It’s been some weeks since I last raced on the velodrome due to six weeks on holiday, followed by a cold. Nevertheless I decided that Thursday night would be a good time to start again.
This blog is not so much about my racing but the friendship I and my track racing mates have with my 88 year old cycling passionate father Jack.
Yes, you heard correctly, he’s 88 years old, sharp as a tack and cheeky as all hell.
Pic 1: Jack showing his elation at reaching his 88th birthday and still being a regular on the bike.
He still rides his bike five days a week, never on the weekend. “After all” he says, “If I rode seven days, how would I know when the weekend started".
Jack first started racing the bike back in 1937 when bikes didn’t have gears and the roads were dirt most of the times. I remember as a child seeing his bikes and trophies hanging about in the garage. His last track bike was my first. The wheels had wooden rims.
He didn’t talk much about his racing career. I learnt that from people of his era when I started racing.
Jack turns up at the indoor velodrome every Thursday night to sit in his “reserved” seat.
Despite the fact that very few spectators attend this club style racing, it’s a brave person that sits in “his” seat.
Everyone knows Jack. Kids of 12 years to an old mate called Ian Browne who turned up last night to watch. Ian was a gold medalist at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics on the Tandem. Jack knows them all.
Pic 2: Jack's Track - The Indoor Velodrome
Anyway that’s the main reason I race Thursday nights – to sit and have a Guinness after racing with my Dad.