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HC Bike/Cycling Thread

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Just seen Carole's uncle Stan on the BBC 10pm main news. He's now 87 and is being treated for wet macular degeneration - which is what the news segment was about, and different drug treatments.

But back in the day he used to cycle for England, 60-odd years ago. A fiendish climber, he is the typical light weight small built bloke. This was well before professional cycling, but he would have been a dead cert had he been in his early 20's now. He used to do 24 hour endurance races at a weekend while working.

When he had kids and got to a normal work life, he didn't cycle again until he retired at just over 60, having not been on a bike for nearly 35 years. Then he got back to 300 miles a week, and in his mid 60's got his hour distance back to greater than 25 miles.

His miles have dropped off a lot because of age, and eyesight - but he still gets on his competition bike most days.

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3 hours ago, Craig Sawyers said:

Just seen Carole's uncle Stan on the BBC 10pm main news. He's now 87 and is being treated for wet macular degeneration - which is what the news segment was about, and different drug treatments.

But back in the day he used to cycle for England, 60-odd years ago. A fiendish climber, he is the typical light weight small built bloke. This was well before professional cycling, but he would have been a dead cert had he been in his early 20's now. He used to do 24 hour endurance races at a weekend while working.

When he had kids and got to a normal work life, he didn't cycle again until he retired at just over 60, having not been on a bike for nearly 35 years. Then he got back to 300 miles a week, and in his mid 60's got his hour distance back to greater than 25 miles.

His miles have dropped off a lot because of age, and eyesight - but he still gets on his competition bike most days.

There was definitely professional cycling back then (guessing in the '50s?). And well before that. Fausto Coppi, Jacque Anquetil, Gino Bartoli, Alfredo Binda. Legends. Lots of them.

Edited by Pars

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Yes you are right. But working men in the North East of England at that time did exactly that - work their socks off. So the idea of becoming a professional bike rider would have been laughable. Stan was a painter and decorator. A contemporary of Stan's in North Yorkshire, Brian Trippett said in an interview "I didn’t race in the Tour de France for the same reason. I was asked to twice, in 1959 and 1960. But it would have meant using up all my annual holiday." You get the drift.

But now the world is different, and many of the excellent British riders who rode superbly back in the day would have a host of different opportunities now, particularly with the dominance of British riders in track cycling and grand tours.

Opportunities have dropped temporarily since the UCI reduced the team size from 9 to 8 in an attempt to reduce the number of crashes. It has actually had no effect in that regard, so lets hope they increase the team size back to 9 and get more pro riders on the grand tours.

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