My cycling career took a long time to get started. My great Aunt Emily found my first bike dumped in a back lane near her house in Heywood in the mid '60's. It was a three-speed Falcon road bike. The front wheel was missing and the thread on the frame where the nearside bottom bracket cup fitted had been stripped. My Dad got it on the road - with straight handlebars (but original brake levers!). I used it a lot round and about, including my foray into making a local map. Compared with a friends five-speed bike it was hard work on the local hills.
My first attempt at a decent solo ride into the Pennines above Shaw came to a halt when the rear derailleur fell apart 3-4 miles from home at Buersil. I manged to find a local bike shop and eventually get home.
Moving onto 1979 I bought my first bike. It was a xxx -speed Peugeot Sports road bike - from Wheelspin in Huddersfield.for £101. The idea was to cycle to work once I had moved to Southampton. I did use it but not that often. It was only after the MSc course at UCL I appreciated a bit of exercise to and from work - started then and continued (March-October) until I finished in 2011.
In 1987 I watched the Tour de France on tv for the first time and made the mistake of wondering what I speed I went at compared to those guys - then the timing started. Then the weekend trips started - a 67km round trip taking in Stockbridge, Salisbury and Whiteparish. I felt "hollow" that evening but I had discovered that if you need a way to keep fit - you cannot beat cycling. There have been many times when I did not want to go out when it has been cold, wet or I just not want to go out - but there has not been one occasion where I have come back at the end and wished I hadn't been out.
A selection of routes
On the pages [to be added!] with links below - there is a selection of favorite routes I have used on a regular basis since the late 80's. On each page there is a description of the route, a map and a profile (where available) and best times by year in several cases. Most routes are circular and anti-clockwise (to help with road junctions) and vary in distance from 15 - 105km. The Wherwell route follows a section of the 1994 Tour de France from north of Winchester to just south of Andover. Today my target is 140km a week - tougher in winter and especially as an average for the year.
National cycling bodies
I recommend being a member of the British Cycling or the Cycling Touring Club - both provide valuable information as a well as essential insurance and support in the event of incidents you might encounter. Do also use for pothole recording
KM 08 June 2013
Start: ~ 1965