This is a dip into articles published in the Summer 2017 issue
of FELLOWSHIP NEWS 210, quarterly magazine of the Fellowship of Cycling.
The authors are all members, who write on any subject which
catches their eye, not just cycling.
Something old, something new. In cycling parlance L’Eroica is a series of bike rides promoted in several countries, including the UK, to give participants a whiff of what cycle racing was like in the “heroic” era, loosely defined as somewhere between the 1920s and 1960s. This naturally arouses interest in the readers of Fellowship News, the quarterly organ of the Fellowship of Cyclists. In the latest issue Chris Lovibond tells of a L’Eroica 85-mile event he rode in Tuscany. A requirement in these promotions is that bikes and clothing used must be of that period, as genuine as possible, and Chris explains how he put together a machine and kit that qualified. It began with a Simplex tour de France rear gear (price new, £1.50). He owned an old Brooks B17 leather saddle but was apprehensive of sitting on it for 85 miles. In the event it was fine – it should have been, it had been steeped in neatsfoot oil for 15 years. A club vest was made to look of the period by the addition of a collar. No small events, these. When Chris rode there were 5,000 entrants, from several countries. There’s few flat roads in Tuscany, and the white (unsurfaced) lanes which made up half of the course were tough going. But Chris quotes another entrant: “It’s so good you should go now, before they make it illegal”.
There’s several entertaining accounts of past memorable tours in the Alps, the Lake District, and The Netherlands, by Paul Harris, Peter Newman, and Keith Shorten. Then Chris Downes writes of a cycling holiday which he calls “the misadventures of a senile cycling club”, members of the Chesterfield Spire CC.
Finally Tony Hewson concludes a fact-filled recollection of the Buckshee Wheelers, a truly amazing cycling club formed by servicemen in Egypt during the second World War. Two of its racing promotions, the Bully Beef 25-mile time trial and the Grand Prix de Ghezira, a road race, were repatriated and run in the UK until the 1960s.