John Smith



27.6.1929 – 7.5.2017




Outwardly, John was best known as a very successful long-distance Time Trialist. However, he also applied the same level of commitment, determination and endurance in his loyal service to the club.


His racing achievements are well documented. He was a ‘stayer’, who came into his own as race distances increased, most notably in 12 and 24 hour events.


He joined the WKRC in 1954, making an immediate impression by recording 222+ miles in his 1st ever 12hr. There followed 3 years of significant achievements. In 1955/56/57 he competed in a total of 15-100mile, 11-12hr and 3-24hr events. This brought him the club 12hr Championship in 1955 (with a record distance of 248+ miles that stood for 7 years) and 1956, along with the 24hr Championship in the same years with club records on both occasions. In fact, his 1955 12hr distance still stands today as the leading rider in the Club Team record.  Although he began to ease back a bit thereafter, in the following years until he retired from the long distances in 1961, he still competed in a total of 14-100miles and 9-12hr events.


Although endurance events were his forte, he did mix them with shorter distances, records showing that, during those 8 years, he rode over 100 time trials at 25, 30 and 50 miles. Add regular club and training runs and it can be seen what a prodigious ‘mile eater’ he was. His meticulously kept mileage charts for 1954/55/56 total almost 50,000 miles (recording 18,220 in 1956)!


Time trialling, though, was only one side of John. He also gave consummate service to the running of the club over many years. Within a year of joining he was on the Club Committee. Thereafter he served at various times as Club Captain, Vice-Captain, Club Magazine Editor, Club Room Steward, Press Secretary and Club Events Timekeeper. His greatest contribution, however, was in the most onerous of offices, that of General Secretary, a position he held very efficiently from 1963 to 1972 and for which he was honoured with the well-deserved, but rarely given, award of Life Membership.


John slipped into the background during the next decade but reappeared in the 90s and a certificate from a non-competitive Reliability Trial in 1999 records that he was still capable of completing the challenging 50 miles in under 4 hours.


There are still some around who rode alongside John in his prime years. He is remembered with much affection and respect and not just within the club. As someone who was still showing up as recently as 2013 to represent the club as a marshal at the Kent Cycling Association 12hr Championship, 58 years after he won the event himself, he is remembered much more widely.


Club Runs More

Latest News More

  • We held the annual Mass Start Championship on Sunday at Cyclopark. Congratulations to Michael Ashcroft – Club Champion Laurie Toombs – Vets Champion


  • Remember Sunday rides now start from Wilmington Memorial Hall. 9:15 depart.  


  • Thank you to my club mates for putting on this event and to the 82 riders who have raised £450 for charity. List of Entrants by club is below:   SEEDS – 17 No Club / Private – 15 CC Bexley – 8 WKRC – 8 Bigfoot – 7 Old Ports – 6 Vulcan – […]


  • Start the new year with a ride to celebrate the West Kent Road Club’s 81st year. Our annual reliability trial will take place on Sunday 6th January 2019. Please add our event to your club’s diary and website, and don’t forget to tell your fellow members & friends. A reliability trial is a bicycle event that challenges […]


Events CalendarMore

September 22, 2019
  • Peter and Gill Stone Memorial 25
      September 22, 2019 - 6:30 am - 10:15 am


October 1, 2019
  • Monthly Club Meeting
      October 1, 2019 - 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm


November 5, 2019
  • Monthly Club Meeting
      November 5, 2019 - 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm


November 8, 2019
  • Club Dinner and Dance
      November 8, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm


December 3, 2019
  • Monthly Club Meeting
      December 3, 2019 - 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm


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