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Memories of Mick Ives

Mick Ives was winner, in what was then a record time, of the Mountain Time Trial in 1962 and he remains a regular competitor in this event to this day.

1959 - Winning Lichfield C&AC25 in record 58-28 riding for Warwick CC

1962 - Coventry CC Hill Climb

1986 - Winning Redman CC 2-up TT with Sean Yates

2006 - Winning BCF/CTT National TT Champs (65+)

I remember the 1962 race clearly. I had joined he Coventry C.C. that year, and was competing in all of the top Road Races, and Track meetings around the UK. In time Trials I stayed mainly in the Midlands, but already held several course and event records, either as a member of my former club Warwick C.C. or Coventry C.C. I was also on the National Team Pursuit and Ind. Pursuit squad.

I had ridden the event once before, enjoyed it, as I was always a good climber - twice 2nd in National Hill Climb Champs - of course it went over Clows Top and Clee Hill as well in those days, making it the longest and toughest Mt T.T. in the UK. In 1962 a party of us from Coventry CC, under the guidance of Charly Viner, rode down to the event, staying at a tiny little house just before the river bridge at Holt Fleet. The old lady who ran it was in her 80's at least. It was cheap and clean. It was saddle bags then, race wheels on sprint carriers - we rode everywhere - I even took my prized Brass Dunlop Track Pump along on top of the saddle bag.

I was riding my R.T.Shayler road bike - I was the first rider to ride a Shayler Bike. Dick Shayler, who owned the bike shop in Park Street in Leamington Spa, gave me the frameset. That was second home for us youngsters in the Warwick C.C. in those days. I remember my Campag Large flanged wheels were fitted with Dunlop No2 tubulars - they were great. Benelux gears, Brooks saddle, Maes bars and stem.

I rode the whole of the event on the tops, using my climbing skills to beat the great Ray Booty's record. Booty was God at that time, he was national champion, at 100 mls several times, BAR Champion, and held the course and event record for the Isle of Mann MT T.T. He was also Empire Games Road Race Champion and of course the first rider to beat 4 hours for a 100 ml time trial - some rider! To beat the record of a rider with his record, was just brilliant, and it paved the way for many more successes.

The following morning at work at Dunlop Rim and Wheel Drawing Office, in Coventry, I received 2 very important phone calls. One from Ernie Clemens, the owner and M.D. of Falcon Cycles. Falcon had a top Professional Road Team at the time and it was always my aim to try and get in such a team. Ernie asked what bike I rode and then offered to provide me with a full Pro Falcon road bike, a specially built pursuit bike, and a cyclo cross bike, all on the strength of my Beacon MT T.T. victory and record ride. To keep my amateur status clean I had to buy each bike for 2 shillings and sixpence each. Ernie was a great friend and helped me many times after that. I used to call on him before he passed away last year, when he ran his bike shop at Ledbury - fond memories.

The other phone call was from Dunlop, Fort Dunlop in fact in Birmingham, where they produced the Dunlop tubulars. Again they asked what tyres I had used for the race, and were very impressed that I had chosen Dunlop. I was then told that I would never have to buy any more Dunlop tubulars as they would supply me enough for training, road racing, time trials and track. Of course working at Dunlop helped as well.

After the event of course we all rode home to Coventry, joining the tea run somewhere on the way, shopping off at some pub nearer home and getting in at about 11-30pm knackered. Only a few hours rest before riding to work in Leamington the following morning. Oh how things have changed!

I am now starting my 51st racing season, non-stop, summer and winter. No other rider has ever achieved that and the good thing is I am still winning and still enjoying my cycling, 5 World Championships and 57 British Championships later. I look forward to this years event, and wish everyone a safe and successful ride.

Mick Ives (M.I.Race Team--EAS--Thule-- Double Dutch Pancake Bar)



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