Sprocket Page June 2001

Stories of the Rye & District Wheelers Past & Present

Runs Twice Weekly

The Rye & District Wheelers have enjoyed Club Runs every Sunday during the past month. Runs to Tenterden, where members paid a visit to the Kent and East Sussex Railway and to Bodiam Castle were especially enjoyed. Ben Sharp, the Club Captain, reports regular attendance on runs. Mem­bership is climbing and some members plan to start racing during the summer. Racing Secretary Gary Booth says the Club has now rejoined the Road Times Trials Council and a Club Championship “25” is planned for September.

Martin Carter, who regularly rides club runs on a mountain bike, is April’s ‘Man of the Month’ and Gemma Glover is the ‘Lady of the Month’ Gemma was an easy choice as she is the only regular female rider at present.

New riders are more than welcome and should keep an eye on the Diary Section in “Rye’s Own” to see times of runs. From June afternoon runs will set out from ‘The Globe’ Military Road at 3pm.

Weekly Wednesday evening runs start at 6.3Opm. from The Car Park at the Riverhaven Hotel.

Oldest Rye Wheeler Potters On

A really nice letter tells us of a prewar Rye Wheeler who now lives in Herne Bay.

Jim Catt joined the Wheelers in January 1934, just after his fifteenth birthday and of the members active at that time he thinks he is the only one left.

After the War Jim was the mechanic at Ernie Odell’s Cycle Shop in Market Road and in 1953, along with Gordon Lamb, another Wheeler, he joined the Tricycle Association and became an ardent fan of the three wheeler a love affair that has continued until this day.

Jim Catt (right) with Gordon Lamb
Jim Catt (right) with Gordon Lamb

Jim moved from Rye in 1959 to a cycle shop in Heme Bay and retired in 1983.

In 1973, with three other three wheeler exponents, he formed the Potterers Cycling Club “For the simple reason we liked pottering in the lanes and we enjoyed pots of ale”. The membership of Potterers C.C. now exceeds sixty. Most are in their 60’s, 70’s or like Jim, in their 80’s.

Jim tells us that his health is not too good but he has recently purchased a new trike with an electric motor which allows him to get out more often and cover more ground.

The Catt’s have been a keen cycling family. His eldest daughter graduated from tandem and sidecar to crank shortened on the rear of a tandem. She and her husband are still regular tandem riders. His wife Florrie in no longer able to ride but Jim tells us they have enjoyed a good life in every respect and he is still grateful to Ken Padgham, the Captain of the Wheelers in 1935, for encouraging him to join the club all those years ago.

“It is nice to think that youngsters of today are still starting out on the great cycling adventure through the medium of The Rye & District Wheelers”.

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