Congratulations to our chairman, Andrew Grant, on achieving cover status for the 75th and special anniversary edition of The Veteran. He is also to be congratulated for doing the decent thing on 11th august by supporting the VTTA event run by Barry Freeman, on a less popular Suffolk course, thus abandoning the ECCA 10 on the popular E2 course on his local patch. He was rewarded with fastest and best on standard. Meanwhile the entry at Six Mile Bottom totalled 170, including a ladies open of 43. The first five ladies times were crammed between 20:30 and 20:59; of the men, the first six were between 19:05 and 19:53. Fastest vet was Mick Hodson, organiser of the group’s early season 25 – well done! No standard results available so far.
Another capable organiser, Paul Hurst, kindly took over this ECCA event, despite his move to Derbyshire and retirement from the sport – he plans to stick with Hill walking and will be hard to replace. It would have been Terry’s promotion, but has been renamed ‘The Terry Anderson Memorial’.
We last saw Len Finch at the re-run Lea Valley 10, after which he hoped to improve on his 31:13 “next time”. Alas it was not to be as he died a few days later, through natural causes and not as widely reported in the press and on TV (for which no apology has been made). “Next time”, when number 9 was called, his CC Sudbury clubmates were already all lined up behind timekeeper Peter Smith, chairman of London East DC, and stood for one minute’s respectful silence in his memory. Likewise at his funeral, again resplendent in their distinctive scarlet and gold strip, they lined the path as his cortege left the church, played out in style by The Lady Killers New Orleans Jazz Band. The band followed the family mourners and after the committal continued to play until all had left. As len and Mavis lived at St Marys Close, Chilton, it was appropriate that he was laid to rest in the quiet churchyard nearby.
Len will be remembered as a quiet and genial man. he was dismayed when it was no longer possible to publish the names of all those still time trialling over 70 and it was he that compiled the roll of honour for our group of those over 80. He was the unofficial photographer at the annual prizegiving but always ensured that everyone was sent a photo, plus a set for the archives.
Another name missing from the list of HLMs is that of Don Forsbrook. He kept his racing up to an advanced age, but when health problems prevented him even riding his bike he gradually faded away from the cycling scene. He died just short of his 90th birthday after a long and interesting life, well spent.
On a more cheerful note, new members continue to come in from all points of the compass, some already making their mark. We welcome: Alison Wood and Steve Smith (both Redbridge CC), Matthew Saunders (Team Vision racing), Ritchie Parkins (Diss & Dist CC), Mark Greenhow (St Neots CC), Trudy Sharem (Lea Valley CC), Martin Atkinson (Peterborough CC), Simon Hance (Ipswich BC), Brian Evans (North Road CC), Philip West, Paul Harrowing and Graham Denny (all North Norfolk Whs), James Dynes (Cambridge CC), Christopher and Joanne York (both Maldon & Dist CC), Brett Harwood (Team Botrill), Ralph Mullan (Shaftesbury CC), Julian Bosley (Stowmarket & Dist CC). Paul Hayward (VC Barrachi), Claire Hall (Dunmore Velo), Craig Elliott (Becontree Whs), Shawn Gough (Tuxford Clarion), Jan Smith (Gt Yarmouth CC), Tim Hector (CC Ashwell) and Rod Kohanzad (Hub Velo).
The numbers joining so far this year just about equals non-renewals, thus maintaining the status-quo.
What a strange year it has been – and not only weatherwise – the programme has been slashed to pieces by various cancellations and abandonments, due mainly to traffic incidents and everlasting roadworks, causing last minute changes to courses. those officials who have dealt admirably with all this are to be applauded. It has been a nightmare, although it would be good to think that the roads are being properly repaired and resurfaced. This is particularly true of a a patch of the road surface on a much used course in Norfolk, which is causing difficulties to cyclists in particular. Could this not be taken up with the appropriate authority? There is already enough danger from the ever increasing size and speed of vehicles. Are country lanes any safer? The debate goes on.
Following the loss of the Counties 100, next victim was the 12 hour, due to extensive roadworks at Stetchworth, a key point on one of the circuits of the proposed new course. This will mean fewer qualifiers for the BAR tables from club to national level, unless one travels further afield – not an idea for those who compete without support. Among the lucky ones already qualified are Dave Green and Becky Murley, who are now East District Champions. Becky’s ride was voted ‘ride of the day’ in the CC Breckland 12. Another who did well, on a baking hot day, was John Golder, celebrating his recent retirement birthday with an all time best and national age record. These three should rate highly on the end of season results.
It will be noticed that I have deliberately refrained from mention of the unbelievably fantastic times being recorded. We do not have a computer and do not always receive start or result sheets and it does not seem fair to pick out some people over others. time trialling is, after all, a personal thing and every result board is still anxiously scanned by not only those at the top, but others engaged in needle matches with their contemporaries. An example of this is the friendly rivalry between two who share not only the same fore name but also the same birth year, Chris Nudds and Chris Dyason. they have now moved into a higher age group and seem to take it in turn to beat each other in alternate events; that surely is what it is all about for most of us.
Just a reminder that the annual lunch and prizegiving will have a new venue this year – the Rosery Country House Hotel in Exning, Newmarket. It is on 25th November. details from Ian MacKenzie, 27 Laburnum Grove, Hockley, Essex, SS5 4SQ. Free tickets are being given out, in order to persuade more prize winners to attend. Who will qualify for these? Wait and see, not everyone approves… Only to thank those who help us with info… You know who you are… See you there…