Loading... Please wait...

Ride Cycle History

Ride Cycle History

ride-shop-350.jpg

Ride - Holbrooks, Coventry

 

edithatkins-350.jpg

Edie and Ron Atkins

 

 john-atkins-350.jpg

John Atkins

The Ride shop in Holbrooks, Coventry was opened by Paul (left) and Darren Atkins in 1999 - however, the Atkins family have a history of producing some of the most inspiring cyclists over the years. It all began with Ron and Edie Atkins.

Ron and Edie were lifelong cyclists with a string of record achievements and parents of British Cyclo-Cross champion John Atkins. They met whilst cycling to work. One day, Ron waited for Edie outside Leigh Mills after she finished work and there started over 50 golden years of happy marriage, family and cycling triumphs. The couple married on July 27th 1940, by which time Edie had joined her husband as a member of the Coventry Road Club. She enjoyed the touring side of cycling, waiting until 1946 to make a low-key racing debut.

Edie was the third of six women to break the Land’s End to John o’Groats 875 mile record, maintaining her strength by swallowing raw eggs every 20 miles. She did it in July 1953 with a ride that marked for her a fantastic year of competitive cycling and a career during which she set 12 British road records. Yet, to see the slim Coventry rider in action, it was hard to believe that, weighing less than 7 stone and only 4ft 11½ tall, she would be up to the task.

In cycling terms, she was a stylish rider, giving the impression that she was part of the machine, but behind the apparent ease of keeping the pedals turning was a great physical strength, developed during the years that she was a champion gymnast and a mental determination to overcome any difficulties.

Edie Atkins (née Sharman) was born in Bilston, near Wolverhampton but her parents later moved to Coventry, which was to become her permanent home.

Coventry, widely regarded as the home of the British cycle manufacturing industry supported two other clubs at the time, one of which, Coventry Cycling Club, was later to have Eileen Sheridan as it’s star rider. It was a period when cycling in general and women’s racing in particular saw a huge post war development and a Sheridan/Atkins rivalry was a natural outcome. Edie, although determined to remain in competition, set her face firmly against turning professional, preferring to continue with her husband as her manager and trainer.

To help finance her career she worked as a part time waitress, first locally at the Council House and then for royal garden parties at Buckingham Palace. Later, when her record aspirations became financially more demanding, she and Ron remortgaged their home to raise additional finance, part of which was to buy a van for her small team of helpers during world record attempts. As preparation for her End to End attempt, which weather conditions ordained should start on their 13th wedding anniversary – Ron gave her an ambitious target of four British records in one day (including London to York and London to Edinburgh). She broke all four and became the first woman to cover more than 400 miles in a day, with a mileage of 422. The London-made RO Harrison machine that she rode to break the coveted End to End record (2 days, 18 hours, 4 minutes) is now in the Coventry Transport Museum.

As recently as 1996, Edie Atkins competed in 43 events that year and continued to ride more than 100 miles a week with Ron.

Ron worked for many years as a body maker and fitter at many of Coventry’s legendary car and aircraft firms and a founder member of the British Cyclo-Cross Association. He went on to be one of the last bike builders in Coventry, specialising in building top of the range touring and racing machines.

Edie Atkins Palmarès

1952

25 September — Land's End to London, 287 miles — 17h.13m.31s.

1953

31 May — Holyhead to London, 264 miles — 13h.31m.53s

12 July — London to York, 196 miles — 9h.56m.20s

12 July — 12 hours* — 234.75 miles

13 July — London to Edinburgh, 385 miles — 21h.37m.00s

13 July — 24 hours* — 422.00 miles

19 July — Edinburgh to Glasgow and back, 88 miles — 4h.38m.56s

27–29 July — Land's End to John o' Groats, 871 miles — 2d.18h.4m.

1957

14 July — London to Gt Yarmouth, 125 miles — 6h.01m.46s

8 August — London to Bath and back, 211 miles — 11h.11m.34s

8 September — Liverpool to Edinburgh, 211 miles — 11h.02m.40s

13 October — Edinburgh to York, 196 miles — 10h.40m.24s

John Atkins

In 1948, Edie and Ron announced the birth of their son; the now legedary John Atkins. At the age of 17, John began cycling on the cleared areas and bomb sites that followed intensive bombing of Coventry in the Second World War. He won his first national cyclo-cross championship in 1961 when he was19. He was in a group of four and passed them by taking a longer route to the right around bushes where the others had ridden to the left. It gave him a few seconds' lead that he held to the finish. He won again in 1962 but was handicapped until 1966 by a stomach ulcer. He then dominated cyclo-cross in Britain for the next 10 years.

He came fifth in the 1968 world championship, then turned professional for Marsh & Baxter. A year later he moved to Carlton Cycles for five years. He rode for Viscount-Shimano from 1975 to 1978 and then for Harry Quinn Cycles. John retired in 1979.

Teams

  • 1968 Bantel - Mercian (Great Britain)

  • 1968 Marsh & Baxter (Great Britain)

  • 1969 Carlton - Truwel - Campagnolo (Great Britain)

  • 1970 Falcon (Great Britain) from 01-09

  • 1971 TI - Carlton (Great Britain)

  • 1972 TI - Raleigh (Great Britain)

  • 1972 TI - Carlton (Great Britain)

  • 1973 TI - Raleigh (Great Britain)

  • 1974 TI - Raleigh (Great Britain)

  • 1975 TI - Raleigh (The Netherlands)

  • 1975 Viscount - Shimano (Great Britain)

  • 1976 Viscount - Shimano (Great Britain)

  • 1977 Viscount - Shimano (Great Britain)

  • 1978 Viscount - Shimano (Great Britain)

  • 1978 Harry Quinn - Galli (Great Britain)

  • 1979 Viscount - Shimano (Great Britain)

  • 1979 Harry Quinn - Galli (Great Britain)

Results

1961 1st in National Championship, Cyclo-cross, Elite, Great Britain, Great Britain

1962 1st in National Championship, Cyclo-cross, Elite, Great Britain, Great Britain

1963 2nd in National Championship, Cyclo-cross, Elite, Great Britain, Great Britain

1966 1st in National Championship, Cyclo-cross, Elite, Great Britain, Great Britain

1967 1st in National Championship, Cyclo-cross, Elite, Great Britain, Great Britain

1968 1st in National Championship, Cyclo-cross, Elite, Great Britain, Great Britain

1969 1st in National Championship, Cyclo-cross, Elite, Great Britain, Great Britain

1969 1st in Three Peaks, Cyclo-cross, Great Britain

1969 16th in Drongen, Cyclo-cross, Drongen (Oost-Vlaanderen), Belgium

1969 8th in Ardooie, Cyclo-cross, Belgium

1970 1st in National Championship, Cyclo-cross, Elite, Great Britain, Great Britain

1970 1st in Three Peaks, Cyclo-cross, Great Britain

1970 8th in Vladslo, Cyclo-cross, Belgium

1970 6th in Zillebeke, Cyclo-cross, Belgium

1970 6th in Oudenaarde, Cyclo-cross (e), Belgium

1970 5th in Stasegem - Harelbeke, Cyclo-cross, Belgium

1970 6th in Eeklo, Cyclo-cross (c), Belgium

1970 3rd in Vossem, Cyclo-cross, Vossem (Brabant), Belgium

1970 3rd in Wervik, Cyclo-cross, Belgium

1970 2nd in Drongen, Cyclo-cross, Belgium

1970 3rd in Oostakker, Cyclo-cross, Belgium

1971 1st in National Championship, Cyclo-cross, Elite, Great Britain, Great Britain

1972 1st in National Championship, Cyclo-cross, Elite, Great Britain, Great Britain

1973 1st in Harlow, Cyclo-cross, Great Britain

1973 2nd in Solbiate Olona, Cyclo-cross, Italy

1973 2nd in Dippach, Cyclo-cross, Luxemburg

1973 2nd in Langemark, Amateurs, Belgium

1973 2nd in Langemark, Cyclo-cross, Belgium

1973 1st in National Championship, Cyclo-cross, Elite, Great Britain, Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham), Great Britain

1973 3rd in Middelkerke, Cyclo-cross, Belgium

1974 1st in National Championship, Cyclo-cross, Elite, Great Britain, Great Britain

1975 2nd in National Championship, Cyclo-cross, Elite, Great Britain, Birmingham (Birmingham), Great Britain

1976 2nd in National Championship, Cyclo-cross, Elite, Great Britain, Great Britain

1976 1st in Three Peaks, Cyclo-cross, Great Britain

1977 1st in National Championship, Cyclo-cross, Elite, Great Britain, Great Britain

1978 2nd in National Championship, Cyclo-cross, Elite, Great Britain, Great Britain

 

 

 


News

Connect with us

FacebookInstagram