Saturday, November 01, 2014

Member Profile - Ray Dare

Quite simply, Ray is a club legend. At the age of 88 Ray has set Age Related Records at 10 and 25 miles this season and is still competing and riding regularly. He has been a member of KPRC for 63 years.
What’s your bike ownership history or what do you currently ride?
My very first bike was an 18 inch Goodley Chater when I was about 12 years old. I have had a number of bikes since and I currently own seven, of which I class four as tourist and three as racing bikes. My favourite racer is the Boardman Team  and the other two are a Gios and a Carlton. The Carlton has lasting memories for me as I mainly raced with sprints and tubulars and is still a delight for doing short local rides. It is necessary to carry spare ‘tubs’ which are quick to change in the event of a puncture.

In my Scottish tour this year I used my Evans Pinnacle in favour of my old 1981 Evans but it may well be my Enigma taking over for touring and the other bikes for general riding.

How did you start cycling?
My parents were keen cyclists and were CTC members before and during the 2nd World War and during the war I did one tour with my father. However during the war my first long ride was with my eldest brother doing 165 miles to Caerphilly via Gloucester as the Seven Bridge did not exist then. It took us 18 hours, leaving at 3am and arriving at my Aunt’s at 9pm. We returned a week later but in less time, as we were fortunate in having a tail wind. I particularly remember the outward journey starting in steady rain, being stopped by a policeman at Henley wanting to know where we were going early in the morning and my brother said Abingdon, where in fact we had a welcome stop for breakfast. I have always thought since that the ride to Wales and back has been the foundation of my urge to ride 100m  and 12hr TT’s, but not 24 hour time trials as 18 hours was enough for me.


What made you join Kingston Phoenix?
Through riding with the Cheam and Morden section of the CTC in 1948 and enthused by other C&M members I joined the Kingston Phoenix in 1951.


What has been your most memorable cycling experience?
For the most memorable ride, I would say that described above on my first ride to Caerphilly South Wales.


What has been your worst cycling experience?
The accident I had with a police car at the end of Ruxley Lane before there were traffic lights and when I lived at Worcester Park some 37 years ago. The police car did a right hand turn in front of me into Ruxley Lane when I was on the way to Ewell on a training ride. Fortunately, having been thrown over the side of the car and landing on the roof I escaped with abrasions of the chest and shoulders and apparently concussion. The latter I was to discover when a policeman bending over me at the bed I was in at Epsom Hospital who was asking me where I lived got three addresses before getting the right one! Fortunately I had two following motorists who were witnesses at the scene of the accident and I was told by a policeman visiting me at home that the culprit would lose his job if I made a case of it, so I accepted financial expenses only.


What cycling/sporting achievement are you most proud of?
This is a difficult one to answer being a member of the Phoenix for 60 odd years. However it was in 1951 that I rode my first 100 TT doing it in under 5 hours and I can now compare it with a 100 I rode at the age of 81, which was also slightly under 5 hours and therefore the distance I am most proud of.


What are your plans for the rest of this season or next season?
In terms of racing there are no plans as I am retired but I will continue with the enjoyment of riding a bike and the company of fellow cyclists.


Do you have any particular cycling or Sporting heroes?
Tony Doyle, Chris Braser, Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.


Sum yourself in three words.
A consistent trier.


  1. Dear Ray I think you do yourself an in justice! From my point of view and I know of many members in CTC and KPRC you are theirs and my Hero. I hope that I can stay healthy like you until I am 88 and beyond but I doubt that I can emulate all the records that you have achieved! I wish you and Beryl much happiness and health in your retirement from competitive racing but undoubtedly you will be a legend for ever and that is a fitting epitaph to your long and distinguished cycling career! I look forward to riding with you for many years to come as I enjoy your company and encouragement so much. God b less you and Beryl ! :)

  2. Didn't know until yesterday that Ray is also an accomplished marathon runner, just outside 3hrs at the at the age of 57 and did 3.16 at the age of 70! Both in the London Marathon. Some athlete.

  3. Ray Dare has always been a hero to us, because to us he is known as Grandad. We have always been so immensely proud of him and his wealth of achievements. He was the inspiration that started me cycling as soon as I could push a pedal. I love looking at his staggering collection of cups, medals and awards. Just the other day I was discussing cycling with somebody and they were in awe of the fact that Ray is my Grandad. I was amazed that he was so well known outside of his club (I was in Cornwall at the time!). I guess this goes to illustrate the warmth of feeling towards Ray and is a small reason why so many regard him as a legend. He has always been a legend to us and our pride is only boosted further in the knowledge that so many others think of him so fondly too.