The greatest cycling venue London never had: The rise and fall of Balham Hyde Farm


In the early 1890s Hyde Farm, Balham was set to become the premier cycling track in London. By 1896 it had closed with the land to be used for housing, a victim of construction to saturation point of cycling tracks in the good times, cycling’s sudden decline in popularity, and a champion cyclist’s determination to make Herne Hill the capital’s number one venue. Here’s the story of the greatest cycling venue London never had. Continue reading The greatest cycling venue London never had: The rise and fall of Balham Hyde Farm

Cycle in South London like it’s 1885: the rides and times of a Victorian trailblazer (Part 1)


A 19th century South London cyclist has set a 21st century Strava challenge. He didn’t know it at the time, but when our Victorian trailblazer was writing about rides and times in his diary, he was chronicling some of the earliest ‘personal bests’ in London on record. 131 years on that means times to beat! Continue reading Cycle in South London like it’s 1885: the rides and times of a Victorian trailblazer (Part 1)

Butler serves Balham and makes Marque on Olympics


The first week investigating the life and times of Balham Cycling Club has thrown up a bona fide cycling ‘A’ lister. Claud Butler is a familiar name to anyone with an interest in cycling. A bicycle dealer and frame-builder his cycles and tandems were used at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics and numerous World Championships. This is his Balham CC story. Continue reading Butler serves Balham and makes Marque on Olympics