To TA East Members & Friends 

From Ferg Muir

Our next Social Meet is planned for


This cyclist-friendly pub is set deep in woodland and the autumn colours should be at their best.

It is about 6 miles south west of Chelmsford. The postcode is CM4 0PT and the Grid Ref TL640018.

Elevenses –after a worrying delay I am relieved to receive an email from the new owner of the cafe at Writtle College, confirming that they are open.

It is now called the Lordship Tearooms. I suggest we will be there roughly from 10.45 to 11.15am

The cafe is signposted, I am told, from the road that goes north from Writtle village centre, towards the A1060. It sounds as if you have to follow the direction indicated into the beginnings of the college grounds. The college postcode is CM1 3RR and the grid ref is something like TL677070 .

I’m told that there is a good free car park in Writtle Village centre.

BOOK REVIEW – “A BIT OF AN ALL-ROUNDER – 40 Years of Cycling Photography “ by John Coulson.

This is published by Mousehold Press , run by TA East Member Adrian Bell

John Coulson – who is still active in the Fellowship of Cycling Old-Timers – was at the heart of East London and Essex club cycling in the 60s,70s and 80s, and though he had a day job in a bank he took very seriously his sideline of cycling photography and journalism – to the extent that he would be working in the offices of “Cycling” magazine during the Sunday night rush to publication. He wrote touring articles and racing reports, illustrated with his own black & white photographs. They were excellent articles and pictures at the time, and brought together in this book they evoke the period wonderfully. This isn’t a coffee-table book, but one which would be light enough to carry in the saddlebag. – And there are quite a few saddlebags in the photos – for it is not just racing, there are touring holidays, clubruns, Belgian farmers, a map reading competition, bikes in a Channel Air Bridge DC4. Racing photos range from Roy Cromack on his 507 mile “24” to racing on Harlow track, via cyclo-cross and Moser at Eastway The photos come with long detailed captions which cover both the subject and some technical photographic details.

There are pictures of people many of us know – Les Lowe hurling his trike round a corner, Mike Smith with tandem trike and trailer and a classic scene, taken from an upstairs window of Scole Inn, looking down on TA members chatting before leaving on an appetizer run before a TA east Lunch. Not all the photos were for “Cycling” magazine, Coulson sold to several others. There is even , would you believe it, a photo of Mick Henighan which was published in “Country Life”.

Altogether this is an evocation of cycling clublife at its best, and in our part of the country.

I have rarely had so much pleasure from a book.

“A Bit of an All-Rounder” is available for £12.95 from Specialized Cycles, Connaught Road, Norwich or £14.45 via the Mousehold Press website www.mousehold-press.co.uk

Welcome to new East Region Members Paris-Brest-Paris tandem trike rider Mark Brooking, Mandy Burchett (Jim & Vera Staines’ daughter), Stephen Langdale of Felixstowe, Jane Swain of Witham and former member Rod Gathercole from Swaffham.

Which leads me to TRIKE WANTED. Rod’s friend Vaughan Boddy of Bridlington has also rejoined the TA and is on the lookout for a medium-sized trike. I have managed to miss-lay his contact phone number – but I am sure Rod (01760 721465) would put you in contact.

TRIKE FOR SALE – Mark Ready of Diss, most often seen on the back of my tandem trike, is selling his ALF JONES trike which has a Higgins/Rogers axle. We think it is 22” frame, eccentric bottom bracket. 700 rear wheels, rebuilt with stainless spokes on re-chromed hubs. 27” front wheel. TA chainset, new block, new tyres, tribars. £375. Mark is on 01379 641849.

Items found as Keith Morris clears out Dick Morris’s workshop:

One wheel 27/1¼ Dunlop “Special Lightweight” 40 hole on steel Higgins/Rogers hub.

One hub only – 32 hole, steel.

Handful of axle-cones, outer and inner.

Alloy bottom bracket eccentric for standard cups – 2” diameter.

Two hub removers.

If any tricyclist would like these, contact Keith Morris and Mary Brown on keith.morris.47@gmail.com

Free if collected – from Bar Hill, (off the A14, just west of Cambridge)

A phone call from TA East member Ken Usher reminds me that many tricyclists are VTTA members and have an interest in the


The VTTA (Veterans Time Trials Association) are considering making big changes at its next AGM, and in preparation they have a VTTA Special General Meeting on Saturday 26th November at which their Review Party will explain their proposals

All of this is, of course, purely an internal matter for the VTTA – but of interest to many racing tricyclists. To look at the proposals go to the VTTA website and then to “News” and on to “Standards Review – Latest News” and follow the instructions using the user name vtta and the password vtta4321 

The make yourself a cup of tea and settle to a careful read.

Now I hasten to say that I am only an ordinary member of the VTTA and no expert on vets standards. But I think it is best to encourage debate by adding an attempt at an explanation. The paragraph below certainly has generalizations and may well have misunderstandings or errors. Further elucidation welcome.

The Review Party’s report is in some ways a pleasure to read, because of the thoughtful and thorough way they have examined the issues.

The existing VTTA Standards are, I think, basically mathematical – the increase in allowance with age can be represented by a nearly straight line on a graph.

In contrast, the Review Party’s proposals are largely based on past experience.

They looked at how results, in practice, varied with age in the recent past. To this end they examined 26,000 results from 2008, 2009 and 2010.

As far as the differential between bikes and trikes is concerned they found that trikes had been between roughly 8 and 14 % slower than bikes.

However the proposals, if accepted, would…..

reduce the present differential in standard between bikes and trikes of 8% to nearer 6% 

(it was between 5.7% and 7% for the small sample I checked).

That’s why VTTA members who are tricyclists will wish to look carefully at the reasoning.

It looks to me as if the origin of their approach lies in the wide difference between the fastest trike riders and the slowest – but clearer or alternative explanations are welcome.

Finally it had better be said that the TA doesn’t have to use VTTA Standards – the alternative CTT Target Time system already exists, or we could even devise our own for TA events.

But the mind does turn to the GWR and broad gauge.

Hoping to see many of you at Writtle and The Viper on Saturday 19th

Ferg Muir 01603 615000 fergusmuir@btinternet.com 


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