Tuesday, May 11, 2010

For Norman record breaking is in the genes - 50's super cyclist aunt

Norman is not the first member of his family to set a record as his aunt Isabel Woods held the Woman’s ‘End to End of Ireland Cycling Record’. Set back in the 1950’s and held for a staggering 52 years, is was only broken in 2007. Known as the 'Wonder girl cyclist' her story has been quite an inspiration to the record setting aspect of Norman’s trip. According to Isabel back in the 50’s “the training was tough, the distances covered immense, and Isabel had none of the advantages of riders today. Photo shows Isabel Woods peddling furiously on her bike in the 50's in Ireland from the cover of her book about her record attempt (may be used with permission gyroxgoesglobal@gmail.com).
Isabel's record 386-mile record bears little comparison to a similar modern day challenge. She completed the ride in 23 hours and 2 minutes, only stopping to put on a sweater and tights when cold. She had a five-gear bike compared to the modern 25 gears. She relied on sandwiches and raisins plus brown bread and honey compared to scientifically devised diets of today. Photo shows Norman's aunt Isabel today a spritely octogenarian (may be used with permission gyroxgoesglobal@gmail.com)
Isabel has recently written a book about her cycling exploits in the 50's called The Wheels of Change which is available from Shanway Press, Belfast, N. Ireland. In addition one of her record-setting bikes has been put on permanent display in the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Cultra near Belfast N. Ireland. You can also read an article about the book in the Larne Times.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful story and inspiration, not only to Norman but everybody. Aunt Isabel is also a superstar :-)
    Norman must be proud of her and she must be proud of Norman. A great family tradition :-)