PEZ Bookshelf: The Driller: Life Cycle Bob Addy



PEZ Bookshelf: Bob Addy was a ‘title’ that cropped up commonly within the British leads to the 60’s and 70’s. Ed Hood offers us the background on Bob and his ideas on ‘The Driller’, Bob Addy’s perception on British racing earlier than the likes of Sky and INEOS.


‘Once I have been lad,’ the one methods you bought your Media repair of biking in these pre-internet days was via the, ‘Biking Weekly’ and ‘Worldwide Cycle Sport’ magazines. ‘Biking Weekly’ was printed on primary low cost newsprint and the occasional color photos didn’t reproduce properly – however ICS was printed on good shiny paper and the image high quality wasn’t unhealthy. My favorite group colors – bikes and jerseys – from these days have been the orange and ‘kingfisher’ of the Holdsworth group. High quality riders like Les West, Colin Lewis, Dave Nie then latterly the likes of Gary Crewe and Nigel Dean.

However the man who was the group’s first recruit was Bob Addy, an enormous man who at all times regarded good in motion photos. There was one picture I bear in mind specifically of him successful a wet 1969 Vaux Gold Tankard race, arms unfold huge exhibiting his sponsor’s title to nice impact. Nevertheless as a professional he wasn’t a prolific winner, somewhat a man who was ‘at all times there;’ however successful within the UK again then wasn’t straightforward and Addy would spend a whole lot of time with Holdsworth, ‘in service’ to the group’s massive winners, West and Lewis. After which there was Sid Barras to take care of – ‘Tremendous Sid’ who was on rival groups and a prolific winner, just about unbeatable in a dash. There was additionally the facet that within the early 70’s British professional racing was, ‘critcentic’ – on seaside promenades or round procuring centres and parks. Not parcours suited to man of Addy’s construct.


However this ebook takes us from Addy’s days as a teenager discovering his toes within the sport from his first second hand bike via a profitable newbie profession the place he had the initiative to get himself off to heat climate practice within the South of France to arrange for his goal races.
Occurring to win a stage within the Tour of Britain Milk Race and symbolize his nation on the highest ranges of the newbie sport in occasions just like the Tour de l’Avenir and the savage, East European Peace Race.

In 1963 he grabbed arguably his greatest success in successful the British Beginner Street Race Championship, forward of males like massive ending London arduous man, John Clarey and Liverpool’s perennial Doug Dailey who would take the title virtually a decade later in 1972.

Then there have been the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo the place regardless of being the strongest man within the GB 100 kilometre group time trial squad Addy was handed over for the street race attributable to a case of ‘face not becoming’– however that was typical of British biking politics of the day. His omission from that race triggered him to show, ‘impartial’ with Falcon Cycles – a half-way home to full professionalism the place a rider may race in opposition to professionals and amateurs however revert to newbie standing if he wished. Addy additionally raced in France with Leroux-Terrot earlier than his tenure at Holdsworth. In 1968 he rode the last word skilled race, the Tour de France however two unhealthy crashes on consecutive days meant that he by no means reached Paris.


After leaving Holdsworth I bear in mind Addy popping up within the inexperienced and black of the Ron Kitching group. Kitching was a shrewd Yorkshireman who imported continental bike tools – principally French, the likes of TA, Stronglight and Milremo – and used the group to advertise gross sales of his marques. Addy’s speciality with the group was breaking place to position information below the auspices of the Street Information Affiliation, the governing physique for such rides – and he did so with nice success.

For a lot of professionals the tip of the final professional contract means the tip of the street; maybe nonetheless going, ‘out with the boys’ on runs of a Sunday however not racing. However that wasn’t the, ‘Addy manner’ – he served the required two years away from racing after which was reinstated as an newbie, diving straight again into newbie street racing and time trialling with no little success. There was a motorcycle store too – and administration positions with the Scottish nationwide group and the profitable Duracell and Lucozade sponsored Workforce Vitality. If that was not sufficient he then immigrated to Australia the place he started racing once more at a complicated age – and carried on teaching and successful bike races.

It’s all in there, maybe with a bit of extra element on the private aspect than I felt obligatory – however then I’m a conservative Scot. Nevertheless, most of the names with whom he interacted and talked about in his anecdotes, ‘greats’ the likes of Gianni Motta, Felice Gimondi and Jan Jansen depart you in little doubt that Mr. Addy, ‘has the T-shirt.’


I notably favored the story the place, within the successful break of the 1967 World Skilled Street Race Championship he thought he’d get better a bit of on the rear of the group. Eventual winner, Eddy Merckx promptly eased him off the again, Addy tortured his manner again on, Eddy turned to him and stated; ‘You bought via now!’ That break went all the best way to the end however sadly Addy, on the again of a programme of British criteriums, ultimately cracked.

I discovered his pre-season coaching schedule as an newbie while holding down a full time job a watch opener:

  • Monday: 80 kilometres
  • Tuesday: 110 kilometres
  • Wednesday: [afternoon off work] 170 to 200 kilometres
  • Thursday: 120 kilometres
  • Friday: 40 kilometres
  • Saturday: 140 to 150 kilometres
  • Sunday: 200 to 220 kilometres

A complete of some 800 kilometres – not for the faint hearted – it appears ‘old-fashioned’ now with way more specificity concerned in coaching on this twenty first century however it obtained the person to the Olympics and Tour de France.

His former membership mate and a rider he coached, John Dowling describes Addy as, ‘Marmite man.’ It appears an apt description of man who wouldn’t get far as a politician however left individuals in little doubt as to the place they stood. His ‘having a go’ at Tyler Hamilton at an occasion in Australia is typical of his out-spoken lifestyle.

I discovered the ‘leaping backwards and forwards’ between eras a bit of complicated, I favor ‘timeline’ narratives however that’s simply me. Should you’re a pupil of biking historical past and wish an perception into the 60’s and 70’s biking scene then is an effective learn for you.


‘The Driller: Life Cycle’ by Bob Addy
Foreword by Roger Hammond
Writer: Leschenault Press (3 Nov. 2022)
Language: English
Paperback: 156 pages
ISBN-10: 1922670650
ISBN-13: 978-1922670656
Dimensions: 15.24 x 0.94 x 22.86 cm.

# ‘The Driller: Life Cycle’ by Bob Addy Obtainable for AMAZON.COM HERE. #


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