As a former Six-Day racer who rode with Gary Wiggins in the 1970s, Maurice Burton felt that he couldn’t miss the opportunity of seeing Gary’s son, Sir Bradley Wiggins, take part in his last race at Ghent this weekend.
The former national champion and owner of De Ver Cycles in Streatham in South London, said, “I saw an online article about Bradley riding his last Six-Day. He said I’ve trained really hard for this. And it made me think, although I really need to be in the shop selling bikes and trying my best at this time of year, I thought, you know, I better go to Ghent. Because there’s a lot of history behind all of this, and I was there when Bradley won the tour on the Champs Elysées, and I thought I needed to be there.” Read More
We’ve been privileged to meet and write about some incredible characters at Ride Velo: think of Maurice Burton’s single mindedness on the six-day circuit, Beryl Burton’s extraordinary accomplishments in competitive cycling, not to mention the self-belief and passion for his products that drive the likes of Matteo Cassini of Passoni. Meanwhile Mark Fairhurst’s vision that leads him to create such iconic cycling prints always inspires. But the courage, fortitude and determination of one man we met last week perhaps rise above even these remarkable people. Read More
Many successful sportsmen have struggled with their personal lives at the end of their sporting careers. Who can forget the images of a washed out Paul Gascoigne, overweight and dependent on alcohol, struggling with his demons as he tried to make some sense of his life after a glittering, but not entirely fulfilled, career as a footballer? Of course the cycling world is no different: Marco Pantani suffered a terrible decline into drug addiction that tragically destroyed him. Even the apparently unshakeable Eddy Merckx floundered after retirement for a while, as he sought out a life in business as a prefabricated building salesman before being persuaded to go into the bike building business! Read More
What is it that makes a champion? What transcends someone from being simply a strong rider to one that has the killer instinct that means it’s their wheel, not their rival’s, that crosses the line of the track first? Read More
"An athletic contest in which participants 'go queer' in their heads, and strain their powers until their faces become hideous with the tortures that rack them, is not sport. It is brutality." The New York Times, 1897 Read More
A teenage boy wipes the steam from the bus window and peers out onto a grey 1960s street in Forest Hill, South London, on the way to his weekly school swimming lesson. His eye catches a bike abandoned in the front garden of a Victorian terraced house and he realises that he noticed the same one last week. A racing tourer that’s seen better days. But nothing a bit of a TLC wouldn’t put right. “I’ll go back after school,” he says to himself. “I’ll go back and see if the owner wants to get rid of it.” Read More