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    this period The programme lists the following track officials Racing Director L G Clarke Referee D B Isaacs Starter K E Clarke Assistant Starter D B Isaacs Timekeepers M Williams chief C Williams E Williams M Cochrane H Isaacs K Gunther Lap Scorer W Dusart Corner Marshalls P Manuel N Kruger Machine Examiners N Williams H Isaacs Racing Commentator T A Abrahams Records Clerk Mrs Cochrane It then lists the following programme of scheduled events 1 Senior 1500 metres scratch two heats 2 Junior 1500 metres scratch two heats 3 Juvenile 1500 metres scratch two heats 4 Senior Match Sprint 500 metres four three man heats 5 Junior Match Sprint 500 metres six three man heats 6 Team Pursuit 4000 Metres juniors and seniors 7 Senior Match Sprint 500 metres two semi finals 8 Junior Match Sprint 500 metres two semi finals 9 Juvenile 300 metres Sprint two eight rider heats 10 Senior Match Sprint Final ride off for third place then for first and second places 11 Junior Match Sprint Final ride off for third place then for first and second places 12 Juvenile 1500 metres Final 13 Senior 1500 metres Final 14 Junior 1500 metres Final 15 Juvenile 5 Kilometres 16 10 Kilometres juniors and seniors It was certainly a full programme of events and suggests the participation of a substantial number of participants in all three categories senior junior and juvenile 8 Further Developments in the 1970s As the decade of the 1970s wore on competitive cycling became entrenched as an established sporting activity in Natal s and particularly in Durban s Coloured neighbourhoods In Durban the apartheid state had concentrated the city s minority Coloured population into several widely separated group areas and there was a marked tendency for the different cycling clubs to draw their memberships primarily from certain of these areas rather than others Thus for instance Liberty Wheelers which had pioneered the Union 9 was based in the suburb of Wentworth and so were most of its members Conversely Bayview Wheelers was seen as a Sparks Estate club Competitive rivalry between the different clubs became intense with each having their own much admired star riders who were role models for younger club members Thus Benny Severs was the top Bayview senior In 1974 he was the first Natal rider home in the senior SACA road championship finishing fourth behind Peter Nicholson In 1975 at the SACA track championships held in Durban Benny excelled winning the senior sprint individual pursuit 1 500 metres and 20 kilometres titles Only in the 1 000 metres time trial was he beaten by Nicholson Being an equipment based sport competitive cycling demands not only a substantial initial outlay to purchase a machine but also continuous costs for maintenance repairs tyres and accessories Most of Natal s Coloured cycling fraternity were drawn from a stratum of skilled artisans Even so they generally earned less than their white counterparts at the time and thus sustaining an interest in competitive cycling placed a considerable financial burden on many of those involved One solution was to purchase and refurbish second hand racing gear As a result a market developed in which machines and equipment originally purchased new primarily by local white cyclists were frequently sold on to local Coloured cyclists In this manner machines came to pass through several hands with some even acquiring their own pedigrees particularly if they had been ridden by celebrated riders at some stage But second hand equipment and the wear and tear of frequent use creates a frequent need for maintenance work Since DIY is the least costly home maintenance of racing machines including tubular tyre repairs wheel truing refurbishing frames and the like became commonplace amongst the local Coloured cycling fraternity With advice and help from family members many of whom were involved in light engineering spray painting and other automotive trades some Coloured cyclists became skilled bicycle mechanics and in certain instances found ready employment in local bicycle shops Meanwhile in the political cauldron that was apartheid South Africa in the 1970s the white SACF continued in its efforts to gain re entry into international cycling circles but with little success The internal turmoil which this occasioned in the SACF at the time is hinted at by the fact that whereas the body continued to elect the same person J C Geoghegan from Natal as its president between 1961 and 1971 between 1972 and 1981 it had no fewer than three different presidents each one with a different plan to resolve the issue of isolation 10 Background to the SACF SACA Merger To better understand how deeply international isolation affected the SACF from the mid 1960s onwards and led to its ultimately seeking a rapprochement with SACA it is necessary to understand a little more of the history of both organisations The SACF was established in 1955 having previously been a part of the national athletics body 11 From the outset its members officials administrators and competitors were amateurs in accordance with the then existing Olympic code However while most SACF members were in fulltime employment many were able to effectively combine this with their association with cycling Some established cycle shops or were employed in these in their home towns while others worked as sports organisers on gold mines some riders found sympathetic employers who gave them generous time off to train and race while many who spent up to two years doing compulsory military service enjoyed the privilege of being state sponsored amateurs for the duration Throughout the 1950s and 1960s the SACF s international orientation was primarily towards the Olympic and British Empire subsequently Commonwealth games rather than to the UCI s annual world championships The ultimate accolade for both competitors and officials was thus to be selected as Springboks to represent South Africa at these games Furthermore after World War 2 overseas cycling teams were regularly invited to compete locally against Springbok teams In 1948 a British track team came

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  • Sprint tandems from Durban
    Transmission Systems The Hobbs tandem appears to have its original in line transmission system with a 32 tooth right hand front chain wheel and a double chain wheel 32 inner 48 outer on the rear bottom bracket The original finish Jack Taylor follows the same in line system 35 x 35 inner rings 53 outer The Pogliaghi however has cross over drive with the 44 tooth front chain ring on the left connected to a left rear 44 tooth chain ring with the final drive to the rear wheel being from a right sided single 51 tooth chain ring at the rear The JT Peugeot has been retrofitted with a cross over drive 48 x 48 x 52 This cross over drive is also found on Cinelli track tandems and thus appears the preferred Italian pattern as opposed to the in line system favoured by the British All four framesets have eccentric front bottom brackets facilitating the tensioning of the front timing chain 7 The eccentric bottom bracket unit on the Hobbs has traces of red flam paint which may well be the remnants of the original finish possibly Hobbs Magenta Electrique All four machines have â inch chains both front and rear The Hobbs has cottered 6 inch steel cranks and probably Williams â inch chain wheels the original Jack Taylor has TA 165mm cotterless cranks while both the Pogliaghi and the JT Peugeot have 165mm Campagnolo cotterless track chain sets fitted The cross over drive system favoured on Italian machines could well be determined by Campagnolo â inch track chainsets typically being produced in single rather than double format although with this system the pedals on the left sided chain wheel crank ensembles require left handed threads On track tandems especially efficient and reliable transmission systems are essential The front drive timing chain requires two equal sized chain rings to provide a neutral link to keep the pedalling of both riders in sync The rear final drive rear chain rear chain wheel and rear wheel sprocket as on solo machines determines the final gear ratio On the four Durban tandems it is noteworthy that the oldest machine the Hobbs has the smallest front drive chain wheels of all 32 X 32 followed by the JT original 35 x 35 Pogliaghi 44 x 44 and the modified JT Peugeot 48 x 48 Transmission technology and metallurgy improved over the period spanned by the four machines in the Hobbs era steel chain sets were still the norm along with cottered steel cranks subsequently machined alloy rings and alloy cotterless cranks became standard The latter were both more precise and resistant to distortion under pedalling pressure and the rings easy to change to obtain different final drive gear ratios Adding to the complexity of tandem transmissions especially on track racing tandems is inevitable frame flex under pedalling pressure which affects the tensions of both the front timing chain and the rear drive chain The small size of the Hobbs front timing chain wheels was probably an attempt to maximise their rigidity However according to Rob Van der Plas in The Bicycle Repair Book 1986 page 59 I d say 36 teeth is a minimal size to guarantee smooth operation and low wear The fixed 48 outer ring on the Hobbs would also restrict the final drive ratio to 108 even with a 12T rear sprocket In contrast the JT Peugeot is currently fitted with 52 x 12 117 According to Dave Wiseman competitive track tandem gear choices typically range between 108 and 118 depending on circumstances Given that individual track sprinters ride gears in the nineties and solo road bikes commonly use 53x12 118 tandem gear ratios are surprisingly modest Frame dimensions Table 1 Frame dimensions in millimetres Hobbs J T original J T Peugeot Pogliahgi Wheelbase 1560 61 1610 63 1620 64 1600 63 Seat tube f 560 22 540 21 540 21 560 22 Seat tube r 540 21 540 21 540 21 550 21 Top tube f 580 23 560 22 550 21 550 21 Top tube r 570 22 570 22 580 23 540 21 Approximate inches equivalents in brackets In terms of size taking the front seat tube centre of bottom bracket to top of top tube as the indicator all four frames emerge as being of similar size with both the Hobbs and Pogliaghi being 560mm about 22 inches and the two Jack Taylors both 540mm about 21 inches The most notable difference lies in the wheelbases with the Hobbs being the shortest 1560mm and the Jack Taylor Peugeot the longest at 1620mm a difference of some 2 inches The Hobbs is the only one of the four with a curved rear seat tube facilitating the shorter wheelbase the 1949 Hobbs catalogue claims that their tandems achieve ultra short wheelbases approximating to 60 inches with head tube front seat tube and back seat tube angles of 74 72 70 degrees respectively In theory the shorter the wheelbase the greater the tandem s manoeuvrability Of the four the Pogliaghi despite having a 560mm front seat tube has short top tubes 550mm front 540mm rear making the stoker s position the most cramped of the four presumably to accommodate the 1600mm wheelbase According to Hilary Stone Classic Lightweights website Jack Taylor tandems had 73 degree head angles and fork rakes of 65mm as this makes for a tandem less affected by leaning Thus while at a casual glance all four of the tandems may appear to have similar dimensions there are many subtle differences between them resulting in very different feels when ridden Equipment on the four tandems Given that all four tandems with a combined age of more than 180 years have been extensively raced down the years by many and varied pairs of riders it is highly likely that much of their current equipment is the result of extensive retrofitting innumerable incremental adjustments modifications replacements and changes Determining what is original equipment and what is

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  • The Outdoor Cycle tracks of 20th Century Durban, South Africa
    members The South African national athletics and cycling championships were held under the aegis of the SAAA CA at Lords Ground in 1924 1927 1932 and 1940 Throughout this interwar period the main track cycling championship titles remained the mile 440 yards the mile 880 yards one mile five mile and 10 mile events However the 25 mile motor paced event was dropped in the late 1930s while the 1 000 metres individual time trial was introduced along with the match sprint event and the 4 000 metres team pursuit at that time That Albert Park had been replaced by Lords Ground as Durban s main track cycle racing venue is attested to by an account in a history of the Mayville Cycling Club which was formed in Durban in 1930 to the effect that the new club decided to hold some track meetings but as they were not then affiliated to the Natal Amateur Athletic and Cycling Association they were debarred from using the track at the Old Fort Sports Grounds This did not dampen the enthusiasm of the club and they promptly held their events on the flat running track in the old Albert Park Grounds These events proved popular and more and more riders joined the club In November 1930 the Mayville CC was accepted as an affiliated club by the NAA CA and from there the club grew from strength to strength James Cyril Go Geoghegan was a member of Albion Harriers and Cycling Club but he resigned from there in 1932 to join the Mayville CC Huckett n d 1 The major attraction of the Mayville CC was that it was a club dedicated exclusively to cycling although its members continued to participate in joint athletics and cycling track meetings With the advent of the Second World War however competitive cycling was again discontinued throughout South Africa until hostilities ceased in 1945 The post World War II era Cycling in Durban enters the Age of Apartheid The ending of World War II was followed by a rapid revival of sporting activities including cycling in South Africa and in this regard the situation in Durban was no exception Lords Ground track remained the epicentre of local whites only cycle sport This was despite its surface having deteriorated badly making it extremely bumpy while its facilities including the grandstand had suffered through neglect during the war years when it was requisitioned by the military Local cyclists in the post war era also had difficulty in obtaining quality racing machines equipment and tyres all of which being imported were both expensive and in short supply According to Faggi Thompson sprints and tubulars were reserved exclusively for track use and the many riders who commuted to and from the track relied on wheels shod with 26 Endrick HP rims and Dunlop Sprite tyres using sprint carriers to transport their track racing wheels The poor state of the Lords track together with the equipment problems with old and patched racing tubulars often being used probably contributed to the numerous serious racing accidents which occurred at this time However according to the Mayville CC history In 1948 Cyril Geoghegan organised the Durban Grand Prix match sprint event and brought out a British team British sprint champion Alan Bannister was the first winner At that meeting 106 riders competed for prizes totalling â 150 This meeting really got the public interested in cycling and lots of youngsters were attracted to the sport as a result Huckett n d 5 The six man British track team consisted of Lew Pond captain Alan Bannister Dave Ricketts Tommy Godwin Ron Meadwell and Ian Scott 7 They beat a Natal provincial track team in a series of races at Lords ground and then toured the country In the only test match contested against a South African team held in Kimberley the British team won by 33 points to 6 Jowett 1982 60 The immediate post war period was thus a time when exclusively white competitive track cycling boomed in South Africa and both Durban clubs and riders were in the forefront Following on tandem match sprinting being introduced as a national and provincial title event in 1949 the Mayville CC imported two Hobbs of Barbican track racing tandems In both 1950 and 1951 the Mayville pairing of Johnny Ramsay and Rudi Vorster won the national tandem title Various overseas track teams and riders were also brought out during the early 1950s including the 1948 Olympic sprint champion Mario Ghella and the American trackman Jackie Heid whose visit to South Africa was sponsored by the Mayville CC of which Cyril Geoghegan was by then the dynamic president 8 Image from the Lord s Ground track showing some of the machines in use in 1950 s Jasper Stetler s track bike with Major Taylor stem in the foreground is a classic Paris track iron Dick Ronaldson is in the centre However in 1954 Durban s ageing Lords Ground track was demolished and a new purpose built velodrome was promised to the local white cycling fraternity by the Durban municipality Around this time also white athletes and cyclists at both the national and provincial levels decided to go their separate ways organisationally and in 1957 the independent South African Cycling Federation SACF was established along with provincial bodies like the Natal Cycling Union NCU This initiative saw the disbanding of the once powerful Albion Harriers AA CC in Durban leaving the Mayville CC as the city s sole white cycling club Thus far this account has been exclusively preoccupied with track racing amongst Durban s white cycling fraternity However Durban has been a multicultural place ever since its establishment in the early 1800s In 1948 the city s population totalled some 332 000 inhabitants of whom only 35 were whites or Europeans as they were then generally called while 65 were people from African Indian and Coloured backgrounds 9 In terms of formal general sporting facilities let alone cycling tracks nothing had been made available to Durban s people of colour who had historically i e always been barred from using those available to whites Only during the 1920s was a tract of land known as Currie s Fountain set aside for use as a sporting facility initially for local Indian people It subsequently became the multi sports centre for all of Durban s non white residents 10 It was in demand throughout the year being used primarily for football soccer in local parlance cricket and to a lesser extent athletics While its exact provenance remains unclear at some stage a flat cinder surfaced cycling track was laid around the perimeter of Currie s Fountain It was there that during the 1950s members of the Avondale Cycling Club formed amongst Coloured and Indian youths who lived in the vicinity trained and raced This club and its members not only existed entirely independently of local whites only cycling they were totally ignored by it However the Currie s Fountain cycle track was destined to deteriorate largely as a result of the heavy usage of the venue by other sporting codes and the crowds these drew By the time of the establishment of the Bayview Wheelers club in the late 1950s again with both Coloured and Indian members drawn from the neighbourhood it was to all intents and purposes unusable But the year 1948 saw the election of a new white national government which through its institution of the policy of apartheid or total racial segregation was to set South African society on a fateful course Apartheid was to impact on all spheres of life including sporting activities In Durban as elsewhere large scale removals and relocations of people of colour occurred In the late 1940s a large hostel complex for African men most of whom were migrant workers from rural areas was constructed on the southern fringes of the city in an area known colloquially in isiZulu as Wema Officially called the S J Smith Hostel it was designed to house more than 4 000 men in dormitory accommodation In the early 1950s the S J Smith Wema Stadium was added as a sports facility for the hostel complex This consisted of a football pitch and a banked tarmac cycling track of some 500 metres in length together with a grandstand The Wema stadium was reserved for the exclusive use of Africans and the provision of such separate amenities was entirely in keeping with the apartheid state s segregationist policies This segregation extended into the organisation of sport itself While the details are sketchy according to one source in 1949 an organisation calling itself the South African Amateur Athletics Cycling Association Non European was established According to this same source it was under the auspices of this SAAA CA Non European that The first South African cycling championships for non whites were held in Durban in 1957 presumably at the Wema stadium 11 Details of these championships are lacking but the indications are that the competitors who were all Africans were drawn from South Africa s gold mines and from the state owned South African Railways and Harbours SAR H which had an associated sporting division In Durban at that time the small pool of African racing cyclists were primarily SAR H employees belonging to its sporting association which subsidised them to a certain extent African riders were mounted on old second hand track machines with Claud Butlers being the most common However members of Durban s Coloured cycling community faced with the demise of the cycle track at Currie s Fountain also began to surreptitiously use the Wema track for training purposes But much as had been the case at Currie s Fountain the Wema stadium was in great demand for football matches and practices As a result the pursuit of track cycling at the venue became increasingly fraught with difficulties The era of the Kings Park Athletics and Cycling Stadium When the Lords Ground track was demolished in September 1954 the Durban municipality had promised local white athletes and cyclists that they would soon have a new state of the art stadium As matters transpired however it proved to be a three year interval during which time locals were obliged to travel to Pietermaritzburg to race on the Sax Young track which had been constructed in 1937 and is still in use there today At 503 yards per lap and with 15 degree bankings its setting in Alexandra Park is a highly attractive one In 1958 however Durban s new athletics and cycling stadium was unveiled in the Kings Park sporting precinct to the north of the CBD and city s beachfront This incorporated a 400 metres long eight lane cinder surfaced athletics track and a 460 metre lap cycling track The track was surfaced with pink cement and had maximum bankings of 33 degrees Riders immediately declared it ideal its smooth surface allowing them to use light tubulars with Dunlop No 2s being great favourites before the advent of Italian Cléments and Pirellis in the 1960s On the new track Italian built Frejus track bikes with their close clearances and chunky stays and the similar Legnano framesets rapidly found favour amongst top local riders and soon superseded the longer wheelbases and pencil stays of British path frames by the likes of Hobbs of Barbican which were prone to whip on the fast steep bankings Carlton Flyers were also popular along with some Claud Butlers Locally made DHC and Jowett framesets began to feature increasingly as leading riders appeared on them Cinelli track machines and a few Dutch RIHs appeared on the local scene later The SACF national track championships were held at the Kings Park stadium first in 1958 and then subsequently in 1968 and 1975 Such was the stimulus of the new venue that a new cycling club the Durban CC was established at this time and affiliated to the NCU Jowett notes the existence of a Durban Cycling Club in 1900 but there is no subsequent record of it Ultimately the new stadium was to figure in the Mayville CC s decision to change its name after 31 years The new name adopted was the Kings Park Cycling Club which it has retained through to the present day As a club history explains this decision In 1961 the club changed its name to Kings Park Cycling Club a decision that resulted only after much discussion and a determined push by the then chairman Although membership was open to all and was very cosmopolitan Mayville was a coloured area of Durban and it was thought that King s Park was a more racially neutral name as well as indicating the address of the club headquarters Huckett n d 7 At least three notable changes in the racing occurred at the new Kings Park track The first was the introduction of a Junior U19 category in the 1950s and then in the late 1960s of a Juvenile U14 category These were also introduced into both the provincial and national track championships in a move to recruit more young riders The second change was a steady movement away from events based on the standard Imperial mile 1 5 and 10 miles and towards those based on metric measurements 1 500m 1 000mTT I 000m match sprint 2 000m tandem match sprint 5 Km 10 Km and 20 Km The third change in concert with these others was a movement away from handicap events which had been the norm when there was only open racing involving riders of all ages and towards scratch or bunch racing amongst seniors juniors and juveniles respectively 12 These changes resulted in track meetings in Durban and nationwide becoming increasingly characterised by bunch races of longer duration events for different age categories being duplicated and the chances of upset results with newcomers or riders of modest ability winning always a strong possibility in handicap races drastically reduced Coincidental with these changes was a steep decline in spectator attendance at track meetings suggesting a causal link between this and the racing changes But while provincial and national track championships did continue to attract a measure of public attention weekly Friday night track racing meetings under floodlights involving riders from both Durban and Pietermaritzburg formed the staple diet of summer track seasons at Kings Park stadium These ran from each September through to Easter of the following year attended by only a handful of spectators The big exception was Kings Park CC s Durban Grand Prix meeting first staged in 1948 and traditionally held in January While this event had disappeared from the racing calendar in the late 1950s it was revived in 1972 and continued on an annual basis thereafter It regularly drew large crowds The Durban Grand Prix centred on a blue riband 1 000 metres match sprint event which regularly attracted the current cream of South Africa s track sprinters who provided quality racing Supporting this was an Omnium based on points and composed of a series of bunch events typically 1 500m ten lap point to point and 10 Km For instance in the 1974 edition a total of 51 riders participated in the meeting In the match sprint final Pietermaritzburg s Ralph Smout the 1973 national sprint champion beat Joe Billet from Kimberley who had been the national sprint champion in 1970 and 1971 to the title of Durban Grand Prix Champion The ACUNA era at Kings Park Stadium History was made at King s Park Stadium on Saturday when Coloured cyclists held their first club meeting Daily News Tuesday January 28 1975 This small news item in a Durban newspaper pointed to two new developments firstly to changes in the apartheid state s sports policy in an effort to overcome international sporting isolation and secondly to the flourishing of competitive cycling amongst Durban s Coloured community which had occurred entirely independently of the white cycling fraternity Previously the apartheid state had designated all sporting facilities for the exclusive use of specific racial groups and the Kings Park Stadium had been restricted to use by whites since its inception 18 years earlier in 1957 14 In 1974 however the apartheid state declared certain sports venues racially open facilities and the Kings Park Stadium was one of these As I have detailed elsewhere Cycle Sport in Apartheid s Shadow starting in the 1950s competitive cycling took root in Durban s Coloured community and expanded rapidly during the subsequent decades under the influence of the Amateur Cycling Union of Natal ACUNA and its national body the South African Cycling Association SACA With the demise of the cycling track at Durban s Currie s Fountain however local Coloured cyclists were left without access to any track facilities Some did succeed in making surreptitious use of the Wema track but ACUNA was prohibited by law from organising race meetings there since it was a facility designated for use exclusively by African cyclists In the wake of the changes made by the apartheid state however for the first time ever ACUNA was able to apply for its members to utilise the Kings Park track for both training and racing The event reported on in the Daily News item was therefore a major milestone in the history of local track cycling as it was the first track meeting that ACUNA officially organised in Durban When later in 1975 the SACF held its national track championships at the Kings Park track a total of 219 riders entered for the event However the entrants did not include a single cyclist of colour This was because while the apartheid state had indeed made certain concessions these did not extend to allowing open competition between cyclists from different racial backgrounds Instead in terms of the new policy people could only compete against others of the same racial background at club provincial and national levels Thus the 1975 SACF event in Durban

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  • Viking cycles in South Africa
    the smaller builders of the day These were the type of businesses which the club cyclists would patronise with a great sense of loyalty One edition of Sporting Cyclist in 1958 had adverts for Rory O Brien Witcomb Allins of Croydon Carlton Condor Lipscombe Gillott Mercian Holmes of Welling Southern Cycles Mal Rees Carpenter Meridian By advertising in Sporting Cyclist Viking was clearly seeking to increase the street cred of its machines amongst cycling aficionados worldwide The Nimmo s Cycles advert that the Viking one incorporated fitted this bill perfectly in that it pointed to the racing successes of Viking machines on the global stage This international emphasis was something which Viking had consistently pursued through for instance its association with Ian Steel winner of the Warsaw Berlin Prague Peace Race in 1952 even to the point of producing an Ian Steel model Furthermore Viking seat tube transfers incorporated references to its successes in exotic events like the Tour of Mexico Nimmo s Cycles the third piece in this curious cycling jigsaw was then the leading lightweight retailer in Cape Town South Africa Nimmo s had two branches one in central Cape Town the other in the suburb of Bellville Bellville was at that time a white working class area located on the Cape Flats away from the city s scenic parts and a hotbed of competitive cycling in the Western Cape region The Bellville branch was located on Durban Road which is a main arterial route through the suburb and this is why Peter originally sent the item to me I live in the South African east coast city of Durban but Durban is 1 800 kilometres from Cape Town However what Durban the city and the Bellville boulevard have in common is that both are named after Sir Benjamin D urban a patrician British governor of the Cape Colony in the early 1800s He subsequently transferred to Canada where the local citizenry declined to name anything after him But I digress The Nimmo s advert incorporated into the Viking one originally appeared in The Cape Argus an English language Cape Town daily newspaper on Saturday April 20 1957 It proudly proclaimed that two days previously on Thursday 18th April at the South African Cycling Championships both the senior 100 Km road race and the junior 25 mile time trial had been won by Western Province riders on Viking machines Nimmo s was the local agent for Vikings and by implication also the suppliers of the winning machines In those days of strict amateurism this was sailing very close to the wind despite the riders names having been omitted from the advert However cross referencing with contemporary official records reveals that the winner of the senior 100 Km event was a certain W van Wyk while the junior time trial had resulted in the timekeepers declaring a dead heat between D van der Merwe and R Peacock But the Nimmo s advert contained much else besides For instance it

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  • South African Road Racing in 20C
    one led by Lew Pond in 1948 and then again by the 1952 team captained by Tommy Godwin Individual track riders who toured the country included the 1948 Olympic sprint champion Mario Ghella and the American Olympian Jackie Heid But track cycling in South Africa was traditionally a summer sport Being in the southern hemisphere the track season extended from November through to April of the following year and culminated in the prestigious national track championships held annually at Easter in different centres In the pre war period when track racing was pre eminent and its champions lionised the winter months April through to October had essentially been competitive cycling s off season during which a low key programme of road time trials modelled on the British fixed distance system 10 25 and 100 miles operated In the immediate post war years however all this began to change A new enthusiasm for massed start road racing took root in South Africa It was inspired by accounts in the cycling media of both the epic exploits of Coppi Koblet van Steenbergen and Bartali in European stage races and one day classics and the BLRC revolution in Britain New massed start road events began to proliferate throughout South Africa during the winter months which are generally mild climatically in much of the country A typical local winter road season in Durban during that period thus consisted of individual and double harness two up 25 and 50 mile time trials run on the flat beachfront Snell s Parade circuit interspersed with massed start races Some of the latter were handicap events with small bunches starting at intervals and pursued by the fast men in the scratch group Initially these were contested by riders using single fixed machines with 81 being the gear of choice However multi geared road machines began to be increasingly sported by local riders Celebrated Italian marques like Frejus Legnano and Fiorelli were greatly prized along with locally built DHC s crafted by Hans Huth from Reynolds 531 tubing and Nervex Pro lugs Many nevertheless retained their British made track path machines Claud Butler Hobbs of Barbican and Carltons were great favourites replacing pre war Selbachs that were by now considered passé with brake s added Some mechanical virtuosos succeeded in adapting their track machines to incorporate derailleur gear mechs Osgears and Simplex Tour de France rear gears for the duration of the winter road season As massed start road races began to proliferate in South Africa so the choice of courses became more varied to include climbs and descents Some involved racing on unmade dirt roads either wholly or in part This made having a dedicated multi geared road machine a must have for any would be contender for road racing honours See image ablove The first South African massed start road championship was held in 1948 over a distance of 200 Km It was won by George Estman a man with the physique of a rugby forward who was already an established Springbok trackman with international experience which included the 1948 Olympics In Natal 1947 was the first year in which an annual provincial road title was contested with Stan Chelin also a top track rider winning Other provinces rapidly followed suit in instituting massed start road titles The 1950s saw a rapid proliferation of single day and multi stage massed start road races throughout South Africa These attracted many of the country s established top riders while also serving to produce a new generation of talented roadmen see Table 1 Table 1 Major South African massed start road races in the 1950s Single Day road races Union Day Handicap 100Km Ladysmith Pietermaritzburg Natal 1951 1955 Pietermaritzburg Greytown Pietermaritzburg 3 stages Natal 1952 et seq Multi Stage road races Pretoria 1952 1960 Old Dutch beer Stage Race Durban Jhb 410 miles 1951 1954 Wynfees Race Jhb Paarl 862 miles 1955 1956 Pietermaritzburg Kokstad Pietermaritzburg Race Natal 1959 et seq Simultaneously with these developments South Africans began to compete increasingly in road races abroad In 1950 Peter Ryan finished 20th in the UCI FIAC amateur world road race and subsequently campaigned in Europe as a professional In the following year Ed Gibello finished fourth in the amateur world road championship held at Varese in Italy In 1952 Brian Tuffy Boyd finished second in a pioneering African eight stage international massed start road race of some 350 miles The event which included an individual time trial was run over six days from Salisbury now Harare in Rhodesia now Zimbabwe into Portuguese East Africa now Moçambique The field of some forty odd competitors consisted of cyclists from the two Rhodesias north and south Moçambique Portugal and South Africa Starting initially on the narrow Rhodesian tarred roads of the time the Moçambiquan stages were ridden entirely over dirt roads The race s first stage was to the Rhodesian village of Marandellas the second to the eastern border region with the town of Umtali serving as a rest day stop It then descended to the northern Moçambiquan village of Vila de Manica On one stage riders had to be ferried African Queen style across the Punge River The race finally finished in the Moçambiquan port of Beira situated to the south of the delta of the Zambezi River Boyd a top roadman who was third in the first Old Dutch Durban Johannesburg stage race in 1951 won by Johnny Ramsay with Bobby Fowler second was one of several South Africans who competed in this legendary south east African road racing safari Boyd won one stage his fellow South African Julie de Bakker took several but overall race victory went to the Portuguese star rider João Melo The decade of the 1960s was characterised by the development of further massed start road races in the Southern African region I962 saw a multi stage 1 500 Km race in the form of the Rembrandt cigarettes Wingerdfees from Johannesburg to Paarl in the Cape Province It

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  • Classic lightweights template
    and a suitable front brake and it proved to be a delight to ride It was common practice in those days to modify the standard Bailey bars by placing them upside down on the floor standing with both feet on the centre section and heaving upwards on the ends of the bars This resulted in some interesting bar shapes and was probably the start of my back problems Some time after this someone offered me another Cusworth frame this time one allegedly built for six day board racing It had a 37 wheelbase and the crank touched the tyre when the bars were turned which made life interesting when using the bike on the road The frame was finished in bright red with nickel plated front forks head and rear triangle and it was like riding a pneumatic road drill I continued to ricochet around the country on these assorted track irons but then came the chance to purchase a La Querée road frame so the Cusworths were both sold to fund this new purchase Actually it was not new as it was Winter s machine and he was building himself another but it was just what I wanted and I equipped it with Conloys on Gnutti Q R hubs Gnutti steel chainset Chater Lea pedals Brooks B17 Narrow saddle Simplex 5 speed South of France bars on steel Reynolds stem and San Giorgio brakes neat but ineffective Bluemels transparent mudguards were fitted for use in the wet season Summer Before WW2 Berkley had been a motorcycle mechanic and had equipped his pedal cycle with two modified twist grips one to control the three speed Sturmey Archer hub and the other the front changer Some time later Berkley sold this cycle to a man who came up from Southampton to collect it and set off to ride it back there he may have arrived by now With the cycle shop in operation the brothers began experimenting with their own design of gear mechanism which worked well but which they could not afford to produce To work with this gear they had also designed a positive stop gear lever which they could produce in house and as they were now on with an updated version I was able to purchase one of the original type they had been using themselves This early version had an alloy quadrant mounted by three alloy clips round the seat and down tubes just above the bottom bracket see iamge left From the pivot point an alloy and steel lever projected upwards to a convenient height and had a small spring loaded trigger at its top Indents in the top of the quadrant located each gear position as the lever was moved backwards from the down tube towards the seat tube and to go back through the gears the trigger could be flicked to move one step at a time or by holding the trigger the lever could be moved in one sweep over all five

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/queree-brothers-reminiscences.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Adjusting Benelux Gears
    back and you either make that small cog or you don t If you can t shift onto the small cog and the above adjustments have been made properly consider these actions verify that your Benelux gear is marked for the number of freewheel cogs and chain width you are using For example you may not be able to get a 5 speed freewheel to work with a gear marked for 4 speeds clean and lube the gear well and work it by hand vigorously and repeatedly limbering it up Make sure there is no dried waxy grease inside impeding freedom of movement shift the freewheel inboard a bit more so that the gear may then drop readily onto the smallest freewheel cog while maintaining the proper width over locknuts distance for the hub frame You can use a thinner washer cone and or locknut on the non freewheel side and compensate accordingly with thicker washer s on the freewheel side You will have to re dish your rear wheel since this alteration changed the centering of the rim between the dropouts add a washer to the gear arm bracket assembly the gear hanger and swivel pin nut assembly between the gear arm and the bracket in order to shift the gear outward a tad more in relation to the dropout Then you don t have to push the shift lever quite as far and hard to shift onto that smallest freewheel cog if the gear is still having difficulty reaching the smallest freewheel cog try another Benelux gear for comparison if you have one perhaps the gear you are trying is bent and not worth more time in figuring out If your difficulty is an inability to shift onto the smallest cog of a five speed freewheel consider giving

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/benelux-adj.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Alternative attachment and routing of cables
    a track frame but the conventional routing of the gear cable along the top tube offends my eye as does the position where the gear trigger is normally placed just below the righthand brake lever Why not route the gear cable via the bottom bracket as most of the derailleur gear cables are routed Hardly an original thought as ladies frames have always been fitted that way Mentioning derailleurs why not fit the gear trigger to the end of the bars a la Campagnolo Simplex Cyclo bar end gear shifters In that position it is easier to engage bottom gear and it doesn t foul the brake lever when riding on the hoods Fig 1 left Now to fit the rear brake The seatstay bridge had already been drilled I must admit that I wouldn t have been happy drilling the bridge but as it had already been done so be it There were no cable stops fitted to the top tube so the simplest method of fitting the brake cable would have been to use rubber frame cable bands or the much tidier frame cable clips But as we all know the less outer cable that is used the more efficient the brake is so I fitted two Sturmey Archer cable stops Fig 2 right Much tidier than the other two options and much more efficient This frame was designed for sprints and tubs Consequently when I came to fit my 27 wheels which were fitted with 1 High Pressure tyres the front jammed against the fork crown Fig 3 below Because of economic reasons I didn t really want to fit sprints and tubs but by fitting a 27 x 1 tyre to the front wheel the problem was solved Fig 4 below Or so I thought Unfortunately

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/lowry-gillott.html (2016-02-09)
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