These last few months have seen a host - I was going to say swarm but thought I might cause offence - of excellent performances by Wessex Vets. This is emphasized by the fact that as a result there are no less than 2 claims for National age records and 18 Wessex age records pending.
Pride of place must go to Adam Topham for his stunning 314.3 miles to win the ECCA event
on his 47th birthday, 16th August. I doubt that he will have had the breath to blow out the candles on getting home! Readers of my Notes in the March 2015 Veteran may recall Adam’s painful experiences in riding 12s and his resolve on finishing never to ride another but nonetheless a determination to top 300 miles. Well now the superman’s staggering determination has borne fruit and one’s mind boggles at what went into it.
Prior to this towering performance Adam had recorded near records at 25miles (49:33), 50 miles (1:39:30) and 100 miles (3:33:05).
Our other National record breaker is 82 year old Norman Harvey (Sotonia cc), setting a time of 43:39 for bicycle 15 miles in the Newbury Open on 25 July. He has also added the Group age 82 10 mile record to his collection with 27:27. Norman’s efforts are especially praiseworthy because he spends a good deal of time working behind the scenes as the Group membership secretary (and hosting Group committee meetings at his home).
I had in mind listing the Group age record breakers in alphabetical order but must give pride of place to 69 year old Alan Emmott’s 100 miles in 4:17:28, over 11 minutes inside our current record. Although not records Alan’s rides this year at 25 (58:23) and 10 (23:04) are also well worthy of mention.
Now to 71 year old Terry Icke with 4 Group records so far this time round, 2:01:56 followed by 2:00:14 at 50 miles, 55:28 at 25 miles and 21:32 and 21:19 at10 miles.
Then our relatively new-comer Sarah Matthews at age 55 with Group ladies’ records at 10 miles (23:16), 25 miles (1:00:00) - where did she lose that second - 30miles (1:18:03) and 50
Bringing up the rear is our perennial ladies’ age record breaker, now at age 49, Lesley Walkling. This year she has achieved records at 10 miles (22:40 followed by 22:30), 25 miles (58:17 followed by 56:39) and 50 miles (1:57:15).
Great rides by them all!
The Group was honoured to hold the National 50 Championship on 9th August and trust that when the riders looked up they appreciated the delightful rural scenery through which the soulless dual- carriageway course had been carved. Brian Sunter’s super winning time took one’s breath away, clearly demanding total concentration and not even a glance at the rural scene. A number of Wessex riders shone on the day, especially Lesley Walkling whose 1:57:15, (+33:28), gave her the womens’ Championship award. One of the Group’s newest new members, Steve Williamson showed that he will be a force to be reckoned with taking, 12th place with 1:45:25 (+32.01).
Now to our Group Championships, of which even at this advanced stage of the season only that at 50 miles has been run. This is because the 10 programmed for 25th July had to be cancelled because of heavy rain on the exposed course. Through the good offices of the New Forest CC the Championship will now be accommodated in their Open event on the afternoon of Sat 12th September on course P303. The 25 Championship is programmed for Sunday 30th August in the Southdown Velo event.
The Championship 50 winner was Jerry Bromyard 1:55:40 (plus 29:25), wit Nick Andrews 1:51:06 (plus 28:28) and Cliff Rowe (1:54:52) joining him on the podium. The full result can be seen on the Group web site.
Overall the range of fine performances by Wessex members to-date this year promises clse competition when our new Recorder Claire Newman comes to work out the placings in the various competitions. I list below the best performances so far by the likely contenders.
They are in no particular order.
Andy Langdown - age 46: 10 20:00, 25 53:49, 50 1:52:56, 100 4:03:55.
Phil Watts - age 44: 10 21:01, 25 53:35, 50 1:51:27.
Barry Quick - age 70: 10 22:35, 25 1.00.55.
Hamish Walker - age 43: 10 21:08, 25 58:18, 50 1:54:14.
Dave Pitt - age 65: 10 22:01, 25 58:19, 50 1:54:37.
Now I admit to showing a modicum of bias towards my club mates in the Bournemouth Jubilee by separately highlighting their prowess. Strangely in my many years as Group Recorder I recall only rarely dealing with any significant performances by BJW Wessex Group member veterans: the outstanding exception being when friend Eamonn Deane set our 24 hour record at 501 miles in 2007. Now, like waiting for a number 11 bus, 4 have come together. Here they are, in alphabetical order this time.
Dave Pickering - age 47: 10 20:19, 25 53:40, 50 1:50:27, 100 3:55:20.
Kevin Ridge - age 52: 10 23:10, 25 1:00:53, 50 2:01:14, 100 4:45:13.
Cliff Rowe - age 56: 10 21:27, 25 53:28, 50 1:54:52.
John Samways - age 41: 10 20:18, 25 53:03, 50 1:48:49, 100 3:59;09.
Finally I give formal notice that the VTTA Wessex Group AGM will be held at The Valley Park Community Centre, Chandlersford, Hants on Sunday November 15th
Commencing at 10.30 am.
Riders age 40 or over are welcome to join Wessex VTTA; initially by phoning membership
secretary Norman Harvey on 02380 863048. The membership fee is £12 per annum.