Burton and District Cycling Association 100
Tuesday 20th September

Jill Bartlett exceeded her own and her supporters’ expectations with an excellent ride of 4 hours 28 minutes 22 seconds in the BDCA 100 on September 3rd.

Jill Bartlett

Jill Bartlett on her way to a new Ladies Veterans’ 100 record

This time is a new club Ladies Veterans’ record and a personal best for Jill by 13 minutes. The only problem she had during the ride was that she was so much faster than had been anticipated that her helpers had some difficulty finding her to hand up refreshments.

It should be noted that conditions were good and that the event winner, Julian Jenkinson (Utag Yamaha), finished in the superfast time of 3.28.41.

Jill is now full of enthusiasm to try to take the Ladies Senior Record which stands at 4.26.10., and so only requires her to improve by 2 minutes 13 seconds. This relatively small margin may appear to be easily achievable, but it should be noted that this record has resisted all attempts on it for the past four decades.

The time was set by Gill Clapton in the Essex Cycle Racing Association event in August 1971, when she came second to the great Beryl Burton (4.05.24) with June Pitchford third in 4.29.35. The men’s event was won by Bob Porter (3.53.09) who won the British Best All Rounder Championship in Hounslow colours the following year.

Gill came second to Beryl in the Ladies’ BBAR that year, but as with so many other good women time triallists it was her fate to be overshadowed by Beryl’s brilliance. However there is no doubt that Gill was a class act, and this is emphasised by the fact that her 1972 London to Brighton and Back record of 4.55.28 still stands in the national Road Records Association books. Even today she is still an active cyclist and it is interesting to note, in view of the longevity of these two records, that she saw herself as a short distance specialist who gained her speed from riding on the track. Her comment on hearing that her record had come under threat was: “Good, after all these years it’s about time some one else got it. I wish Jill the best of luck next season.”

Chris Lovibond