It’s Gent–Wevelgem 1974, you’ve made it over the savage Kemmel climb twice with the lead group and survived hanging on the back of an Eddy Merckx (Belgium and Molteni) and Roger De Vlaeminck (Belgium and Brooklyn) driven purge on the run-in; there are 17 guys left, so maybe you would settle for a top ten? Not if your name is Barry Hoban (Britain and GAN-Mercier) and you feel that the ‘overdrive’ is in your legs.
Whilst we try to keep abreast of the current race scene, it seems we’ve become a bit of a focal point for 70’s races and racers, and kermis racing. We’re not complaining… Our reader, Graham Robson was another who has shared some of his 70’s memories with us and with his kind permission we have the pleasure of sharing them with you here.
Caithness Cycling Club is thriving thanks in no small part to the enthusiasm and inspiration of 85 years old Alasdair Washington, a VTTA member since the 1980s. The club boasts that it is the most northerly cycling club on mainland UK, so is very remote from mainstream cycling activity.
Late on the Sunday afternoon Iljo Kiesse and his strong partner and compatriot, Jasper De Buyst pull off a ‘doublette’ - two lap gains in quick succession – in this 100th edition of the Gent Six Day race. I start to worry that we’re going to get served up a ‘fairy tale’,,,
British rider Dan Bigham recently set a new World Hour Record in Grenchen, Switzerland beating Victor Campenaerts’ record by 400 metres. This got us thinking about the evolution of the modern Hour Record - the 'Impossible Hour' - and how it got to where it is now.
With the sweet smell of ‘ganja’ wafting out of the windows of at least two of the Dysart High Street flats and into my nostrils, Barney Ribble and I set off for East Wemyss and the Fife Coastal Path once more.
We had been looking for a suitable partner for our new cycling and leisure clothing and when we spoke to the folks at Nopinz and learned about their offerings we were very interested and wanted to find out more. We visited the factory in Devon to find out what happens when you order Nopinz custom clothing and saw our own kit being manufactured.
I’d been meaning to get back into semi-serious bike riding for a while but a diagnosis of spinal stenosis, which doesn’t affect everyday life too much but which is damn sore if you’re pressing hard on the pedals, made it difficult. Then came the, ‘Eureka!’ moment – an e-Bike.
In Part One of Phil Cheetham's Memories we heard about how, in 1967, he made his way to Troyes in France's Champagne region to spend the summer months racing with one of the best teams in the country, UVA Troyes and in this part we hear about Phil's exploits riding behind the Iron Curtain in the 1972 Peace Race.
Often, when we're talking to riders about those Golden Days for bike racing, the 60’s and 70’s, the name Phil Cheetham crops up. Cheetham was a quality rider with some big results in France in the early 70’s and he very kindly agreed to share his memories with us.