1950s Biographies - Ted Gerrard

Personality Parade The Bicycle, 7-Oct-1953

GerrardTed1953TWENTY-YEAR-OLD Ted Gerrard, N.C.U. mass start champion, typifies the youth of his present day and age in the cycling world.
He is full of zest, enthusiastic over the sport of cycling, has the potentialities of a great future and, happily, he is still young enough to be groomed for stardom.
A study of this young man's racing mileages from 1949 (the year he started racing) until midway through this season provides the student of competitive cycling with plenty of interest.
A mileage analysis shows that in 1949 Gerrard's time trials amounted to 330 miles and mass start 21 miles: 1950, 595 miles T.T. and 21 miles M.S.; 1951, 570 miles T.T. and no M.S.: 1952, 680 miles T.T. and 773 1/2 miles M.S.; 1953 (up to September), 530 miles T.T. and 2973 miles M.S.
These annual totals are bolstered up by many thousands of training miles, for Gerrard believes in "getting the miles in". Already this year he has completed nearly 12,000 miles, 2,000 of which he did during January.
Does a T.T. rider make a good bunched rider? The question has been posed time and again. Only the participant can provide the real solution, and in Gerrard's case he has given his answer in the affirmative.
His time trial performances are not speedy compared with those consistent "56” and "57" men of to-day. His times are average, and his best 25 was ridden this year when he clocked 59m. 17s. in an R.A.F. event.
Gerrard finds that his experience against the watch has helped him considerably since he switched to concentrating on mass start racing.
"I am glad I now mix both mass start and time trialing," he says "because I think one definitely helps the other".
Last year was the first of his racing career in which his total mass start mileage exceeded those ridden in time trials. The scales were tipped by his participation in the R.A.F. 426-mile five-day Tour of the Stations.
This was his longest race (“when I entered I had not raced at a greater distance than 100 miles, and my longest mass start was a 36-mile affair" he confesses) and it gained him his first victory in the bunched game.

Performance Book
Had he not been a roadman we may have seen Gerrard's name blazoned on track “billings". In 1951 his little track work brought him the North Middx and Herts C.A. 4,000 metres pursuit title and other successes. Unfortunately, a madison crash put paid to his chance of success in the national pursuit championship when his early victims were R. Waters, C. Higgs, Billy Jones and Gordon Gane. To beat Gane, Gerrard clocked 5m. 27.1s. which still stands as a Barnet C.C. record.
In a black exercise book he has faithfully recorded all his performances from his first event, a Barnet C.C. club 25 in March, 1949, when he was still a schoolboy. He clocked 1-8-10.
Two years earlier he had obtained his first bicycle, and as a member of the Y.H.A. had travelled around quite confidently on a semi-sports machine. Annual tours to Devon and Cornwall, and North Wales figured among his cycling activities during 1948 and 1949.
During a visit to a local cinema in February, 1949, he saw some roller-racing by members of the Barnet C.C. It interested him and he wasted little time in contacting the secretary and joining the North London club.
Following his first 25, Gerrard entered seven more trials before the season ended. and also competed in a 30, two 50s, and a 21-mile mass start at Matching Green.
His best 25 time that first year was1-6-9, and it brought him his first club medal. His first-ever 50 is one which he will never forget. He rode 30 miles to start, arrived late, fell off twice, broke a crank one mile from the finish and yet managed to clock 2-17-38.
He did not attempt another 50 until 1952 - when in two R.A.F. events he brought his times down to 2-13-6, and. finally, .2-13-4, which still stands as his best over the distance.

Varied Racing
Plenty of training miles were piled into his life in 1950 and 1951, and he stuck religiously to time trials, mostly 25s. During 1950 he took part in 14 events, and on seven consecutive occasions clocked a "1-3". His personal best that year was 1-3-23, in the Somerset R.C.25. which Dick Henly won in 59-45.
Down came his times, and up went his name on the club record books. He claimed the 5, 10 and 25 records, and in 1952 a personal best 1-0-30 brought him fourth position behind Charlie Marriner. That season's programme included 13 25s, three 30s, and three 10s, but at the end of it he had still not recorded a single open time trial victory.
Another club time trial record the 1000-metre track, with a 1m. 16s. gave Gerrard new ideas on the other phase of the racing game. And li: promptly set about individual pursuiting which he enjoyed. Had it not been for his crash we might have seen Gerrard become a track personality instead of a road "star".
The R.A.F. called him up at the end of 1951, and it was his participation in the R.A.F. five-day tour, something completely out of his province, which set the young Gerrard on the mass start road.
Two curious entries in his record books show that in 1951 he was fourth in the Catford C.C. hill climb and sixth in his own club's effort - and he occupied similar positions the following year in both events!
Gerrard was 19 when he won the national mass start title from Pusey and Krebs this year.
Gerrard, who stands 6 ft. 1 1/2 in. and weighs 12 st. 4 lb., admits that he has a lot more to learn about road racing, but age is on his side and we look with interest to his future plans, once he has cast off his Air Force blue in December.



Brian Haskell, Ted Gerrard and John Perks return home with prizes won in the 1954 Tour of Egypt. Gerrard had won three stages.