More reflections from our most senior member. This time about North Road Club time trials in the UK and Harold's three PBPs. This was originally a message to the editor of the North Road newsletter editor.
Memorial 50, etc.
by Harold Bridge
Paul, this would be more appropriate in November.
Is there any interest in something like a "War Graves Audax?"
NRG1297 arrived today (2011-01-11) on the west coast of North America.
With it, the AGM notice & in that was something that caught my eye;
"Memorial Trophy 25" (replaced the "Memorial 50").
The Memorial 50 event was intended to pay respect to those 8 North Road members who died in the slaughter of WW1. Add to that a further 3 who died in WW2.
The original Memorial 50 was a true time trial with 12 invited riders starting at 3 minute intervals.
But at the first event after the cessation of European hostilities, 1945; only 6 of the invited 12 turned up.
1946; only 2 turned up.
The BBAR had an adverse effect on events such the Memorial 50 and it became just another qualifying event.
The late Les Couzens, a record breaking trike rider, pressured the club to make the Memorial 50 a trike event.
The trikies seemed to have more respect for the dead and the event had a successful run for a few years.
In 2000 I went to France with the Club and enjoyed a solo tour while making my way back to Calais.
On the way I detoured to visit the impressive Vimy Canadian Memorial with its 11,000+ names; "Known unto God'.
I regret I didn't take the time to visit the Menai Gate with its daily ceremony.
1983: At 56 YOA I felt that it was now or never if I was going to ride the quadennial Paris-Brest-Paris.
I trained, I qualified, and entered. Wife: "Why don't you take your daugther with you?"
"I would love to, but I don't like the idea of leaving a 16 year old girl alone in Paris for 3 or 4 days"
"That girl is more competent to look after herself in a foreign city that you are!" "Yes Dear!"
Leaving Dieppe we saw the sign to the Canadian cemetary.
We visited and my daughter wrote a poem about Dieppe.
She now ensures we and her children all attend the November 11 parade.
At 60 I tried PBP again but both bike and I got sick.
At 64 I was well on the way to a successful completion when I stopped for a power nap.
I put both feet down in long grass, rested my arms on the 'bars, when my knees buckled I woke up and pushed off.
But the long grass hid a ditch into which I fell, hitting my ribs on some rocks. The combination of tiredness and pain
meant I finished out side time limit and I was six seeks getting over it.
January 13, 2011