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October 2009

Testing Times set to broaden its horizons Amidst global rumours that the demise of Testing Times was imminent, crisis meetings were recently convened in an attempt to draw an end to the speculation that has had the time trial world reeling in confusion. Such was the complexity of negotiations taking place, that those taking part had to be shuttled from one venue to another around West Yorkshire and the Peak District to deny any one party gaining home advantage. Finally, in the glorious setting of Endcliffe Park, Sheffield (where all that lovely totty stops off for a cuppa and a chat with their totty friends), Dave Loughran (Planet X’s top bod) and Ian Cammish (spokesman for and on behalf of the editorial team) were pleased to be able to announce that any misunderstandings had been resolved and that a mutually acceptable way forward had been agreed. “Okay, so there’s no disputing Testing Times had a shaky start,” admitted Loughran, “but we had set ourselves strict standards to achieve and there has been doubts over the last few months as to whether or not

the team was delivering to the specified criteria. “It’s unfortunate that the spelling appears to have improved and that grammatical cock ups are now fewer and farther between but we have agreed that enough is enough and that this must stop. Perfection isn’t called for bearing in mind the competition out there. To be quite honest...there isn’t any! “I can say hand on heart, there is nothing quite like Testing Times, and there is not likely EVER to be anything quite like it. That ethos formed the basis of our two days worth of negotiations. I am more than happy to at last be able to lay to rest the malicious rumours that have been flying around in the world’s

press and look forward to seeing Testing Times were it belongs. We’ll be holding more meetings shortly to try to agree quite where that is.” Cammish appeared to be a little worse for wear (see left...at the negotiating table. Don’t ask!) after frequenting (quite) a number of the best hostelries in the Sheffield area during the course of the protracted negotiations. At £1-80 a pint, and the Planet X management team keen to ensure the result went their way, Cammish was the proverbial lamb led to slaughter. At the end of the day, Planet X got what it wanted and the future of Testing Times is guaranteed for a further period. Changes (only one or two) will become evident (gradually) as an even wider market will be sought. “It’s a big wide world out there,” said Loughran, “and we want it to know what we’re up to...both from a Planet X product perspective and the good old British time trialling one. The future looks exciting. It would be nice to be able to say the same about Testing Times ...but then that was never one of the objectives.”

Planet X Old Skool Series Mr McCann’s Competition Gambling: p20 Kent Valley 10: p4 record ride: p14 HOT STUFF: p21 Wrekinsport 10: p18 Peter Whitfield on Smelliest Testers: p16 Southall: p22 Frankly Franklin: p8 ...and more! S EE

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NOB OFF… ...the back!

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Meet the team...part two! Mick Gambling...still pedaling in Norfolk...honest! Mick, a classic gem from the days when time trialling was king, was lured out of his well earned journalistic hibernation by his long-time acquaintance...nay, dare I say friend...the Ed. Seen left in front of his other little pastime (‘my baby’ he calls her!), Mick refuses to be drawn into the world of Microsoft, Apple and anything other than good old Sunday Roast (he thinks Sushi was lead vocalist with the Banshees) and still submits articles by pigeon post. The fact that Mick’s head and shoulders snap (left) arrived on Kodak Premium Plus A5 Gloss rather than via the computer confirms he is truly of the Old Skool…..which is not a bad thing I hasten to add! In a word: old skool mod.vintage; from an earlier time; retro. (Generally positive. As in the well-established expression from the old school.): His way of dealing with people is strictly old school.

Andy Waters (right), aka Techno on the Arborwood TT Forum, is a part-time folk-band leader and ‘Countryfile’ presenter who also finds time to ride time trials and take the odd photograph when not on holiday sampling good wine with the locals. He is a perfectionist in everything he does and is immensely self critical of his own work. Testing Times is therefore pleased to be in favour with ‘the Master’ and chuffed to bits to be able to use some of the works which pass his strict quality control procedures. Having said all that, in a word, Andy is: LAID - BACK

[ LEYD - BAK ] –

ADJECTIVE

S LANG .

1.

relaxed or unhurried: laid-back music rhythms

2.

free from stress; easygoing; carefree: a laid-back way of living

David Jones (left) - could teach David Bellamy a thing or two about plant-life as he spends most of his spare time hiding away inconspicuously in the undergrowth waiting to capture, on film, the unsuspecting lesser-spotted time-trialoserous carrying out its everyday activities. David (Jones...not Bellamy) had an unfortunate RTA and took up a bit of photography to pass his (suspension) time away. He hasn’t looked back. Testing Times thanks him for his valuable contribution in making Testing Times what it is...whatever that may be. Thoroughly nice chap. In a word, difficult one, but we’d run with: accommodating • adjective willing to help or fit in with someone’s wishes.

— DERIVATIVES accommodatingly adverb.

Meet even more of THE team next month ...maybe. S EE

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...congratulates ‘The Power’ Parkinson on winning Planet X’s Old Skool series

City Road Club Hull 10 - V718 - 10 April Colin Parkinson - (South Western RC) 21-46 Catford CC 10 - Q10/19 - 25 April Colin Parkinson - (South Western RC) 22-15 Nomads Hitchin 25 - F1 - 7 June Colin Parkinson (South Western RC) 1-00-14 A3crg Summer Evening 25mTT - P885 Monday 29 June . Colin Parkinson (South Western RC) 55-51 The giggle team here at Planet X are pleased that ‘the Power’ Parkinson graced the Old Skool Series with his presence during 2009. We thank him for his support and wish him continued success in his cycling in the future. We hope to have photos of ‘the Power’ collecting his prize in a future issue of Testing Times. Failing that, we’ll find some crayons for Ray to cobble something together. The team also wish to thank all those that took part and entered into the spirit of the competition. Those who didn’t are to55er5. Top 5 placings will be found elsewhere in this issue (maybe) - all other overall prize-winners will be notified in due course. If you believe you’ve won something… mail ian@planet-x-bikes.com

S EE

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Old Skool Series - Round 11 Kent Valley RC 10 OLD SKOOL FACE OFF

Day of the underdogs Cert PG [Storyline: Tags Targett/ Artwork: Tags Targett / Technical wizardry : Mrs Targett/ Royalties: Ian Cammish]

The Kent Valley promotion on 12th September was blessed with glorious summer weather, and the L1015 lived up to its reputation as the meanest strip of road-kill turf the South Allithwaite District Council couldn’t adequately salt in winter. The out and back course on the A590, dubbed the ‘gateway to the Lakeland peninsulas’, turned on a spectacularly circular roundabout whose tumbledown strewn exits ensured only the unluckiest riders, born under the baddest of signs, could chance to be held up by oncoming traffic. The late season drag strip in nearperfect conditions brought out the gizmo men (and women) in their hundreds, riding fantastical machines developed in F1 wind tunnels, and sporting outfits that wouldn’t have been out of place in a documentary on the space race. Sprinkled sparingly amongst the

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Fred Pickstone (Kent Valley RC) Photo courtesy of Martyn Uttley http://www.martynuttleyphotography.co.uk/ futuristic masses, half a dozen eccentric idealists had kept the faith, responding generously to their leader Captain Dodgers’ call to return to nature and sanity. Risking the stifled guffaws of their fellows, they mounted faithful steeds and prepared to wage battle with honour, gracious in defeat, magnanimous in victory. First off was local freelance undertaker Geoff Newcombe. Riding with the strength of ten lesser mortals he stopped the clock at 28-33. Hastily recovering his composure he lit a slim cigar with his Planet X emblazoned zippo. As the burnished steel glistened in the mid-afternoon sunlight, his pale green eyes verily

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twinkled with satisfaction. Next man up, Frederick Pickstone, also of the host club, and a modern dance choreographer by profession, was already rapidly approaching the finish line, having started a mere 4 minutes in arrears. Digging deep in the final furlong he pulled out a crucial sixth on Geoff’s’ previous marker. Geoff, intuitively recognising he’d been ousted by a narrow margin, was initially tempted to box Fred’s ears for his trouble. Fortunately his inner nobility gained the upper hand and he strolled over to Fred and shook him warmly by the throat err hand, PAGE

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distinguish him from his thirteen brothers and sisters. Triumphing over adversity by a mixture of thrift, grit and the ruthless exploitation of suckers, he had amassed a mighty fortune which his many philanthropic schemes failed to dent.

The living legend Stanley Mills

‘Tags’ Targett posing in the car park before facing the time-keeper. Photo courtesy of Mrs Targett www.targett’staxis.com bidding him good cheer. This sportsmanship generated a small ripple of spontaneous applause from the bystanders, thrilled to witness the generosity of spirit which has been the hallmark of Old Skoolers everywhere As Trevor Page failed to start (he’d been sunbathing on the prom at Grange and dozed off until the crisp chill of dusk disturbed his reveries), the next pretender to the throne was the complete unknown from Burnley, Paul Targett of Pendle Forest CC. Following his mysterious renaming in the Seamons event report by Mr Hinxman-Power, his bid for fame and recognition in this, his first season as a pretend cyclist, had false started. Today there would be no such mix-up, even if he had to write the blasted article himself. He had prepared meticulously for this event by running in the previous

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weekends peak district fell race. “Oh yes” he smugly assured himself, “if a marshalling error directs the riders up the front face of Whitbarrow Scar, I will be ready”. Riding a bike he had dredged from the Leeds to Liverpool canal (having thrown it there following his Seamons CC 25 experience), he was unlucky enough to encounter a convoy of horse drawn gypsy caravans at the half-way roundabout. Cursing his awful luck he turned the delay to his advantage by completing the Sudoku puzzle he’d begun to alleviate his pre-race nerves. Tearing back up the return leg he shot onto the leader board with 25 and a half minutes, brooding on what might have been, had the Romany people not been quite so nomadic. Forty minutes later the living legend himself pulled up to the start line. Stanley Mills had started life with nowt but his hunched back to

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Today though he had some different business in mind, namely the breaking of the illusive Old Skool barrier of 25 minutes. Exactly 24 minutes and 51 seconds later he could congratulate himself on a job well done and commenced to signing autographs for two admiring ten year old groupies who had mistaken him for David Beckham. Next to ride was junior Ross Newton of Lune RCC who had been obliged to ride the Old Skool event as his only bike was a Chopper. Despite this handicap he proceeded to demonstrate that youth and a generous helping of pluck could, in the right conditions, count for more than senility and decrepitude.

Ross Newton (Lune RCC)

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His finishing time of 24-00 would prove untouchable on the day; although Ross himself lamented that his own timepiece had recorded 23-59.99, which would sound far more impressive to Desiree, his girlfriend of 3 weeks and 2 days. The starters in the final hour began to muster, but there was only one amongst them who proved to be man enough to ride Old Skool. Matt Muir, Lancaster CC’s promising new find and former county level synchronized ice skater, edged up to the white mark on the kerb edge 22 yards form the eastern end of the tarmac footpath and 33 yards east of an AA telephone point, a mark that was directly in line with a wooden fence post with two angled supports in the hedge, and almost in line with the most easterly of two ‘Please take your litter home’ signs. Not being one for sheepishly following the crowd, he had used all of these visual clues to independently locate the correct starting point, although the presence of a dozen skin-suit clad cyclists and a start marshall with two glass eyes had acted as a further, if less reliable, confirmation. Although his training regime had been light of late following a nasty bout of deng fever, his many years in the rink had hardened his mettle and as most time triallists have come to realise, good performance is 25% physical, 75% mental and 89.3% financial. Having spent the previous day in a sensory deprivation chamber, the better to focus his victory visualisation techniques, he had narrowly avoided succumbing to insanity, and now possessed total self-belief in his ability

to win. Unfortunately for Matt though, the rider starting immediately behind him was the much fancied Jimmy Wright of Preston Wheelers. Being caught before he had even managed one full pedal stroke totally blew Matt’s mind and he did well to even finish considering the terrible knock Jimmy had imparted on his way to second overall in 19-27. Missing the outright win was bad enough for Matt, but to lose the bronze to ‘Tags’ Targett, the time trialling escargot (well it rhymes if you don’t pronounce it like the French) was more than he could bear, and he skulked away from the metal cover in the northern grass verge, embossed ‘Charlton Ironworks Sheffield’, which was approximately 12 yards east of the large road sign on the slip road to the A6 and 90 yards short of the junction Levens Bridge/Levens Village road, licking his wounds and demanding satisfaction. With one event left in the series, the Wrekinsport 10 on the 26th September, the spoils are almost decided. However the portly diva hasn’t yet begun her aria, and as the jammy digestive himself is threatening to ride again (although he is not a well man and is under the doctor for his nerves), all bets are still on.

Full Results: 1 Ross Newton (Lune RCC) 2 Stan Mills (Yorkshire RC) 3 Tags Targett (Pendle Forest CC) 4 Matt Muir (Lancaster CC) 5 Fred Pickstone (Kent Valley RC) 6 Geoff Newcombe (Kent Valley RC)

24-00 24-51 25-27 25-32 28-23 28-33

by Paul Targett (Good eh? Ed)

...latest!

S EE

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Product review… Frankly Franklin looks at eco-friendly crash hats Sod Eurobike 2009, Frankly Franklin attended his recent local MTB race where designers were seen to be exhibiting major advances in eco-friendly cycling products. Nuts to your bamboo bikes and mahogany monstrosities (see September’s Testing Times’ Eurobike review)….coconuts to be precise! Frankly Franklin stumbled upon this new concept in crash hats (left and below)….machined by hand from 100% coconuts. Samples are being sought to be test-driven by Planet X’s leading riders.

Planet X’s Dave Loughran (not seen modeling the product) is keen to pin the manufacturers down to an exclusive import / distribution deal and subject to the product meeting demanding expectations should be available to the eagerly awaiting British public shortly. Enquiries in the meantime to ian@planet-x-bikes.com

Majorly impressed with the design and quality of the product, Testing Times’ Frankly Franklin befriends its manufacturer and attempts to blag a freebie (left).

S EE

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Autumn Thoughts from the Bike Shed by Ian Franklin

5 Top tips on where to hide your bike if you have no bike shed Firstly, if you have very little space for a bike, then make sure you have a small bike. This little Orbea with 24” wheels is the perfect model for hiding away. Tip No.1

Bike sheds are interesting places, aren’t they? Its amazing what you find IN them and what goes on BEHIND them. My first experience of a bike shed was at school. There are some people, like me, who not only missed out on those experiences but who also happen to be the same people to whom the CTT always give numbers ending in a 4 or a 9. Strange how these things connect. Actually I did get to go behind a bike shed once but only as a punishment at school for kicking the algebra teacher. He gave me a Woolworths brown paper bag and told me to pick up the rubbish from behind the bike shed. There weren’t coke cans, crisp packets or McDonalds wrappings in those days – the rubbish was fag ends and used french letters, as they were then called. In my naivety I didn’t – of course – know what the latter items were for, I thought they were posh sherbet dip tubes. That was the school bike shed. But I really wanted to write about bike sheds, or garages or those dark places where we secret our many bikes and wheels away from our partner’s prying eyes (more of that later). My first experience of a real bike shed was the one that belonged to an old clubmate of mine in the Folkestone and District CC (now sadly deceased, the club that is, not the clubmate). In those days I just had my old BSA that I had

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Try alongside the loo. If you make sure that no one else uses this loo by keeping it nice and smelly, then your bike will never be found.

Tip No.2

rescued from a tip which I hand-painted in pale blue ‘woodshine’ gloss. Back to Woolies again (I miss them more than my old deceased club) when I had enough pennies to buy 6 stick-on gold, with black edging, transfers. That’s how the bike became a BSA – 2 B’s, 2 S’s, 2 A’s and hey presto, I could spend my month’s pocket money and decorate my bike all at one stroke. So a BSA it was – though I remain convinced to this day that it was an undercover Bill Hurlow. Claude’s bike shed was an Aladdin’s cave of wondrous things that I had never previously set my eyes on. There was his trike and three or four bikes. Claude was the one guy – an inspiration really – in the club who would help you with training tips, how to ride in a group, what different gears meant and what they were for and all that stuff about tubs and wired-on tyres (no clinchers in the early 60s!). He had rollers too, the first set that I’d ever seen. I’ve mentioned his bikes in an earlier rant in Testing Times. There was the RO Harrison, the McLean’s, the Claude Butler and, Lordy, Lordy, a real and genuine Bates with funny forks. There were chainsets and cotter pins, a Holdsworth Cyclists’

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Under the dining room table. Make sure that you have a long tablecloth that covers the legs. People won’t find it here – just encourage them to eat in front of the telly. Tip No.3 In an old suitcase. Either this bike is too big or the suitcase too small. Get the sizing right!

Tip No.4 In the oven. Nobody cooks nowadays so it’ll never be found. Tip No.5 Under or next to the garden hedge. Superb place, as you see from this hedge nobody ever cuts it – so it’s hidden for life!

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Aids catalogue and a list from Reeds of Wimbledon pinned to the wall. What a treasure trove. Off course, I would trundle back home and dream of this sweet shop and the days when I would have enough money or luck to have my own collection of bits and pieces, bikes and frames, spare wheels and hubs, tyres and tubs and my own precious set of rollers. For years his was the only bike shed that I aspired to. I never managed one of my own ‘til I was in my forties – our cottage in Buckingham didn’t have the room or a garage and bikes’n’bits would have to be secreted all over the house. This had both advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantages really affected the other people I lived with, like the kids and the wife. For example, the utility room was so cluttered that it took a good half hour of moving bikes around in order to get the petit pois out of the freezer. So the bikes would get in the way which set up the kind of dialogue that cyclists always try to avoid with their partner (unless she/it/he is also a rider). A bike shed under those circumstances would have helped. The best bike was kept in the attic – a small room at the top of the house to which the then Mrs Frankly Franklin dispatched me when I was a naughty boy. I sometimes had to sneak this machine down the squeaky narrow stairs at 3.30am, past the kid’s bedrooms and so on, in order to get to the F1 by a 6am. There was only one known advantage to this arrangement. I had cleverly worked out systems of moving the bikes from room to room (three locations: the potting shed, the utility room and the attic) so as to confuse the ex-Mrs. On more than one occasion she would yell down the ‘phone to anyone who would listen “ ……… and he’s got FIVE bikes!” It worked, because little did she know that I had eight!

The Barn Once upon a time there was a rider in our club who was a dead ringer for Laurent Fignon (but only from the waist up, the legs were not similar). I am not

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sure if Monsieur Fignon has a bike shed but his erstwhile double in the UK did. It was a secret place known only as ‘The Barn’ (you have to pronounce that word with a thick Northamptonshire burr for it too have any effect). On a cold winter’s evening I had the privilege of being the first and only outsider ever to gain access to this place. It happened thus: Down at the clubroom Thursday evenings was reserved for the weight trainers. These are the people who have delusions of grandeur – the ones who believe that a winter of pumping weights will leave them in good shape for the following season and that they will, at long last, outride and outpace the club’s star riders. Of course it never works because the club’s fast riders are too busy either resting or doing the real thing – ie riding a bike. I was (and still am) one of the deluded masses and on this particular Thursday I arrived at the clubroom for my weight training fix, only to find it locked. I waited, 10 minutes, twenty minutes, half-an-hour but no one turned up. So rather than go home, I popped round to see the owner of The Barn. He wasn’t in, out on the bike I was told. “But do come in and have a cup of slurp, he’ll be back soon.” Once inside with a warming drink, Mrs Fignon pointed out that the Tandem was kept in the lounge as there was no room in The Barn. She didn’t seem too unhappy about it. There were another two bikes in the hallway, which meant a tight squeeze when entering or exiting the kitchen. Well we chatted, about this, about that and the clock ticked on but Laurent didn’t show up. I heard about how he decided one night to walk 25 miles with the aid of a torch, fell into a ditch and ended up in hospital. “He should’ve stuck to cycling” I heard. Many other tales were forthcoming, but still no Laurent.

circumstances one has to be brave, so I hid behind the said Mrs Fignon whilst, torch in hand she walked down the pathway to the back of the house following the sounds that grew louder with every step. The trail took us to The Barn and there was Laurent himself surrounded by bikes and bits and bobs. “Ahh, there you are dear,” said Mrs Fignon. “I thought you were out on the bike.” “Well, I was. I cycled from the front gate and down the garden path to ………... ……..” His words petered out when he saw me hiding behind his Mrs and a look of horror spread across his face. “Ugh, bah boom, blow …b…c…g…h….!” he stuttered as I stood rooted to the spot. “So this is The Barn Laurent!”, I exclaimed remaining as calm as a summer daisy. In the best traditions of doorstep preachers, I put my foot in the door (quite awkward as I was still behind Mrs Fignon) so I could grab a few more precious seconds staring at the contents of his bike shed. I rejoiced in the fact that I am the only one of his many clubmates who has ever seen inside this hallowed place. He did manage to remove my foot and shut the door with a purposeful bang. As he bid me goodbye, he swore me to secrecy, so I’m afraid that readers of Testing Times will never know what was inside The Barn

Sheds available from B&Q, Homebase or even Planet X if you’ve got cash...I’m sure the Boss has got contacts!

I tried to take my leave because by now it was pushing 9:30 and it was getting dangerously close to my bedtime. As I was about to escape, Mrs Fignon and I were alerted to strange tapping and banging noises coming from the back of the house. This was one of those moments when the hairs on the back of the neck start rising and arms get covered in goose pimples. In these

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Wiggins beats class field to take British Time Trial Championship In his defence, at the likely CTT hearing, Bottrill may care to claim he got carried away in such exalted company wishing to stake a claim to a place in British Cycling’s team pursuit squad. Neither Wiggins or Hayles were believed to be impressed. “Bottrill never did a turn and should never have placed himself second in line if he had no intention of going through” said Wiggins...maybe … (as it prevented ex-team pursuit specialist Hayles from showing his true form. Ed).

Photo courtesy Sarah ‘adrenalin-junkie’ Brooke http://www.sarahbrookephotography.co.uk/ So Cycling Weekly managed to get a nice shot of the 2-up in the recent British Time Trial Championships did it? Testing Times goes one better (see above) as its intrepid photographer dices with death in the fast lane to capture Bradley Wiggins being (very) closely followed by Matt Bottrill with Rob Hayles (aka ‘killer’) naturally coming in for the kill.

Chris Newton is said to be considering lodging an official complaint as the field placing gave him no opportunity to join in the shenanigans. En-route to his third placing (after Bottrill’s disqualification for failing to share the work load) Newton won all the intermediate town sign sprints with anyone and everyone near enough at the time to be considered a threat. Safe in the knowledge that the only rider to give him a close run for his money was a local farmer’s lass on her way to clear out the cow shed, Newton may, or may not, consider his Points Race place to be safe, although he is reported to be particularly aggrieved at missing out on the opportunity to show his true team pursuit mettle on the day. Testing Times believes Wiggins won the event although the results are really immaterial bearing in mind everyone was using tri-bars, disc wheels, aero hats and every other conceivable aero advantage under the sun. Now REAL men like ‘the Power’…..

S EE

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Whatever happened to the BBAR? Once upon a time, 4 April 1930 to be exact, Britain’s (then) finest cycling magazine Cycling announced it was going to support a new time trial competition based on riders’ best performances over distances of 50 and 100 miles and a time of 12 hours. It offered an annual trophy valued at £26 and a shield to be held for a year by the winning team. Over the years the interest grew to such a degree that it became Britain’s biggest season long time trial competition. Cycling itself devoted many pages to the major events and as the season progressed it produced regular updates as to who was leading at any one time. It printed tables of the top twelve riders so that everyone knew where their competitors were

placed and what they needed to do themselves, time-wise, to move up a place...or two. During the 1980s, the (then) RTTC appeared to be fully supportive of the competition although there was already regular criticism of it by some. Frank Minto, at the time, took the lead on behalf of the RTTC to record riders’ times throughout the season and took on the onerous task of regularly maintaining the tables. As the season unfolded, interest in the competition increased as it built up its momentum until the final two events of the season which used to be the Yorkshire RC and Harrogate Nova 50s held on the last two Sundays of the year. Both these events were held on the legendary Boroughbridge course (the fastest in the country at the time) so the winner was always in doubt until the very final event had been completed.

On a brighter note...this could make all the difference! http://www.tt-weekly.com/index.htm Good luck with it chaps.

Cycling, of course, kept all time triallists happy with their coverage of the races and the weekly display of upto-date tables. How things have changed! We all know how little coverage even time trialling gets in Cycling Weekly let alone any reports or updates of the BBAR - and that is highly unlikely to change if it’s Sportives that sell the magazine. Complaining isn’t going to change anything - not with the Press anyway. Complaining to the CTT may, however, help. I mean, what was all that about the BDCA 50 results? (The eligibility of rides done in that event was left in doubt until AFTER the last of the fast 50s and 100s). If the Committee was fully supportive of (what was once) its major competition then a decision should have been taken immediately. Furthermore, there’s been many an occasion when I’ve tried to find an update of the BBAR tables on CTT’s site...without any success whatsoever. It’s down to its members to question and debate the competition’s future. If you / they don’t, it will run its course and die a sad death which, I believe, is how the National Committee want to see it go! Is it now the time to decide whether or not we want it? In this day and age, aren’t the Champions of Champions (the winners of the Ron Kitching, Beryl Burton and Chris Boardman trophies) the REAL best all round time triallists? I therefore propose that the future of the BBAR be put to vote and if the consensus of opinion is that it should stay, then it should be FULLY supported by the Committee...not just left to fade away as is presently the case.

S EE

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Planet X team shake-up for 2010 Disappointed with his team’s poor showing in anything other than its own Old Skool Series during 2009, Planet X boss Dave Loughran has signed up some new talent for the coming season. Riders have already been issued with proto-type Stealth II time trial bikes (below) and Loughran is looking forward to seeing his new signings working up a ‘glow’ in their new team strip which is being heavily influenced by input from Nob. Naturally, readers of Testing Times will be first to see the pictures. Regrettably however, it is unlikely they will be anywhere near as ’juicy’ as those included in the TT Forum’s forthcoming 2010 calendar. (The Ed was there at one of the photo-shoots and he assures you it’ll be worth the fiver!) You can get your copy of the calendar by contacting Sarah http://www.sarahbrookephotography.co.uk/

Most courageous rider of the month award...and beyond the call of duty.. ...goes to Christian Yates (Quick Gear Innit?) seen (left) sanssaddle in the SCA 22.8 miles Hard Riders event earlier this year. Eagle-eyed Mike Anton (nearly) captures the moment.

S EE

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Just downhill from Barnet… I’ll share memories of my first cycling club … not, as commonly believed, the Barnet, but two miles south of the hallowed turf. All Hail ‘The Finchley’! Club Headquarters … a cold wooden hut that had the charisma of a Siberian KGB interrogation room with matching décor. As this was 1966 with football fever at it’s highest, we usually had a kick about. Everyone was his own Geoff Hurst and everyone else (including the 80 steel chairs around the room) was a German midfielder. On the odd occasion, someone had the foresight to actually bring along a football. This saved us having to use someone’s spare tub from under his saddle! Naturally, with hacking away at legs (both human and chair) the temperature soon rose. I remember many times when we rode home in a sweat with the outside temperature well below zero. Club Champion… was Pete Smith (no, not that one!), a first category roadman who also held the club 25 record of a ‘one-oh’. This stands forever as by the time it was beaten, the club had folded. Pete usually addressed us as inanimate objects. I was ‘The Veek’, my friend Mick was ‘The Meek’ etc. I once hung on to Pete during a club relay race where we had a wooden baton to pass. I didn’t have a race jersey with pockets, so did the whole lap with it clenched between my teeth – very handy having something to bite on following a first cat. roadman up the hills, I can tell you!

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bikes, he used a ‘double clanger’, because that’s what Anquetil rode in the Grand Prix de Nations. Mick also owned the world’s loudest rollers. Being a Sheffield lad, it was an allsteel affair and took more effort to get it from standstill to 10 mph than to keep it going above 30! Riding this rusty monstrosity for over two minutes in his shed created the suave ambience of a Sumo wrestlers laundry basket! Club Heroes… invariably, local time trial legends from our illustrious neighbours, such as ‘Porky’, ‘The Bone’, ‘Little Joe’ and some other bloke whose name was only ever whispered, Al Fingers, or summat like that.

Club Old Bloke… was called Frank and used to smoke a huge Sherlock Holmes-type pipe that gave out more exhaust fumes and foul odours than a pet crematorium. Although he rarely came out on clubruns, he used to go to a place called Rattlestone where they had a regular blue film festival in the back room of a small pub. During one club night, he recounted the tale of a failed projector with obvious disappointment. A flash of genius resulted in a whip-round for the local milkmaid to remove her blouse in front of the audience which saved the day. Club Posh Bloke… was Derek ‘Dirks’ Vernon, proud owner of a Raleigh ‘Jewel Model’, black with gold engraving. A quietly introverted man, the only time I ever saw him upset was when someone strategically place a piece of black tape over two letters, thereby prompting a flood of gags about how much money he had stashed away. Club Football Fanatic… Mick Hallam, roadman at heart but usually riding time trials. Unlike most of us with single chainrings on our testing

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Club Runs… usually via Potters Bar (mandatory sprint for the sign, of course) to Burnham Green and giant wooden hut that was run by a chap who looked like Captain Birdseye’s older brother. To this day, I remember the sound of eight pairs of TA Anquetil steel shoe-plates on the bare wooden floor with a synchronized clattering that puts ‘Riverdance’ to shame! The stop was usually about 90 minutes, 75 of which were waiting for the food - but it was worth it. World Famine Relief-sized portions of meat with huge plates of vegetables usually meant that the ride home was considerably slower than the outward leg. Sadly, the Finchley passed away in about 1967 with most of the members moving to the Barnet but some retiring altogether. However, like your first ice cream, kebab, serious girlfriend or sub-hour ride, the Finchley will always be remembered by those fortunate enough to have sat in the smokeinfested refrigerated indoor football pitch that was the one-day-a-week Mecca from the world of noncycling! R.I.P Finchley C.C.

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Mr McCann takes Boardman’s 25 record with 45-54 · · · ·

Fourteen riders beat 30 mph Nino goes missing P’nut Arnold scrapes a 50 36 dns

When Testing Times’ editorial team heard that Chris Boardman’s long-standing 25mile competition record had been broken, they had to take a double-take on the rider’s name as they had visions of a little short sighted, bowler hatted cartoon character knocking spots off, not only the record, but Michael Hutchinson - Quick Gear Innit in the process. However, there will certainly be no confusing Mr Magoo with Mr McCann in the future since it will be McCann’s name that will go down in the record books as Britain’s fastest 25miler...so far! Gavin ‘Good Man’ Hinxman takes up the story.

“Bugger me that was fast!” said Hinxman.

Mr McCann (above) on his way to Britain’s fastest ever out and back 25. Photo courtesy of Adele Mr Magoo (left)

For a further in-depth report read the fantastic details on the next page!

Who’s Hot in the world of domestic time trialling: Dave McCann ‘The Power’ Parkinson

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Port Talbot Wheelers 25 and Mr Magoo’s competition record by Gavin Hinxman (53 minute-man!) The weather forecast for this September morning on the fast R25/3 had been looking favourable all week & so it proved for the Port Talbot Wheelers promotion. There was a level of confident anticipation as the riders filtered through sign-on. With conditions like this on this course there would be numerous PB’s & Hutch must be favourite to beat the 46-01 that he recorded in the Hirwaun event just 4 weeks earlier. The Overflow event included the juniors & ladies, set off at 9am with the trees movement-free but the weather a little overcast. It didn’t take long to see the first female sub-hour ride, with Michelle Lindley (Weymouth CC) losing her ‘under the hour’ virginity with 58.38. Ever-youthful Carole Gandy lowered the figure to 57-13 that would prove to be good enough for third place. Team Endura’s Avril Swan lowered her best to 55-15 to set a new Irish Women's 25-mile Record but this was to be 10 seconds short for the event win with Lynne Taylor (Walsall RCC) who’s 55-05 was interestingly 42 seconds slower that her time in the Hirwaun event. Was this to be an omen for Hutch? The junior event also got off to a good start with Curtis Stacey from the promoting club recording 56-28. Guernsey rider Alex Falla crossed the line two minutes later with 55-09. Glendene CC’s Rob Yeatman lowered it to 54-11, which only brother Tom would beat and in the process, set a new Junior 25-mile record ride with his time of 50min 4sec. knocking 18 seconds off the time recorded by Alex Royle in June. By the start of the main event, the sun had shown itself. The conditions were perfect. Andy Bason (WrekinSport), off number 20 would record the first sub 50 minute ride with 49-26. Twenty minutes later Mick St.Ledger lowered the best time of the day to

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49-12. Leisure Lakes’ Alan Warburton, dressed in Nik B style full leggings lowered it to 4 seconds outside 49 minutes. Nino Piccolli was reported to be flying until, approaching the second roundabout at 10 miles, he got baulked by traffic and run over some gravel...puncturing big time, ripping his tyre to shreds. “Ah well, these things happen I suppose” he was reported to say afterwards! Scott Povey (Warwickshire RC) was the first rider to break 49 mins with 48-52. Ten minutes later, Danny Axford knocked a further 8 seconds off. David McCann, riding for the Phoenix CC (Ireland), was the next rider that we would all be looking out for. Unofficial time-checks at the 15 mile turn showed Hutch a massive 30 seconds up McCann. His time would give us a good indication of Hutch…….McCann threw himself over the line with an unbelievable 45-54 a 3second beating of Chris Boardman’s 16-year old record. The time was posted on the result board in the Rhigos Rugby Club with a gasp of amazement filling the room. A fantastic ride but was this to be a record that would stand less than ten minutes? The atmosphere now in the clubhouse was electric. The earlier gasps of disbelief paled into insignificance when Hutch’s time was posted. He hadn’t done it. Unbelievable! His 46-07 meant that he had to settle for a rare second place. Prior to this event, Hutch had ridden five ‘46’s’ including three on this course. On this particular day, conditions were near perfect and he went slightly slower than his best ride. All thirteen other sub-50 minute riders recorded personal bests. Maybe he started too quick? Only Hutch knows the full story (and Testing Times’ budget doesn’t extend to paying him anything for that), but either way a truly historic ride by McCann. What a day! There would have been fifteen riders under 50 minutes if Nino had finished. All three of the R25/3 events this season (this one, Ogmore Valley and Hirwaun Wheelers) have been fantastically well organised and run, thank-you. Well done to all, great to get the BUZZ from so many people at the HQ and to see so many smiling faces. Let’s see what happens next season. Records are there for beating, lets hope that it doesn’t take another 16 years!

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Britain’s smelliest testers… No 2 - Ian White In at number two in the world of smelly testers is Ian White - former National Champion and all-round ‘good egg’. Maybe a surprising choice, but for those that ever rode with White, there is no questioning the place he holds in their nasal cavities as far as prominent odours are concerned.

Ian White - National Champion and all-round ‘good egg’. Photo from Bernard Thompson’s cycling archive

Planet X - proud to sponsor Britain’s smelliest testers.

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Ian Cammish has ridden with ‘many smelly sods’ in the past but recalls the evening he rode a 2-up 10 with White while holidaying at Scarborough. The course started near Plaxton’s factory at Stoney Haggs and dropped down through Seamer to turn at Staxton roundabout. Cammish recalls the warm, wafting, sensual breeze that emanated from White’s car as they got changed ready for the impromptu 2-up. “It was something Mick Storey (Scarboro Paragon) sorted out for us. I think Ian and I had a bit of respect for one another and it was a rare opportunity, for me, to ride with someone as good as Ian. Remember, this was before I’d really won any decent races..but it must still have been quite a thrill for Ian (you lose a point if you didn’t see that coming! Ed). To this day, I remember sitting behind him as we were being given the count-down and getting a really very pleasant wiff of something quite mellow...something you’d find in the bathroom cabinet of a man with lots of chest hair... something, kind of, ‘Paco Rabannish’... definitely something I remember to this day. It was four miles before I went through and did a turn. Ian thought he was going well...I never told him I was enjoying the ride so much where I was, I preferred to stay put. Anyway, it hurts more at the front doesn’t it?” White went on to mesmerize some all-time greats of the cycling world with, not only his talent, but his taste of all things that smelt nice.

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Testing Times reaches new heights! Mam Tor 517m (1700 ft) above sea level to be precise. Some people will go to extremes to get their daily ‘fix’. Paul Hyde (23min man) narrowly missed out on this month’s ‘Beyond the call of duty’ award but worth a mention in dispatches all the same. What a lardy...sorry, hardy... soul eh?

October’s bike of the month...

...(well it had to come didn’t it?) - Ian Cammish’s white Guerciotti. destined for ebay or Planet X’s pages of clearance bikes and frames. Ridden to victory on a number of occasions but trounced more often than not by the enigma that is ‘The Power’ Parkinson. Make us an offer we can’t refuse. Photo courtesy of Andy Sexton Enterprises

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Old Skool Series - Round 12 Wrekinsport 10 The sleepy village of Sambrook near Newport in Shropshire will never quite be the same again following the latest (and final) round of Planet X’s Old Skool Series. Certainly, Sambrook has not encountered as much press interest since Mrs Burgess’s Chocolate Brownies received a commendation at the Shropshire Show back in the 1970s. Quite apt then that it was machines from the 1970s that drew interest from riders and enthusiasts from as far afield as Hadnall and Telford. Testing Times’ intrepid reporters were there to ‘capture the moment’. The Series’ competition leader, ‘the Power’ Parkinson declined from even entering the event in full knowledge that unless Gavin ‘Good Man’ Hinxman could pull out a sub 15 minute 10 the competition was his. In any event ‘the Power’s’ diary is now hectic as he is having to attend public functions left right and centre due to his new-found fame as THE Country’s leading Old Skooler. Lesser mortals were, however, still drawn to Dave Poulter’s glorious promotion in the hope that minor placings could be improved upon. Early leader, Ian Cammish (Planet X), was lured from his sick-bed by equally brain-dead Old Skooler Gavin ‘Good Man’ Hinxman “Never say die Ian. I’m still full of hope...the war may be over but the

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Karl Austin, Neil Skellern and Peter Hayhurst of the victorious Congleton CC team. Ian Cammish joins in the celebrations because someone said there’d be Champagne! Photo courtesy of Linda Austin battle is still there to be won!” And so it was. Seven intrepid Old Skoolers were down as such on the start sheet - one further late entry, Peter Hayhurst, chose to support his Congleton CC team-mates Neil Skellern and Karl Austin by leaving it late and ‘coming out of the closet’ on the day. Chris Worsfold (API Metrow) was first to start.- his carefully practiced race preparation being nicely shot down in flames by the start timekeeper less than 60 seconds before the ‘off’. “You do realise you can’t race in that jumper don’t you?” ‘that jumper’ being a classic Raleigh / Banana racing vest from the 80s. Worsfold’s use of the English vocabulary within the strict Rules and Regulations of the CTT

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was quickly put into practise. No Rules were broken and very little blood was spilt, and Worsfold eventually launched himself off into oblivion with his ‘jumper’ turned inside-out … as were his lungs by the time he reached the bottom of Sambrook Bank. ‘Good Man’ Hinxman, as pathetically stylish as ever, calmly eased himself away from the start quietly confident that a long 14 was well within his grasp. Paul Targett (Pendle Forest CC and Testing Times’ Seamons 25 reporter...for his sins) was next to follow. Having only just recorded a personal best 10 the week before on Levens, Targett was of the opinion that he too was ‘on a run’ and was forecasting something ‘superfast’. PAGE

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Twenty-four hour riders, Neil Skellern and Karl Austin were then dispatched off down the A41 to sample the delights of retro-riding. Cammish, aka ‘the jammy dodger’ next, and last, off at 4.57pm. The competition was fierce...perhaps not quite as bloody as the recent Team Sanjan qualifying event but the reporter has been advised to steer clear of the Vodka bearing in mind he’s taking prescription drugs...hence this serious report. To cut to the chase, Cammish maintained his unbeaten record. OK, so Skellern truly whooped him, but according to Cammish, Saturday afternoon events don’t count! A quick bit of research by this reporter confirms that Cammish claimed the Catford 10 would be ineligible for the Series due to the fact it was held on a Saturday morning (he was beaten by ‘the Power’ Parkinson in that one!). When Cammish was asked to clarify the position, he claimed that since the Autumn

Equinox the well known rule applies to Saturday afternoon events too! The Old Skool Series Committee quickly convened at ‘The Plough’, got well and truly wrecked then announced to the world’s eagerly awaiting Press that the result would stand. “Cammish is just a bad loser and it’s about time he grew up - the winner is Mr Skellern.” Lots of prizes were presented and draws took place for the goodies donated by Planet X, Continental and PowerBar (their Vanilla Gels are lovely you know!). Full Result: N Skellern (Congleton CC) 22-56 I Cammish (Planet X) 23-39 G Hinxman (Welland Valley) 24-40 C Worsfold (API Metrow) 24-57 K Austin (Congleton CC) 25-38 P Targget (Pendle Forest CC) 25-54 D York (Mid Shrops Whls) 27-31 P Hayhurst (Congleton CC) 29-40

NEW IN STOCK NOW – A huge range of road and MTB pedals from Time, Look and Shimano. Best prices on the web. We buy in LARGE quantities so you can save £££’s on the best pedals available. Everything from starter clipless pedals for your commuter or winter trainer to pro-level carbon/ti bling for pro level race machines. We won’t be beaten on price!

FINAL OVERALL TABLE (subject to ratification and change if ‘the jammy dodger’ can find any justifiable case to change the finishing order...and put him in first position): C Parkinson (SWRC)

21-46 22-15 55-51 1-00-14 Kicked butt to win

G Hinxman (Welland Valley CC)

22-46 23-06 1-5-47 1-8-52

T Woollard (Northover Vets) 24-34 25-00 1-1-41 1-8-02

Not as fast as ‘The Power’ Quite a bit ahead of Stan

S Mills (Yorks RC)

24-04 25-09 1-3-21 1-10-11 Just a tad slower than Tom

C Worsfold (API Metrow)

23-59 24-57 1-6-54 1-11-32 Fifth best Old Skooler in the Country can’t be bad can it?

Could the first five overall placed riders please contact Richard Prince at Planet X richprince@btinternet.com to collect their prizes. The other hundreds of qualifiers will be listed in a future edition of Testing Times. Thank you for all those who organized the events and took part.

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Gambling...on discrimination Mick Gambling contributed around 5000 articles, race reports, interviews etc for Cycling Weekly, formerly Cycling. They encompassed a 40-year period, 1965 to 2004 and half that period, to 1985, included light-hearted pieces. Many were topical for the period, although some are still relevant to the present time. A taste of these will be produced on a regular basis. Mick is still alive and pedaling in Norfolk. The Sex Discrimination Act gives equality to the sexes in many aspects, but was mainly intended to bring the female of the species into line with the male. The Act makes it clear that you must not discriminate between men and women and this could be used as a defensive ploy in the domestic minefield by the cyclist with an x-year itch (where x = number of years married minus a fortnight). A cyclist arrives home, to be met by his wife, bristling with suspicion. “Where have you been again?” “Training. I told you I was going out for a couple of hours.” “You went out at seven and now it’s nearly eleven o’clock. Surely you haven’t been riding all that time?” He could see it was going to be a long debate and decided to pace himself. “Well, I need the training, you know, if I’m going to get anywhere in road racing.” “Yes, you need the training all right. You have been out five nights a week for two months and you still get dropped in the neutralized zone. You must be doing 300 miles a week and nothing to show for it, except for tiredness. What I want to know is, are there any girls on these

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training runs?” Awkward question, but suddenly he had a brainwave. He didn’t know if the Sex Discrimination Act went this far; it was worth a go. “I regret I am unable to reveal that information for it could be contrary to the Sex Discrimination Act. We are all riders now, not men and women. We started out as a large group, but a rider had some mechanical trouble so I stopped to help. “What’s her name?” “Her name? Please don’t make me break the law. We are all persons now and it is important to avoid all sexist allusions. In this instance the person is a clubmate...” “Is this the same clubmate person who delayed you an hour on Monday with a puncture, on Tuesday with a buckled wheel and on Wednesday with a broken chain?” “Yes, that clubmate is having a run of bad luck.” The wife was shaped like a question mark. “Why is it always you who stops and helps?” “What are clubmates for if not to turn to in times of trouble? It doesn’t matter to me whether it is a male or a female with problems. I do not discriminate.” Queries were queuing up behind her

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teeth. “What I want to know is whether this is a clubmate who races in eyeshadow and a tight vest with bumps?” “Well, you get all sorts these days. As a matter of fact we have got one person who is darkly Neapolitan and has prominent shoulder blades.” “Shoulder blades!” she howled. “I’m talking about the front. And another thing, is that Chanel No 5 I can smell on your pullover?” A twitch rippled from his bobble hat to his shoe plates. He tried to joke it off. “Channel Tunnel what? That is probably my clubmate’s fragrant embrocation. They make it in some lovely aromas these days, you know, although sometimes the perfumes do fight one another in the bunch. Ha! Ha!” She knew he was trying to waffle out of it. “Perhaps you would like to explain the lip-stick on your collar the night the chain broke.” “That was a tough job that night and I pricked a thumb on a gear cable, so that stain was the blood, I expect. Fortunately, I’m a quick healer.” “Monday it was after midnight when you got home. You may have thought I was asleep, but I looked out of the window and saw you carrying your bike up the gravel path. Where had you been?” “First, I was carrying my bike to avoid puncturing and second, I went round to my clubmate’s flat to se some French cycling magazines. We got talking and I ran through some of my clever moves...in road races I mean.” “Yeah! I bet you showed her some clever moves.” He was on the alert. “It was a person not a her or a he. Men and women are equal, I tell you. Go on like this and you’ll finish up before the Sex Discrimination Tribunal. Anyway, I’m shattered and going straight to bed. Hey! Why is this window open, and what are these men’s shoes doing here, and this tie isn’t mine? Have you had a man in here?” She smirked, “No dear, just a person from the tennis club. Game set and match.”

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Frank Southall - time trial legend by Peter Whitfield In British cycling, the inter-war years will always be known as the Southall years. There was no road racing in those days of course, but as a time-triallist and trackman Frank Southall won everything it was possible to win, from quarter-mile sprints to 12hour races. From 1922 when he rode his first race at the age of seventeen, to his final competitive season in 1936, he took literally hundreds of victories. And not only did he win, he won spectacularly: he would commonly head the field in a 50 by five minutes or even more, while in a 100 it would usually be ten to fifteen minutes. One of his best remembered races was the Etna 50 of 1925, when he lowered the competition record by over five minutes to 2:8:31, a time which was greeted with disbelief, both at the roadside and throughout the country. “It must be a misprint”, was the reaction of most readers when they saw the race report in the press. The phrase “the Southall margin” was coined to do justice to his superiority over all his rivals. S EE

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A hero’s welcome at Hyde Park Corner. Frank has just broken the Lands End - London record, and will soon be off again for the 24-hour Frank Southall was born in 1905 in Brixton, and was a lifelong member of the Norwood Paragon. He left school at the normal age of fourteen and became a plasterer: this was the trade he worked in all through his amateur career, and it was hard physical graft. Southall was not a big man – he was 5’7” – but he was exceptionally powerful in the upper body, barrel-chested, with muscular arms, and in his prime he weighed just under twelve stone. He was obviously a very intelligent man, very articulate, a great talker, and he could write vivid and amusing accounts of his races. His first race was his club 25, in which he pushed himself to exhaustion. He was told his time was

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1:24, which made him feel he wanted to die, or at least never to climb on a bike again. Then they told him it was a mistake, and that he had done 1:13 and come second: the pain vanished like magic, and his career was launched. In the following two years he started his winning ways, and he took his first competition record in 1924, a 1:17 for the 30, and won his first 12-hour with 217 miles. By 1925 Southall was established as the top all-round rider in the country. This was the year of his 50 record, but he also set a new national hour record on the Herne Hill track, with 25 miles 1500 yards, as well as winning the Bath Road 100 with a competition record time of 4:45:19. This was the first of his six PAGE

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victories in that classic event, four of which yielded new comp records, and he won three Anfield 100’s. In order to compete up north, he travelled up with a friend on the pillion of his motor-bike, with his racing bike strapped onto the sidecar. In 1925 he was an automatic selection to represent Britain in the World Championships in Amsterdam, the first of his eight appearances in World and Olympic events. This was a 113-mile road-race, in which he rode well, only to crash in the final kilometre, almost in sight of the line. The organisation was utterly chaotic: it was an out-and-home course, the riders making the half-way turn by circling around a large park. Southall was in the leading break when they arrived at the park only to find the gates were locked, and the Dutch officials refused to open them until the rest of the riders – including all the Dutchmen – had caught up! Three years later, 1928, was when he came closest to international glory in the Olympics, once again in Amsterdam. The road title was decided by a time trial over 103 miles, and it ended with Southall taking the silver medal behind Harry Hansen of Denmark, but it was a controversial race that was talked about for years to come, because there was strong suspicion that Hansen had not completed the full course, but had taken a short-cut when the roads passed through some woodlands. The English team lodged a protest, but no eye-witness evidence was available, so the result had to stand. Hansen finished with 4:47 against Southall’s 4:55. Southall’s prowess on the track was if anything even greater than on the road, and he set around thirty national records at all distances up to 100 miles. It was in the Olympic year that he recorded 3:33 in the tandem-paced 100-mile event at Herne Hill, when the rider would use two or three teams of pacers, each working for around 5 miles then resting. At the other extreme, he was

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The days when time-keepers sported collar and tie...and pipe capable of a standing-start solo mile in fractionally outside two minutes. With Alan Watkins he set a tandem hour record of 28 miles 453 yards. It’s obviously an indication of a more leisurely age when audiences would sit and watch a 100-mile race on the track. Southall wrote several articles for the press about his training, but it was all common-sense stuff, and he never claimed to have any training secrets, so in the light of his winning record from the age of eighteen onwards, we have to conclude that he was simply an outstanding natural talent. He once wrote about the less-than-fanatical attitude to training in which he had grown up: “I started my racing career towards the end of what I shall term the good old days, when men took the game far less seriously, and often sat up late playing cards, snatching a couple of hours’ sleep, and waking up sleepy-eyed to get into their tights and race.” Having raced and won so often, Southall admitted that he was beginning to lose some of his enthu-

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siasm for time-trialling by 1930, and that the introduction of the BAR competition was exactly the motivation that he needed. It was devised by Cycling magazine to find which rider was the effective national champion, since there were no official championships at that time. Southall confirmed his position as the country’s leading rider by taking the first title by a clear margin. He received the first BAR trophy at the ceremony at the Queen’s Hall in London from Roland Dangerfield, Chairman of Temple Press, publishers of the magazine. The only imperfection in his winning times was the 12-hour: Southall was never keen on 12’s, never broke competition record, and never really put up an outstanding time at the distance; in fact the 1930 results show that ten of the other top twelve finishers had better 12 times than he did. Nevertheless his superiority over 50 and 100 miles was ample to keep a secure grip on the BAR title for four years. He left the 100 record at 4:30:10 in his final BAR year of 1933. From 1931 onwards he PAGE

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found another source of renewed motivation when he teamed up with Stan Butler on the tandem, and the pair would set new competition records at 30 miles (1:6:03), 50 miles (1:51:35) and 100 miles (4:1:03). Stan (father of Keith and grandfather of Gethin) experienced something familiar to many tandemists: he pushed himself a hell of a lot harder than he did solo because he didn’t want to let his team-mate down. Probably his biggest disappointment, in spite of all his record-breaking, was that he failed to become the first man under the hour for the 25, a time which was almost certainly within his grasp. In one of his last events as an amateur he was apparently on schedule to go under when he punctured, consequently he left the record at 1:0:59. At the end of 1933 he announced that his career was entering a new phase: he was to turn professional for Hercules and attack the RRA place-to-place records. This was a major turning-point in Southall’s life: he gave up his plastering and went to work in the Hercules sales department, where the glamour of his name was a great asset. Hercules even marketed a new machine, a “Frank Southall Special”, claimed to be designed by the master. In 1929 he had married Edna Hickford, who was his first cousin, and who was said by many people to be socially a cut or two above Frank, so no doubt she was pleased when he switched from being a plasterer to being a sales executive. Through the two seasons 1934 and 1935 Southall did a great job for Hercules, keeping both their names in the public eye and setting a total of ten new straight-out records, from the 50 miles to the 24 hours. He had in fact already broken the London-Brighton-London record as an amateur back in 1927, becoming the first to go under five hours with 4:53; in 1935 he took this way down to 4:38. A very special landmark was his 3:55:44 time for the 100, the first-ever sub-four-hour 100 ride,

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Southall - the dapper dresser achieved on the favoured LondonNorwich road, the A11. A 50 time of 1:46:31 on the same course was further proof of his phenomenal speed, using on that occasion a 92-inch fixed gear. At one point he was brought to a complete standstill in a village by another cyclist who blocked his path! Of all his record rides, the longest ride of Southall’s life deserve special: it was in October 1934 when he took the Land-s End to London record, a distance of 303 miles, in a time of 15 hours 8 minutes. He then pressed on aiming for the 24-hour record, on a course which took him out to the north Norfolk coast. He had good conditions with a strong following wind, but this doublerecord ride was an epic tale of misfortune: he punctured seven times, went off-course three times, and he was sick early on after taking a milk drink. His total time off the bike was more than an hour and a half, yet he broke the 24 record by 23 miles, with a new mark of 454 miles. He had scheduled 446 miles for the 24, but when he reached Cromer with time still to run, he had to turn around and

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ride back to Aylsham to finish. It was a great ride, easily the longest of Southall’s entire career, but he suffered for it, stopping every ten miles or so in the latter stages for a drink and a word with his helpers. 1936 was his last real season, but he found a new role with Hercules in managing a succession of riders who collectively up-dated all his records. One of them, Shake Earnshaw put up an amazing 1:39:42 ride for the 50 in 1939, while Marguerite Wilson set all the pre-war women’s records. After the war and the austerity days of the 1940s, it was Southall again who managed the new generation of professional record-breakers, Eileen Sheridan and Ken Joy, in the early 1950s. By this time Southall had become very much the elder statesman of British cycling. His prestige was immense, and he was a favourite guest of honour at club dinners all around the country. He enjoyed this role, and there is a suspicion that he over-indulged a little in the good food and the wine. In 1960 he suffered a heart attack from which he recovered, but a second proved fatal and he died in April 1964 at his home in Hayling Island, where he and his wife had retired. He was just 59, and should have lived another twenty years. His records have long ago been wiped from the books, but he left behind an indelible memory of a truly great rider, so far ahead of his rivals that they had to invent the phrase “the Southall margin” to express how special he was.

This is a shortened version of the text included in Peter Whitfield’s book entitled ‘Joy and Southall Two Cycling Legends’. Included with the book is a CD Rom with 150 historic photographs of the two legends. A ‘must have’ item for any real cycling enthusiast. To get your copy contact peterwychwood@hotmail.co.uk

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Nob off...the back Kettle Crisps Make Dodd Super fast The man is hell of a guy to catch up with these days but once I hooked him on his Favourite diet of Kettle Crisp & Stout I reeled in Stu Dodd of Leisure Lakes RT to ask him a couple of things about himself. The man has 19 minute 10 mile times & now a 49 minute ride & all done on the new wonder food Kettle Crisps washed down with the Guinness

Pet hates: Button down collars, trainers with jeans, mindless violence and disrespect.

Full Name: Stuart Dodd

Best TV show: 24, West Wing..!

Height: 183cm

Best Film: Thomas Crown Affair (Brosnan version)

Weight: 87kg Place of residence: Slimbridge, Glos (Gods country!!) I agree Stu J Current club: Leisure Lakes RT Most memorable mment: Probably also the most embarrassing... being caught by the Spanish police and photographed up a palm tree in Barcelona with a lit newspaper tucked between my butt cheeks.. My mitigation was I was playing 'dance of the flaming a55holes'... somewhat drunk unsurprisingly. They were very kind and gave me free accommodation for the night.... Most embarrassing moment: See above! Who were your boyhood heroes?: Ralph Fiennes, Winston Churchill

Your best achievement is: Closing a big deal at work Current job: Information Consultant Current make of car: BMW 335d M sport coupe.... Married or single: Recently married... life has now ended! Stay single and bring all your kids up the same way!

Photo Courtesy of Adele with kind permission career: My dad, my mum... they are awesome. Sound principles set you up well.

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Favourite drink: Well known for liking Guinness! Often far too close to races!

Campagnolo or Shimano: Campag all the way... ugly Japanese junk should be banned to the confines of sleeveless skin suits and 1080 front wheels!!

Favourite food: oooh... all of it....pizza, kebabs... anything unhealthy... should do something about my diet!

Favourite musical group or singer: Coldplay

Which country would you most like to visit?: South Africa

EducationalaAttainment: MSc, MBA. Closet academic but like playing dense (Brainy Sod)

Is there any one thing you would change throughout your cycling career?: In my limited career no as I have loved it all, the people are awesome and really make it for me. Pro scene... drugs are for losers.

What's the most trouble you have gotten into?: Well I've been deported and court martialled so we'll leave it at that! Not together!

Biggest influences on your

S EE

Favourite actor or actress: Al Pacino....

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own: Lightweight track disc... oh... my Ghibli... puka! Favourite time trial course & why: A10/14a or V718.... how fast are these courses???? Shame they are so far from home! (I guess the R25/3 course is now a favourite). What advice can you give to up & coming cyclists?: Regarding position: low isn't always fastest... Training: learn to ride hard and regularly...listen to the most advance computer known to man, your brain. If you're tired just rest & listen to your body. If you feel good ride harder. Most of all enjoy it!! Nutrition: don't eat rubbish. I still can't get this one right! General: Keep it healthy. Obsessive behaviour is bad... have a life. Make like Mick St Leger and enjoy your beer!

10 years from now you will be?: 41, probably fat and a lot slower. Nah... Intend peaking at 45!

S EE

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What can't you live without?: My wife... no idea how the cooker works so would starve without her. What other interests do you have?: Clay shooting, regular movie trips and being half wheeled by Chris Madge... Who would you share a desert island with if marooned & why?: Osama Bin Laden... would soon get discovered by the Yanks and rescued... that or bombed and therefore put out of our misery... bet he has some good stories! Favourite clothing material (PVC, Lycra, wool etc...): On me? Cotton... on the fairer sex.... def PVC! Did see Tim Lawson in a PVC all in one skin suit at the U7b once... that was almost enough to put me off PVC for life! Classy Tim! Well Stu that was very candid indeed so the advice is get deported for being a Kettle munching Guinness swilling brainy fast twat in cotton on the local wildlife bird sanctuary. Thank you Stu & let's see a 48 min ride Sir Nob of two Ghiblis next time out in 2010.

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Testing Times : October 2009