Golden Book of Cycling

Golden Book of Cycling

infobox Book |
name = Golden Book of Cycling

image caption =
author = various
country = United Kingdom
language = English
genre = Halls of Fame
publisher = Cycling Magazine
release_date = completed 1972
media_type = Handwritten
pages =
isbn = NA
oclc =

The Golden Book of Cycling was created in 1932 by 'Cycling', a British cycling magazine, to celebrate "..the Sport and Pastime of Cycling by recording the outstanding rides, deeds and accomplishments of cyclists, officials and administrators." [ Road Records Association — Edith Atkins page from The Golden Book] ]

Each page was crafted to honour a single cycling hero. The original book was finished in 1972, but the tradition has been continued by another organisation.

Golden pages

*Frank Southall was the first cyclist to be honoured, having won the 1932 British Best All-Rounder (BBAR) competition for individual time triallists. He signed his page in front of 7,000 cyclists attending the BBAR prize-giving at the Royal Albert Hall, London."Alpaca to Skinsuit", Bernard Thompson, Geerings of Ashford] His entry says: :

"Southall holds the world's unpaced standing start track records at one, five, ten and twenty miles. He also holds 28 national track records. On the road he has won every classic open event, including hill-climbs, making competition records at 25, 50 and 100 miles." [Woodland, L. (2005), "This Island Race", Mousehold Press, ISBN 1-874739-36-6, p. 39]

*Frederick Thomas Bidlake 1933. 7,000 cyclists at the Royal Albert Hall in London watched Bidlake sign the first page during a concert to honour time-trialling champions.

*Hubert Opperman — signed the book on October 13 1935 [ Road Records Association — Hubert Opperman page from The Golden Book] ] Opperman later Sir Hubert Ferdinand Oppermann OBE was regard as one of Australia's greatest sportsman. The honour of appearing in this Hall of Fame was largely overshadowed by his later honours, but his sporting background was always an important asset and led to his later honours. His citation reads:


"Hubert Opperman, four times profesional road champion of Australia, created history in 1934 when he travelled to this country with the set purpose of attacking English national road records. Within fourteen days he had broken five R.R.A. records in two great rides."


"His first performance was to set up new figures of 9 hours 23 minutes for the London to York journey, continuing to do 243 miles in twelve hours. During his second ride, for the first time in the history of the sport, he broke the three longest records on the books of the Association. He set up a new 24 hour mileage of the 431.5; he did the 866 mile journey from Land's End to John o'Groats in 2 days 9 hours 1 minute and went on to cover the 1,000 miles in 3 days 1 hour 52 minutes. It was an epic ride."

*W. G. (Bill) Paul and E. V. (Ernie) Mills signed the book on February 18 1937 as a record breaking tandem pairing. Initially they had been on opposing tandem teams but together they covered over 30 miles in one hour in 1936 and won a 10 minute pursit race in less than four minutes. [ [ Bill Paul RIP] , Addiscombe Cycling Club, accessed 24 September 2008] [ [ BBC, October 2, 1998 — Bill Paul plans new attempt on record] ]

*Stanley Cotterell, 1938 [ [ Warwick University — Catalogue of the Papers of the Cyclists' Touring Club] ] . In 1878 Cotterell was a medical student in Edinburgh, but he also founded the Bicycle Touring Club at Harrogate, Yorkshire, on 5 August. Its headquarters were wherever he happened to be living. In 1883, the Bicycle Touring Club was renamed the Cyclists' Touring Club to open membership to tricyclists. [CTC website]

*Tommy Godwin — 1939. He was celebrated as the greatest long distance rider in the world, having ridden convert|75065|mi|abbr=on miles in a single year to set an endurance riding record that will never be beaten. [ [ Tommy Godwin] , biography, Dave Barter, June 2005 issue of "Cycle", accessed 24 September 2008]

*Marguerite Wilson — signed the book on April 30 1947 [ Road Records Association — Marguerite Wilson page from The Golden Book] ] Her citation page says ::

"The outbreak of the Second World War failed to stem the onslaught of Marguerite Wilson upon Women's National Records. Over a period of four years, from 1938 to 1941, the greatest girl rider in cycling history became the holder of all 16 bicycle records that had been attempted in the Women's Road Records Association list."


"As an amateur, in 1938, this Bournemouth girl, then 20 years of age broke three records. In 1939 she turned professional and broke eleven records (including two of her own made in 1938), by tremendous margins varying from 3.5 minutes at 50 miles to 31.5 hours at 1,000 miles. As a result only four records were then held by other riders."

*Edith Atkins — signed the book on August 12 1953 Her citation says::

"... The first woman amateur to ride a bicycle at record speed from Land's End to John o'Groats, Mrs Edith Atkins faced many hours of continuous heavy rain... Since 1904, when a man amateur bring the End-to-End single bicycle record, there have been nine record rides by men and three by women, all professionally sponsored. Only three of the men covered this route faster than the lady honoured on this page." [Cited Journal, Fellowship of Cycling Old-Timers, vol 148 p96]

*Tom Barlow — 1950s. President of Manchester Wheelers' Club. [ [ National Cycle Library — National Cycle Archive] ] A copy of his citation is held at the National Cycle Library in Llandrindod Wells.

*Charlie Davey (cyclist) signed the book in 1959. His entry reads::

"... The cycling life of Charles Davey extends over more than half a century, a golden contribution indeed to history, especially when it is realised that today, at the age of 72, he is a vigorous rider and a keen organiser and official... He has an unsurpassed knowledge of record routes and has piloted men to an exceptional number of long-distance successes, including D. J. Keeler's record last year [Dave Keeler broke the record from Land's End to John o'Groats and back] . For many years he has been a timekeeper, handicapper and judge. He is president of the Southern RRA."

Chapter 2

The original golden book was finally shut in 1972. In 1991 the Pedal Club started "The Pedal Club Golden Book" to resurrect the tradition.

*Alf Engers — signed the book on 23 November 1991. His citation reads::

"For twenty years the name of Alf Engers was synonymous with 25 miles time-trials. He dominated the short-distance scene in such a fashion that he was known as King Alf. Engers' name on a start card was sure to guarantee a big crowd at the finish in a shower of nervous anticipation of what he would achieve. Engers could have been a first-class road or trackman. Indeed, he dabbled with success at both, but it was his talent, dedication and showmanship that saw him take 25-miling into unknown territory."

*Dr. Alex Moulton CBE signed the book when he was 71, circa 1991. His citation says::

"Cyclists throughout the world owe Alex Moulton CBE a debt for his inventive genius in originating and developing a bicycle design that was not only sprung but also rigid. It was introduced at the London cycle show in 1962."


"Moulton had worked at the Bristol Aeroplane Company before the Second World War, later joining the family firm of Spencer, Moulton and Company at Bradford-on-Avon, where he became technical director."


"In 1956 the family business was sold and Moulton founded Moulton Developments Ltd to concentrate on the design and development of suspension systems for vehicles. From his work on the suspension of four-wheel road vehicles he turned to the advancement of cycle suspension employing small wheels and narrow tyres, together with sprung frames and forks. Moulton converted a former stable block at his home, The Hall, into a modern factory for the production of bicycles."


The original Moulton Bicycle Company was sold to the then Raleigh company, with Moulton retained as a consultant but sales of the sprung bicycle were not fully exploited. Later, Moulton resumed production of sprung machines at his Bradford-on-Avon factory to feed the world-wide demand that still persisted."

*Amanda (Mandy) Ellen Jones won the world road race championship in 1982 [ [ British Cycling Road Race Championships, published by British Cycling] ] . She signed the Golden Book circa 1991, when she was 29. Her citation says::

"Her potential was evident from the start... Britain had a new star in the making..."
"She was the perfect example of how a youngster, while enjoying the companionship and adventure of club runs, can successfully aspire to becoming a world champion by self-dedication and encouragement."

*Roy Cromack was an all-rounder, winning championship medals from 4,000 metres on the track to 24 hours on the road. He competed in the road race at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico. His citation in the Golden Book says: :

"Roy Cromack's name will always be linked with the figure 507 in time trial folk-lore and this could have the effect, as legends in the making sometimes do, of misleading future generations to assume that he was a specialist long-distance rider. In fact he was one of the few really great all-rounders of all time who won medals at disciplines ranging from 4,000 metres on the track to all the RTTC standard distance national championships: 25 miles to 24 hours."


External links

* [ Image of Edith Atkins page from The Golden Book]
* [ Image of Hubert Opperman page from The Golden Book]
* [ Image of Marguerite Wilson page from The Golden Book]

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