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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 10th September, 1948, transcribed by Gill Hollis
At 61, He Cycled For 12 Hours
Averaged 16 m.p.h.

To cycle at an average speed of 16⅔ m.p.h. for twelve hours is good going for anyone, but for a 61-year-old to achieve it is right out of the common. A Rushden road veteran claims these figures and a record into the bargain.

Mr Frederick Denton

An action study of 61-year-old
Mr. Frederick Denton, of Rushden, who cycled 200 miles in 12 hours to create a new record.

The total distance covered in 12 hours by Mr. Frederick Denton, of 76, Wellingborough Road, Rushden, works out at 200 miles, and for 17 years the “veteran’s” record has stood at 193½ miles.

It has long been the ambition of Fred Denton to beat that record, held for so long by his 78 year old friend in the Upper Holloway Club, Mr. E. H. Strevens, of Bishops Stortford.

Mr. Strevens – still an ardent cyclist – set up the record 17 years ago when he was 61, and the achievement had never been surpassed until last Sunday morning, when Mr. Denton set off with determination and the good wishes of Mr. Strevens on the 12 hours time trial sponsored by the Northampton and District Cycling Association from Thrapston.

Tyre Burst

He was undeterred by a nasty spill he had taken three weeks previously when his back tyre burst after covering 159 of his self-allotted 200 miles in excellent time.

Mr. Denton was one of the 24 cycling enthusiasts – average age 26 years – who tackled the trial. He set off on the course at 6.2 a.m. and at 6.2 p.m. he had reached Barnwell Station, “just a few yards over the 200 miles.” The route was via Brampton Hut, St. Neots, Cambridge and Godmanchester, back to St. Neots, on to Eaton Socon, and via the Great North Road to Girton Bridge, from when several “loops” were traversed.

Mr. Denton also achieved another personal record in that he covered 150 miles before making his first stop. He travelled faster in the last hour than in the first.

Another old cycling enthusiast rode by his side in a van during the last lap of the journey, shouting words of encouragement and preparing to bring him home again at the end of the trial.

“I won’t say I was not tired,” admitted our cycling enthusiast, “but I soon got over it.”

At His Best

Always keenly interested in racing, Mr. Denton can prove that he has done better since he turned fifty than before In 1922, when he was 35, the best he could do was 186½ miles in a 12 hour trial run, and in a similar event in 1941 (at the age of 59) he did 192½ miles.

A cycling enthusiast for 43 years, his efforts really began in earnest after the first World War. Since that time he has spent the greater part of his holidays on wheels; averaged 250 miles a week and 10,000 miles a year. After completing 1,400 miles in cycling to John O’ Groats and back for his

August holiday last year he had covered approximately 300,000 miles.

He reports having done nothing special this year – just a mere 500-600 miles during August week.

A native of the town and the first Rushden man ever to ride in a 12 hour race, Mr. Denton was captain of the now defunct Rushden Cycling Club for ten years before the war and a member of the North Road Club.

He rode in Sunday’s trial as a member of the Wellingborough club.

Mr. Denton is employed at Messrs. John White’s Newton Road factory. He gets his practice runs in during the evening, and when in training for a trial averages 15 miles per hour on his week-end runs.

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