I attended Mike’s very simple and dignified funeral service yesterday. Many riders remember Mike as a most pleasant, calm and friendly ride colleague – never tired or grumpy at the route taken and encouraging riders who might have been a bit tired and struggling at the end of the ride. His bike was always in immaculate condition. He'd often be asked about his 'new' bike only to be told he'd had it for ages.
Mike joined the Navy as a Marine Engineer and served 22 years for pension, during which time he got an Open University degree in mathematics and became a school teacher up to A level standard. Unfortunately after some years he got throat cancer which affected his voice and he had to stop teaching. He then worked in the accounts department of John Lewis for some years. Some 10 years ago he contracted leukaemia but was cured and in remission until 18 months or so ago when it returned.
The photo on the service sheet was taken about 2 years ago and shows Mike with his granddaughter, Viva, then aged 4. Viva is an old Izod family name. Mike came from Huguenot stock and there are a number of Izods who were land owners in the Cotswolds, unfortunately not recently on Mike’s side of the family. A family relative told me after the funeral that he recently visited a church in one of the picture-postcard villages and saw a grave of 'Viva Izod'.
This article was first published in 2008 based on the club rides for 2007. I have updated it for the twelve months ending September 2013.
I was talking to a distinguished member of the local community recently and discovered that as a youth he was a keen cyclist and Youth Hosteller; but he said he wouldn’t cycle far on our roads now. He ‘has a little place in France’ where he happily pedals around the village without fear but is terrified of the traffic here.
This set me thinking. How far do we go on club rides in a year without ‘traffic damage’ ? As far as I’m aware, in the 15 years in which we have been cycling regularly with the club there have been only three incidents in which cyclists have been in collisions with motor vehicles while on club rides or going to join one – two on club runs and a third while on his way to join the start of the ride. In all cases the cyclists received only minor cuts and bruises and were back cycling again within a few weeks. And all got a new bicycle on the relevant motorist’s insurances.
And how far do we cycle in a year?
Making reasonable assumptions, using data from the 2013 Annual report …
|Evening pub rides
|Sunday morning rides
† Assuming ½ the riders only ride to elevenses and do about ½ the distance.
The calculation is conservative because it doesn't take account of distance people travel to and from the start of the ride.
The circumference of the world is approximately 25,500 miles. This means that as a club, our runs take us the equivalent of 3.61 times round the world at the equator each year. And only 3 minor collisions with motor vehicles in the last 15 years. Not a bad record.