When Alex Dowsett (Movistar & GB) rode 17:20 to take the British ‘10’ record earlier this year we all thought, ‘wow!’ and that it would take some beating. Enter one Marcin Bialoblocki, Polish professional with the One Pro Cycling team – with a 16:35, hacking 45 seconds off the Dowsett mark. That’s head shakingly quick – but not content with that, the next day Bialoblocki put Dowsett’s ‘25’ record of 44:29 to the sword with 44:04. We just had to ‘have a word.’
After the excellent articles on Alf Engers competition record published on VeloVeritas, specifically Part 2, but also Part 1, I thought I should try to recall my memories of that day away back in 1978. At 14 years old it's not often that you can say that "I was there" but I was.
In Part I of Alf's interview, we found out about his childhood, his coach and mentor, and his track and time trialling records. In Part II, we talk to Alf about that British 25 Mile Time Trial Record: 49:24! Before we do though, let's find out a bit more about the bike. 'The Speed Machine', as Cycling Weekly called it in May 1978, was Alf's gem of a Shorter TT iron...
'A.R. Engers' the start sheets used to say, 'Alfred Robert' but to us he was 'Alf' or 'The King.' Time trials weren't boring affairs when Alf was on the throne. He was a man on a mission; to take the British 25 mile record through the 30 miles per hour barrier - and more than 30 years after he broke the barrier there are still not many riders who can claim a '49' or faster.