After 7 years of riding from Bristol to Bath I have finally spoken with the elderly gentleman I see riding everyday, come rain or shine. Regulars on the path and A4 will know the guy I mean, constantly tapping out a rhythm on his Dawes tourer.
Wow, what a conversation and I still do not know his name (it seems appropriate), we immediately starting talking about bikes, routes, fixed and freewheels, TT's, touring Europe and the horrendous traffic. How very English, we see it each other most days and it seems that too much time has passed between us to ask or even care about names; so it's straight to the security of bike talk and his bike that is older than me!
27,000 miles a year when he was young and fit and he still looks in good shape, spinning with ease, even after his A4 head on collision last year, (the reason he now uses the path).
He seemed disappointed when he saw I was freewheel not fixed I asked him why?
It seems that in 1959 he rode 456.5 miles in 24hrs on a fixed bike, but to top that he rode 35 miles from his home to the race, competed and then `rode 35 miles home!
51 years later he still seemed bemused that he didn't win that day, losing out to a distance of 486 miles. ouch!
Let's hope it's not another 7 years until we talk again.