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The First Seventy Years: 101 - Track League Competition

...I set off on a cycling holiday just across the Channel in Belgium during July 1960. On the second day, riding on a minor road between Brugge and Ghent I got my front wheel caught in a railway line. Hitting the ground with a wallop I found my right wrist very painful...

Eric Biddulph tells of further cycling adventures and misadventures.

The late 50s saw the completion of the first hard surfaced banked cycle track in the East Midlands. The Harvey Haddon Stadium was the catalyst for me investing in a new purpose-built track frame. I was soon competing in the weekly evening track league competition. I realised there was more to cycle racing than the individual road time trial.

I acquired a British Cycling Federation racing licence and soon extended my interest to major track meetings in the north and south midlands. This commitment to the track prevailed until the end of the 1964 season. I continued to compete in time trials over distances of 10 and 25 miles. My track appearances on a Wednesday night attracted a small band of followers. My new girlfriend lived quite close to the track. She provided vocal support along with a few of her friends and occasionally brought her brother along. It became an established practice for me to call at her parents house after each meeting for supper before riding home.

I set off on a cycling holiday just across the Channel in Belgium during July 1960. On the second day, riding on a minor road between Brugge and Ghent I got my front wheel caught in a railway line. Hitting the ground with a wallop I found my right wrist very painful. I got back on my bike and struggled on until I reached Ghent. A doctor told me I had broken a small bone in my wrist. I had to abandon the holiday and return to the UK.

A couple of months later I set off on the same aborted journey in the company of my clubmate, Dennis Hall. He was a very likeable companion but suffered one unusual and potentially dangerous problem; he could easily fall asleep on his bike. There were a number of occasions during the tour when I found myself shouting "Dennis" as he veered, yet again towards the kerb or the middle of the road.

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Erics book The First Seventy Years can be obtained for 10 by contacting http://mary@bike2.wanadoo.co.uk or telephoning 01484-658175.

All the cash raised by the book goes to a water aid project in Malawi.

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