Monday, 26 December 2011

Ride your Funking Bike

Lovin this tune !

Saturday, 24 December 2011


If you have seen my first couple of posts you will have noticed I've a thing for women cyclist's none more so than the gorgeous Liz Hatch. So after reading that she had retired i couldn't resist from posting some of her pics so here's a few of my faves...

Friday, 2 December 2011

I went out on my first proper rides this week since my stack. I've always been a risk taker and have tendency to under estimate my lack of skill so  i said to myself  "fook it" i couldn't sit about and wait for a doctor to give me the all clear . The injury to my shoulder was a collarbone that now sticks out of the joint with the shoulder blade by about  an inch and torn ligaments which is still sore to touch and i still can't sleep on that side.
So by Tuesday evening I'd had enough, stuck my lights on and set of for a little loop. I couldn't resist the pull of doing a bit  off road and the  farm track that i used to take on my mtbike. The track is heavily pot holed and rutted and not made any better by some heavy rain in the last couple of days , with a busted shoulder and skinny tyres it was probably best to avoid, did i mention  lack of skill ? This is my first skinny tyred bike so i don't know what kind of punishment the skinny wheels will take, I'm not carrying a pump either and every hole i hit feels like I'm hitting the bloody rims. The hole's and ruts are full of water so sploshing threw was risking a trip over the bars again ! It was a lot of fun  but the small lake at the bottom of the track where the all the rain that runs off the surrounding fields gathers and pools, and that I'd plough through on my mtbike i thought it best to get off and push  instead. I'd normally head up into Hanchurch woods on my mtbike but i wasn't  even going to try on a skinny wheeled SS, so I headed of to try some Pave`!  Er' i mean cobbled back alley's ! It was a bit of fun actually it was a lot of fun but the next day the cumulative affects of not having ridden for nearly 4 months prior, the having one gear and a soft undercarriage was in full affect. Didn't stop me doing it all again the following night though !

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Chapeau Tommy Godwin Chapeau !!

Tommy Godwin 2 by CycleSeven
A lot of people might already know about this story as there seems to be quite a bit of interest about this cyclist recently, but like me (until recently), there is probably quite a few that don't know the story specially those outside the UK and it's quite an amazing story for anybody interested in Cycling and especially the endurance side of the sport.

Tommy Godwin (not to be confused with the medal winning Olympic Track cyclist of the same name and era) holds the world record for the most miles ridden in a year which stands at an absolutely staggering 75,065 miles (120,805 km) which still stands to this day.
Tommy was born in 1912 in Stoke-on-Trent which as it happens is my home city. He worked as an errand boy for a local green grocer delivering groceries on an iron framed bike with a basket on the front. When he was 14 he entered 25 mile TT race on said bike and won. He rode amature for local club Potteries cc, It wasn't long before he was attracting sponsorship and rode professional for Rickmonsworth cc, Raleigh & Sturmey Archer.

In 1939 he lined up with Edward Swan and Bernard Bennett to attempt the most miles in a year record which then stood at 62,657 miles (100,837km) set in 1937 by Australian Ossie Nicholson. The record was first set in 1911 by Frenchman Marcel Planes at 34,666 miles(55,790km) on a single gear and was broke another 6 times by 1937.
Edward Swan crashed out just short of a 1000 mile. Tommy and Bernard were paced to 50,000miles(80,000km) but were then left to battle it out. Bernard Bennet reached 65,127miles(104,812km) but Tommy had broke the previous record after only 9 months and by the years end had clocked 75,065miles truly astonishing but for Tommy that wasn't enough because he carried into 1940 through the blackouts at the start of the Second World War to reach the crazy 100,000 miles(160,000km) mark in 500 days ! And when you think he did this sticking to his vegetarian diet while riding a bike weighing 30lbs(14kgs) and with only 3 gears just seems completely mind blowing. It would take him weeks just to walk properly again. This would be an astonishing feat if done today, although the Guinness book of records would not record it as to put people off from attempting it as they deem it to be too dangerous.

After the war the Olympics were held in London in 1948 but Tommy having ridden professional wasn't allowed to take part denying him the chance of real recognition he deserved. Tommy's working class background meant he had to ride professionally . He would finish his career with more than 200 professional  road and TTa wins. Tommy died in 1975 while out riding his bike just the way he probably wanted it.

In 2005 plaque was put on the wall of a sports centre in the Fenton area of Stoke-on-Trent where he was born  commemorating him, as i was living in London at the time it's probably why I hadn't come across him until now.  I am sure you would agree that it seems an injustice that the level of recognition is minimal to say the least, and unfair for the fact that had he stayed amature and been able to ride the 1948 Olympics he would probably be a household name today. This story is crying out for a book and is great material for a film. I really hope that now the story is getting a  more exposure he will get  more than just a plaque on a wall of a sports centre, a statue would be more fitting.

Chapeau Tommy.