The King

Alf Engers

Alf Engers set his first cycling record in 1959 when he was just 19 years old. His 25-mile time trial record stood at 55 minutes and 11 seconds.

 

Nineteen years later, Alf did it again, establishing a British 25-mile (40km) record of 49 minutes and 24 seconds in 1978. In doing so, he became the first rider to beat 50 minutes and the first to average more than 30mph (48km/h). The record stood until the 1990s.

 

Nicknamed 'The King' for his dominance, Alf's career in cycling was never plain sailing. Alf never completely saw eye to eye with either The British Cycling Federation or Road Time Trials Council.

He frequently clashed with both bodies because of his attitudes towards cycling and bike building. His style of cycling – near the centre of the road – when the roads being used were open to the public and not closed annoyed the authorities (how dare he!).

 

Similarly, Alf and bike builder Alan Shorter were among the first to experiment in creating lightweight bikes, drilling holes into brakes, frames and chain wheels – all at a time when challenging the status quo was frowned upon.

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