Who remembers Don Louis of Herne Hill?

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by dellzeqq, 29 Oct 2009.

  1. dellzeqq

    dellzeqq pre-talced and mighty

    Location:
    SW2
    who sold me my first bike - a Claud Butler. It cost five pounds which was not bad considering it had a (five speed) Campagnolo derailleur.

    My recollection is that the Don employed a mechanic who was Welsh, and only spoke his native language and Flemish.
     
  2. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Location:
    Behind a desk
    ...and you've been in love with the mechanic since you bought the bike and would love to track him down, meet up for old times' sake, perhaps see if the spark is still there?

    Oh Dell, you old romantic you.

    (Does The Babe know?)
     
  3. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Location:
    Behind a desk
    An apology to Dellzeqq

    It's become clear to me that you wanted to start a reminiscent, slightly nostalgic thread in the vein of the Rory O'Brian one, and I've gone and spoiled it with my flippant innuendo - I do apologise.

    Folks - reminisce in the manner that Don Louis so richly deserves.
     
    Blue Hills likes this.
  4. OP
    OP
    dellzeqq

    dellzeqq pre-talced and mighty

    Location:
    SW2
    it was a long shot. I think he retired about 1975, and Herne Hill is the kind of area that people move in to and out of all the time......
     
  5. DJ

    DJ Formerly known as djtheglove



    Fraid I've never heard of this Don and his Welsh side kick, but will support your view on Herne Hill having done exactly that.

    Brockwell park goes someway to saving the area from Urban nonentity.
     
  6. limey

    limey Senior Member

    Does the track at Herne Hill still exist or has that been and gone as well. Fond memories of the track, particularly from 1963, when I rode alongside Tom Simpson.

    Whilst on the subject, does the circuit at Crystal Palace still exist?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    dellzeqq

    dellzeqq pre-talced and mighty

    Location:
    SW2
  8. 531c

    531c New Member

    I believe the mechanic at Herne Hill Cycles is called Ron, and he definitely isn't Welsh.

    Not sure if he speaks Flemish or not...
     
  9. limey

    limey Senior Member

    Thanks for this info but why does HH track seem odd? In those days I worked at Lewisham, studied at Woolwich Poly and HH was the only track available. There was another at Welwyn but simply too far away especially on students cash flow. Do they still use it? Would love to go back and do a few laps.

    We used to have evening criteriums at the CP circuit in the anti-clockwise direction and some good Sunday races in the clock-wise direction. What is the track used for today?

    This is distant from the Don Louis question but nevertheless.....
     
  10. brockers

    brockers Senior Member

    limey - the evening crits at Palace started up again about ten years ago, and the fields are getting quite large (100 or so split into E/1/2, 3/4, and now one for the ladies). Tuesday evening at 7 between late April and September is when S London's finest mix it up in an anticlockwise fashion around the n.e. corner of the park, taking just over 2 mins for a circuit (down to the lake, along the bottom, up the hill, along the straight and then round the willow-tree hairpin). I think they were trying to get permission for Thurs also, but Bromley Council said no.

    The surface itself is a slippery nightmare and is virtually unusable if it's been raining at all that day. Although the juniors are sent round first to test the track (like pit canaries). If there's a chute then the grown-ups won't ride. ;)
     
  11. Slim

    Slim Über Member

    Location:
    Plough Lane
    The weirdest thing about the Herne Hill track is the location. The gate is just a gap between houses - until you're actually there you can't see that there's a track there at all.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    dellzeqq

    dellzeqq pre-talced and mighty

    Location:
    SW2
    it is hidden away. By odd I simply meant that for a person not used to track riding the curves are, well......odd.
     
  13. DJ

    DJ Formerly known as djtheglove

    Yes, I agree as a novice on the track the banking seemed very steep, I don't think they make them that steep anymore!!! Saturday morning at HH is meant to be good for the kids they provide track bikes and organise races.

    There is also a mountain bike track at HH.

    There is a club that runs the track the name of which escapes me right now.
     
  14. brockers

    brockers Senior Member

    the club who effectively run HH is the rather splendidly titled Velo Club de Londres (VCL), and there's also Herne Hill Youth CC. HH has become very popular in the last couple of years - probably due to the combined influence of the GB track team success, and the trendiness of riding a 'fixie'. HH run track-riding training sessions, open to all, on Saturday mornings, followed by a bit of good-natured racing.
     
  15. limey

    limey Senior Member

    Thank you. The origin of this thread was/is who remembers Don Louis so sorry to have taken it in an alternate direction but here I am 63 years old, living in the south of France, itching to get over next year and to ride again at both CP and HH.

    The evening crits at CP sound interesting, so what are the categories, who are the organisers, how do you make an entry, will my French licence be valid, etc. When I rode in the mid 60s the events were handicapped, Juniors and 3rd cat amateurs went first, followed by 2nd cats, and finally 1st cats and any professionals/independents that happened to be there. My first races were as a junior and we always got caught. When I started as a 1st cat we went eyeballs out from the start to catch the small fry and then settle down for the sprint finish. Is it still like that?

    So the track at HH hasn't changed too much, amazing. Is it still raw concrete? The banking isn't steep for a track- the real difference at HH is the width. Other tracks I've ridden have wider banking so you can go high and get a real dive to drop onto a wheel of a teammate. The facilities at HH were kind of primitive as well as far as I remember. I need to find a track bike and relive the sensations.

    Just so you know I ride between 500-600 miles per month, mostly road, I compete in at least 12 cyclosportives per annum, etc. Here in France the over 60 category is extremely competitive. The winner usually averages about 23mph over 60-65miles and it is often the biggest category. Long live active retirement!

    Really interested to hear more info and comments.
     
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