Thursday, May 8, 2014

A cycling record and a 5-pound slab of chocolate

Check out this great article / interview with 100-year-old English cyclist Billie Fleming. In 1938, she decided to promote health through cycling. Before the year was out, she'd pedaled into the record books, logging 29,603 miles. 

Her sponsors during her record pursuit? Rudge Whitworth, which supplied the bike, and Cadbury, which sent her “five pound slabs of chocolate” every month.

As an owner of a couple Rudge bikes, I enjoyed the pictures of her classic set-up -- that half-bar tape style, the three-speed derailleur, the lamp bracket on the fork and that massive saddlebag, which I’m guessing is a Brooks.

A tip of the hat to the photographer for getting off so many shots between England's notorious rain showers. Fleming acknowledges the challenges the weather posed to her record pursuit.
Whatever the weather is that morning, you have to put your clothes on and get on and ride the bike. It’s not funny walking out in the pouring rain and getting on your bike. You have to hold the determination to want to do it. You will have bad days, but the good days make up for all of the bad ones.
Weighing in on technological advances, Billie insists three gears is plenty and says 33 gears is "ridiculous." Oh, you crazy kids with all your fancy gears....

1 comment:

Biker Bob said...

Thanks Mike. Interesting article and another great inspiration.