Local ladies recapture the spirit of cycling down the years

TWO LISBURN women have helped compile a book entitled 'Recycled Memories' which contains stories that capture the spirit of cycling down the years.

Isabel Woods - a cycling champion from the 1950's - and her friend May Farrar worked with Rab Collins and Billy Kirk on producing the book.

Isabel explained that the idea came about two years ago at a reunion evening. She said: "Over 180 'old' and well seasoned cyclists met there and many could not recognise each other, due to the passage of time which ensued since they all rode together. It was a wonderful evening and no one wanted to leave and from that night an idea was born. Why not collect all the stores from these past cyclists and publish them in a little book, otherwise they would be lost forever."

The team approached the veteran cyclists and asked them to submit their stories and the response was overwhelming.

Isabel said: "The stores poured in. The book took on a life of its own. Material flooded in, research was undertaken, photographs were located from dusty attics and the excitement grew with the pages of the book. We found information on great Irish Cyclists from the turn of the last century."

Isabel continued: "Several people submitted articles on the history of the bicycle. Records from the Journals of Cycling Historian Harry McCartney from Dollingstown were borrowed and so many interesting stories and records were extracted from Harry's extensive files."

The book finally closed at 458 pages and because of its sheer size it required to be hand stitched.

Isabel said a special thanks must be given to May who typed up all the stories. "May is not a cyclist herself but she certainly knows a lot about its history now. Her help and support has been invaluable."

Isabel added: "It has been a labour of love for the past 18 months and finally it has come to fruition."

The book was launched this week at the Ramada Hotel, Shaws Bridge and special guest for the evening was Pat McQuaid, President of World Cycling (U.C.I.).

The book is now on sale and will be stocked by Bicycle shops throughout Northern Ireland.

The cost is 19.99 and a few limited Hard Back copies will be available at 40.

Isabel Woods and May Farrar worked with Rab Collins and Billy Kirk on producing the book.