I’d been meaning to get back into semi-serious bike riding for a while but a diagnosis of spinal stenosis, which doesn’t affect everyday life too much but which is damn sore if you’re pressing hard on the pedals, made it difficult. Then came the, ‘Eureka!’ moment – an e-Bike.
In Part One of Phil Cheetham's Memories we heard about how, in 1967, he made his way to Troyes in France's Champagne region to spend the summer months racing with one of the best teams in the country, UVA Troyes and in this part we hear about Phil's exploits riding behind the Iron Curtain in the 1972 Peace Race.
Often, when we're talking to riders about those Golden Days for bike racing, the 60’s and 70’s, the name Phil Cheetham crops up. Cheetham was a quality rider with some big results in France in the early 70’s and he very kindly agreed to share his memories with us.
Glasgow in the 70’s wasn’t the stylish, cultured city it is now; the London Government still hadn’t forgotten or forgiven 1919 with troops on the streets as ‘The Dear Green Place’ teetered on the brink of a ‘Red Revolution.’ The rider in our tale was a member of several Glasgow cycling clubs which meant an escape from the 'rough edges' of the city.
Mark Bell died in 2009 at just 48 year-of-age but his journalist brother, Tony – a fair rider himself, ‘back in the day’ - very kindly agreed to talk to us about a rider whose palmarès, whilst spectacular, could have been so much broader. Mark Bell, a rider we never really saw the very best of.
One of VeloVeritas’ functions it seems is unlocking the memories of those stalwarts – like our own mentor and soothsayer, Viktor and indeed, our editor Martin - who beat a path in the 70’s and 80’s to the legendary Mrs. Deene’s boarding house in Gent (and later in Zomergem) to show those Belgies how it should be done. The latest epistle which came our way was from Norman Gower.