South West London DA: Sou' Wester Archive
Profile of Ray Dare

Profile: Ray Dare - (Sep/Oct 2003)

This profile shows that Ray Dare's business career in Telecoms was close in nature to his cycling career. They both involved a live wire, with positive terminals and good connections, running on AC and DC at 50 cycles per second, powered by a strong, long-life battery, all built into a small compact electrical frame. So here is that profile written by Ray himself in his own 'racing' style:

Born - Caerphilly South Wales in June 1926. Moved to Victoria, London approx. 1929 and subsequently Morden, Fetcham, Carshalton, Worcester Park and for the last 26 years back to Fetcham.

Started cycling at about 8 years old and was riding a second hand Goodley Chater with my Mum and Dad by the age of 11, and not so long after on the occasional CTC ride with them.

My first experience of long distance riding was, at the age of 13, with my eldest brother to Caerphilly then 165 miles from Morden (there was no Severn Bridge at that time), non-stop except for sustenance, taking 18 hours. Education at Morden age 5 to 14 then at Wimbledon Technical College for two years (transferred to Kingston whilst the Army took over at Wimbledon during the War). Further education was at night school and some day release from work.

In about 1949 joined what is now the C&M Section of SWLDA and started time trialling with the Kingston Phoenix Road Club in 1951. In the early years of riding with the C&M I recall the Reliability Trials organised by Gordon Langsford, like the 100 in 8 hrs or 7 hours.

Married Beryl in 1972 and was fortunate to inherit her three children which together with subsequent grandchildren have added great pleasure in my life.

Through the years until 1986 when I retired from a career mainly in Telecoms with extensive travel at home and overseas, including two years installing telephone exchanges in Calcutta, India 1952-54. There were many trips abroad to follow whilst working for Cable and Wireless: Seychelles, Muscat and The Comores stand out most in my memories, the latter most where there had been a Coup d'Etat when the French had temporarily been kicked out.

I had devoted any surplus energy to cycling and running, sometimes on a very spasmodic basis but became a regular rider with the Midweek Wayfarers section on retirement in 1986.

Since then, cycling has been very much to the fore mixed in with some running. Have organised both Vets time trials and running events. Tours through the years with C&M (Easter, Majorca etc.) and CTC abroad have added to the spice of life.

There were tours I remember on the Continent in the late 50s with members of Kingston and C&M Sections. Both these Sections were the foundation of the Kingston Phoenix RC. I am currently time trialling with the KPRC. My CTC tours were in the 90s, the most memorable being in Andalucia in S.E. Spain and Corsica with Alan Baker.

The highlights in the racing sphere have been two 12 hour events at the age of 70 and 75, tandem events and three London Marathons at ages 57, 59 and 70. I presently hold the national 12 hour age record for 75 having lost the 70 one after 3 years.

In the London Marathon at age 70 I was fourth nationally in age group 70/75 with 3:49:55, my best was 3:06:31 at age 57.

Tandem events with KPRC members have been with Ron Powney, Pete Mitchell and Barry Sharp. Other rides were with Ewart Arnold (of Midweeks and Redmon CC) and Martyn Winter (Farnborough & Camberley CC). VTTA Surrey/Sussex Group age records are held with Ewart Arnold for 10, 25 and 30 miles and with Martyn Winter - VTTA National age records for 10, 25, 30 and 50 miles.

My favourite bike is the one in the pictures - it is a Gios Evolution.

(Ray had just returned home following an evening 10 mile time trial with the KPRC in which he clocked 25 mins 38 secs - pretty good for a rider with 70 years of pedalling behind him. Ed.)