at Berinsfield is going to be open?

    The OS Map Sheet 175 covers almost the entire route after Windsor.

    Still hoping to see you on Saturday.

  • in Rides & Races
    Avatar for clubman

    So do I, but I'm not all that optimistic.

    I wonder if Robert had to submit to a UCI dope test, which is one of the major expenses in these records.

    If they found anything I want some of it - for personal use!

  • in Rides & Races
    Avatar for clubman


    Robert Marchand gets a new record - at the age of 105!

  • in Rides & Races
    Avatar for clubman


    If you haven't seen this before I hope you will find the early part of the thread with the account of the 1959 ride interesting.

  • in Rides & Races
    Avatar for clubman

    I may be able to come with you on this ride.

    I can’t promise I’ll be up for it on the day as my fitness is variable, so I’ll have to wait and see on the morning. I’ve done a couple of longish rides recently and I seem to be going better than I expected and certainly better than I deserve.

    However the fact is I’m pretty ancient and my mileage in 2016 was poor; I can’t expect miracles. The last thing I want to do is to hold the rest of you up, so if I don’t think I can maintain your pace I shall say so and go home. Don’t wait around too much and don’t feel guilty about leaving me.

    A couple of points in response to what’s been said above:

    Fixed or Not:

    It was always my intention that this should be a fixed ride, but I wouldn’t want to exclude people who can’t use fixed. It seems to me that the important thing is that the fixed riders should set the pace – essentially this means riders on gears should not start tear ups on the descents. On the route you’re using there aren’t many climbs where gears will be much of an asset.


    I note that if I make it to Staines along with everyone else who has said they will come, we would have seventeen riders. It remains to be seen how many actually turn up, but if it’s anything like this number I think the organiser should consider splitting the ride into two groups.
    I’d say six to eight riders, even when in an orderly group, make quite a big enough obstruction for today’s impatient drivers, also with over thirty wheels liable to puncture it makes sense to avoid everyone having to wait for every new tube to be fitted.
    The faster riders should leave a few minutes before the others.

    The Original Thread:

    In a few moments I’m going to bump the original thread be cause I think anyone who hasn’t been on the previous Hard Day rides may find it interesting to learn about the background to this event.

    Finally – I know this may be a bit radical for forum rides, but could I suggest it would be an excellent idea if everyone had some kind of third party insurance. The obvious way to get this is to have British Cycling or CTC (whatever it calls itself nowadays) membership. This is not very expensive, has other benefits (if you can do this ride you may want a racing licence) and it could save you an awful lot of trouble.