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Commuter diaries - after 7 years we speak...


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.


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vorsprung | 13 years ago

The record for 24h TT from 1958 to 1964 was set by DH White at 484 miles, see

Simon E | 13 years ago

465 miles? That's pretty good going! In this year's RTTC 24 hour event only 3 riders went further than your fellow did over 50 years ago.

A couple of years ago I got talking to an old chap on the bus. He told me how he rode from Shrewsbury to Benllech on Anglesey for his holidays one time. It took him about 12 hours along the A5 on his 3-speed Clubman. His mother and sister went on the train but he arrived before them. I'd love to replicate his ride, or at least do the slightly shorter journey to my parents' house in Bangor. All I need is an excuse...

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