This year saw the return of Mike Ashdown to the Club where he started his illustrious cycling career, and where he achieved his finest victories.In the early sixties Mike could take on any sprinter in the country, on grass or hard track, and beat them.
He was runner up in the Sussex Championship at his first attempt and won it the next year. On the grass he beat the half mile National Champion, crowned only one week before, in a half mile sprint at Dansen Park. Sadly he did not take his place in the “White Hope” sprint at Hearne Hill the next year because he had retired from cycling for a while.
Mike rode with the Deal Club until his return to the Wheeler’s for the “10” Championship,appropriately it was incorporated in the Bexley Club’s Dave Ashdown Memorial race. Dave was his cousin and old team mate from the early days in the Wheelers. Michael Ashdown has plenty of the old fire left in his belly as he showed with a fine third place in the “10” Championship. He followed this with a great one-seven ride for third place in the “25” Championship, all this with very little race training. Watch out next season!
Mike’s roots are in grass track racing his father was one of the famous Pre-War Ashdowns who won the Page Challenge cup at Rye Sports six years running.
The Rye Wheelers are hoping that grass track racing, which has been extinct in the south of England for thirty years, can be re-introduced. Indeed it may be this club that makes a start. There are tentative plans and some of the older members are licking their lips in anticipation and digging their track irons out of storage.
No doubt Michael will be in the first heat if this dream does become a reality.