WKRC

John Smith

JOHN W. SMITH

A TRIBUTE BY THE WEST KENT ROAD CLUB – May 2017

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

  • What a great day we had. Eight of us started out from Herne Bay, then in land to Canterbury. We had lunch in Sandwich before following the coast path back to Herne Bay with a quick stop for tea and cake in Minnis Bay.

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  • Our Wednesday group continues to grow in popularity. Meet at Wilmington Memorial Hall at 09:00. Newcomers and e-bikes welcome. Average distance 30 miles.

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  • TO ALL WKRC MEMBERS: On behalf of the WKRC Commitee I am trying to ascertain if any member would like the opportunity to ride the famous track at Lee Valley Velo Park under the tuition of a BC coach. We have visited the venue before and all members who attended will confirm it was a […]

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  • We have received guidance from British Cycling that from the 29th March grass roots sport activities can resume.  This means that groups of no more than 15 riders will be allowed on the road. Given that there will still be a restriction on the size of groups meeting socially we will not be able to stop at […]

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Latest News More

  • We are running our annual reliability trial on 14th January 2024. The HQ is Horton Kirby Jubilee Hall DA4 9AZ. Signing on from 8am.  The hall will be open from 9am and refreshments will be available on your return. 2021-reliability-1.docx Long route Short route

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  • On Wednesday 4th May 2022 12 members and guests of the WKRC attended the world famous Lea Valley velodrome at the Olympic Park Stratford to take part in a 2 hour taster session riding on the track used by all British champions since the Olympics and in all major track competitions. On arrival we hired out […]

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  • What a great day we had. Eight of us started out from Herne Bay, then in land to Canterbury. We had lunch in Sandwich before following the coast path back to Herne Bay with a quick stop for tea and cake in Minnis Bay.

    More...

  • Our Wednesday group continues to grow in popularity. Meet at Wilmington Memorial Hall at 09:00. Newcomers and e-bikes welcome. Average distance 30 miles.

    More...

Events CalendarMore

July 17, 2024
  • Regular Wednesday ride
      July 17, 2024 - 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

     

    A more gentle ride out to a local cafe that is decided on the day. Approximate
    distance 30 to 40 miles.

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July 19, 2024
  • Easy ride - Newcomers welcome.
      July 19, 2024 - 9:30 am - 1:30 pm

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July 21, 2024
  • Sunday ride
      July 21, 2024 - 9:00 am - 1:30 pm

     

    Meet at the Memorial Hall in Wilmington at 09:00 for a 09:15 start. There are usually two groups. Group A aims to cover approximately 50 miles, while group B covers around 30 miles. Both groups stop for coffee half way.

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July 24, 2024
  • Regular Wednesday ride
      July 24, 2024 - 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

     

    A more gentle ride out to a local cafe that is decided on the day. Approximate
    distance 30 to 40 miles.

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July 26, 2024
  • Easy ride - Newcomers welcome.
      July 26, 2024 - 9:30 am - 1:30 pm

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