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Event to celebrate memory of colourful character whose packed life included riding the first Tour of Britain

Goodness Gracious. How’s about that, then? A charity challenge bike ride around Scarborough is being planned in memory of the late Sir Jimmy Savile, the DJ, TV personality, former miner, wrestler and tireless fundraiser for good causes.

As it happens (now then, now then, that’s enough catchphrases – ed) the larger-than-life Sir Jimmy, who died in October, was also an ex-professional cyclist, riding the inaugural edition of the Tour of Britain, and the ride is being timed to coincide with the second festival of cycling in Scarborough, the North Yorkshire seaside town where he is buried.

The Jimmy Savile Cycling Challenge, covering 70 miles, is the brainchild of Martyn Bolt, CTC North cycling officer and a committee member of the Dave Rayner Fund, which Sir Jimmy supported. The event is supported by his family, as well as his friend and fellow pro cyclist Howard Silverman.

"Jimmy faced challenges throughout his life from his early health battles to the physical tests he often took on and this is an ideal chance for others to embrace his spirit of adventure," explained Mr Bolt.

Mainly aimed at sportive riders, it’s hoped that those new to cycling as well as families will also feel inspired, in true Sir Jimmy spirit, to set themselves a challenge and work towards it.

The finer details of the event, which takes place on 14 July, are still being worked on, but the ride will start and finish on Oliver’s Mount and any businesses interested in sponsoring the event are asked //martyn.bolt [at] CTC.ORG.UK" target="_blank">to get in touch with Mr Bolt, who added: "I hope that this event may become an annual opportunity to celebrate the life of a true Yorkshire character."
 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

8 comments

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Niall [38 posts] 4 years ago
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Quote:

As it happens (now then, now then, that’s enough catchphrases – ed) the larger-than-life Sir Jimmy, who died in October, was also an ex-professional cyclist, riding the inaugural edition of the Tour of Britain

Really? Do we have a more reliable source than wikipedia?

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Simon_MacMichael [2466 posts] 4 years ago
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Niall wrote:

Really? Do we have a more reliable source than wikipedia?

Ignoring the assumption that factoid was sourced from Wikipedia (it wasn't), Chas Messenger used to run the race, is that more acceptable?

From http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=57091

"Quotes from Chas Messenger's "Cycling's "Circus"".
First Tour of Britain 1951.
Stage 1.
"On the undulating run down to Hastings, one or two came out of the back, notably Jimmy Saville (now a disc-jockey extraordinary) and the strong tang of the salt sea air did not produce energy enough for the stragglers to get back on."
Stage 9.
"We record with regret that it was on this stage that the cigar-smoking "Duke" (Jimmy Saville) gave up the race ghost, and became the cigar-smoking, non-stop talking race announcer that has gradually given way to one of the greatest disc-jockeys of all time!"

There is a photograph in this book of Jimmy riding a bike in a track suit but with his cigar in his mouth.

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Niall [38 posts] 4 years ago
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I meant that in a slightly more light-hearded way.. thanks for the info though. No end of surprises from that man.

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Simon_MacMichael [2466 posts] 4 years ago
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No worries Niall, yup he certainly packed a lot into his life.

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Chris James [417 posts] 4 years ago
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That would be Martyn Bolt, not Bold by the way.

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Simon_MacMichael [2466 posts] 4 years ago
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Chris James wrote:

That would be Martyn Bolt, not Bold by the way.

Apologies, corrected.

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WolfieSmith [1327 posts] 4 years ago
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The most gratifying surprise was the tabloid headline last year "I'm Sir Jimmy's love child!' After all the years of sly press innuendo about the 'strange' world of Jimmy Saville ie: No kids, loves his Mum, not married, doesn't talk about his private life therefore he must be a pervert... It turns out he was once a professional cyclist!? What a Weirdo!  4

And that rare fish - A famous Yorkshireman who gives Yorkshire a good name. God Bless out Sir James.

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WolfieSmith [1327 posts] 4 years ago
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The most gratifying surprise was the tabloid headline last year "I'm Sir Jimmy's love child!' After all the years of sly press innuendo about the 'strange' world of Jimmy Saville ie: No kids, loves his Mum, not married, doesn't talk about his private life therefore he must be a pervert... It turns out he was once a professional cyclist!? What a Weirdo!  4

And that rare fish - A famous Yorkshireman who gives Yorkshire a good name. God Bless out Sir James.