The Adventures of the Rye & District Wheelers Past and Present
The Racing Ashdowns
John and Dave Ashdown joined the Rye Wheelers in 1957. They came from a bike racing family, their uncles had been grass track riders before the War. Soon John and Dave were joined by a third brother, Edward. The trio made up a very important part of the Wheeler’s Grass Track Team. They also rode time trials. Later Mike Ashdown, a cousin, joined the club. Mike was a sprinter of extraordinary talent. He won the Sussex Sprint Championship at his second attempt and went on to lead the Wheelers in a never equalled three time triumph in the Gasson Team Competition at the Rye Sports Festival.
John Ashdown makes a last mile effort in a 1960’s Time Trial.
Mike Ashdown (left) with Celia, John and Mr & Mrs. Wall at a 1967 time trial.
Bright New Year Prospects for the Wheelers
With membership steadily growing and more and more riders getting out on Sundays the New Year looks good for the Rye & District Wheelers.
Starting from Tuesday 6 January and every Tuesday, there will be a short afternoon run, taking at the most two hours including a stop for a cuppa. A run that can be managed by beginners and novices of all ages and sexes, young and old alike. A good starting point for those that want to get fit and lose a little weight while enjoying companionship and the beauty of the countryside.
Sunday Morning runs cover more ground but are split into two separate groups if need be, both groups meeting up at eleven for breakfast.
The racing contingent are looking forward to another good season with seven riders already preparing for the first races. Roy Fritchley, the 25 mile record holder, threatens to take his record down ‘under the hour’. Barry Goodsall the present 25 Mile Champion also has this target in mind. It should be quite a contest.
After last year’s great effort in the East Sussex Cycling Association “100” mile race both Barry Goodsall and Mark Nash are planning to have another go at the distance, it may be that a third rider will be willing to ride with them and make up a team.
The evening “10” competitions will be hard fought again with Mark Nash defending his points competition championship. This event, spread over fifteen races, requires a high attendance percentage and allows the slower but more regular competitors a chance to be in at the finish with possibilities of winning.
The Club A.G.M. will be held at the Riverside Restaurant, Riverhaven Hotel at 7.30 on the second Thursday in February. All members are requested to attend along with anyone else interested in the Activities of the Rye & District Wheelers.
“Rye’s Own” January 2004
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