I was born in Bulawayo, Rhodesia, now know as Zimbabwe. The high school that I attended was far out of town, so I like every other student rode to school on my bike. One of my mates was a keen cyclist and I used to go down to the asphalt track to watch. One day I had a ride on his bike and I was hooked!! I bought a second hand track [Rhodesia was a small landlocked country] bike, unfortunatly two sizes too small, so had to have the seat pillar way up. I had this bike for some time, using it to go to school and for road training. Now don’t forget this was a bike with no brakes and a fixed gear. I think that I use to look like a grasshopper on this bike. The next bike was the correct size, it was a Frejus, made in Italy with a chrome finish. Same set up, no brakes and fixed gear again.
I was so keen on cycling that my school work really suffered. However I was lucky and in 1960 was chosen to represent Rhodesia in the team pursuit at the South African Championships in Cape Town. We were placed second which was pretty good. The same year I broke the Rhodesian Junior 5 Mile record to 11 minutes 36.9 seconds. This record stood for 11 years. The juniors were very keen and active in those days to the point that we beat the seniors in the team pursuit and broke the Rhodesian record.
By 1961 I was a little more knowledgeable about track racing and did quite well in Rhodesia. All track racing was held in Bulawayo because there was no other track in the country. I did do some road racing but this was on my track bike as I could not afford a road bike. In fact, I considered myself to be a sprinter and did not really do road racing. Once again I was chosen to represent Rhodesia in the South African Cycling Champs. This was to be held in Krugersdorp which had a concrete track around a rugby field, a lot better than the asphalt track we were use to! Here I managed a second in the five mile and a third in the ten mile.
In 1962, I was in my last year as a junior and due to doing very well in the local races, was again chosen to ride in the Cycling Champs. in South Africa. In the one mile heats, I broke the South African record but was only able to get second in the final. Also at that meet, I got a third in the 1000 metre time trial.
That was the end of my competitive cycling because in 1963 I left Rhodesia for Jo’burg South Africa. Here I took up an apprenticeship in the printing industry, which entailed a lot of overtime which I had to do as I was boarding and needed the money. However I did ride to work for the next two years and then with a loan from my Dad, bought a car. This was the end of my cycling for many years and I only took it up again to keep fit after I was married.
In the early seventies, I changed occupations and became a baker/pastry cook. I moved to Krugersdorp [where I had raced before] with my wife and two kids and opened up a bakery. It was here that I started cycling again, after a break of about ten years. This was just to keep fit and enjoy the open road.
When we emigrated to Australia in 1988, I brought my road bike with me [no more track bikes] and started a cake shop in castle Hill. To start with we were working our butts off to establish the business but once it got going, I would go out for a ride, I even did the Sydney to the Gong once. Since moving up to Pearl Beach, I have been a volunteer for Bicycle NSW and for MS rides.