South West London DA: Sou' Wester Archive
Profile of Simon Mitchell

Profile: Simon Mitchell - (May/Jun 2005)

My sister (Jake Dodd) and I were frequently lifted from our sleepy beds, complete with blankets, and transported through the grey dawn to the Bath Road where we were dressed and deposited in the long grass with two bowls of cornflakes. The air was thick with Wintergreen Liniment and silk tyres sang out on traffic-free roads. So began, for me, a life of cycling.

I graduated from Dad's crossbar seat to the back of the tandem with blocks of wood on the pedals - and enjoyed my club runs snuggled down behind Dad watching the world go by.

Aged 12, I was touring with my mates. Time and distance were a mystery to us and we were well chuffed to arrive at Holmbury Youth Hostel just after lunch time.

I began keeping a mileage chart, and now almost thirty years on and with many CTC tours, Birthday Rides, time trials and club runs behind me, not to mention 75,000 miles commuting to and from my place of work as a bookbinder in which I specialise in Gold Decoration, I have now passed the 200,000 milestone.

I have a number of other hobbies. Many are art and crafts based such as sketching, water colour painting and photography and I enjoy skiing. I have far better things to do than to go training so I just Race and Rest.

My achievements.
Best Race: Winning the Bec Hill Climb in 1988;
Longest Day: 223.4 miles in 12 hours;
Biggest Adventure: Off-road from Glen Affric to Rattagan;
Scariest Moment: Riding a High Ordinary - and falling off.

Jen and I married in 2002 and, in case I may get bored with maintaining 17 bikes, we bought a little cottage in Brittany with three and a half acres of land. Jen speaks a bit of French and I wave my arms about quite a bit so we get by. We plan to spend more time in our cottage with holidays and weekends with family and friends and lots of cycling. So, for the future, we are living for the now! We believe that this could be the best time of our lives and we need to make the most of it.