This is a dip into articles published in the Spring 2017 issue
of FELLOWSHIP NEWS 209, quarterly magazine of the Fellowship of Cycling.
The authors are all members, who write on any subject which
catches their eye, not just cycling.
Discussions about the pros and cons of makes of bikes are often triggered off in Fellowship News, the lively quarterly magazine of the Fellowship of Cyclists. This is so in the Spring edition. Several writers, including John Else, Doug Collins and Roger St Pierre all contribute their recollections of one in particular.
The Italian make Frejus is fondly remembered, as is the Swiss winner of the Tour de France in 1950, Ferdi Kubler, who rode for the marque and has just died, aged 97. A bigger list of the palmares (honours) of Ferdi is listed by Peter Egan.
In contrast Oscar Hopkins seeks fellowship members’ experiences of riding a Raleigh Chopper, at the other extreme of bicycles. Forty-two years ago he bought a second-hand one for 50p and rode it 200 miles. But he gave it up because, he said perhaps tongue in cheek, fellow cyclists did not acknowledge him when he was on it.
1950s Tour de France rider Brian Robinson remembers a big currency problem when he agreed to ferry Shay Elliott’s brother to a world road cycling championship race in Italy. On the back they stopped to tank up with petrol and Brian left it to the brother to pay. But the garage kiosk refused to accept his Irish notes, the only ones he had on him, “It didn’t cross my mind that he had never changed any currency”, said Brian, ruefully. He just scraped up enough to pay the bill. Brian was awarded the MBE in the New Years honours list.
Les Bowerman tells a funny story of how Wallie and Maisie Stimson (Weybridge Wheelers) contrived to halt a live open-air performance by the English National Opera (at which venue they had been demonstrating their 1880 sociable tricycle) by riding it across in front of the stage. The music came to an abrupt halt as they progressed.
John Coulson believes he was the first member of the public to ride a Brompton bicycle. He found the steering “a bit twitchy”, mainly because of the small wheels and long raised handlebars.
Tales of odd cycling behaviour by his late father comes from Paul Harris. One of his father’s foibles was to give his bikes names. His Raleigh Superbe, on which he pedalled 40,000 recorded miles, was called Lawhill. This was the name of a large sailing warehouse and its replacement was Winterhude, a windjammer. No need to ask what his other interest was.
Brian Griffiths tells of a Lands End-to-John O’Groats relay ridden by the Stafford Road Club, in aid of a cancer charity. It went to plan but Brian observes: “I have a question. Despite millions given to charities, millions spent in research and millions provided by the Government, why is there more cancer than ever before?” He thinks not enough is being done into looking for preventative measures.
Many north London cyclists will enjoy a today picture of the Marshmoor Café, near Hatfield, once a legendary cyclists’ mecca. David Knudsen also supplies detail of how the interior of this now chalet bungalow has changed.
Tales of tandem riding from Dave Twitchett and of a youthful tour to the Tour de France by Peter Newman wind up this action-packed issue.