Penny-farthings show the way around the Suffolk countryside during Veteran Cycle Club tour
Veteran Cycle Club members on penny-farthings had a fine view over the hedges to Suffolk harvest fields as they sauntered from Yoxford to Parham Airfield Museum.
Several of these machines, otherwise called ‘old ordinaries’ or ‘high bicycles’ were among the group that set out at the civilized hour of noon for the 30-mile round trip.
Riding solid tyres over Suffolk chippings soon shook some spokes out of Chris Mills’ 1886 Victor Safety – a machine that featured front suspension remarkably like a modern MTB’s.
However, even though the luggage capacity of John Malseed’s 1888 ‘penny’ appeared tiny, the Dedham enthusiast calmly produced what was needed to effect a repair. Malseed, incidentally, has recently completed 100 miles in one day on his 52-inch wheeled Victor, which was exceeded in wheel diameter only by Maldon rider Steve George’s tall and splendid mount.
Meanwhile Angela Sanderson demonstrated that a summer dress was perfect wear for the deep loop-frame of her 1904 Sparkbrook safety. Once Mills’ bicycle was fettled, the rest of the ride was relatively uneventful – 52 inch wheels rolling over 21st century road surfaces with aplomb, their riders chatting about athletic front dismounts – over the handlebars, elegant landing, still holding the ‘bars, with cycle behind you – at least I think that’s it – no one offered to demonstrate.
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Revelation of the CC Breckland 30-mile time trial was Newmarket C&TC rider Matthew Smith’s second place with 1:05:11. That’s 27.614 mph (equal to a 54:19 for 25 miles) a ride which beat all but winner Daniel Bloy’s 1:04:03.
The Attleborough bypass course is undoubtedly fast, but conditions were not, with a tough headwind on the Norwich-bound legs but less help than expected in the reverse direction. Fastest Ipswich BC rider was Angus Jardine, 1:10:33, while Simon Boyle (1:12:02) was quickest from the Stowmarket & District.
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Glendene CC roadman Lloyd Chapman moves to the top spot in Eastern Road Race League rider rankings after taking fifth place in his own club’s 89-mile road race based at Great Saling in Essex. Harrold Evans (Aprire) won alone after leaving three breakaway companions on the last lap. Chapman won the sprint for fifth after working his way forward from group to group as the race field disintegrated under pressure from the front. Next local finisher was Billy Whenman (Zannata) in 13th spot.
Local riders inside the hour in the Cambridge CC 25 on the triangular “B” road Stetchworth-Dunton Corner course included Bury St Edmunds rider Paul Jay (VeloVelocity) 56:36, Jonathan Weatherley (CC Sudbury) 59:28, Alex Eason (Chelmer CC) 59:43 and Darren Rule (CC Sudbury) 59:45.