Rye & District Wheelers 25 Mile Championship Time Trial

The Club Championship “25”

Edward Bannister of the Ironmongery Business in Cinque Ports Street
Edward Bannister of the Ironmongery Business in Cinque Ports Street

The first Rye Wheelers Club Championship “25” was held in 1926 and won by Ted Bannister. His time was not recorded but the second place man, Harry Britt, finished in I-15-05, Les Hatter was third. The club minute books show there was a 25 Championship every year up to 1936 but no record of riders or results are shown. 

A Race Results Book from 1937 tells us that  In 1937 Ken Padgham was club champion with 1-11-22.

Won Championship one week before War started
Won Championship one week before War started

Fred ‘Curly’ Price was Champion in 1938 with a time of 1-11-49 and in 1939 Jim Sargent stomped round the marsh course in 1-10-2.  Just a week after the ’39 Championship, on Sunday 3 September at 11am, the Second World War brought a close to cycling activities in Rye for the duration.

Post War Champions

The event was next held in 1947, and ‘Curly’ Price, who flew as a Navigator in Mosquito Fighter/Bombers during the conflict,  showed his prewar prowess and led a good field home with in One Hour, Ten Minutes and Fifty-Eight Seconds.

Popular club-man Ken Reeves recorded 1-9-18 to win in 1948. Next came one of the Wheeler’s greatest riders, Fred Higgins, he knocked five minutes off the Championship record with a fine 1-4-29. His 1949 Championship record stood for 53 years, until 2002 when Roy Fritchley recorded 1-2-53, which became the new Club and Championship record.

Fred Higgins’ time was not beaten by a Rye rider in any event until Dave Page recorded 1-4-24 in 1957. This time was bettered in 1965 by 11 seconds by Mike Ashdown further emphasising the quality of the Fred Higgins Championship ride of 1949. Fred moved on to a Brighton Club in 1950 and became a leading track rider.

1950 saw Club Captain, Bernard Kemp, become champion with a 1-8-9 in a good quality field. 1951 was Brian Evens year. A modest 1-9-5 was good enough to win. Brian was a ‘cockney character’ who brought a touch of the London outlook to the Wheelers. He was a stylish rider and went on to great success whilst riding for the army. He got under the hour in an army “25”, coming third to Brian Wilcher and Brian Robbinson of ‘Tour De France’ fame.

Won in a Gale

The best of the 1950's Wheelers Time Trialists. Held the 12 Hour Record for 50 years
The best of the 1950’s Wheelers Time Trialists. Held the 12 Hour Record for 50 years

Bernie Dean was champion in 1952 with a 1-11-0. His time was the third slowest recorded, a reflection on the gale force winds the riders endured.

The Championship was not held again until 1957 when Jim Hollands was successful in 1-10-6. 1958 was Bob French’s year with a time of 1-9-57, beating off a hard challenge by Dave Page, the 25 mile record holder, by 15 seconds.

Dave Page was a classy rider
Dave Page was a classy rider

1959 saw Dave Ashdown on top with a 1-10-0, a very good effort by a track sprinter.

It was not until 1964 that the next Championship took place. New track star, Mike Ashdown, left the field standing and recorded a 1-5-15 to win what was to become the last Rye Wheelers “25” Championship of the Millennium.

Mike Ashdown - One of the best track sprinters in the country - Wheelers star of the 1960's
Mike Ashdown – One of the best track sprinters in the country – Wheelers star of the 1960’s

Despite great success on the track, both Hard and Grass, during the years 1965-69, time trials were limited mainly to 10 Mile events run jointly with the Hastings Club on the Broad Oak course as the Rye riders concentrated on winning the Gasson Team Shield at the Rye Sports Meeting. They eventually won it three years in succession in the mid sixties, wresting the coveted trophy from the hands of the San Fairy Ann Club from Maidstone, who had dominated Grass Racing in the area. Rye Wheelers became inactive in 1969 and their members did not turn another wheel in anger until it was reformed in 2000 by half a dozen original members. There was talk of racing from the outset but it was not before 2002 that the 25 Championship was re-introduced.

First Winner in the New Millennium

The First in the Era of New Champions
The First in the Era of New Champions

Roy Fritchley won in style, taking both Club and Championship records with an excellent 1-2-53.

Jim Holland Won in 1958 and was Second 45 Years Later
Jim Holland Won in 1957 and was Second 46 Years Later

In 2003 Barry Goodsell won with a fine 1-6-00 and amazingly, as a result of a series of unexpected events, Jim Hollands, champion in 1957, took second place, albeit with a time that was over ten minutes slower than his winning time 45 years before.

2004 saw Barry Goodsell become Champion for the second time (a feat only achieved once before by the legendary ‘Curly’ Price), when he stormed round the Brookland-Ashford course in 1-3-59 to win in style.

Five Times Wheelers 25 Mile Champion  - An all time record
Five Times Wheelers 25 Mile Champion – An all time record

It seemed that the magic ‘hour’ was now in sight at last. Both Barry Goodsell or Roy Fritchley seem to be capable of beating the hour in the season to follow.

It was not to be, Roy moved away to France in 2005 and Barry Goodsell could only manage a 1-02-15, just thirteen seconds slower than his own Club Record which he had set two weeks earlier. It made it three successive championships a feat which will take a lot of beating.

In 2006 Barry Goodsell travelled down to Andover and beat the magic hour and set a new club record with a 59-34.  A momentous event in the history of the Wheelers, at long last they had ‘come of age’ in the world of Time Trialing  The Championship, held in gale force conditions, was another story. Barry took his fourth “25” Championship but with a slow, for him, time of 1-06-00.

First Rye Rider to get Under the Hour
First Rye Rider to get Under the Hour

Jeremy Temple came on the scene in 2007, setting a new club record of 58-14 and winning the championship with a new Championship Record of 1-01-05.

Great Win for Barry Goodsell

This gale swept season of 2008, when the Marsh wind interfered with both “50”s and wrecked the “100” and 12 Hour for many riders, showed remorse on Championship “25” day. It was calm and almost perfect for time trialing. The times reflected this and Barry Goodsell came back into his own with a brilliant 59-36 that saw off Steve Gooch and Jeremy Temple. It was the first sub hour “25” done by a member of the Rye wheelers on a local course.

Barry was far from being favourite as Jeremy had knocked more than a minute off his own Club “25” Record with a 57-02, on a ‘fast’ course in Hampshire a couple of weeks previously and Steve Gooch had beaten Barry in every previous short distance race during the season. It was a sweet victory and one that brought his total to five “25” Championships in six years. Barry’s Time of 59-36 became the new Championship Record.

Wheeler of the Wheelers

He Broke all the Records
He Broke all the Records

2009 was the year a new rider came to the club and swept all before him. Dave Wheeler basted almost every men’s record into a new sphere. The “25” was no exception and the time went sub 55 with a magnificent mid-season 54-37 before going on to take the “25” Championship in 55-37. These remarkable times did not outclass the second and third men however. Steve Gooch’s 57-37 was a personal best and five times champion Barry Goodsell recorded 1-00-28. The first six riders were all inside 1-06-00 a time that would have been good enough to win the 2003 Championship.

The Year of the Gooch

For Style and Speed there are Few to Match Him
For Style and Speed there are Few to Match Him

2010. Dave Wheeler moved on to the sponsored outfit  ‘In Gear Quickvit’ in June. Without him the 2010 Championship was wide open. Would it be six times previous Champion Barry Goodsell or Steve Gooch, who is marginally better than Barry at Ten miles? Or could new speed merchants Nick Wilson, Gary King or Bob Giles, all well capable of getting under the hour, spring a surprise?. There was even one more name that could not be crossed off the list. Mark Amon had improved so much at all distances over many events, could he be an outsider to win. After all the speculation came the race and a new Champion emerged. Steve Gooch won in style with Barry second and Nick Wilson third.

1. Steve Gooch 57-46
2. Barry Goodsell 59-11
3. Nick Wilson 1-00-06
4. Bob Giles 1-01-51
5. Mark Amon 1-04-32
6. Rod Harrow 1-07-07
7. Andy Croft 1-08-56
8. Dave Page 1-11-46
9. Steve Maxted 1-13-43
10. Craig Ewing 1-13-55
11. Jim Hollands 1-16-57
Paul Osborne DNF

Two Great Wheeler Champions - Bonwen Ewing & Steve Gooch
Two Great Wheeler Champions – Bonwen Ewing & Steve Gooch Winners in 2010

Nick Wilson is King

Nick Wilson got his own back in 2011 with Barry Second and Mark Amon third.

Strength, Speed and Dedication are Nick Wilson's trade marks
Strength, Speed and Dedication are Nick Wilson’s trade marks

2012 was another vintage year Nick Wilson got down to 55-52, Steve
Gooch was second in 57-31 and a new face on the scene, Alan Thynne
was seven seconds over the hour for third place knocking Barry Goodsell
off the podium for the first time in eight rides.
1. Nick Wilson 55:52
2. Steve Gooch57:31
3. Alan Thynne 1:00:07
4. BarryGoodsell1:00:30
5. Robert Giles 1:03:15
6. Mark Amon 1:03:57
7. NigelFox 01:05:43
8. RodneyHarrow 01:08:13
9. JimHollands 01:13:28
Andrew Croft DNS
Gary King DNS

2013 Saw Steve Gooch take control again in a close fought contest. Steve ran out the winner by a mere eight seconds with Nick Wilson second amd Mark Amon third with a creditable 1:03:23

1. Steve Gooch     57:47

2. Nick Wilson     57:55

3. Mark Amon  1:03:23

2014. Nick Wilson regained the title by over a minute from Steve Gooch with new comer Pav. Bryan in a fine third position with a 58:25. He will be one to watch out for in 2015.

1.   Nick Wilson   56:11

2.   Steve Gooch   57.56

3.   Pav. Bryan     58.25


Ladies “25” Club Championship were held in the years following the Second World War. Unfortunately there are no known records of winners or times but we do know that they were held in conjunction with ESCA events and that the competitors were taken from Rye to the events in an open back builder’s lorry.

In 1957 a Rye Wheelers Ladies Championship was held which was won by Roma Page in 1-22-29. As Roma was still a junior, this junior record stands to this day. There were two other entries, Madge Pope and Hazel Davies, neither of whom finished on a freezing cold morning.

Kate Alexander joined the club in 2004 but did not ride a “25” until the following year when she knocked six minutes off the 1957 record with a 1-16-41. Kate moved away from Rye and left the club at the end of the season.

In 2006 Julie Bryant entered our Championship “25” event but did not face the starter.

2007 saw a remarkable change, with Ladies Championships at 10, 15, 25, 50, 100 and even 12 Hours. There were Three competitors in the “25” event which saw Liz King Champion in 1-17-24 a Championship but not club record.

In 2008 there were five ladies competing. Liz won again, this time taking both Championship and Club records with a 1-14-25.

Bronwen Ewing Joins the Wheelers

Bronwen Ewing became Rye Wheelers First Individual National Champion when She Won the National Title in 2011
Bronwen Ewing became Rye Wheelers First Individual National Champion when She Won the National Title in 2011

Towards the end of 2008, a new lady appeared on the scene. Bronwen Ewing joined the club, immediately making a great impression by becoming the top woman rider in the KCA “12”. Bronwen went on to win the Club “15” Championship that year

The Ladies “25” Championship of 2009 set new standards. Bronwen won in 1-05-26, a massive improvement on Club and Championship records. Liz was second and Carman Kubisa third. There were seven riders, all finished. Bronwen was breaking record after record in events from 10 miles to 12 Hours.

2010 and Bronwen was at it again. Winning the Championship “25” and improving both Club and Championship records 1-02-19.

1. Bronwen Ewing 1-02-19

2. Carmen Kubisa 1-15-42

3. Julie Bryant 1-15-53

In 2011 she did it again. On a windy, wet morning when almost half the field stayed in bed, Bronwen pumped out a 1-02-02 for Championship record and followed it up a couple of weeks later with a fantastic 1-01-01 for the Club Record.

Keeley Chalk Women Club 25 Champion 2012
Keeley Chalk Women Club 25 Champion 2012

In 2012 Bronwen left the Wheelers and joined PM Racing, a sponsored team. A great Championship battle ensued and the women hitting the number one spot was Keeley Chalk, who fought off a brave battle from Emma Cutler and Rebecca Wilson to become the first new name on the Ladies “25” Championship Trophy since 2008.

1. KeeleyChalk 01:08:52
2. Emma Cutler 01:09:55
3. Rebecca Wilson 01:12:16

There were fewer ladies racing in 2013 and 2014. Rebecca Wilson was Champion on both occasions with times of 1:13:31 and 1:13:49 respectively.